Some chilly running in Alberta winter: Okotoks and Calgary

LP1020877Our cross-North America drive took us through… well, just about everywhere. We picked up the car in Toronto, then drove east to New York City, then turned around and headed west for a week or so. We clocked up 6,500 km on the car on that drive! We tried to alternate long days (the whole day in the car) with shorter days where we were done by mid-afternoon, so we could get out for a hike or a run every other day. Considering it’s dark by around 4:30pm this time of year, it wasn’t easy… but here are some pix from our stop in Okotoks, Alberta.

Judith and me, "real" friends at last.

Judith and me, “real” friends at last.

Why did we stop in Okotoks rather than Calgary? Because one of my oldest Twitter friends, Judith @writingcave lives there! We are both runners and writers and geology geeks, and we had made friends on Twitter several years before. This was finally our chance to meet!

It was actually quite warm as Dave and I arrived in Okotoks – somewhere around zero, which was a nice change from the -20 to -30C temperatures we had been experiencing in North Dakota and Saskatchewan the previous days. But by the time we were settled at our B&B and had put our running gear on, the sun was on the edge of disappearing, and the air was chilling down quickly. We went for an hour-long mixed jog-walk along the Sheep River – you could still see a lot of the damage from the floods that hit most of southern Alberta earlier this year – and then bailed out from the cold. (Judith puts -35C as her running limit… my tolerance is significantly less!)

Last minutes of sunshine. Nice pic, Dave - you actually make me look like a fast runner!

Last minutes of sunshine. Nice pic, Dave – you actually make me look like a fast runner!

Flood damage - gravel and cobbles piled up around what were once parallel bars for exercising!

Flood damage – gravel and cobbles piled up around what were once parallel bars for exercising!

Sunset over the Sheep River in mid-afternoon.

Sunset over the Sheep River in mid-afternoon.

LP1020887The next day, Dave and I headed out to see the Okotoks Erratic – the world’s largest glacial erratic, a house-sized boulder transported hundreds of kilometres across the plains by the glaciers during the last Ice Age. Then I had to drop Dave at the airport – he had to work the next day, so I had to do the last few days of the trip myself.

That's a big honking rock that those glaciers carried alongover the plains. It's been there for over 10,000 years - that's why it's falling apart now.

That’s a big honking rock that those glaciers carried along over the plains. It’s been there for over 10,000 years – that’s why it’s falling apart now.

And of course we didn't mind the views of the Rockies off to the west...

And of course we didn’t mind the views of the Rockies off to the west…

I stayed at another running pal’s home that night, Isabel in Calgary, and went out for a beautiful jog above the Bow River the next morning… but it was so cold that I could not bring myself to bring my camera. So no pix from that one, sorry!

Running on the snow was fun for a change, especially in the sunshine… but it did make me grateful to live on mellow Vancouver Island! I sure couldn’t do that every day.

My trans-Rockies drive (14 hrs). It wasn't so nice up in the higher parts...

My trans-Rockies drive (14 hrs). It wasn’t so nice up in the higher parts…

Advertisements
  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: