RSS Feed

Tag Archives: athabasca falls

The Real Work

I was laid up for the last few days. I have allergies and this time of the year is always a challenge. I think I picked up a bug to give me a double-whammy. I slept a good part of Friday and Saturday and, on Sunday, was upright for most of the day.

I am not sure if I will post later. While sitting upright and not doing much else on Sunday, this Wendell Berry poem kept poking at me.

Living is paradoxical. Parker Palmer described how this creates tension in living. Just as we think everything is as it should be, something pokes at us and unsettles us, calling on us to begin our real work and commencing the real journey. Being mindful and attentive remind us to be still and look below the surface of what is happening.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

This is Athabasca Falls. The river upstream is quite wide and as it comes around the corner suddenly narrows. In Wendell Berry’s poem, it is impeded and creates a great force that carves out solid granite.

Athabasca Falls August 2012

I posted before about Athabasca Falls, but Kathy and I were there this summer and I thought I would share new pictures.

This is a view looking up river. The river is fairly wide and narrows rapidly at the gorge.

This is a view of the falls plunging into the gorge. According to the signs, the falls create, and recreate their path through the gorge constantly.

Kathy took this from the foot bridge which spans the gorge. I walked across which is a first for me. There are hiking trails on that side of the river that work their way further up-stream.

Kathy took this picture from the bridge to show the rings the water grooved into the wall of the canyon. It is like an old washing machine down there.

We got much closer to the falls on this side of the bridge. I got a much stronger sense of the power of the falls through the sound and the way it shakes the ground on that side.

I walked down these steps which are an old channel for the river and the falls. The water carved a new path and abandoned this one.

Water, Snow, and Ice


countless gathering form one

majestic power

This is  a winter picture of La Chute (waterfall in English) Montmorency just outside Quebec City. At the base of the falls, around the open water, fly fishermen will be out during the summer. What you see a the top is a walkway across the falls and there is a tram just to the right of this picture. The St. Lawrence River is only a few hundred metres from the base of the falls.

Here is a second picture of the falls. When Kathy and I were determined to see these falls. The pictures do not do them justice, but, as you can tell even in winter, they are spectacular. While driving across Le Pont Pierre-Laporte my fear of heights kicked in when I realized how far above the St. Lawrence we were. I needed to be in the right lane, but there was no way I was getting that close to the edge and it took creative driving on the far side of the bridge to get to the falls.

This is Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park. You can see the Athabasca River in the background. Even in the park, it is a wide river at this point and it narrows quickly to shoot through the gorge. Kathy took this picture from the small wooden bridge that goes over the falls. You can just see the railing in the foreground. When you cross the bridge, you can walk up-stream along the river for several kilometres.

This is a slightly different view of the falls. The force of the water passing through the gorge has created a new stream bed. The water cut through solid granite. Below, you see one of the many mountains along Highway 93 between Jasper and  Banff.

This is a view of one of the many mountains along Highway 93 between Banff and Jasper and is not far from Athabasca Falls.

This is the Columbia Icefield looking back towards the source of the glacier and mountains. This is at the headwaters of the Athabasca River.

This is the Columbia River in Oregon. Although it is a spectacular view, I wonder what price we pay for progress:? Under that water, lies a spectacular river with rapids and waterfalls. Also hidden from view is a way of life of people who settled along this magnificent river. What a loss!

This was a small waterfall along the Continental Divide in Yellowstone.

%d bloggers like this: