Spring

Spring Traditions

Photo Series by Andy Goodson

*Whip crack*

*Whip crack*

A few days after my trip to Prince Albert National Park some friends and I made our way to Duck Mountain for our annual get-together-and-plan-all-the-trips meeting, which usually devolves into Tetris competitions and drunken rambling about sociopolitical hoopla. This year was no different, but we did manage to go on a day trip to Little Boggy Creek to check out the spring thaw.

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View from the Valley

View from the east ridge of Little Boggy Creek Valley, across from the Duck Mountain ski area.

"Smokey" woods — the grey canopy of nude trembling aspen (poplar) trees

"Smokey" woods — the grey canopy of nude trembling aspen (poplar) trees

Ostrich fern fronds among snow

Green-bean water

"Help me I'm in fractal Hell"

"Help me I'm in fractal Hell"

Wireboxes

Melted

After the meeting, I was alone for a few days until Teisha came out to visit. We then took a trip to the Manitoba-side of the Duck Mountains to check out some of the trails.

We started at the Copernicus Hill trail loop, which culminated rather quickly at a picnic site with a lookout tower. The view from the hill was mostly obstructed by trees so we decided to continue hiking on a path away from the loop, just to see where it would take us.

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Copernicus Hill Trail to Glad Lake, Manitoba

A day-hike at Duck Mountain Prov. Park, Manitoba in springtime was quiet, secluded and magnificently insect-free. Take it in, folks.

Taking a break at Glad Lake

Taking a break at Glad Lake

The path crossed a road and led us to Glad Lake, where fallen trees made the hike a more familiar challenge. But the cool temperature and peacefulness at the park was all we could ask for. Besides, I needed some exercise. 

"'Cause they're soft, like a kitty."

"'Cause they're soft, like a kitty."

Unfrozen: Prince Albert National Park

Photo Series by Andy Goodson

kingsmere river spring

Spring at the Kingsmere River

After a few outdoor stints last winter, I decided to stay inside and wait out the rest of the season. Winter scenery had become repetitive and I was more than happy to spend time reading, ruminating and becoming a typical basement goblin. But this too, got old.

Teisha and I decided to break the monotony and go on a roadtrip and see some authentic daylight. From our home in Saskatoon, we drove to Saskatchewan's favourite playground: Prince Albert National Park. 

Ice break-up on the Kingsmere River, Prince Albert National Park

Ice break-up on the Kingsmere River, Prince Albert National Park

Standing on the (expensive-looking) walkway across the river

Standing on the (expensive-looking) walkway across the river

Probably the most "national park" photo I've taken

Probably the most "national park" photo I've taken

Butterfly boils

Butterfly boils

With such beautiful weather, the park was not half as busy as I thought it would be. We visited the Kingsmere River Trail and found some familiar sights we've only seen in brochures. Of course, photos rarely do justice compared to witnessing scenery in person, and I found myself conflicted over the assumptions I've made about popular national parks.

We also checked out the Height-of-Land Lookout Tower, which offered a view of the dividing point between two major watersheds: the Saskatchewan River system to the south and the Churchill River system to the north.

View of Beartrap Creek from the Height-of-Land Lookout Tower in early spring, Prince Albert National Park. This marks a boundary where all south-flowing waters enter the Saskatchewan River, and all north-flowing waters enter the Churchill River.

View of Beartrap Creek from the Height-of-Land Lookout Tower in early spring, Prince Albert National Park. This marks a boundary where all south-flowing waters enter the Saskatchewan River, and all north-flowing waters enter the Churchill River.

With paved roads (mostly), an abundance of hiking trails, backcountry campsites and gorgeous aqua-blue rivers and lakes, I started to understand why Prince Albert National Park deserved its fame. It keeps an incredible section of boreal splendor accessible to people of all stripes and skill-levels. While I enjoy climbing over fallen spruce trees, scratching ankles on rose bushes and being hundreds of kilometres out-of-reach of emergency services, there's something to be said about well-maintained public infrastructure, dangit.