Sunday, April 27, 2008

Smells like Spring.....

After last weekends deep snow adventure, I was very pleased at the recent arrival of.....could it be? Warmer weather? A thaw? Possibly, maybe, smells like spring!!!

I awoke at 5:30 in the morning - because there was a couple of robins having an orgy outside of my bedroom window and they were screamers!! Also, was getting light out. I drifted back to sleep only to be awoken by the alarm dog, barking at a large bull elk grazing on the teeny tiny sprigs of greeen grass that magically appeared when the snow receeded. Hey - the snow receeded!! A week ago - shin deep, but the last two days it disappeared. I decided to get up and have a hot tub, only to be assaulted by the smells of spring in the backyard. The smell of wet, rotten, grass mixed with a winters worth of Norman doggie-doo.......ah! The smells of spring!!

Keith and I have two Adirondack chairs in the middle of our kitchen - on most mornings, one of our favorite rituals is to sit in them, visit, drink coffee and wait for the hot cereal to cook. It's a great ritual. Our friend, the sunbeam is finding its' way into the kitchen much earlier these days for us to enjoy. I lazed the morning away, waiting for it to get a few degrees warmer before I ventured out for my last long run pre-Miwok (yay!!). I'm sure glad I waited, because by the time I got out there - the sun had heated up the day, melted everything in its' sight and things were warming up and the smell of spring was everywhere.

I decided to drive up to Lake Minnewanka for my run and was hopefull that there might be some semi-dry trail and signs of spring. I wanted to run in the sun and feel the heat on my skin. The shoreline trail was fantastic - warm, drying up quickly, sunny and glorious.....

Oh my Gawwwwwwdd.....Leslie's in a short sleeved jersey!!

Officially, Saturday April 26th was the first day that I put on shorts and a T-shirt!!! Woooohooo! Alright, I had to start in arm-warmers and a vest, but the moment I hit the Lake Minnewanka shoreline, it was hot and sweaty. Yessssss! Hot and sweaty! Surely, a sign and smell of spring - a sweaty Leslie. The lake is still frozen, but the south-facing trail was dry.

The smells of spring were everywhere. The smell of cold snow and rock in the shade, the smell of sheep shit on Sheep Point (Norman isn't the only one leaving a winter's worth of souvenirs)....the smell of the sun warming the pine forest, the smell of warm dirt on the trail, the smell of moist rotting leaves and still lingering, the smell of ice and snow.

Deep in Sheep Shit - Sheep Point

The Shoreline Trail

The view from the campground

This campground on Lake Minnewanka shoreline is another one of my favorite summer places. We once spent a long weekend here on one of the busiest weekends of the summer in the National Park - and saw a couple other people.

Another sure sign of spring, my bear spray is now easily accessed on the side of my hydration pack where it will remain for spring, summer and fall! Though I didn't see any signs, no diggings, no footie prints, it is now bear season. The G-bears and B-bears have woken up and they love the Minnewanka shoreline for the same reasons I do - it is the first place to melt and they love the smells and tastes of spring.....don't we all??


Meghan said...

Whoop! Spring! Short sleeves! Heat! Things that smell! Sheep and Norman shit! Orgying robins (!?)! Sun on faces in Adirondack chairs (In the kitchen?!)! Sounds lovely, even the poo.

I saw bear poo poo on a trail the other day. Then I told my friend and he said, "Oh yeah, I saw a grizzly heading up that drainage the other morning." Thanks for telling me since he knows I go there once a week! He then promised to keep me in the know, mostly I think because he doesn't want to clean up my body as a bear's table scraps.

Oh, so happy to hear spring is finally springing in Banff! Enjoy every moment, oh, and GOOD LUCK at Miwok this weekend!


CoyoteGirl said...

Hi Leslie!

Good luck at Miwok! And YAY for spring!

Have you ever had a scary bear encounter???


Deanna Stoppler said...

Spring comes too fast in these parts! I mean, don't get me wrong, I love spring but it's the prelude to summer, which is a toughy in Missouri. But keep your fingers crossed, VT may be in the near future.

If I visit my dad this summer, near Hinton, I should make the trip your way and visit. I'd also like to stop in at the Banff Center to check out their Mountain Writing department. It's so cool.

Have fun with your friend, sunbeam.

Paul Charteris said...

Sunshine Gal

Consider yourself tagged:

Rules are below.
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Good Luck!

Cheers, Paul Charteris

Backofpack said...

Good luck at Miwok! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

Pay attention out there on the drifting off on dreams of sunshine. You gotta know those bears are a-comin' to use that spray.

Mike said...

Yeah, I was thinking of Spring last night on my run while I was getting pelted with little pellets of hard white snow/hail. I figure it's here :)

Have a blast down at Miwok Leslie!

We'll be cheering you on from the snowy north and waiting to see all the crazy photos.

Leslie said...

Hi Meghan! Sorry for the delayed response - busy week and all, hope you have survived the week and are now enjoying your own sights and sounds of Spring!! G-bear scat included.....thanks for the well wishes!!


Leslie said...

Hi C-G! Thanks for the kind thoughts! I am stoked for the Miwok.

Yes, I have had a few bear encounters, but only one scary story. It involved a mama G-Bear and her 2 itty bitty cubs. I now know what a G-Bear looks like when it is standing up: frickin' HUGE!!

Leslie said...

Hi Deanna - I was wondering if you were still coming to Alberta this summer! You had mentioned maybe embracing shorter distances and changing it up. Does this mean you are not doing Death Race any more??

No worries, I would still love to see you and show you around Banff. You would be more than welcome!


Leslie said...

Hey Paul! Very exciting, being the rookie blogger that I am, I have never been tagged for anything! Thanks - I'll have to give that some thought and post when I return....

Leslie said...

Hey Michelle - I seldom have my wits about me, but it seems to work for me! Can't wait for the weekend adventure....

Leslie said...

Yo Mike!

Thanks for the love, buddy. Hopefully, it won't be 90F this time round....I'm hoping for clear views of the coast!


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