Excerpts from Sharon's Journal

Excerpts from the Journal of Sharon Cross: The Journey - How the Paintings were Made

August 1/07

Place of extraordinary beauty and peace – Mt. Assiniboine – Sunburst Cabin on Sunburst Lake. Sitting on the porch of Sunburst cabin is a peaceful retreat. Silence is broken by the laps of water on the beach and the occasional interruption of pine siskins, chickadees, or gray jays. There is a slight breeze this morning and I can hear it rushing along the tree tops. The sound collecting in a soft whir that extends for miles. No longer the deafening silence, but an awakening of spirit.

Aug. 2/07

A glorious, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, sunny day, for a hike to Wonder Pass then back via the meadows.

Mother Nature has totally outdone herself. Over 300 species of wildflowers. Every step trying to be careful where we place our feet. Truly an awesomely, colourful place. Large splashes of bright pink fireweed here and there for us to ooh and aah over.

Aug 4/07

The weather was stormy last night. At 1:30 am there were light clouds. At 4 am we see stars and decided to head to Nub. With headlamps turned on we head out and up, and up and up.

At 6:15 the light kisses Mt. Assiniboine at the Nublet. Joseph gets great photos then we head up the Nub. Marmots were plentiful and a couple (obviously mom and dad) were having a fisty cuffs while junior looked on. Great photos of them and the 360 degree view of peaks as far as the eye could see.

August 5/07

Heavy clouds have descended over the mountains. We are tempted to stay in the cabin, yet the beauty of the scenery draws us out. Sketching perhaps instead of photographs?.

Aug. 6/07

We set off through Magog to the Naiset Huts. It takes a long time to get to Wonder Pass as there is a lot of standing around waiting for the clouds to part and cast light on Joseph’s subjects.

The wildflowers certainly are the main feature. We head across some rocky hills to the east of the Pass and spot a large patch of Fireweed at the crest of a small, narrow pass. Joseph decides to paint it, so we head up to a rocky outlook, set up and Joseph starts.

Aug. 8/07

We head to the helicopter pad, saying farewell to Sunburst Cabin and this place in the heart of the Rocky Mountains that captured our hearts. Leaving is like saying ‘good-bye’ to a dear friend.

Sept. 12/07

We are returning to Mt. Assiniboine for another 8 days hoping to catch the colour changes in the larch trees. There are heavy clouds in the valley and we have rain at Canal Flats. Could be a wet day in Assiniboine. Columbia Lake is a beautiful green/blue colour.

It is another opportunity to get spectacular photos for BC Parks and the paintings Joseph will produce to raise funds for Mt. Assiniboine.

The flight in shows signs of snow. Great contrast to the dark earth.

The walk to the cabin was refreshing with a skiff of fresh snow. The air is so sweet it clings to the back of my throat like candy. My lungs want to suck it in deeply and hold it like a gift of a thousand memories packed into one breath. So many trips like this and always the air is the thread to my mind and body that relishes in the relief of being in alpine meadows and away from a hectic pace. Peace starts to seep into my being. I sooo need to be here.

Sept. 13/07

Coffee welcomed the day in this wilderness setting in a slightly indulgent way. A morning ritual made more special by this place.

The larches have gotten some frost last night and their colours are just starting to change a bit more. Last night the stars were incredible – clear sky – no moon. Today, not a cloud in the sky. Deep blue sky, varying colours of green trees and foliage that has the reds, oranges, rusts, and browns of fall. Mother Nature preparing her fall palette.

Sept. 16/07

The sky is clear and we observed the stars all night. At one point, on the porch it was like being in an observatory gazing at the night sky.

This morning, our previous night’s intention is realized. Not a cloud in the sky. Joseph sets off on his own for Wonder Pass and the ridge by the meadows, then the meadows.

Reflecting on why we are here. Our desire to leave a legacy to Mt. Assiniboine and the people who come here from all over the world. I feel so blessed for this time here. Nourishment for my body, mind and spirit.

Sept. 17/07

A blustery cloud at mid mountain. Misty morning. Seeing a patch of blue we decided to head out hoping for clearing. Excellent photo ops at Cerulean and Sunburst west end. As we head up to the Nublet it begins to snow pellets and then as we get higher, fluffy flakes. The wind picked up.

Saw a black and white ptarmigan cross the path on the way up At the top we take shelter behind some trees and wait in hopes it would lift so we could go down over Jones Meadow. It seemed to brighten and the snow would subside, then it would sock in again. Decided to head down and try later.

As we got to the bottom it started to lift and brighten. Some good shots.

The larch today are quite stunning. Tomorrow, they’ll be even more spectacular. We’ll take our headlamps.

Sept. 18/07

We leave the cabin at 8:30 am for the pre-Nub and Nublet. The weather is great and so is the light – making for some very fine pictures.

Noonish we are on the meadowed slope east of the Nublet, making our way down eventually to the Lodge, then off to Wonder Pass and the meadows.

Sept. 19/08

The hike to the helipad with fond farewells to the people we’ve met.

Sharon Cross 2014