Most of my trips are somewhere in the wilderness... 

But in the early summer of July 2020, I was living in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.  Did I mention I lived in Alberta for 18 years?  Anyways, we had a free weekend, a canoe and no plans.  We didn't have time for a super long trip.  But last minute we needed a trip fix!  So we packed up and headed for the Red Deer River.  Our trip started at a place called the Tolman Bridge.  The trip involves paddling through the Badlands.  It feels very much like paddling in a desert.  Mostly because it is. Nothing like seeing tumbling tumbleweeds.  And some of the scenery where we camped was really quite unique and beautiful in its own right.  One moment in particular stands out.  Seeing a cactus is cool and in the Alberta's Badlands it does happen.  Heck one time I was hiking in the badlands at Dry Island Buffalo Jump and as I reached up for a ledge to pull myself up I grabbed right at one, ouch! 

But what's a little rarer than seeing a cactus and a cactus injury is seeing a cactus in full bloom!  I am happy to share this picture of exactly that unique moment right there on the Red Deer River.  I feel like that's one of those things I may never see again as I don't think they are in bloom for long. A rare site indeed.

It was such a unique and lovely trip.  The trip isn't remarkably challenging but I highly recommend some moving water experience, enter Nature Alive, Barrhead if you want to learn! 

What made that trip super special other than the blooming cactus was it's uniqueness.  That Central Alberta summer sun is pretty sweet!  Alberta has a very big blue sky and having a lazy float down the Red Deer River in your canoe with not much to worry about has it's merits.