Saturday, July 30, 2005

Canadian Bike Tour, July 2005

In July of 2005, we took a bike tour of the Banff area of the Canadian Rockies. This was a guided "inn to inn" tour very luxurious and not at all rugged. Our trip coincided with the height of wildflower season. These are Indian paintbrush; apparently, the Canadian Indians use brighter paint than we do:

The first part of the trip was along the Bow River Parkway:

We rode our bikes up the hill to the Lake Louise resort. The lakes in this area are turquoise because of the "glacial flour" in the meltwater:

Although the roads were fairly level, the mountains towered over us on every side:

This is a yellow columbine:

The most challenging (and exciting) ride was up Highwood Pass in the Kananaskis area:

This is the same shot, edited eight years later in Lightroom -- it really conveys the emptiness of this road, with the mountains looming over our heads in the chilly morning air:

This is the same shot, edited in Lightroom -  the early morning light really etched the chaotic layers of rock:

The moose were not impressed with the scenery:

In this shot, I am holding up my bike with my left arm -- I had shattered my elbow in a bike accident the previous October:

That evening, the moon came up over the Rockies:

We took a walk early the next morning:

Our last day was in Calgary. There was a terrific bike path along the river, and we came upon (surprise!) white pelicans:

(Copyright Dan Schechter 2005 -- All rights reserved to all text and pictures)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sequoia & Kings Canyon, June 2005

In June of 2005, during the peak of the snowmelt, we headed into Kings Canyon. The river was thundering:

This is the Great Western Divide, from the top of Little Baldy Peak:

The bears were prowling around, looking for some early-season sustenance. This picture was taken with a telephoto; we were probably 100 yards from the bear:

In the early season, just after the snow melts, the "snow flower" or "snow plant" pokes up through the leaf litter. It does not have any chlorophyll and is something like a fungus:

That was a close-up. Here is what the snow flower looks like, next to a Sequoia:

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Central Coast, April 2005

In April of 2005, we took a quick bike trip up to the San Luis Obispo area. We rode our bikes along the bluffs at Montana de Oro State Park. If you click on the pictures, you'll be able to see Felice on the bluffs to get a sense of scale:

Acting on a tip in the local newspaper, we headed up to the Shell Creek area, east of San Luis Obispo, and managed to catch the peak of a spectacular wildflower display. This was an "El Nino" year of record rainfall, and the rain triggered acres of flowers. The whole area smelled like honey: