Vermilion Lakes

Last weekend I went to Vermilion Lakes with my friend Hadrian to photograph Mount Rundle at sunrise. Hadrian met me at my house at 5:30am and we drove together in my car. We arrived at Vermilion Lakes shortly after 7:00am and setup our equipment. Our initial thoughts were that it was going to be a spectacular sunrise due to the clear sky with moderate higher clouds. We definitely were in for quite the treat this morning.

The key to getting great shots of Mount Rundle from Vermilion Lakes is to situate your gear really low to the water. Hadrian uses something called a Platty Pod, which is a massive aluminum plate that has a shoe mount that you can screw into your camera. This is as low as it gets essentially. I had to improvise with some rocks and ice chunks since I don’t own a Platty Pod. I also took some photographs on the tripod with it at it’s lowest settings, but the shots were not quite as dramatic as I was hoping for, hence moving to the rocks and ice chunks.

After watching the spectacular sunrise we drove to Lake Louise, where we didn’t get very far due to an unfortunate slip and fall, so we returned to Calgary.

Be sure to check back in just over a weeks time when C and I depart on our trip to Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. This is a trip you won’t want to miss!

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2018-05-23 – US Route 66 Day 7

Today we drove 350 miles from Vega, Texas to Grants, New Mexico. We ended up staying at The Super 8, which was a horrible hotel. We had no working air conditioner, no hot water, bed bugs, and no fire alarm. We saw the following sights today:

  • Route 66 Motel, Tucumari
  • Cactus RV Park, Tucumari
  • Tee Pee Curious, Tucumari
  • Town House Motel, Tucumari
  • Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumari
  • Motel Safari, Tucumari
  • Vista Gas Station, Tucumari
  • La Cita Flowers, Tucumari
  • Odeon Theatre, Tucumari
  • Quality Tire, Tucumari
  • Restored Gas Station, Tucumari
  • Route 66 Sculpture, Tucumari
  • Route 66 Museum, Tucumari
  • Ruins, Newkirk
  • Cuervo Church, Cuervo
  • Blue Hole, Santa Rosa
  • Joseph’s Bars & Grill, Santa Rosa
  • Club Café Sign, Santa Rosa
  • Comet II Restaurant, Santa Rosa
  • Musical Highway, Albuquerque
  • Premiere Motel, Albuquerque
  • Nob Hill District, Albuquerque
  • Route 66 Diner, Albuquerque
  • Triangle Substation, Albuquerque
  •  Kimo Theatre, Albuquerque
  • Dog House Drive In Signn, Albuquerque
  • Old Town, Albuquerque
  • San Felipe Church, Albuquerque
  • Monterey Non Smokers Motel, Albuquerque
  • El Vado Motel, Albuquerque
  • Westward Ho Hotel Sign, Albuquerque
  • Dead Mans Curve, Laguna
  • Cemetery, Budville
  • Old Town, Cubero
  • Gas Station, Cibola
  • Santa Maria Mission, San Fidel

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Japan – Mt. Fuji & Jigokudani Monkey Park!!!

Welcome back! In this installment of my trip to Japan you’ll get to explore my side trip to Mt. Fuji and the wonderful place I visited called Jigokudani Monkey Park! Before leaving Tokyo I took a day trip to the town surrounding Mt. Fuji called Lake Kawaguchi. I rented a battery powered bicycle and toured the small town. Mt. Fuji was playing shy this day so I wasn’t able to see much of it.

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After leaving Tokyo I took a high speed Shinkansen train (only 320kph… no big deal right?) to Nagano, where I transferred to a lower speed local train to the small town of Shibu. Shibu was a bustling resort town back in its days, but has seen better days. It’s a ghost town these days, but is home to the Jigokudani Monkey Park! After a one hour trek from the train station to the monkey park I spent a few hours literally hanging out with the Japanese macaque! They would come right up to me, including the babies, which were only a few months old. This was the most memorable day of my trip by far. Take a look for yourself! Stay tuned for the next installment of my Japan trip; Nagano, and Matsumoto!!!

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Larch Valley Hike

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a beautiful hike near Moraine Lake with my friend Sara. The hike is called Larch Valley. The drive from Calgary was about 1.75 Hours to the overflow parking lot near lake louse. We had to wait there for about an hour to catch a Government of Canada chartered bus up to Morraine Lake. The hike is about a 2 hour journey to the valley up a bunch of steep switchbacks, but the view is definitely worth it. Going down took a mere 45 minutes. This is one of my favorite hikes that I have ever done.

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August 12th 2016 – Outback Tour Day 3 of 10

Today we got to wake up a bit later than usual; this time we had to be on the road by 8:00am. I woke up at around 6:00am, and did my blog on my laptop, and then took photo’s of the sunrise. Alex asked me if I had vegemite before and I said yes but I thought it was disgusting. She said most people do it incorrectly, and that I should try it the way that she does it. She said the trick is butter, and way less than you think you need. I tried some and I liked it quite a bit actually.
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We got on the road a bit late today because of some arguments over who wanted window seats, and who wanted the front seats. Finally we got on the road around 8:15am. Our first stop was Adelaide River to refuel and get some coffee. Adelaide River had a lot of people flee to it from Darwin in 1942 when Darwin was attacked.
After refueling we headed towards Buley Rockhole and Florence Falls, with a few stops along the way. We also learned a lot of pretty interesting facts from Alex. To get to Buley Rockhole and Florence Falls we had to drive on Rum Jungle Road. Rum Jungle Road received its name from the nickname that a group of men received when they failed to show up for one of their rum deliveries. Rum deliveries were frequent nature during the gold rush, and a group of gentlemen were doing rum runs in the area, but failed to show up one day for one of their deliveries. Turns out they drank all the rum and went on a three day binger, and were have said to be caught in the rum jungle, and thus the road they frequently travelled received that name.
Along the way to Buley Rockhole we also passed some purple Turkey Bush, which can actually be used as a natural insect repellant by rubbing the leaf your skin. Some people even use the plant as a hallucinogen. Next we passed some magnetic termite pounds. They point north and south, with flat sides to the east and west. The sun shines on them in the morning and afternoon, and keeps the mound at an almost constant temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The termites that build these mounds eat grass and dirt, and use their poop, grass, dirt, and saliva to build their mounds. We also learned that authentic Didgeridoo’s are made from wood that termites have eaten the inside out. Eventually we came to Buley Rockhole, where we swam for a white, and then we went onto Florence Falls, where we swam for a while, and took a short walk through a heavily treed and plants area.
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After that we went to Wangi Falls for lunch, where we had wraps made from leftovers, as well as some tuna, corn, and bean mix. I made my wrap out of leftover sausages. After lunch I helped wash dishes, and pack up the truck. We then went swimming in the lake underneath the falls. The water was actually quite warm compared to the other places that we stopped at, as well as quite shallow. A few of us then got coffee, and treats for the journey back to Darwin.
Alex dropped us off at the Youth Shack, where we are going to stay the night until the next leg of the journey. Five of our group of 16 will not be joining us on the next leg. I checked in and got the key to my private room, which I’m very glad I upgraded to because some of my tour travel mates showed me their rooms and they were really bad. Alex phoned ahead and got us some seats for dinner at a place called Monsoons, where for $15 I purchased a rump steak with beer, which was delicious. Ten of us ended up showing up for dinner, which was nice. We had dinner, had some drinks, and I said bye to the people that had to leave for the airport to go elsewhere. I also ended up doing some laundry, because I doubt I will have time or the capability to do it on the next two legs of the outback tour.
Check back tomorrow for the next part of my adventure!

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July 1st 2016 – Rockbound Lake & Tower Lake Hike

Today I went on a beautiful hike to Rockbound Lake and Tower Lake with my friend Sara. I woke up around 6:30am to pick her up from Lake Louise (where she is living for the summer). We started the hike at about 9:30am. The hike starts off gently, and gradually turns into a gradually steeper hike that is switchback after switchback. You eventually reach Tower Lake after approximately 7km. Tower Lake is a beautiful emerald green colour, with Castle Mountain as a beautiful backdrop off to the side. The hike continues another kilometer or so up to Rockbound Lake. The view is absolutely stunning, with mountains surrounding it on all but one side. We sat down here on some rocks to eat some lunch and admire the views. The hike took 2 hours 45 minutes to get to Rockbound Lake, and about 2 hours to get back to the car.

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June 4th 2016 – Bourgeau Hike

Today I went for a hike to Bourgeau Lake with a colleague of mine from work. The trail wasn’t very busy, but it was a little muddy towards the top. The trail is switchback after switchback, getting more difficult the closer you get to the lake. The last 300 metres of the 725 metre elevation gain occurs in the last 1.75 km of the trail.

When we got to the lake we relaxed and had our lunch, and were watching Pika’s try to steal food from my backpack, and the backpacks from other hikers. After lunch we climbed up a bit further to see a slightly better view of the lake. I was absolutely blown away by the sheer beauty of the glacial fed lake. The colours were so vibrant!

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