August 16, 2008 § 2 Comments
Above picture taken from the car going 110 km…
The park, seemingly in the middle of nowhere had visitors, people who appeared more likely to live nearby (in the surrounding 50 km): lovers on the rock near the falls, an senior couple picnicking near the water and engaged in lively conversation even after all these years, two nimble path-walkers, a giant raven ransacking a table top for tasties, a cyclist en route to somewhere important and the only sound the rushing of the clear water, so clear it had that green tinge, the good green, a green that also said this water is freakin’ cold so if you think you’re going to stick your foot in here and then go home and tell everyone about wading in an Alberta river, you’re nuts.
I couldn’t help taking the mountain pictures… having grown up in the Adirondacks (NY), I was suprised to find how good it felt to be back among the mountains crowding around me like old friends, old quiet friends, old friends with stony tops that on our return trip to Calgary, their slate and shale peaks shone like snow in the full moonlight.
And then there was Banff…
Imagined conversation between me and HM:
ME: I could live here.
HM: No, you couldn’t. It’s too isolated.
ME: Yes, I could. It’s gorgeous. I’d own a bookstore.
HM: You’re an urbanite. And it’s cold here.
ME: I love all their winter fashion stuff. And being outdoors.
HM: On the second or third day of below-freezing weather and no couture shops and sliding into a reindeer in your car and deciding that the best part of skiing is the brandy in the lodge bar, you just might want out.
HM: I’ll take you there on vacation. We’ll stay at the Banff Springs Hotel…how’s that?
I’d like to thank Canada for showing me a really good time. Yes, yes, I was there on business and put in 2.5 days, starting at 8 a.m. and finishing (on the whole days) at 6:30 p.m., working full tilt. (The third day was a hyrbrid: work the morning, then get to the airport to fly home.) So I did work. A lot.
But because of its lovely arrangement with the universe, the sun doesn’t go down in Alberta ’til about 10:15 p.m. OMG!!! So much time to recreate even after staying late at work!!! So we changed from pumps into tennies, grabbed jackets and drove out into the moutains both evenings; the first evening, Bragg Creek and Elbow Falls, and on the second evening, Banff was our destination.
With all the natural wonder and the awesome factor in terms of the people and the surroundings and the moderness and the ecological considerations and with the animals who showed up, cued as though in a Disney movie as we drove along – the elk, the moose, the black bear cub and the giant jackrabbits (what DO they eat?) and with everyone’s general affinity for fitness and walk-about (and Tim Horton’s), it was a tremendous view of a tiny bit of a huge country, eh?
And yet it’s always so nice to go home.