Beguiling Blue Louise Aug29

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Beguiling Blue Louise

My soul is definitely the parent, patiently and lovingly trying to raise my loud, strong-willed, wiggly kid-brain and me. But when we’re in the big cities, I think Soul packs up her stuff and heads off to some quiet place, leaving rowdy-pants up in the noggin with completely free reign. It’s almost like she knows it’s a waste of time to try to impart any life wisdom or lessons in that environment, so she just lets us play. She doesn’t come out again until we’ve hit that place along the drive where the cars have finally thinned out and mountains have replaced the sky-scrapers.

She saunters back in, smiles a serene, quiet hello at us while we watch her calmly set her things out again, my brain and I. Then when Brain starts jumping around and yelling, “Hey, you’re back! Guess what we did?!”, Soul puts a finger up to her lips. “Shh. We’re in nature now. It’s time to use our nature voices.” And I am relieved that she is there and once again in charge.

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I did literally chant “wilderness, wilderness, here we come” as we were driving out of Vancouver and through that horrible traffic jam toward Glacier National Park. From the minute we arrived at the base of the Canadian Rockies, those towering, grey beauties, I couldn’t get the smile off my face. It took several attempts to get the RV level that day, but I just smiled the entire time, irritation bouncing helplessly off my happiness force-field. It’s very clear to me that I am best out in places where trees outnumber people and silence is the norm, embellished mostly by bird tweets or rushing water sounds. There’s a balance there that I don’t find inside myself in other places. I do however, need to work on a peace-treaty with the bugs. Surely we can find a way to live together more harmoniously.

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Our 2 days of hiking alone under the glaciers in Canada did wonders to reset us both, even though it rained the whole time. It’s always a little hard to swallow the snarky thoughts that pop into our minds when the most beautiful weather happens on the day we’re leaving a place. Luckily, the day we leave is also the day we arrive somewhere new, so there actually is always a silver-lining.

We were headed east toward Canmore and Banff with visions of Lake Louise and soaking in a hot spring dancing in our heads. Not only that, but for the next 4 nights we were going to stay at a Worldmark resort again, this time in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, and Ann and Jen were flying in to go to the Calgary Stampede with us. So much to be excited about we could hardly contain ourselves.

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Lakes Louise and Morain were on our way to Canmore, about an hour from our resort, so we got an early start on the drive that day to be sure to give ourselves plenty of time to stop and visit them that afternoon. We found a side road in town with a generous and level, dirt shoulder to park Lucy on, unhitched the car and took off, climbing straight up the seriously steep road toward the famous icy blue water. At the top, the parking lot was so overflowing with cars we thought we might have to drive back out and park a mile down the hill, but instead we snuck into an area that was technically just for buses – a drive through. There was room, in the grass, off to the side of the narrow throughway, where one other car was parked already. Allison’s P.H.D. in Parkology interpreted the absence of signs as an indication that all was clear. She is an expert, after all, in creative parking.

We walked our way through all the parked cars and out toward the path to the big fancy hotel, The Fairmont Chateau. We could see the tops of the mountains ahead as we walked, but it wasn’t until after we passed the grand circular hotel entrance that we caught our first glimpse of the lake. People swarmed everywhere and a din of voices buzzed in our ears, but for a brief moment, a cone of silent awe dropped down around Ali and I. That impossible blue color framed by it’s tall green and gray slopes, it was a POW of beauty and it brought little tears to my eyes. Then a group of loud tourists walked right in front of us and snapped us out of our revery.

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We merged ourselves into the flow of walkers that were making the easy flat hike out to the end of the lake. After we’d been out and back along the shore, I really wanted to rent a canoe and paddle around, but they were charging an arm and a leg and we’d already spent both of Ali’s arms and one of my legs in Vancouver and Victoria. Instead we wandered through the big fancy hotel lobby and shops and then watched all the people as we ate our packed lunch on a bench.

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Lake Morain, just down the road and up another steep hill, was a lot less crowded and almost more beautiful. Maybe it was the late afternoon sunlight that romanced the blue and green and grey into the more sultry, sexy versions of themselves.

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We sat down on one of the many logs that had jammed up against the neck of the lake and attempted to take a “selfie” as they are referred to these days – the hold your camera out at arms length and shoot back at yourself photo. We’ve done a lot of those on this trip. It’s actually really refreshing to be able to see what your face is doing as the photo is about to be snapped, but even that power isn’t strong enough to completely ward off the inevitable “bad” shot.

We’ve taken and deleted so many photos of ourselves in the last 6 months, it’s absolutely ridiculous. I live a life almost devoid of looking in mirrors now, but it’s been replaced by a camera lens and the semi-permanence of a blog. Imagine what it’s like to be photographed an average of 5 times a day, every day, for a year, a year in which you have limited wardrobe and you shower infrequently. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m approaching that age where I care less and less each day what people think about what I look like. I’m just happy – plain, smelly, snarly hair in hat, happy!

It was one more incredible day, at an incredible place, in our incredible lives.

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