Taking a “Break” from Job Hunting

In creating this entry, I was torn between posting this on my photo blog or my technology blog.  This entry sort of straddles that line Smile  Because it’s more photography driven, here we are in my photo blog.

As the coaches from our various networking sessions have told us, job hunting is a job in itself. It’s also mentioned that job hunting can also be a “lonely” thing and job hunting as a group makes things much less tedious as well as a bit more accountable Smile  They’ve also told us about the importance of taking breaks.  The “breaks” that have been mentioned tend to be short ones and one of the drawbacks I’ve found, is that they don’t always clear your head as they should.  Anyway, that’s what I’ve found.  Of course, in today’s economy where jobs are scarce and networking is a very key component of the job search, I’ve also found that those breaks tend to be few and far between.  Because I have several “streams” of options away from the world of IT, early last year, we took a break for literally a whole day and went into Kananaskis Country for our break.  Oddly enough, we didn’t do that again until recently.

The one thing I’ve found as part of that “head clearing” process, is that for my head to clear, I need to do”something” that steers my mind totally away from the job seeking thing completely.  More important, something that diverts me from my PC as well as my phoneSmile  For me, one diversion happens to be photography.  Now – in saying that, photography is not only a passion, it’s also a potential career path so taking photos on a constant basis is critical to getting more skilled. 

How many times have you heard of a location that you one day SHOULD go visit, but life gets in the way and you really never get there?  More important, when one is NOT working, there’s never really a better chance to do that, so perhaps this “guilt” comes into play and you don’t go because you SHOULD be job hunting.  One of our coaches, recently suggested we visit the Saskatoon Farm near Okotoks as a place that might be fun to visit.  I’ve been in Calgary since 1969 and wanted to go there more than a few times and never did go, so this “memory twig” was the perfect incentive to simply go.  Yes, there was a little planning to ensure I could get away for the day, but the day was picked and away we went.  Because, it’s quite late in the year, coming into mid October, we knew that flowers wouldn’t be in bloom – we wouldn’t be able to pick Saskatoons, BUT we were told there was an awesome restaurant (good food is always an incentive Smile) and most important, it was out of the city.  For those who don’t get out much – there’s nothing like a drive in the country side AND especially near Calgary, where is less than an hour from the Rockies to help clear your head.  More important – the weather cooperated and we had a nice sunny day!

Soooo….. the Saskatoon Farm is located near Okotoks just off the #2 south of Calgary.  About 20 minutes from the city limits.  There is a sign for the turnoff, so one does have to watch for it.


On entering the farm, one is greeted by the main gate.


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As one gets past the gate, there are ponds on either side.



In getting into the parking lot, one of the ladies in the networking group, Farah, noticed some rather interesting ice formations in frozen puddles.


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As one gets to the main part of the farm, we see this:



It was suggested that we go right to the end and backtrack and so we did that.  The “farm” itself, straddles the edge of a valley and the Saskatoon growing area is situated in the valley.  The view (even in the fall) is quite stunning in it’s own right.





One can actually go and pick your own when they can be harvested!!  This would be earlier in the year.  Definitely something to keep in mind for next year.

By the time we started backtracking, we decided that lunch would be in order so in we went.  The restaurant/general store is quite neat if you are into antiques.  The restaurant is modeled accordingly.



The food was amazing plus, of course, being a Saskatoon farm, desert simply HAD to be Saskatoon Pie, with whipped cream and Saskatoon Ice Cream Smile

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With food out of the way, it was determined that we definitely needed to take a walk Smile  Notice that Farah & I shared the pie……  We meandered a bit through the store and looked at various things.


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If one is into antiques, knick knacks, whatever…. this is definitely an interesting place.

Of course, a little something for home….


Once we were done at the General Store, we did a little exploring outside.  Despite we were there very late in the year, there was still a lot to see.






We arranged to meet at about 10:30 a.m. and by the time we finished, it was close to 3:00 p.m.  I can’t imagine how much longer we would have been there had this been mid-summer!!

But WAIT!!  It doesn’t end there Smile  Farah has always said that it was always an “adventure” whenever we went exploring and I really wanted to get closer to the mountains, so rather than head back to the city, I decided on a slight “detour”.  We looped back to Okotoks and then headed west.  Of course, we were also due for a Tim’s so that became a priority once we got into Okotoks Smile  As we headed west, I totally had forgot about the “rock” and Farah had never seen it, so we stopped to take a closer look.


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We decided to take a walk around the rock and if one is into seeing patterns in the sandstone:




The sun was starting to get lower and there’s this one “effect” I had seen and wanted to see if I could reproduce it.  It’s shooting into the sun, but creating a “starburst” effect.  To be a little technical, it involves putting the camera into Aperture Priority mode and using a smaller aperture (like f22 or f16) and the blades of the aperture create the light dispersion.



Because we are in the foothills AND it was a sunny clear day, the Rockies were quite prominent.



Rather than fight rush hour, we continued on to Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Millarville and took 22x back to Calgary. 

What a wonderful way to end the day!  In one sense, it was tough coming back to real life Smile