Watt Mountain Story Holder

Watt Mountain, Hutch Lake, Alberta
Watt Mountain, Hutch Lake, Alberta

On a spring day eighteen years ago, good friends had taken my son, my wife and I out exploring north from High Level; it was the spring of our first year in High Level and they had taken us to Hutch Lake for a Sunday afternoon picnic. We had done some hiking. Then, being at the base of Watt Mountain we decided to see if we could ascend the mountain’s mucky, dirt road through the twelve kilometre climb in our four-door, red Nissan Sentra. Higher and higher we climbed, the nimble, front wheel drive Nissan never losing traction.

First, we got to a lookout vista partway up Watt Mountain; we stopped, there, to view the world we had just travelled through. At that point, we opted to make the rest of climb to the crest of Watt Mountain where the local Alberta Fire Service fire tower is located. There, we met the wildfire lookout observer. We asked and received permission to climb the tower and to survey the world from there – my wife, my friend’s wife and my son stayed below.

What an experience making the climb! And what a view, something giving us a sense for the terrain comprising the Mackenzie Municipal District. The climb is one that I’ve made only that once – a never-done experience, one in which the opportunity of the moment was seized and paid dividends. That day, a photo was taken of my son, my wife and I along one of the Hutch Lake hiking trails. It has remained on our piano since that time. Besides the reminiscence of family and friends, that photo is a story holder of all that comprised that day.

Here, within this image, the same Watt Mountain fire tower is dormant, residing in winter’s weather.

Listening to – Haydn Symphony #76 in E Flat, H 1/76 – 2 Adagio, Ma Non Troppo.

Quote to Consider – “Strictly speaking, one never understands anything from a photograph … [only] that which narrates can make us understand.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

5 Comments on “Watt Mountain Story Holder

  1. What a great shot! I’m so glad you included the fire tower. The image rises up from the ground to the trees to the tower.

    • Season’s greetings, Laurie:

      The fire tower was a bit of fun to photograph – clouds moved across the tower at that height. So, there was variation in the shot – clouds would whiteout sight of the tower and then would move out of my line of sight to the extent you see in this image. I had intended to photograph the tower from further back to emphasize height above the trees but with so much grey cloud and so little opportunity to focus on the tower I needed to be closer to the tower and my line of sight had to incorporate more trees (sort of squashing the height of the fire tower – it’s much taller than represented). It may have been about 3:00 p.m. on the first Saturday in the first week of December, 2014 when I began the collecting of sets of three images of the tower for an HDR merge. I was in dusky greys on my trip down the mountain.

      Enjoy the blessing of this holiday season – enjoy family and friends.

      Thank you for looking in and your encouragement through the years.

      Take care … 🙂

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