Friday, September 4, 2009

Banff and on to Waterton

Tuesday in Banff was a banner day. Our mountain cabin provided all one needed and Sally and Bob joined us for the day...and led us to spots we never would have seen...a hike towards Stewart Canyon, a visit to the Whyte Museum which traces the impact of the Luxton family on Banff's growth...(Norman recovered and settled in Banff after traveling towards Australia in a dugout canoe retrofitted to sail. Overboard in Fiji Coral Reefs sent him back to Banff to recover from coral poisoning...but the diaries and photos are so conversational that 'years between' his arrival disappear. In the evening, we shared a 'blackout dinner' at a hostel bistro where a thunderous lightning storm had cut the power.

In the morning we headed across prairies south to Waterton and Glacier National Park. We were happy to secure a campsite with mountain vistas, lapping waterfalls, and close by grazing deers. A candlelight supper and full moon created perfect 'tenting' conditions.

Thursday morning, we were up early for coffee and 'internet' and booking an afternoon cruise down the 7 mile lake. At one, we boarded, and enjoyed the dramatic scenery of the international Peace Park as we crossed the border between Canada and the United States.

A quick visit to the Prince of Wales Hotel - at the head of the lake - was cut short by threatening skies. We scurried back to the campsite to find skies clearing and our tent site secure. It was time for a 'cuppa' in our folding aluminum chairs in perfect weather conditions..

Without warning, a fierce wind blew down the lake, whipped off the tent stakes and sent the tent, all of its contents including the air mattress, Eric and his chair 50 feet up and foward. Helen was dashed to the side. Fortunately, the 'flight path' was clear but Eric landed elbow, chest and knee down onto a cement slab. Wonderful Canadians rushed out of their 'rigs' to help us.

Time was definitely needed for the McFs to 'figure out' what happened. Eric was badly dazed and stunned and yet somehow recognized the next steps...strike the tent, find a motel and regroup. As he went to find night's lodging, Canadian 'angels' helped Helen find, clear, and repack the airborne contents. Such instant rescue verified the full power of caring. A 'very bruised but not broken' diagnosis by the local EMTs cheered our spirits.

In the morning, we returned to thank these good folk before heading to the US border. The day's drive through Glacier National Park was picture perfect. Colored stones glistened in mountain streams as peak after peak rose by dramatically.

Our day ended in Kalispell, longer tenting and tucked into a Travel Lodge. We are very blessed and grateful to be here.

1 comment:

  1. Gee wiz - that "little flight" Eric, could have been really dangerous. Tents etc can be fixed/ replaced but bodies can't. Lucky you didn't hit your head. Are they little moose between the tent, you and the car Helen? The country-side sounds idyllic - at least I'm there in the GPS system!!