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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

On My Travels

I'm home.  I'm done.  I was three weeks on the road teaching and speaking - North Battleford SK, Edmonton, Olds, Lethbridge, Regina, and now I'm back in Saskatoon prepping for a solo exhibit and celebrating my ONE YEAR with Handmade House!

I want to catch you up on it all, but where do I start?

The last post covered the Olds College/ Potpourri weekend.  That workshop was fantastic.  It is just perfect for 2 days of teaching, so I am already in the planning phases of delivering is again here in Saskatoon and Manitoba later in the fall.

My down time in Calgary was a much needed break.  i need to write about that.  I got to clear my head, be responsible for only me (!gasp!) and create a bit.  I came down with a fever and cold and slept much more than I wanted to.  I didn't visit old friends nearly as much as I had planned.  Part of me is sad about that, but part of me knows I can go back any time for more reunions.  It's all good.  If I missed you in Calgary, I'll catch ya next time!

Before heading south to Lethbridge, I did a last minute run to the Rocky Mountains.  Gosh, I forget how CLOSE they are to Calgary.  I drove into Kananaskis Country, parked, and just wandered around on my own.  I WAS ALL BY MYSELF.  There was no one out there on the hot sunny Friday.  It was weird!

I walked around the lake a bit - freexing cold mountain run off water.  This was the beach that we would take out kidlets to when they were really little.  It brought back so many memories!  I cried.  The last time I kayaked on the lake, I was pregnant for the last time.  The water was SO high that all the little flowers at the edge were underwater.  I remember looking down into the water beneath me and seeing purple and white flowers in full bloom.  It was one of those 'Alice in Wonderland' moments.

This time, the water was so low that the beach went on for ever.  It was great walking around there.  I ventured back to where I was parked and noticed OMG!!  Indian Paintbrush EVERYWHERE!  I was squealing with delight!!  This was my first time up close and personal with them.  They were scattered everywhere.  This lone photo is the only one I have with the mountains in it.  lol.  My girlfriend in Calgary totally teased me.  'You go all the way to the mountains and you are still taking pictures of the little teeny flowers!?'


Afternoon was approaching and it was time to head south to Lethbridge for my next class. It was gorgeous.  The weather was gorgeous.  I stopped at Morley Flats first for a photo op.  It didn't look like much was going on there... but the closer you look!  HOLEYMOLEY - it was full up with 3 flowered avens, just prior to turning into the 'Prairie Smoke' stage...

... closer ...

On and on I drove.  I drove and drove and drove, all the while with the distant blue mountain range beside me.

This was a pit stop detour I took from 'Head Smashed In Bufallo Jump',  Seeing the cows grazing with the mountain backdrop always reminds me of the Coop milk cartons. : )

Beautiful for as far as you can see.

I think I should have worn sunscreen in the van though!  It was scorching hot and not much for shade with those clouds.

This was a little closer into the Cypress Hills area.  I love it.  I so deeply soaked in my entire trip.  I would rather stare out the window during the longest drive ever than watch TV any day.  It's my 'nature channel' and it's total therapy, total freedom.  I saw hawks, goats, colts & mares, prong horned sheep, and even a herd of deer on Barlow trail (!??).  The clouds kept me company.

Finally, I made it to Effie's at a tucked-away little lake near Lethbridge.  Oh the fun and the thrill never ends!!  : )  This is the view from her home.

But wait - that's not all!  The next morning I ran up into the hills behind her house.  The honey bees were buzzing and busy.  My heart was full up!

We took SO many photos.  Up into the hills, and under the windmills was SUPERB.  I could not stop taking photos!!  Check it out - blooming cactus.  I had no idea.  I guess I've been through more ditches and fields than I have Cow Pastures.  These were SO huge, the thorns were the size of porcupine quills!!

I drove through the gorgeous rolling land of Cypress Hills.  The drive is about 3 hours, and I was mesmerized.  I have not one photo.  I will have to go back.  I googled Cypress Hills to show a friend how amazing it was, and all I could conjure up was photos of cliffs and trees and water.  The drive was not like that at all.  It was like seeing the prairie as a waterbed, and having the whole things roll and ripple endlessly.

Well.  I guess I'll have to go back!  : )

I'll end here and save up some stories for you summer reading later in the week.  I have many, many good stories to tell.


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