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