I am adding a few other types of self-propelled voyages. This trip’s mode of transportation is snowshoeing.
I often forget when returning to the prairies how enriching an experience it can be to travel through them. This outing was no exception. Similar to what I’ve read about the experience of traveling through the northern tundra, the experience cannot be readily captured in text or photos, or captured from within the confines of a speeding car or plane. The landscape is often hidden in photos, as it cannot be readily viewed horizontally. Or it looks distant and alien from the window of an airplane.
But as one travels through the land at a self-propelled speed, the geography and weather combines to form a rich tapestry in the mind or soul. I can imagine this experience as somewhat similar to sailing on the ocean, where otherwise overlooked points of interest now become islands of fascinating discoveries.
Shortly after arriving at the in-laws for Christmas break, I started out around 3:30 p.m. with a drive to check out the ghost town of Anglia, Saskatchewan while there was still some sunlight. The town has a few abandoned buildings, one or two occupied residences, an abandoned railway and railway cars.
After taking a few photos, I parked the car at a field access approach east of Anglia and snowshoed east through the road ditch. The air was so still, I could hear ringing in my ears when I stopped due to the extreme quiet. Such a welcome relief and rare experience coming from a large city. During my entire outing, only one car drove past on the local road.
There is a lot of snow on the prairies this year, making it a good year to try out the snowshoes I got for Christmas a year or two ago. This was my second time out on snowshoes ever, and the first time using ski poles. The weather on this outing was cold, about -24 C. However, there was not a breath of wind. Considering the high heat generated from snowshoeing, I was quite comfortable after an initial 15 minute warmup (hands a bit cold initially, and after taking camera out).
After crossing Eagle Creek on the road bridge, I turned south on a local “undeveloped” municipal road that was not cleared of snow.
I came across coyote tracks that disappeared into a hole in a snow bank. On closer inspection, the coyote den appeared to be a culvert crossing under the road. The coyote had wisely dug out only one side, providing some protection from the wind. Unfortunately the camera auto-focus was not working well in the cold, so some photos are out-of-focus.
Total time snowshoeing was about 1.5 hrs with lots of stops. Total distance was 3 km, including return travel. It was dark by the time I got back to the car.