Feeling blue…

…down by the river. We got the riverside blues. Stompin’ snowshoe blues.

Actually, that’s not true, but I liked the way it sounded, as if an old PlaidCamper was going to write a song. (I think Bruce might have written a little something along those lines? About the river, not the snowshoes – although he probably could write a great snowshoe song if he wanted to…)

Anyway, we really were down by the river a few days back, and we got there on snowshoes. It was a cold, cold day, and getting colder by the minute as the sun dropped behind the mountains, but it wasn’t a problem. Keep moving, and you’ll keep warm. Mrs PlaidCamper is graceful on snowshoes, moving carefully across the surface of the snow, whereas I’m less graceful and more grateful. Grateful not to fall over as I lumber along. Lithe? Supple? Serene? Nope, not me, just happy to be there enjoying the sights and the light.

We caught sight of our dipper friend, splashing about in the fast flowing shallows, but he was too quick for me to get a shot, and it was enough of a delight to have seen him. He is master of that stretch of river. We saw him again the following day, and it’s getting to the point where we’ll be upset not to spot him. Mustn’t get greedy, but it’s ok to be hopeful!

Fading light, clear and clean air, sharp mountains etched against the darkening sky, and a hint of mist rising up from the river. Throw in a bottle of beer waiting for you back at the cabin, with a book by the fire, perhaps you didn’t stumble in snowshoes – or if you did, it was because it was getting dark – and that there is a fine winter afternoon.

So, no real blues, just the pleasant blues and greys we saw and the camera captured down by the river. A warm snowshoe workout on a freezing afternoon. Snowshoeing is fast becoming a favoured winter pastime for us. Fast? No, it slows you down (or maybe that might be my technique) but you don’t stop for long because moving keeps you warm.

dscn7378Oh yeah, it was life in the slow lane, and that’s pretty good. We had the riverside blues that lift you up. Don’t worry, I’m not going to write a song about it. Or sing. I’ll leave it there, all peaceful and with the faint hope The Boss might one day write that snowshoe song.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share a song or a story, and have a wonderful weekend!

PS I turned 50 yesterday – might need a second bottle…

A holiday story and a picture…

…to raise a shiver! I know it is meant to be a time of goodwill to all, and I sincerely hope it is (beyond today), but sometimes, scary things happen. Anyway, a little gift in the form of a true story:

Last December, we were snowshoeing near Lake Louise, slogging up a short but steep trail in an attempt to shake off the sluggishness of a Boxing Day cabin morning. Decent snowfall the previous couple of days left everything looking just right – a blanket of brilliant white. But the light accentuates the dark, and a forest isn’t always a welcoming place. Nothing seemed to stir, and all was quiet, yet we were disquieted, with a nagging sense of being watched. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail, but were we alone? It felt like there were eyes on us…

 

Junior and Mrs PlaidCamper keeping watch…
 We decided to ignore my uncanny sixth sense, and bravely – foolishly? – continued, onwards and upwards. We turned a corner and came to a dead halt. A few yards off the trail, it was standing. No wonder the trail was empty. Quite unlike anything we’d ever seen before, there stood a woodland creature that defied description. It didn’t seem to be looking our way, so I decided to risk it all and crept forward to take the following photograph:

 

Beyond description…
 
I hope we never see anything like this ever again. Even now, a year later, I shudder at the memory. We are going to be super-vigilant tomorrow, only too aware of what might be out there on the trail…

Have a wonderful day, and a pleasant weekend! Thanks for being brave enough to read this. As ever, please feel free to comment or share a (seasonal) story, and keep your guy ropes secure.