Monthly Archives: September 2012

Black & White Sunday – 2

It’s Kona’s turn for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop. To see who else has been busy or to join check out You Did What With Your Wiener, My Life In Blog Years and, Dachshund Nola.

Fullerton Loop – March of the Poms

On Sunday we were to meet a group to hike the Fullerton Loop trail in the Elbow River Valley of K-country. The meeting point was in the Allen Bill Pond day use area parking lot. We didn’t realize that there was current construction and some new traffic lights on Highway 8, so unfortunately we arrived at the meeting spot a couple minutes late. But just in time to see the last person in the group go out of sight on the trail.

Allen Bill Pond day use, Fullerton Loop and Elbow Falls annotated with yellow stars. Map from

No worries we thought, we can hustle, and with it being a larger hiking group, all with dogs, we should be able to catch up to the back. CB and Kona are pretty good walkers and can easily keep up with our pace. So we started off on Elbow Trail from the east end of the parking lot. Not far on Fullerton Loop Trail you have a choice. Go left or go right. We chose right. The group chose left. We discovered this after about a half an hour of an all-out assault on the trail; we came upon a couple that had left before the big group, and no, they hadn’t seen them come this way.

Once we realized we were going to be meeting the group somewhere along the trail, we slowed down to a more comfortable pace and I was able to take some photos of the dogs and the lovely fall leaves.

This is a heavily treed trail but there are two look out points and just as we got to the first lookout going counter clockwise on the trail we finally came upon the group. We didn’t linger long and joined them on the return instead of continuing along the west arm of the trail.

From the parking lot and back the hike is approximately 7kms with 200 m of elevation gain. We left the parking lot at about 9:38am and we were back at 11:10am. Pretty quick and well under the three hours that was planned for the hike. Overall this is an easy hike with good terrain (hard-pack dirt) for the dogs and can be done quickly in a time crunch. It’s a busier trail on weekends but I don’t think that’s a bad thing when the bears are still fattening up for the winter.

Since we were done so early we decided to visit Elbow falls to eat our lunch and take some pictures. I had rented a Canon EF 15-85mm lens for the weekend and thought this would be a good spot to test it out since I didn’t get very good views on Fullerton Loop.  I’m looking to upgrade the kit lens that came with my Canon Rebel now that I’ve been using the telephoto I bought in the spring. The Canon EF 15-85mm is a little heavier than my lens but I was immediately much happier with the quality of photos it was taking.

I just love coming to the Falls but this place is super busy on nice days no matter the time of year. Sunday was no exception and the trails around the falls were loaded with people.

The most interesting thing about this area is that just on the south side of the Elbow River is the McLean Creek off-road recreational area. It’s so neat to see the quadders and dirt bikers hanging out on the rocks of the falls, seemingly so close that you could almost reach out to shake hands. I almost felt like I was spying on family time while testing out the zoom on my rented lens. From the photo’s I took it looks like we weren’t the only ones to have great time out in the Elbow Valley.

Every time I come out this way I always say to myself that I need to come out here more. It’s so close to the city and you really can be out and back in a few hours depending on what trail you choose to do. A bonus is that the weather this fall has been amazing so far; hope it stays that way at least for a few more weeks.
*  For more information on the trails in the Bragg Creek/Elbow Valley area of Kananaskis Country check out the Alberta Parks website. You’ll find out which trails allow bikes and horses and which are for hikers only including information on distances, trail difficulty and estimated hiking time. Dogs are allowed on-leash on all the trails in the Provincial Park. Don’t forget that bear’s frequent this area so make sure to come prepared.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

This weeks photo challenge topic of Solitary seemed like a good one to incorporate with one of our walks and good fit within a general dog/dog training theme. We always work on some skill when we’re out and about and we do tend to do a lot of stays since I can get some really nice portraits of the dogs when they are still. I’m able to put either in position someplace or on something and we’ve been slowly able to build up distance. I guess since I take a lot of pictures we get a lot of practice.

To capture this photo of CB required me to get very far back (I had my telephoto lens with me) and time my shots to capture him with no other passerby’s in view. He had to be patient for a few minutes until I was able to get my shot but my husband was 20 feet away just beyond the trees ready to replace CB in his stay if needed. Neither one of us was all that visible from the pathway and as this is a very busy area there were a few people curious about the little dog seemingly by itself.

I didn’t actually expect that anyone would take notice of CB but one woman walking by was very concerned when she saw him and started to look for the little dog’s owners. She had quite the look of surprise on her face as I came into view and then recalled CB to join me. A cruel trick? Perhaps. She did not know that the better half was out of view and the distance was mighty impressive at first look.

Black & White Sunday – 1

CB and Kona hanging out along the Bow River near Edworthy Park. These rocks are usually underwater but the river is so low right now they made the perfect spot for some photos and down-stay practice time.

This is my first post for the Black and White Sunday blog hop hosted by You Did What With Your Wiener, My Life In Blog Years and, Dachshund Nola. To join visit one of their awesome blogs.

* photo taken using a Canon Rebel with an EF 70 to 300mm telephoto lens

Weekly Writing Challenge: an update on things you can find in the woods

One of my favorite things about Fall is that feeling of renewal that one gets this time of year. We’re near that middle of the last half of the year but I guess that feeling of starting new things will always be there for me no matter how long it’s been since I’ve gone to school. And what better time to start something new.

With that in mind I’m going to give the weekly challenges a try to push myself as a blogger. I will be posting the photo or the writing challenge depending on how the upcoming topics fit with the overall theme of my blog. I’m going to give it a go at least until the end of October. And with that, here is my first Weekly Writing Challenge post, sent by email. Here goes!

A few months ago I posted the above photo as this Wordless Wednesday. I think it’s been my most popular Wordless Wednesday post next to this one, and it’s struck up a little bit of a passion for photographing CB and Kona with cars etc. The biggest questions that arose in our minds when we discovered this vehicle was not only how did it get to the bottom of a gully in the woods, but we were also curious as to what it was – make, model, year? Did it belong to a neighbor years ago? Did someone push it down the hill because it had been neglected? Or was it simply abandoned when the sandstone quarry that was adjacent to the gully closed in the 1950’s? There’s definitely a story here, but how does one go about finding the answers?

We ended up turning to our community newsletter, the Wildwood Warbler. It’s published monthly and is hand delivered to all mailboxes in the community of Wildwood. This year the newsletter has been running a theme called “My Wildwood Vision” and with every issue a photograph is published on a resident’s vision of Wildwood. We feel that the adjacent park (Edworthy) is a big part of our vision of the neighborhood as we are often there and with how visually interesting this photo of Kona with the “fossil” car is, we decided to submit it to the newsletter. They loved the photo and published it in the September edition. We did have an ulterior motive, perhaps someone in the neighborhood had an idea as to what kind of car this was, how it got there or how long it had been there. Maybe we could get some insight as to what this car’s story was.

We really couldn’t have received a better outcome. We have met so many new neighbors when we’ve been out on walks as Kona is recognized from the newsletter. Others that know us have been very excited to see the photo and we have received so many comments on the picture as well as other people’s story’s on their own discovery of the car, whether it was last year or years ago. But what has been most exciting have been the emails with model/year suggestions for our mystery vehicle. One email we received said;

“Hi Guys,
I saw Kona’s picture on the front page of the community newsletter! Cool! One of our friends works in the car industry and seems pretty confident that the car is a 1940 Pontiac. He spent about 40 minutes last night at our house going through a few other options, but has decided that based on the lines, this is probably the car. See attached.
Famous Kona!”

We were thinking that this 1940’s Pontiac could be the car. And then we received this note from the editor of the Warbler. A newsletter reader sent her an email with a link to an online car sale website;

“Hello! This email was a quick response to your request. I think it might be the car!

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Calling All Cars Vehicle Listing #150611

I saw this Car listing at and wanted you to see it. I think

this may be the car you asked about.

1939 Buick Roadmaster

So now we had two really good options. Both cars are pretty similar in general shape so it required a trip down into the gully for another look. And wouldn’t you know it, it looks like our mystery car could be convertible based on the fact it has no roof, and there are no saw marks to indicate that the roof was hacked off. We’re now pretty confident that the car is most likely a 1939 Buick Roadmaster since that car came in a soft-top model, such as the photo below.

soft-top Roadmaster – could this be our urban fossil?

We also found this vintage ad. Our find sure would have been a beauty in it’s day.

Here are a few more pictures of the 1939 Buick Roadmaster from the gully.

We think we have one part of the story figured out but there are still questions. What I find most interesting is how our picture of a little dog and an old car brought about so much discussion in the neighborhood. It’s quite cool to have people take the time to help us solve our mystery but it also shows what a great community we live in. We are still meeting new people when we’re out on walks and its been really great discovering their connection to the old car and the community itself.

thanks for reading

It’s been a while!

Don’t you love summertime? The weather is great and it’s a good time to get away, which is exactly what we did. The pups got to stay with friends that have poms and we got to go to Greece and do a little island hopping and enjoy the sun.

Now that we’re back it’s time to get back to blogging and with the pups both back into training classes there will be lots to blog about. But in the meantime enjoy these photos of the various wildlife we encountered on our trip.