Home of the Moose Jaw Times Herald in where else but Moose Jaw.
A view of downtown Saskatoon late at night taken with with my Pentax K-3.
As they say it, How the West was Once
Some shots of Horseshoe Canyon outside of Drumheller, Alberta.
We used to come to Cave & Basin National Historic site quite a bit when I was a kid. It wasn’t as big of deal back then and it was much more poorly lit as you entered the Cave part (which I loved). So having not been there since 1983, it was nice to head back and see what has changed. Of course taking the boys back here was great and they enjoyed it quite a bit.
After the crowds of Lake Louise and Johnston Canyon, a quieter venue was a great way to kill an hour or so while the boys learned about the history of the place and it’s roll in the founding of our National Parks.
The green roof of the Parks Canada gift shop which has an assortment of Parks Canada and Banff gear that you won’t see anywhere else in the town of Banff. It alone is worth checking out.
If for some reason you want to see some more photos of Cave and Basins National Historic site, check out my album on Flickr.
While in Banff National Park, Wendy and I took the boys up to Johnston Canyon which was insanely busy. The parking lot was packed and by the time we left, people were parking over a kilometre in both ways down the Bow Valley Parkway. We had plans to take the boys to the upper waterfalls.
So as the sign says, it is a 1 km hike to the first falls. Yet when I started the Map My Hike app on my iPhone, it said that it was 4k with a return hike.
I think I have met these three people before.
They enjoyed the walk. They weren’t tired but the progress was at a standstill because there was a group taking selfie’s up ahead.
This is my favorite shot from the hike.
A Parks Canada employee has what looks to be a long and wet day ahead of him.
This is the legendary lower falls of Johnston Canyon. We had planned to go to the upper falls but as the photos show, the crowds were brutal and the antibiotics I had to deal with the infection in my ankle hadn’t beaten the infection back very far. Combined it meant that it would be a long hike and since we are coming back next summer to hike to the inkpots, it wasn’t a big deal to call it a day and dodge the selfie sticks back to the car.
I think we can all agree that I nailed this picture of a chipmunk.
Did I mention that the trail was packed. This is the main reason why we didn’t go to the second falls. So many people (and my ankle was really hurting me). Also, most of the people we passed on the trail were looking at their phones. Apparently world class scenery and nature doesn’t compete well with Angry Birds.
If you want to see more photos from Johnston Canyon, check out the full set on Flickr.
Sawback is a small picnic area on the Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Johnston Canyon. It used to be small and has gotten smaller since Parks Canada has moved the tables near to the roadside turn off and allowed the vegetation to take over old picnic areas.
Growing up, it was my favorite place in the world. We used to take a yearly trip from Calgary (and later Saskatoon) to Johnston Canyon and then picnic at Sawback. I was looking forward to taking the boys there and was quite disappointed when all there was left was some picnic tables near the parking lot.
It wasn’t the picnic areas that make it so great, it was the babbling brook of glacier runoff that make it so much fun to explore as a kid. I knew that didn’t go anywhere so I followed an overgrown trail into the bush and 50 feet into it I found the brook.
Mark and Oliver did exactly what I did year ago and this jump across it and get all wet.
This shot was right after I had scolded the boys about making faces every time I tried to take their photo.
So while the picnic tables placement kind of sucks, we will return in 2016 with a proper picnic blanket and food.
I told Mark that there is a sacred Cooper tradition of dunking one’s head into the glacier water that ran out of the Sawback mountain range. He put his hands in, screamed from the cold…
And dunked his head into it.
After he got out and was struggling with hypothermia did I tell him that he was the first of the Cooper’s to do such a thing. Yes, I am a horrible father.
All of the snapshots I took at Sawback can be found in their album on Flickr.
I realized that while Wendy had posted some great photos of Alberta, I hadn’t gotten around to them yet. Here are some photos of downtown Calgary that I grabbed after we arrived in Calgary and took the LRT downtown.
The back of the Nexen Energy Building.
You just about hear someone say, “I want no one to have any fun in this park, ever.”
Century Gardens is an urban park located in Calgary’s downtown core that was originally developed in 1975 to celebrate Calgary’s Centennial. The Devonian Group donated the park land for the creation of a place of respite within the hustle and bustle of a busy downtown. Designed and built as an artistic expression of a landscape referred to as Brutalist; the fountains and water are symbolic of the area’s mountains and rivers. The City recognizes this park and its unique features listing it in Calgary’s inventory of evaluated historic resources.
What’s interesting is that Calgary points out that the park is pretty much worn out and is at the end of it’s lifecycle so they are planning to redevelop it. Something that Saskatoon should start to do with Meewasin which is showing it’s age.
Westview Heights. A highrise building built in 1972 consisting of a parkade, commercial offices, and apartments. The apartments dominate the building, consisting of the 14th to 39th floors.
The parkade makes up the second to seventh stories of the building, while the commercial section of the building consists of floors 8 through 10 and the 40th and 41st floors. Floors 11 and 12 are mechanical floors while floor 13 (identified as "R" for "recreation") consists of recreational facilities for tenants (a swimming pool, exercise facilities, a lounge, etc.)
The building was renamed from Century Garden to Westview Heights shortly after a 2002 electrical fire.
This parkade reminded me that parking garages don’t have to be ugly. On the outside of it are reflective pieces of lightweight metal. They provide a bit of protection for the cars inside but they also move and ripple in the wind so they do a good job of providing some visual interest to the street where there is none.
It is details that make a downtown great and all over Calgary you see that.
Western Canadian Place consists of two buildings, the taller North Tower and the shorter South Tower. It was designed by the architectural firm, Cohos Evamy (the same firm who designed Bankers Hall – East and Bankers Hall – West in Calgary) in late modernist style and was built in 1983. It is the headquarters of Husky Energy and Apache Canada.
Around this time, I got a DM from Dave King who wanted to see if we wanted to grab a bite to eat in downtown Calgary. We ended up at The King and I, an amazing Thai food place that if I say anymore about, Wendy will get upset because she is doing a review of it for Zomato. So I’ll add a link to it when she posts it.
Built in 1910 for the J.H. Ashdown Hardware Co. in 1910, this warehouse space remained a store for Ashdown’s overstock until the Lewis Stationery company purchased the building in 1972. In 1995 it became another addition to Calgary’s loft developments.
Home of Saneal Cameras, the Lancaster Building in downtown Calgary. The Lancaster Building was constructed between 1912 and 1918. Designed by architect James Teague of Victoria, British Columbia, the building incorporates the Edwardian style of architecture. Calgary’s first 10-storey structure downtown, this building was named after the House of Lancaster, one of the sides in the British War of the Roses as the subject of history was an interest to the building’s original owner, J.S. Mackie.
Calgary seems to understand the importance of all sides of a building better than Saskatoon does. This is at the back of the legendary beer hall in downtown Calgary.
Banker’s Hall in downtown Calgary.
So many good memories of the Calgary Tower. It is now Oliver’s favorite spot in Calgary. Especially the glass floor. After we went to the top of the Tower and Oliver looked out every single observation binoculars, we headed towards The Bow.
Here are some longer pieces I wrote for the Don’s Photo Blog this summer.
- The Best Cameras for Street Photography
- Essential Gear for Wedding Photographers
- The Best Locations for Photo Shoots in Saskatoon
- The Best Locations for Photo Shoots in Edmonton
- Improve Your Photography With These Tips This Summer
- Instant Photography 101
Those that can’t… write tutorials about how to do it.
Speaking of photography, I finally went out last night with my new Pentax K-3. It was dark before Wendy and I left the house so using a new camera with only the light of street lights was fun but I was happy with the results… you know the results that I could see.
Some random thoughts…
- I really should not have filed a column for The StarPhoenix this week. Typing 800 words with a pic line in your hand hurts. It doesn’t start out that bad but after 200 or so words, it is agony. So when you read it Monday, envision me in pain and ignore the fact that it felt mediocre and forced to me.
- I don’t know how it happened but these arrived in the mail today. Well actually I do. Mark has been out with his Pentax K-x and now with his Pentax K-30 for up to six hours a day taking photographs of the city. He went down to the Lion’s Skatepark and instead of guys being upset that he was taking their photos, they were excited and all wanted to know where they could see his photos. Mark asked if I would help him design up and print out some business cards on blank stock. In the end it was cheaper and easier to do some cards up at Vistaprint so we did. This is what he came up with. He is thrilled with them.
- Mark is also talking about joining the Royal Canadian Navy for a three year tour after high school. To say that Wendy is unimpressed by this idea is an understatement. The phrase “rising tensions between NATO and Russia” does not go over well in our house.
- I haven’t really talked about it but I did order a new Pentax K-3 with a 18-135mm lens last week. I have been too sick to go out and use it but it did allow me to give my Pentax K-30 to Mark.
- Mark is thrilled with his “new to him” K-30 and I am looking forward to trying out my K-3 around town. First I need to get rid of the pic line in my hand.
- Everyone asks if I am going to make it. It’s been a week of injecting saline solution and antibiotics into my arm and the cellulitis is clearing up but it does that with oral anti-biotics. The problem is that it comes back as soon as they stop. So while it looks good, I really don’t know and won’t know for another couple of weeks.
- The pain is a lot less in the leg. Last week the dog licked me and I thought I would lose it. Tonight socks were able to come off with no pain. That is progress.
Oil travelling by train through a residential neighborhood. What is the worst that can happen?
The Narrows Peninsula Trail is a 3km loop in Prince Albert National Park. It’s a great hike and a relatively easy way to start a day of hiking. This trail passes through a variety of habitats following the shore of Waskesiu Lake. Of particular interest is a spectacular fern bed. In the 1880’s a fur trade post was set up on the point by an independent trader.