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It’s a Sunday morning and Matt’s finally feeling better. After a week of taking care of a sick child, I have cabin fever and the despite the blustery weather I’m determined that we’re going to explore the lower part of Kananaskis Country before the area is closed to traffic for the winter. Thank goodness my husband loves the area as much as I do and readily agrees. The car gets packed with food, drinks, toys, snow, hiking and photography gear and we head off into the mountains (no we’re not light packers).

As we’re leaving the winds are picking up steadily and there’s a wind warning issued for Calgary – heavy snow is expected in the mountains. As we near the mountains, the rain starts and we know that it’ll turn to ice before it turns to snow. This is an inevitability living in Calgary and the mountains where the weather changes every five minutes and around every bend of the road. It’s going to be an adventure. Everyone was happy to be out. Matt is busily playing trucks on his tray in the back (or was it colouring at this point?) and looking for trains and horses out his window. So with the gas tank full and the car prepped for winter condition, we make the turn onto the 40 and head into K-country.

After a quick stop at the information to get an update on the area (high avalanche warnings have been issued – hmm guess we won’t be hiking Ptarmigan), we continue to head south, and the weather does indeed become icy. We hope that it’ll change to snow after the next valley and indeed it does. By the time we get to Highwood Meadows, the area is a winter wonderland. We gear up and have some fun in the snow.

When Matt is done, we pack back up, grab a snack and head further down the road. Now I have to admit that part of my reason for wanting to go to this area was to find a specific spot that I took this picture last fall.

Perfect Autumn Day

We knew the general area but we hadn’t been able to find the exact spot… it’s down the hill from the road and we remembered stopping on the way north on the road when we had seen a women photographing the scene with her phone. This time though I had printed off a contact sheet with several photos that showed the topography of the spot. With the visibility poor it was hard to see the topographic markers I was seeking but conditions improved slightly just as we got to the area – and my wonderful husband stopped and turned around the car several times looking for the exact spot. Finally, we find it!

I’m ecstatic and head down the embankment to the ice covered wetland below. Despite the grey weather, I’m in photographic heaven. Selfishly I leave my husband on the roadside watching not only the truck with our son still playing in it but also myself as I descend the slippery snowy slope. For almost half an hour, I scamper around the ice and snow (and water) taking photographs. When I finally return to the truck, I’m cold and a little wet (my boots aren’t waterproof as far up as I thought) but I’m happy. It made my day, my week.

Onward we drive and head back to Calgary where we learned we had missed hurricane force winds. It was the end of another weekend.  Saturday had been spent ensuring that Matt had completely recovered – calm and lots of rest – frustrating to see such a nice day pass us by but for the best we hoped. Sunday despite the weather and despite (or perhaps due to) indulging in a little selfishness at the roadside in the middle of nowhere, ended with everyone was happy and healthy. That for me is the key to The Big Picture.

How was your weekend? How do you balance everyone`s needs?

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