Collin J Örthner – Photographer

February 28, 2011

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park

Filed under: Nature, Travel, Winter — collin orthner @ 11:36 pm

Just about every year for the past 8 years or so, my friend Gerard Reardigan and I head off for a day trip into Dry Island Park in winter. Now, that sounds all great and everything, but the thing is you can’t drive in as they have a gate up from sometime in fall until spring, so you have to trek in on foot. For anyone who has been to the park you know just how steep the hill is, so steep that if you are in there when it is raining you could well be there for a bit. Anyway, we usually start our trek off with great gusto. It’s so easy heading down and such beautiful scenery that we don’t worry about where the vehicle is parked and what it will take to get back up to it. We simply enjoy ourselves, climbing up and down through the badlands for the day, usually having a lunch somewhere along the way, as we always stop at Tim Horton’s for some sandwiches and muffins when we leave town. A big thermos of hot coffee always helps too, especially if you can find a nice butte to sit down on and enjoy the view. So we photograph and talk for the better part of the day and once the sun starts to get low on the horizon, we know it’s time to start our uphill climb back to the vehicle. Well, it’s so easy to write this and laugh, but let me tell you, for anyone who isn’t in top condition physically (that’s me), it takes absolutely everything you’ve got to climb the steep road back up. Saying it’s a road also makes you think it can’t be all that bad. Keep in mind that the gate is locked shut up top, which means nobody comes down the hill to plow the road. There can be snowdrifts as high as your waist that you must struggle through. Gerard always beats me to the top, so it’s pretty obvious about who’s in better shape. The trip always has good memories and even though I feel completely exhausted at the end of the day, I still have the desire to do it all over again.

This image is from the trip we did last January, and if it looks cold it was, and windy too. If I recall correctly the temperature was in the mid -20C’s with a really strong wind out of the north. I made this image just after dropping down from the top of the valley where we were protected from the wind.

[Canon 5DmkII, Tamron 28-300mm(not a great lens by the way, but I wanted to try it out]

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