A friend texted me and asked if I was going to go out on the back roads to take some landscape photo’s. It was a dreary overcast day. The forecast for the next day wasn’t great either. But the Hinton area was forecast to be clear. So I replied, yes. How’s about Hinton.
The next day I picked up my friend. It was overcast as before. Trusting in the forecast though, we made our way towards Hinton. I thought we may not have to go out as far as Hinton, if the cloud cover broke before we got there. Passing Edson, I could see in the distance, the clouds were breaking. We were only thirty minutes from Hinton, so why not?
Arriving in Hinton, the sky was clear, but it was just after lunch. So we’d have to move quickly. Never having been in Hinton before, I turned to Google Maps to find the quickest route to a high point to photograph from. The mountains are right there after all. (I did have an alternate agenda for the trip. One of my photo’s from this trip, would be given away at a retirement party for my old boss, who retiring in February.)
At a point above the town, we came to a large wide open plateau where a grader operator was just ending his day. Asking if we could photograph from this location, we got out or camera’s and started clicking away. Like all situations like this, you always want a higher clearer vista! So on we went along this gravel road into the mountains. We passed a sign indicating the road was an active logging road. And we did encounter a few trucks. Getting in far enough to see that Google Maps could no longer help, I elected to turn around.
One of the tenants of photography is to always look behind you, or where you were. There may be a killer shot you wouldn’t have otherwise encountered if you did’t have the patience to look. Turns out that turning around when we did, likely saved a negative altercation with a logging truck, but backtracking gave us a vista that was well worth the experience.
Time was short as the sun was going down, so making our way to the Park Gate was urgent, to see if we could get in a position to capture the setting sun against the local mountain sides. The gate guard would not allow us to go into the park for a short moment to obtain the prime position. So we stopped and photographed near the gate, and later from the balcony of a local lodge.
Arriving at the lodge, we encountered a lodge worker who indicated the lodge was closed, but we could take advantage of the lodge balcony. From there, he said, you can overlook the whole Athabaska River valley. He qualified his remark adding the river valley was filled with dust being kicked up by the strong winds today. (This area formation is synonymous with strong winds.) Never the less, the orange glow of the sunset stuck the airborne dust and gave a neat spark of colour to it, just in the centre of the valley.
With the sun down now, it was time to grab a snack and head for home. The return trip is always shorter, isn’t it!
Enjoy the photo’s.