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Derek Kind
347,659 followers -
Photographer, artist, autodidact
Photographer, artist, autodidact

347,659 followers
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Mountain Moonrise - Across Canada, Day 18 of 92⠀

Recognize this place from yesterday's share, along Highway 742 between Kananaskis and Canmore, Alberta, near the Engadine Lodge? Forgive me for sharing two photos in a row from the same direction and location, but...what a difference an hour makes... the moose had meandered off, but the sky in the minutes after sunset and during moonrise was stellar, and I loved the way the circular polarizer I was using emphasized the colors of early twilight. ⠀

If memory serves correctly, it was for this vantage point that I was set up on top of a large boulder. It was a little awkward to stand there for a long time, but when the subject matter is this pretty you forget all about inconvenience and discomfort!⠀

Thus ended my first day in the Rockies, but there were many more adventures to come on this once-in-a lifetime trip!⠀
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Moosen in the Marshen - Across Canada, Day 17 of 92

A moose traverses the grassy valley behind the Mount Engadine Lodge, along the same Smith Dorrien Trail (Hwy 742) that I talked about yesterday. I loved this spot, and while I am not the first to discover it, there was some satisfaction in finding it for myself naturally, driving by and taking the chance to stop rather than having it marked on a map in advance. After the moose crossing I got some really good photos during and after sunset...
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The Mountain Road - Across Canada, Day 16 of 92

The Smith Dorrien Trail (actually a gravel road, highway 742 in Alberta) cuts between the Kananaskis Trail and the town of Canmore. This route was a new discovery to me, and it would become a favourite drive in this part of the Canadian Rockies. Mostly gravel, but wide, well-graded and easy to drive in any vehicle (depending on the weather), this lesser-traveled "back road" winds gracefully through the mountains and passes forests and lakes and fields, all under the ever-present purview of lofty, snowy peaks. Though there are always vehicles on this road, it can feel very lonely very quickly: before long the sense of isolation creeps over you. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that there was a Tim Hortons less than an hour away...

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The Kananaskis Trail - Across Canada, Day 15 of 92

Acting on the recommendation of the manager at a glass repair clinic in Calgary (some good came from those windshield chips after all!), upon entering the mountains I did not drive straight down the highway direct to Canmore, Banff and Lake Louis, but rather turned off onto Highway 40, the Kananaskis Trail - by no means a secret, but nonetheless a less-traveled route and one that I had never driven before. It was a beautiful reintroduction to the mountains after several years away.

I drove down the gently winding road past the Nakiska Ski Hill, stopping for pictures here and there, before turning onto the 742, the gravel road that cuts back across to Canmore - more on that road later.
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First Glimpse of the Mountains - Across Canada, Day 14 of 92⠀

THE MOUNTAINS! I had missed the Rockies desperately, and was overjoyed to finally see the white-capped peaks appear in the distance when I drove through Alberta on one of those sparkling sunlit days that highlight the autumn foliage and turn the trees to gold. I love the area between Calgary and the mountains - it's filled with farmland and it must be one of the prettiest locations in the world to own a ranch. There are sleek, shiny horses and golden hay bales everywhere. I spent all afternoon roaming around and getting lost in the network of country roads that crisscross the foothills.⠀

This is my favourite part of Canada, my happy place, and I was here at the perfect time of year: when autumn and winter meet, shake hands, and agree to coexist for a short while.
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Lazy Sunrise - Across Canada, Day 13 of 92⠀

After a long first night of driving and star photography in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, I grabbed a few hours of sleep before rousing myself with great difficulty, a little late for the sunrise, and, having no idea where to go for photos because I'd never seen the park in the daytime, was lucky to find this spot not far from the campsite before all the magic had worn off. The clouds kindly parted to allow Sol a moment to array warmth upon the grassy plain, and I was there to capture it.
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A Prairie Night Under the Stars - Across Canada, Day 12 of 92⠀

I rolled into Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan in time to watch a gorgeous fiery sunset, and then had a night of dramatic moon and starlight and Northern Lights! I loved the way these red solar lights looked, illuminating a path to the tipis, which I lit up with a flashlight (don't worry, no one was sleeping in them that night!).
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What a Butte! - Across Canada, Day 11 of 92⠀⠀
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After leaving Riding Mountain I drove all day, from Manitoba down through the vast, flat open prairie to Southern Saskatchewan, drawing as near a beeline for Grasslands National Park as the gridline roads of the province allowed, pausing for a few abandoned buildings and animals along the way - but I made one significant stop, at a landmark feature called Castle Butte in the Big Muddy Valley, a relative stone's throw from the US (Montana) border. This monolith would raise no eyebrows in the US southwest or as a background for John Wayne, but in Saskatchewan it's worthy of note, and though it appeared to be on private land, hidden away in a valley, it had signage for visitors and is shown on official tourism brochures.⠀

Check out the full story with more pictures here:

https://steempeak.com/photofeed/@derekkind/what-a-butte-across-canada-day-11-of-92-plus-bonus-photos
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A Parting Shot - Across Canada, Day 10 of 92⠀

A colourful scene in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, where I spent a day exploring through the fall colours. As much as I liked Riding Mountain, I wasn't "feeling it" photographically, and had a tough time making interesting photos - this was possibly the best of the day, a simple composition based on colors and curves, with a crow cameo.⠀

One of the primary objectives on this trip was to take a calendar-worthy photo in a National Park in each of the ten provinces and two of the territories. This put a lot of pressure on myself in Manitoba, where I struggled in the only easily accessible National Park: Riding Mountain. Having this goal in mind made me more focused and determined, but it lead to frustration when failing to find decent compositions, knowing I would have to stay longer or else come back another time. It was hard to decide whether I should spend another few days here and wait out the weather, or heed the call of the road.⠀

My thoughts were filled with decisions like these every day of the trip - should I stay or should I go? WHERE should I go next? The flipside of having the freedom to plot my own course without being tied to a strict schedule is that it puts the responsibility on myself to be in the right place at the right time to take the best pictures possible. It's stressful, when I'm tired and have poor cell service, to sort through the endless variables (weather, distance, routes, location potential, direction of the sun, moon, etc) and make a decision, over and over again, all day, every day. ⠀

In this case I decided to leave, head West, and return to Riding Mountain much later (I didn't know it then, but there would be snow on the ground). I would miss the fall colours here, but at least I wouldn't waste time I could spend somewhere else. because there were fall colours in the Rockies, too, and I didn't want to miss that...⠀
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Under the Ghostly Canopy - Across Canada, Day 9 of 92

Experimenting with a flashlight in the forest near my campsite, spending the night under the stars in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba.
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