We are really fortunate here at the Mountain Legacy Project – there are a lot of resources available to us. We get keys to gated backroads and occasional helicopter access. However, the other day was an MLP first (at least, to my knowledge). Stuart and I were set to repeat photos at a station called Lime Ridge, while Mandy and Scott tackled Stevenson South. We drove as far as we could along a dirt road through ranch land, and had then planned to walk around a lake and up to Lime Ridge. Not five minutes after we set off, we came across an old boat house that was perhaps not as vertical nor structurally sound as it had once been. Beside the boat house, next to the lake, lay an old row boat cloaked in saplings. The little boat (named the ‘Sears’ according to the metal plate on the boat) peaked our curiosity. To whom did it belong? Why was it left there? And more importantly – would it float? Stuart and I carefully flipped the boat, trying not to uproot all the trees in the immediate vicinity, and carried it the 5 feet to the water. To our surprise, not only was the boat seaworthy, it didn’t let on a drop of water! Now on to step two: oars.
Luckily, two had been laying dormant under the row boat, and it didn’t take too much coaxing to convince the roots, dirt and ants to let them free. We gave them a quick rinsing, slid them into the oarlocks, secured our packs, hopped in the boat, and were off to navigate the waters of Lake Lime Ridge in the mighty Sears, under the command of the pirate captain, Higgs. While the waters were stormy and the presence of sea monsters was likely, we took our chances with the Sears. She held up well, and we moored the Sears on the other side of the lake, grabbed our packs, and headed up to Lime Ridge.
Now, I am kind of new to this whole foothills thing. I know Alberta is wild rose country because the licence plates tell me so, but I never really thought any more about the slogan. Seeing clear skies in the morning, I was sure it was going to be a hot day. Knowing my low tolerance for heat, I decided to wear shorts. Bad idea. The hike up the ridge helped acquaint my legs with wild roses. I haven’t worn shorts since.
The rest of the day was spent singing made up MLP pirate songs, over using “arrr,” calling people scallywags, and searching for the cairn that marks the spot of Wheeler’s (The 1899 surveyor, whose photos we are repeating) photo treasures.
We finished the day up by rowing the Sears back to her resting place, picking up Mandy and Scott, and driving off into the sunset while listening to CBC’s jazz show, Tonic, with a thunderstorm off in the distance. Another great MLP day.
The MLP Crew