Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meadow in the Sky - August 8th 2010

Meadow in the Sky parkway is at the top of a long twisty 26km long road that climbs from the TransCanada
highway to the top of Mt. Revelstoke in British Columbia. 

A good way to visit would probably be to get up early in the morning, maybe packing a lunch then drive up the long twisty road at a reasonable pace - taking care because of all the switchbacks and blind corners involved.

After reaching the end of the road you could spend a few minutes finding a parking space. Maybe look around a bit and trying to get your bearings after parking the car. I'm sure there are signs posted with information that lets you know where the trails are. Maybe there would be some history about the parkway on those signs and you could pick up some interesting tidbits from that. From there you could go and figure out what it was you wanted to see. If you were a wanna-be photographer you might have a chance to scope out where you wanted to be when the light turned nice during the fabled golden hour, assuming you were allowed to stay that long.

Mt Revelstoke

Or, you could do what we did and just wing it at the end of the day and see what happens. Most of the day the sky was overcast and bleah. It really irks me when the sky doesn't co-operate or if it's just a featureless grey blob, but there it was.

We left the hotel in Revelstoke after 7:00pm. to go to the Meadow in the Sky parkway. The sun was scheduled to set around 8:10pm local time, and all those featureless clouds were starting to break up. 

Driving up the hill as fast as I could - 26km is quite a ways. If I could go an average of 60km/h it would take about half an hour. It didn't help that I was driving and trying to catch a glimpse of the sky at the same time.

Luckily we made it to the top of the hill safely. There wasn't anyone there, and when I say that, there was maybe three other cars at the top of the hill. We got out and I stopped a guy that was walking across the parking with a dog. He was carrying a camera. I asked him where to go to take pictures. He pointed out a trail that would take us up towards the summit, it was about 1 km or so from the parking lot.
I think it was this guy actually. Funny side story: I was wanting to get the timing right on the sunset so I asked Google what time the sun set on Mt. Revelstoke on August 8th and got a link to Ryan`s flickr page where he`d posted some images from his walk on Mt Revelstoke from that very day. Hi Ryan !
Anyway after hosing down with bug spray, off we went up the trail.. I was worried that it'd keep getting darker and darker, and it was pretty quiet too, spooky quiet, like wild animals were going to jump out and eat us. Finally made it to the summit and the clouds were parting and the sun was breaking through. 

I frantically tried to find compositions and interesting vantage points to make pictures from. I was really hoping for wild flowers and wanted to get some nice compositions in the 20 minutes that the sun was still above the horizon. I was literally sprinting from place to place like a crazed lunatic trying to get as much in as possible.

 I was flying on auto-pilot, trying to catch my breath, sweat fogging up my glasses I shot bracketed photos knowing that I'd have to blend the bright sky against the darker forgrounds in post processing. I made a few mistakes but through sheer blind luck, I was able to get a couple of shots that I liked.

After, we walked back to the van along the road instead of taking the path as the light faded and drove back down the hill in the dark.

Thanks for looking.

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