Best Laid Plans–Quick Decisions-Sometimes a Great Adventure “Happens”….


In today’s world, and I guess we’ve all noticed this, is that technology (in theory), allows us to jam more things into a day and as a direct result, we tend to “stuff” more into a day.  At the pace we move at, a lot of times, it seems like a change in schedule can create some major drama as we re-schedule to adjust.  Something as a simple delay in something puts the rest of the day or week into turmoil as try to keep everything on track.

If one is into photography at the level that I am, which is quite “deep”, and also looking at it as a potential career path, one of the very key elements for me is actually time itself.  Having been unemployed for a while, AND having revenue properties (and one being prepped for rental), AND trying to figure out next steps on the photo side can be hectic to say the least.  As we have been coached to do – keep to routine, etc. etc. etc.  At the same time, we need to be flexible enough to be available for interviews, meetups, coffee meetings, etc.  To me, one the very key elements around this, is taking breaks – more important – taking breaks without guilt.  The one big saying from my past that I try to adhere to – “Slow down to speed up”.  That’s one that I interpret to mean that those “breaks” are more valuable than one initially realizes.  We already know that we should take breaks from being on our computers – but do we? I don’t think so.  As much as we try, that screen seems to swallow us to the point where we lose track of time.  Suddenly – we are rushing to get back on schedule. 

Anyway – starting to rant…..  With me, literally over the last year or so (I actually did have work for a few months), I’ve been dealing with several streams in parallel.  Looking for work, renovation work, photography all simultaneously and there comes a point where one literally does need to stop and take a real break.  Let’s face it – when things drag out (like looking for work in a tough economy), it can get very frustrating.  Getting away from that PC, or attending meetup after meetup, forever coffees and then back to other “stuff”, can really get one’s mental state down.  For me, photography is one of the few things that clears my head, but in saying that, I need to literally take either several hours or a full day  to “level out”.  Driving and looking for photo ops, for me, is amazingly relaxing. I have many hobbies, but this one is one of the ones that I am very passionate about.

Last year, our networking group took literally a day off and got out of the city.  Absolutely refreshing and we vowed to do it again at some point.  Well, it didn’t happen quite that way, but this year, I decided to make a more deliberate attempt at this, even if I did a bit on my own.  Especially this last month or so.  A more recent trip was to the Saskatoon Farm in Okotoks which was with some other friends turned into a wonderful time.  Most of our networking group couldn’t make it, but despite that, we went ahead anyway. 

This last time, things sorta happened more on an impulse than anything else.  It wasn’t scheduled in the sense of schedule – like deliberately planning ahead of timeSmile   A couple of things were happening in parallel streams.  I was doing renovation work on one of my properties and at the same time, as time permitted, I was flushing out photos for my portfolio.  The initial “plan” was to pay a visit to another person in our network.  Farah, one of folks in  our network, has been helping me with renovations as her time allows.  That morning, part of my “plan” was actually to  spend a bit of time taking photos before Farah and I got together to go visit Jen for something that I needed to get to her.  At the same time, I had this underlying urge to get out of the city.  AND to make it worse, I knew that renovation still had to be done…..  Anyway, it started like this:

I had to get gas for the car  – as I was getting gas, I happened to notice a rather interesting cloud formation that “might” get me a landscape shot or two.  AND at the same time, the plan was to get more photos printed for my portfolio.  Sooo… off to Nose Hill I went (one of my favourite spots for cityscapes) and I got this shot.


Nice shot, but not “quite” what I was looking for.  You see, I need to add more landscapes to my portfolio to round it out.  Then, as I was trudging back to my car, Farah phoned to say we couldn’t get to Jen’s today.  Farah, had also, I think, planned to help with renovations once we visited Jen’s.    Wow!!  Suddenly there was this blank spot in the schedule and IF I didn’t do renovations…… AND with the weather being abnormally good for this time of the year, there could be an adventure in the works Smile   It’s actually Farah that calls these outings adventures, and they actually are to a certain degree – no set plan per se – just something very general.  A quick question about Farah’s schedule and it turned out she was game Smile  Soooo.. off I went to get her and then we got my prints made and THEN, we needed to decide on a direction. We decided on East to about Langden/Carseland, and then a loop back into Calgary somewhere south of the City.  The intent was to see if I could get not only some landscapes, but perhaps some old run down buildings, whatever.  We got to the printers, and as luck would have it, due to it being Remembrance Day, they weren’t going to open for another hour.  We decided to grab something to eat, THEN got the prints made and off we went.

I’m going to insert this map a couple of times to give a bit of easy reference.


I made the decision to go on the #1 TransCanada highway going east.  As we got to Chestemere, I asked Farah if she had ever been here and she hadn’t.  I hadn’t been there in a lot of years, sooooo…. we “diverted” to snoop around.  First off, we found this store called The General Store – it’s sort of a combination of a dollar store and curio/trinket type shop.  I’ve also seen one like this in Didsbury.  Then, we decided to tour around the lake, and stopped at a few spots.  Of course, to get photos Smile   Chestemere Lake itself was like a mirror – no wind.  One thing we also noticed, and it was a bit shocking, sort of, was the number properties for sale along the lakefront on both sides of the lake.


Back on the #1.  We got to the Langden/Carseland turnoff and then headed south along Highway #24 to the Mossleigh turnoff and then headed back west towards Okotoks.  Along the way, we noticed a lot of harvesting going on with the good weather we’ve been having.  As we moved along, I was watching how the clouds were forming and with the sun peeping out or trying to the odd time, coupled with the cloud formations, I knew that a “stunner” would be in the works.   AND then we found a spot where we could safely pull over.  THIS was the shot.


We actually spend about 20 minutes here.  Then, into Okotoks along 547 for a Tim’s and a short break from driving.  Now – for folks wanting a pretty drive in the country, heading west from Okotoks towards Black Diamond and Turner Valley, this is one for your bucket list Smile  You are starting to head into the Foothills and one sees the mountains.  By the time we got close, it was roughly 3:00 p.m. and as we hit the Priddis turnoff, I turned the wrong way.  I didn’t realize that until the first road marker showed we were on the way to Bragg Creek.  In reality, something should have twigged me that we were heading the wrong direction, but at the same time, it was not that big of a deal either Smile Sometimes, it simply works out.  Farah had never been in that area and I hadn’t been there in at least forever, so we “kept on truckin’”.  I had forgotten how pretty that stretch of road really was. 

One thing here.  When I drive on these little “tours”, I’m there for the drive and photos  and not necessarily too worried about routes or schedules per se.  The reason?  My car Smile  Because we never really had an extra vehicle available, and the way our lives are, getting out like this, for the sake of getting “out”, simply didn’t happen.  By the time we hit Bragg Creek, it was closer to 5:00 p.m., so we didn’t stop there and headed back into Calgary.  Now, again, I kinda wanted to head back via either #1 or even Cochrane, but I ended up back via #8…..


It turned out that Farah had never been to Bragg Creek either, so perhaps another “adventure” could be in the works here Smile  Perhaps…… a loop from Canmore/Banff south back into Bragg Creek on the next one… Still thinking on that one…… 

Until the next one……..