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Talk About Walking

When we were in Waterton Lakes National Park two summers ago, we were able to go down the big lake into Montana’s Glacier National Park and hike. As we got off the boat, we asked one of the guides where a good place to go would be. He asked where we wanted to go and I answered, “Just for a walk and see where it takes us.”

It would be difficult to get off the ‘beaten path as it is pretty rugged country. Despite this, I think some days it is nice just to wander and wonder where the day takes us. Philip Booth does a wonderful job reminding us there is so much outside these walls we think of as our life.

Where am I going? I’m going
out, out for a walk. I don’t
know where except outside.
Outside argument, out beyond
wallpapered walls, outside
wherever it is where nobody
ever imagines. Beyond where
computers circumvent emotion,
where somebody shorted specs
for rivets for airframes on
today’s flights. I’m taking off
on my own two feet. I’m going
to clear my head, to watch
mares’-tails instead of TV,
to listen to trees and silence,
to see if I can still breathe.
I’m going to be alone with
myself, to feel how it feels
to embrace what my feet
tell my head, what wind says
in my good ear. I mean to let
myself be embraced, to let go
feeling so centripetally old.
Do I know where I’m going?
I don’t. How long or far
I have no idea. No map. I
said I was going to take
a walk. When I’ll be back
I’m not going to say.

Glacier Wildlife

Kathy and I went through Glacier National Park in Montana on our way home. Kathy traveled the route on her way to Spokane. Americans seem to build mountain national parks around the geography which means we saw little wildlife, but we did see some we don’t in Canadian mountain parks. This was clear on the Going to the Sun Road where we saw mountain goats. When we travel through Canadian mountain parks, we see mountain sheep which come down into the valleys during the summer. Goats stay high up where it is cooler. Unless a person hikes the back country, Waterton Lakes National Park, which borders on Glacier, does not have the goats for people to see easily.

This one was on the patch of glacier on the side of the road where it was able to stay cool.

Goat 1

This one posed. You can see they are somewhat comfortable with humans being around, but I still think of them as wildlife. It almost looked a statue.

Goat 3

As we hiked, I came around a corner and this spring’s fawn was separated from its mother and twin. I don’t know who was more surprised: him/her or me. Initially, we were 4 or 5 feet apart. Kathy had her camera and got great pictures. The background is part of an amphitheater and the deer were grazing around it.

Deer 1

The doe and another fawn were across the amphitheater, but I had inadvertently blocked the path for the first fawn to rejoin them. They made a kind of whistling sound to each other and the doe never appeared overly concerned. She actually grazed on the trees and waited patiently.

Deer 2

The separated fawn took off along a path that was across the clearing.

Deer 3

The fawn re-appeared across the amphitheater and they went off. It seemed like it was all in day’s work for them.

Deer 5

Driftwood’s Wisdom

Kathy took this picture while we walked along Waterton Lake’s beach. She thought it would inspire me. I wondered what might emerge. Last night, I scribbled ideas into my journal about wisdom and its sources. I enjoy and enjoyed listening to stories told by my parents, Kathy’s parents, our grandparents about life in past generations, and many others I come in contact with each day.

Flotsam on the shore

Washed up and unusable

Life’s wisdom wasted.

Polished piece of wood

Fine tuned by life’s travails

Reveals the wisdom.

Life within a Panorama

 

 

Kathy took these panoramic pictures the first day we drove to Waterton. I often wonder about making sense of life without a fuller view. It is the stepping back that might allow the ‘hole in the whole’ to fade and show a panoramic view of life. Even at that, the life’s complexity  creates mystery of and allows the ‘holes to make sense in the whole.’

Life

Still shot

One image at a time

Parsed and fits my definition.

Life

A broad view

Weaves a web without design

Fuller, richer, yet indefinable.

Reflection

Quilts life whole

Bound together moment by moment

Paradox of ragged and seamless.

Shared

Without losing self

Bound together by our commonness

Adhere disparate parts into one.

Waterfalls! Waterfalls!

I disconnected yesterday as the Internet was unavailable. It was a dreary day, but we toured parts of the Crowsnest Pass. One stop was Lundbreck Falls. It is a stop you can easily miss, even though it is just off the main highway and visible from the secondary road. I liked it because I was able to get up, close and, personal. My fear of heights did not intervene too much.

This is a spectacular sight, but within 50 metres there is a pool at the base of the rock cliff where fly casting is possible.

Kathy took this shot from above the falls. I did not go on the overview platform.

Waterton has many waterfalls. Cameron Falls is on the outskirts of the town site and I was able to see it from below and climbed a bit to see it from above.

The red in the rock is from iron oxide deposits. The view below is from a stairway that goes up the hill along the falls.

Some waterfalls in Waterton are less accessible. Kathy took these pictures on the walk around Cameron Lake. The mountain, on the Montana side of the lake, is Mount Custer. It is named for a surveyor, Henry Custer, who worked in the area.

The source of the waterfalls is the snow pack on the mountain.

We hiked into Blakiston Falls which are bridal veil falls as they resemble a bride’s veil. I saw the falls from a distance and Kathy, the mountain goat she is, was able to get closer. This was my view and I was sitting on the ground.

Kathy took this picture from the platform almost directly above the falls.

Platform at bridal falls

The terror drains energy

View through others eyes.

Have a great August 3 wherever you are.

Another Day in Paradise

It was a less eventful day today with no bear sightings. We saw some deer late in the day, but they were in a hurry to get somewhere so did stop for pictures. What I have are some pictures of the natural beauty of Waterton Lakes National Park.

As we drove south from Pincher Creek, this is the view of the mountains before a person drives into them. The sign says, “Where prairie meets the mountains” and they do.


This was a similar view, without the bales, later the same day just before sunset.

And, if you give it a few minutes, this is what it looks like.

Sun embraces mountains

The sky in peaceful fury

Signals the day’s end.

This is the view from the beach at the town site of Mount Vimy. Can you imagine waking up to this every day? It would be pretty intense, but 88 people do everyday. According to Stats Can that is the official year round population of Waterton.

This is a view from the boat of the approach to the American side of Waterton Lake.

This is at Kootenai Lake which was at the end of our hike into Glacier National. The ramparts are spectacular.

Rise above it all

Magnificent natural ramparts

We feel safe below.

This is across Kootenai Lake. We waited but the moose did not show himself. He was there five minutes before we arrived.

At the end of the day, just before we left the town site, the moon appeared above Vimy.

Fair maiden appears

Light for evening’s journey

Keep us safe til morn.

Have a great August 1.

Waterton Lakes National Park Day 2

We are back from day 2 of our Waterton Lakes National Park adventures. Yesterday, I commented on International Peace Park that within reason animals are right there and pose for you.  We were unable to post our one bear sighting. Despite poor vision, bears hear very well our sighting was from the boat. As we moved closer, the bear heard us and headed for cover. We only took pictures of his rear end from a distance. Today we had two bear sightings.

This was our first sighting. This bear was about 100 metres away on a hillside as we left town. It is a fair-sized and is brown, but is likely a black bear and not a grizzly. What we could see of the snout and head does not look quite right and it is missing the hump on the back. Here is another view.

Grizzly bear are generally solitary and do not like humans around them where black bear are more likely to approach areas with humans around.

This sign is at the Cameron Lake trail and refers to the area beyond as a ‘grizzly’s garden’ and care is needed beyond this point.

Here is a haiku for grizzly bear we did not see, but we know is out there.

Grizzly’s home and garden

Tread gently and carefully

Grizzly habitat.

Our good fortune was not done. We spotted another black bear on another hillside on our way back from Red Rock Canyon. This one is younger and smaller and is definitely a black bear. I would guess it was born a year ago this past spring.

You can see the snout and the ‘piggy eyes’ of the bear. They are members of the same family as the pig. The ears stick up more and the grizzly would have ears that are ‘teddy bear like’ and stick out from the side of a very large head.

Not all animals we met were as intimidating.

This sheep was about 2 metres from the car and just looked up to have its picture taken.

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