Where the wildflowers are
Last fall was my first trip up Meadows in the Sky Parkway, a gorgeous drive to the summit of Mount Revelstoke. The wildflowers were gone, so I vowed to get back there in time to see them this year.
I should mention that the road is not open 24/7. There is a gate at the bottom and the hours this time of year are 8 am to 5:30 pm (you have until 8:30 pm to exit). The link to the hours is here.
Hoping to get a jump on the tourists, I went on June 29th. It was too early, as the last five kilometres of the road were still closed due to snow. There were a lot of flowers along the bottom third of the road though. The orange ones (OK, I looked it up and it is actually Hawkweed and comes in yellow too) caught my eye.
The Parks Canada person at the gate told me there were Glacier Lilies along the roadway and I think this is one. Perhaps the brown spots happen after it’s been in bloom for a while?
Most of the viewpoints face south or west – a challenge for photography in the afternoon. I don’t have a graduated neutral density filter so had to make do with editing in Lightroom.
Determined to see the alpine meadows in bloom, I made a trip back in the middle of July. It is only a two hour drive from Kelowna, and I was hoping to escape the heat. Let’s just say my expectations were more than met that day as it was about 10C at the summit, windy and raining for a short while. I was a little underdressed but it felt great! Sadly, the visibility was poor due to smoke from the wildfires. Luckily, I was there primarily for the flowers. Fields of glacier lilies were everywhere.
Hey, did you know that you can get a pretty good workout squatting down to photograph a flower while carrying 20 pounds of dog and backpack? I took a break when I found one of the Parks Canada red chairs. Not sure where the other one was – perhaps it was blown away.
I felt sorry for the many tourists who were not able to enjoy the sweeping vistas. Watching the clouds darken and stream over the summit was an experience; although, I didn’t notice others appreciating it as much. Before the wind came up, I was able to get some reflection shots of the Fire Tower. And throw snowballs!
The rain came, so I started back to the van. The wildflowers by the road were beautiful; I love Indian Paintbrush.
I stopped to photograph marmots on the way down and was surprised by a guy on a longboard – what a ride that would be! I met up with him at a pull out further down and he had to stop as he’d worn one wheel down.
Thankfully I was able to get a shot of the marmot before the longboarder blew by as he scared it off. Look at those claws!
I’m certainly glad that I made it back to see the wildflowers. The lack of visibility, while disappointing, caused me to focus on objects within a shorter range and to appreciate what is in front of my face instead of off in the distance. I hope that we don’t have to get used to summers of smoke and fire, but that won’t stop me from getting out.
Thanks for stopping by!
PS, for those using Pinterest, here is a pinnable image.