Wandering the eastern slopes of Alberta

October 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Hey, gang how you doing!?


This last Saturday I and a friend did a little wandering on the eastern slopes of Alberta. We started by heading directly for the small town of Cadomin. Our main desire was to take a fairly unmaintained road to the Cardinal Divide and get the wide sweeping panoramic of the Valley in the Whitehorse Wildland reserve. It's been 30 years since I have taken this road and I was more interested in finding out if things have really changed much. I also had the advantage of seeing things that I had not seen before, because my friend, Al, was doing all the driving.


It was the first time I was able to see the little ghost town of Mountain Park. The last time I took this road, I drove right by it, without seeing it. You have to remember it was before the Internet, so you had to go to the library or rely on other people's experiences, and you had to know those people, to have any idea what was on this road or that road. In Mountain Park, we spent a little time wandering through the graveyard and reflecting on the fact that it had a fairly large population at one time. And realising that in this province there's a lot of history that we don't know.

Cardiinal Divide__MAY5955-PanoCardiinal Divide__MAY5955-PanoStanding on the precipice looking towards the mountains Tripoli and Cheviot, at the Cardinal Divide. Such wonderful vistas and such a wonderful day truly in only a few weeks this location will be covered in snow.

I have been planning for years to return to this location again. Sadly i could make it at the end of the season. Next year it will be at the height of summer and this field and recovered and flowers.

A Lee 3 stop "soft edge" Grad a Canon TSE 90mm and 48 separate images make up this Panoramic creating an 107" x 20" image at 300dpi; one of my largest images to date.

© www.drewmayphotography.com

The road sadly didn't travel much past the Cardinal Divide. I did not know until I got there, that the road, if you can call it that, had washed out 6 km past the parking lot at the divide. I wasn't upset in the end as it really didn't matter much because it was a very enjoyable place to be, and extremely beautiful location. I will have to return in the spring or the early summer, because when I am told there's quite a large amount of Alpine flowers and the location bursts into colour. If this rumour is true, that alone coupled with the beauty of the location is enough reason for me to return.

Over the Divide___MAY5971Over the Divide___MAY5971Looking over the Cardinal Divide in to the river valleys that move east. Behind me all the rivers flow north to the Artic. I broke the "rules" here shot in harsh day light because I could see the haze selling in the valleys and thoght how could I make that in to a picture.

Well this one took a bunch of "fixing" to make it even close in my eyes. There will defiantly have to be a return trip here, in better light.

© www.drewmayphotography.com

After we spent some time at the divide, we decided to take some time going back up this, road, and see what we could find as we went back. I have to admit there's a great pleasure to being a passenger as I get to see so much I could not hope to see behind the driver's wheel. And we were lucky to find a small waterfall, a collapsing railroad, and a very good reason to return in the summer, spring, fall and hopefully maybe if the road can handle it, winter.

Tranquility ___MAY5992Tranquility ___MAY5992a few second on the shores of Rock Lake, with absolute silence that makes you uncomfortable. The place is just shatering in it's beauty.

© www.drewmayphotography.com

After a little while, with the shadows getting long, we thought it might be an idea find a lake. I had remembered that I looked through a map a few weeks before, and I had seen a Lake that had interested me. The sun was going down there wasn't a large number of clouds so I couldn't see that we are going to get a blistering beautiful orange sunset, but maybe we could get a really interesting foreground, in a beautiful location, that would make up for a beautiful sunset. We drove to Rock Lake provincial park, and I will tell you, without question, this place is stunning. We got there what about Half an hour to spare before the sun dipped beneath the horizon. But the clouds had built up on the horizon so there was little chance of any true colour. So that caused the mind to compose images from the artistic heart.

Rock lake Moods__MAY6007Rock lake Moods__MAY6007Yesterday, I and a friend did a little exploring on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. We found this little jewel of a lake nestled in the mountains looking toward Jasper National Park. We spent some time capturing the mood as the clouds rolled in and the light fadded away.

© www.drewmayphotography.com

At this point I will say after all that driving, the dust, the Great conversation, the beautiful day, it was all worth it. Rock Lake what's so silent it was frightening. There was not even a kilometre of wind to rustle the trees, you could hear the pins drop. A treat to the eyes made the entire day Worth every second. There's a great pleasure to be able to share experiences that are a landscape photographer, and Al is an amazing photographer, that I would share any location with this man. :)


Stay tuned next week I'll see what else I can provide you. I thought I might even do some images showing the effects of tilt shift lenses. Remember, to always have a camera at your side and keep on clicking.






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