The return visits to the Bragg Creek area to which I alluded last week will have to wait.
I live in a hilltop neighborhood, so I haven’t been personally affected. Same with my relatives in Calgary (for the most part) and Cochrane. I’m not one to follow the news in general, but my impression has been of cooperation and outpourings of support, even more than destruction. Emergency shelters weren’t turning away people on the weekend: they were having to turn away donations of food. That’s pretty amazing to me.
That said, the Canadian Red Cross is still asking for donations.
Canmore and Kananaskis Country were hit much harder than we were. I have no right to complain, but the highway closures and traffic restrictions do interfere with a lot of the things I like to do. The places I wanted to revisit last week are completely inaccessible. I’ve added a painting to the Studio Page based on the one photo I took that day, and apart from that, any mountains I paint in the studio in the next little while will still be based on older photos.
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is still accessible, however. Parts at either end of the long, narrow park are closed, but there’s plenty to explore in the central area. I spent most of Tuesday and a shorter time in the early afternoon on Wednesday painting there, and also hiked (if you can call it that, when more than half of the trails are paved) about 3-4 kilometres each day. Don’t dismiss this area just because it’s sandwiched in between two developed areas–I only covered about a quarter of it.
Besides the grassy hills and aspen trees, the park contains a record of the area’s history, in the form of several abandoned buildings from a couple of ranches and a short-lived village. I did find the old post office and general store, but not the remains of the original main ranch house. There are a couple of other sites where only chimneys remain, and an interesting piece of farm equipment:
I’d love to find out what that thing is.
The park is also still a functioning ranch, with horses grazing in a lush paddock near the park entrance. I would have liked to paint them, but they barely held still long enough for me to take a few photos (with my phone, which doesn’t zoom well–sorry!).
I have several better ones which will probably serve as references for paintings fairly soon.
I got a good start on three paintings in those two days as well, but based on some feedback I’m going to make some minor changes before I post them here. It shouldn’t take long!