Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Eat Yer Heart Out DJan

       DJan has two very well written blogs: DJan-ity and Eye on the Edge.  DJan-ity tells about her physical activities to keep healthy and physically fit. Eye on the Edge deals with a heavier deeper  issue of where she came from, what she was and what she's going to be before she dies. Both blogs are interesting and well worth following. 

       DJan lives in the coastal mountains in the northwest corner of Washington state. It's a beautiful place to be outdoors. Each Thursday, without fail, Djan goes for a hike with 10-15 other seniors. Each Thursday there is a vivid account of the hike. I find out how long the hike was, how much altitude was involved , trail and weather conditions and social interactions along the way. Photographs are always included.

      Now I admit I get a tad envious of her hiking activity as at one time I was a hiker backpacker. I have lived every experience she has lived . I love the great outdoors.

     I live about 120 km(80mi) from the Canadian Rockies. The Rockies were my hiking and backpacking territory. I taught outdoor ed. and took many school classes to the Rockies where we backpacked, snow shoed or skied.

    I also went with friends on more strenuous trips.

     I've been scanning photos and found some of my backpacking activities. That's why this post is aimed at DJan. Most of my hiking was done well above the treeline which to me is the best area to be. The meadows are carpeted with flowers. Ground nesting birds are abundant

    The photos are from a four day trip over Jonas Pass in Jasper National Park , Alberta. The hike is about 72 km(45 mi). So off we go with 50 lb packs that carry food, clothing, tent and sleeping bags. It's back country and any facilities are primitive.

     Many people are familiar with the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park.  Jonas Pass takes you through the next valley east of gorgeous Athabaska pass(Columbia Glacier). The Icefield's Highway was built in the 30's. It wasn't built before that as the Columbia Glacier filled the whole valley and you couldn't put a road through a glacier. Horse traffic went through Jonas Pass. Nowadays 10 - 15 hikers a year go over Jonas pass following the old horse trails.

    The trip I took was in the first week of July. The 2 or 3 km over the Pass were completely snow covered. There were areas where snow had drifted and the snow bank was 10 m (30 ft) deep.

    Any backpack trip I've ever taken , I would do over in a heart beat. This was a great one.


I don't know where this creek was coming from but we had to wade across it.

That big deep snow bank

Watching a small herd of mountain caribou in the valley below.

There were many large boulder fields to cross.

The exact top of the pass

Moving toward the pass through the snow field
One of the 2 or 3 primitive bridges

37 comments:

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    1. I was surprised that these photos had darkened so much.

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  2. Beautiful tour you made by then, those mountains I like very much.

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    1. When you get on top in the meadows the peaks lok close together.

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  3. You are my hero, Keith! I was telling my 92-year-old client about you, and how you've had a bit of a setback with your collar bone. She raised 7 children, back in the day, and tells as great stories as you. It's hard managing health issues. I rack my brain to entertain her.
    These are great photos. You have an amazing life!

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    1. Well, I've finally got to hero status! Thanks. Wouldn't you like to teach with a rascal like me?

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  4. Wow! Red, these are spectacular pictures. I definitely AM eating my heart out, since I once did three- to six-day backpacks in fabulous country in Colorado. I could no more carry a pack that size than I could fly these days. I love your comments on my blogs and really appreciate the friend you've become. :-)

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    1. I did one five day trip. Colorado would be awesome. I can depend on your sense of humor when I do a post like this. I appreciate that.

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  5. About the primitive bridges - WOW and that must be you on that last photo. Life is all about adventures and one is never too old or young to have an adventure. Great photos Red and great memories.

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    1. Yes, me in 1990! Well, I'm too old for that ridge. I wouldn't trust my balance.

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  6. Impressive hikes you used to go on Red. I would have had to stop at the primitive bridge :) Great photos!

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    1. Well, I did stop at the primitive bridge for a photo and then continued on. One bridge was only one log wide.

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  7. What a great hike that must have been! Watching out for bears too no doubt! :)

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    1. We did not see a bear. There aren't many bears in the rockies. we didn't even see any tracks. I think you have more bears in Minn.

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  8. I have done my share of backpacking and hiking(Colorado, West Virginia, Palau) and do not desire to do it at my age. While what I saw was lovely and healthy, I am just ready now for an easier lifestyle.

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    1. You have to know when to stop some things. You don't want to get into trouble in the backcountry.

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  9. It was fun reading this post, being a blog friend of both you and DJan.
    I have never been much of a hiker, but I have spent some wonderful times in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, and in Mount Rainier National Park, hiking along the glaciers and the flower meadows. My kids are both hikes and members of The Mountaineers.

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    1. It's a different world up in the meadows and along the glaciers. I stop before the mountaineering stuff.

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  10. What spectacular views! The 50 lb backpacks would probably be much lighter these days with all the advances in lightweight materials but I still wouldn't be able to carry them now either. I was a backpacker, too, and my knees have paid the price.

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    1. Backpacking is a very challenging activity and you sometimes pay the price. I'm okay with knees.

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  11. Very impressive hikes! You must have some amazing stories to tell. I didn't know you live so close to the Canadian Rockies. Lucky you! I hope to visit there one day.

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    1. I as impressed by all my hikes. I'd do every one again. Story teller? It's in my genes!

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  12. I wouldn't want to test the weight capacity of that bridge.

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    1. They were very stout logs. No worry about carrying capacity. You just have to stay on the damn thing!

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  13. That is some serious hiking with backpacks as well. We do enjoy what we call hikes, but now I realize we have only been walking as we have not climbed over rocks and any mountains or forded any streams. Thanks for sharing your adventures, Red.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Hiawatha House.

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  14. wow!!Beautiful pic♥Its just what I imagine the place to be.most be wonderful to see the caribou♥

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  15. Great post most interesting, Red. I look back with fond memories to my own adventures though the wilderness hike involved more paddling than hike with canoe and Duluth pack into Minnesotas' Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and also trips into northern Ontario...:)

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  16. So interesting, Red. I knew you were an outdoor kinda guy, and this explains it!

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  17. Very interesting read Red and beautiful scenery. Fond memories for you .

    We too are the ones who have the black bears . How are you Red with your fall?
    Do you have weeks to recover? I hope your pain is not as bad.

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  18. Oh my! I can see why DJan got a kick out of this. I haven't seen her Eye on the Edge, but I shall have a look. Gracious! That is quite a climb you took.

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  19. Wow- that looks like a gorgeous place to hike.

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  20. Aww.. I love that you aimed your post at our beautiful DJan. You certainly had some wonderful adventures in our Rockies. Great pics.

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  21. Such a beautiful part of Canada! I am enjoying these photos of your past adventures. Hooray for scanners!

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