Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Canadian Rockies blog # 7

"Then sings my soul..."

I'm reminded of the old song the Fishermen recorded, 

     "I've been on the mountain, I've seen the other side;
       I've been on the mountain, And my soul is satisfied."

   If a prolonged and overwhelming view of the Canadian Rockies doesn't do something to bring satisfaction to your soul you are possibly in deep need. You are right, Don. Those babies are truly awesome.  Way beyond impressive.

   It was a very cold and rainy morning  on Wednesday, the 21st, as we prepared to exit St. Mary and head up into Canada. The "Going-to-the-Sun" road will have to wait for another time. It is not expected to be all plowed and ready for tourists until around the first of July. While pumping gas, Charlotte, the lady who exercised oversight of the whole corner there( Lodge, restaurant, misc. stores, major gift shops, etc), came out to read the pumps. As we talked she
strongly urged that we have vehicle registrations with us as well as all other important documents for the border crossing. All the other stuff we had in hand. Registrations? Home in the desk. Somehow I had just missed them. Cell phones don't work in St Mary. Thought I'd use the phone card at the booth in front of the grocery store. Dead! The lady inside was kind enough to let me use that one to call the Boyle county courthouse in Danville. Very helpful people all around. Ten minutes later the faxes were in Charlotte's office. I picked up a cappuccino for sweet Lynda, who had been waiting all this time while I took care of business. It was a bit expensive but she's worth it. We drove north.

   The young buck at the border had the personality of a decaying cypress stump. However, he asked for neither the registrations nor insurance cards. He did take Lynda's pepper spray, though. People our age and as mean looking as us shouldn't be walking around with such weapons.  Lynda's STILL a bit ticked about that.

   On up through farm country to Calgary. Filled up again at Flying J and drove over to Walmart. The rain never let up. Did a bit of shopping and hung out overnight. Having been without any horns since Minnesota, we decided to try to get them fixed. We were pointed toward Alberta Auto. They said "Yep, no problem." After spending a few hours at the mall we returned. All horns now worked. I'm guessing there must have been three or four guys on that job without a break for all those hours. The bill was...(none of your business). We may however, have to cut our trip about a week short.

   Went and parked at a different Walmart. Went and saw the latest "Indy" flick. I've always liked Dr. Jones. With our PJ's on and ready to call it a day, Security comes by and says we can't park there overnight. Two others got the boot too. We rolled across the street and parked in another lot together. It was still raining. Shades of Gene Kelly.

   Next morning we were out of Calgary early. Headed west over to Banff . It was raining and cloudy and foggy. Almost there, we pulled off to the side and looked up in awe. Can mountains really be THAT high? Secured a nice campsite and drove down to the old monster l888 hotel that we've all seen pictures of all of our lives. Jersey Cow!!! What a building. Truly a wonderful sight to see. We enjoyed it all.

   Later Saturday , we went for dinner at a nearby lodge. Ambience all over the place. High end menu, good waiter and all that stuff and fluff. There goes a couple more days of the trip. But of course as I've said before, " The little woman is worth it." You men reading this, nod your heads in agreement.

   Sunday we drove up to Lake Louise. We bent our knees and lifted our heads in reverent praise and thanksgiving to our Creator. What a setting. I've seen pictures many times but to see the reality is something else. There  is nothing like the Reality.

   The drive yesterday from Banff for nearly 200 miles up through Jasper and beyond defies
description. Saw many animals of course, including three black bears. High, high granite wonders. Almost too much for the human spirit to handle.

   Parked  with others at the IGA store in Hinton last night. One from Bowling Green, OH. We were on the road before 6am. The others were still sleeping. Stopped at the Alpine in Grande Cashe. The sign to route 43 in Grande Prairie points to the left and says, Alaska, even though Alaska is still a couple of thousand miles away.

   We are in Dawson Creek tonight. Milepost 0 is here. Got the oil changed. Cleaned 786 billion bugs off the front end of this rolling condo. Tomorrow we are on The Alaska Highway for about 300 miles to Ft. Nelson. Lynda will get back behind the wheel again tomorrow. We are in British Columbia and looking forward.

From Winston Churchill:

"...I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened."

   Lynda and I are not the only ones on this special journey. There are all sorts of RV's with folks doing the same thing.

   Love and blessings until next time.....Winston  & Lynda

P.S. Just finishing up the Girl Scout cookies, Sydney.  Next time we'll buy all Lemon. They are soooo good.


ar said...

What a great writer you are! I just found your blog today, but I went back and started reading from the beginning. I am really enjoying your blog, I can almost feel that I am in all those beautiful places that you have described.

We love the Canadian Rockies, and we hope to be back again and again, even after three vacations there we can't get enough of it. Your description of Banff and Lake Louise is what we had felt every time we have been there.
Thanks so much for sharing.
I wish you and Lynda the best of the best on the rest of your incredible vacation/adventure.

~ar in Southern California.

ps. I have been reading this blog, this nice couple is already in Alaska, you might want to take a look at their adventure when you have time.

Kristin said...

I love reading your blog grandpa. I'm so glad you are doing this so we can read about your trip!

I'm in Ohio now visiting my family. Daniel is doing well and the baby is still growing!

Lots of love,

Kristin :)

Winston said...

Your trip sounds wonderful! (I wish I was there!) I remember as a teenager listening to you sing "I've Been On the Mountain" at the Afterglow Youth Services.
Personality of a dead cypress stump? I almost fell out of bed laughing so hard! I'm enjoying living vicariously through your blog. Looking forward to the next installment.
As far as the farm goes, Joshua has completely taken over running the place. He's ready for me to leave for Kazakhstan, and I can go ahead and go knowing that the farm is in good hands.
We put up our first hay. Miss having you on the tractor, Dad.
Love and miss you both... Evans

Teresa said...

Wow, guys, you're quite the popular bloggers! And to think I help you get your start... ahhh. :)

I've told a few of my friends to read it, you'll probably have more readers than you ever dreamed of!

I have much to tell you about the adoption, I'll write you an email so I'm not divulging information that is not 'public' yet.

Love you both!


Michelle W. said...

Speaking of Louis L'amour and Winston Churchill, Winston and Lynda Pike are impressive authors too!
The Tetons and Canadian Rockies are now on my Must See List, thanks to you. I did climb Snow Mass Mt. in the Colorado Rockies and ski Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana, but your narrative is making me yearn for a northern trek!
The comments are a nice update too. Imagine Josh running the farm! In my mind, he's still breaking teenage hearts in Green.
Thanks for sharing. "...each generation needs that, the dream of some far-off place to go." A very hardy Amen to that!