Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Hike Up to Johnston Canyon

Terry and I flew to Alberta Canada for a week away in the Rocky mountains. On the flight across America I looked out the plane window and watched the grid of the country slip by. It was clear that we were flying North West because the grid was always at an angle. We landed in Calgary and rented a car for our trip up into the Rockies. The airport hotel we stayed in the first night was located right next to a junkyard. It would have made a scenic sketch, but I never had the time to catch the clutter.

When we drove north west out of Calgary the landscape was surprisingly flat with suburban monotony. When we got to Baniff the mountains finally jutted upward. Our first stop was Johnston Canyon.

In 1910, Johnston Canyon was named after a prospector who discovered gold in the creek. The work that went into building the trails up to the waterfalls is quite impressive. Walkways were built right into the canyon walls. The bridge in the sketch crosses over the canyon and then enters a cave that opens up right at the base of the waterfall letting people experience the full force of the water and it's spray.

Terry decided to walk further up the trail to the top falls and I took the time to get this quick sketch done. Terry tends to get vertigo when on bridges, so it was surprising that she ventured further up on these walkways. It is a testament to the engineers who made the trail vertigo proof. When she got to the top, she took a photo to prove she had made it to the top.

Walter Phillips, a renowned artist and namesake of the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, Alberta, said, "Water is the most expressive element in nature. It responds to every mood, from tranquility to turbulence."He was born in England, and  travelled the world before settling down in Canada, specifically Banff, where he fell in love with Johnston Canyon. He spent much of his career sketching and painting the canyon's beauty. I can understand how it could captivate an artist.



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1 comment:

Thorette said...

I assure you that the trails on Johnston Canyon were not vertigo proof. I simply made a decision with grit and determination to get to the top ON MY OWN to prove to myself I could conquer my fear.