Friday, April 29, 2011

Calgary...

So, I made my way to Calgary. The weather wasn't bad when I landed on Wednesday, and it was actually quite nice on Thursday.

Today? Not so much.

It's 34 degrees outside, and it's snowing. Hard. At this time of year, I'm usually doing daily temperature checks of my swimming pool in preparation for a season of fun and frolic. Up here, I'm putting on a second pair of socks.

I drove to Medicine Hat, Alberta yesterday; about three hours each way. It's flat, straight, and largely desolate, with the occasional town dropped here to spruce up the scenery. It's the type of drive where you really want to fill up before you leave and before you come back. There's just not a lot out there.

The other thing about the prairie is the weather. A mighty big storm kicked up during my trip back to Calgary. It was one of those storms that make you take pause and consider whether or not you should even try to drive through it:


A typical storm on the prairie.

I decided "What the Hell?", and decided to go for it. It was a pretty challenging drive, not because of the rain as much as the wind. The winds were pretty serious, and a bit more than I'm used to driving in. I'm not in a real high-profile vehicle (a Ford Flex), so the fact that I was getting buffeted makes me happy I wasn't in a van or large SUV.

Now, in case you think I'm over-stating the power of the winds out here, I assure you, I'm not. They can get pretty strong, to wit:

The wind did this.

So,  even though I was confident that I would get through the storm unscathed, it's an impressive thing to see something like the shed above, slanted by the wind. I don't know how people live out here (I assume some do, although I didn't really see any), but I know I wouldn't want to.

Tomorrow will bring a drive out to one of my favorite places on the planet, Canmore, Alberta. Canmore's up in the Rockies, about 15 minutes from the eastern gate to Banff National Park. I'm hoping for some good photo ops, as I haven't been out that way this early in the year in about four years. The last time I went to Banff (Lake Louise, actually) in April, there were dogsleds.

Yeah.

So, there's no telling what I'll see tomorrow, although I've made the drive enough to know that, with the snow, there should be plenty of stunning vistas along the way, and I intend to take advantage of them.

You know, unless it's windy and stuff...

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