Tuesday, August 24, 2021

That was a trip

 Readers that have been following along know I'm on a 3 night 4 day road trip with the famous Neil Zeller and a few other friends. In van order they are, Monica, Trudy, Cec, Ann, Heather, (me), Bart, and Neil. In short form, we took the scenic route to Lethbridge, ending with moonrise at Cottonwood Park. Next day out to Writing on Stone. Then up really really early for moonset/sunrise , some stunning photos of Chief Mountain, Waterton park, sunset with the windmills, and moonrise. Up early again for sunrise over the railway bridge. Then a scenic trip home. Scroll down for the details.

There are a great many photos involved, and I deleted some missed shots from the camera along the way. Now I get to look at all of them again to decide what to edit. What you get here is almost a random selection to give you a little taste. There will be more photos, with stories, later. But even better than the photos was the fun times riding along with neat people, corny road jokes, critter stops, unexpected discoveries, and all the other patented great stuff (that I can't talk about here) involved in a Zeller trip.

So the details. Come on, I know you're dying to know what happens on these trips. Some of you might even be considering going along on one of them. Trust me, it's a great time, and you'll even learn more about how to use your camera.

Day 1
Drop off, pack and get settled in the van. 

Zoom! Clear lake. The canoeist was more interesting to me than the bazillion ducks.

Carmangay and the railway bridge. We saw this bridge again from the highway on the way home, with a train, even, but getting to the actual bridge is a bit tricky.

Windmills near someplace along the way. This is a different one than posted on Facebook. There are others I like just as much. Maybe I'll do a series.

Sundial Medicine Wheel east of Carmangay. 

Lunch and old equipment in Scandia. I found an Edsel that is almost exactly my age.

The Vauxhall spuds and some ribald commentary about them. 

Pizza and moonrise over Lethbridge from Cottonwood park. 

There was beer and chat in the bar once back to the hotel.

Day 4
We started with a train, totally by accident. Elevator row in Warner. 

Weir bridge over the Oldman river. Writing on Stone. We had two tours, one was public to some of the writing, the other was just for us, getting the rest of the writing. We eventually got our guide to relax and chat. We saw, and took photos of a critter with wire or some barbed wire wrapped around it's antlers and head. Our guide called the fish and wildlife guys. They showed up but we don't know how that story turned out. 

We wandered around the hoodoos for a bit, and could have done so for much longer. It's a great place for a herd of preteens to play hide and seek, especially if the adult doesn't count carefully after. There was an awesome abandoned farm along the scenic route to Milk River for Chinese at Yummy Inn. 

The food was good, but the star of the show is the 10 year old who seems to be running the place. 

Days 5 through 22
This was the long day. We were out of the hotel at 20 to ungodly, as the saying goes. The idea was to catch moonset over St Mary reservoir, except not. As often happens, the clouds played party pooper. Sunrise over the valley on the other side of the dam was sure nice. 

Then a very fast tour of Cardston. Then down to Police Outpost campground to get a great view of Chief Mountain. 

A nice breakfast/lunch in Mountain view. Then to several areas in Waterton park, plus the townsite itself. 

Then up to Pincher Creek to catch sunset over more windmills, and scope out a possible site near the Oldman dam.  

We ate in Pincher Creek, and while the staff were friendly, we had been looking forward to the Mexican place in Twin Butte. Along the way home we paused to catch moonrise, but that didn't work out either. Darn those pesky clouds near the horizon! We were a little punch drunk by this time. 

Day 23
Up early again. Over to the other side of the coulee to wait for sunrise. It wasn't the sky on fire variety, but after a while the light in the coulee was extraordinary. And we got a train. 

The crew hard at work.

Back to the hotel for a nap. Lunch at the Havana cafe. Birds of Prey center is awesome. I got to hold a great horned owl, and we watched an eagle fly, close enough to take good photos. 

Then towards home via the scenic route, with another train and the usual scenery. Full disclosure, at this point we were only stopping for shots that were 11 out of 10, out of consideration for the people waiting for us, so this was shot through the window at highway speed.

Throughout there were lots of stops for critters in the fields. Some of the tour people have amazingly sharp eyes. 

Just looking at the photos in the camera along the way, and during the import process tells me selecting for editing is going to take a while. I might add owl and eagle to the other Of the Day suspects. Plus I still haven't edited the last circus camp photos, and there's another circus camp on Thursday.

There are lots more trip photos to come. These are just a sampler. The regular of the day suspects are still on vacation, but will return.

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