One of my all-time favourite stories is Eudora Welty's "Why I live in the P.O."
This story isn't THAT, though as soon as I wrote "why you should visit Jasper, Alberta" Eudora's voice sprang to mind, which makes absolutely no sense, since I was in mid-Alberta in the heart of mountain country and Eudora was in the South.
And I was visiting my brother, who is quite a charming and affable fellow, while Eudora's relatives were less so. However, I have long suspected that I have Sister-like tendencies and have made a mental note to be better about that....
Then I worried that perhaps we were those contrary relatives come to stay and shook that off because A) we brought liquor and a gift;
B) we took them to dinner twice; and
C) it was us after all and we are a good time except when I can't figure something out on the iPad and refuse to let Barry help me because I want to learn myself.
Now that I have settled that all parties (vistors and visitees) behaved admirably, I must say that this was one of my best trips ever.
I have been through the mountains before. But never have I had such a good time, seen so much or been hosted by better people than my brother Patrick, his wife Nancy and my niece and nephew who ought to be poster children for having children.
My brother took two fulls days off work, which was much appreciated and squired us hither and yon.
My nephew gave up his bed.
My sister-in-law ate and drank and entertained us and my niece was feisty and impressive.
Wilma the dog was stoic, except when she wasn't.
We won't dwell on her unfortunate incident with Barry's jacket, but it does seem to have bonded him to her forever...
After arriving in a hideous blizzard (which seemed more hideous given that we had left behind 80 degree weather), some treacherous morning driving to Banff and my unnatural ability to make strange sounds whilst traversing hairpin mountain turns, we arrived in Jasper at supper time, just in time to attend Meet the Teacher Night at my nephew's brand-spanking-new high school. New Brunsickers: it is sad to visit a school in a "have" province. To say I was jealous would be an understatement. Sigh...
After a wonderful meal at a great local restaurant, Evil Dave's, we went to bed, exhausted. Good thing, too as the next day we would be adventuring!
First Stop: Mount Edith Cavell.
The Coles (actually, Wikipedia) Notes on Miss Edith:
Edith Louisa Cavell (//; 4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgiumduring the First World War, for which she was arrested. She was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage.
She is well known for her statement that "patriotism is not enough". Her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers. She was quoted as saying, "I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved." 12 October is appointed for her commemoration in the Anglican church, although this is not a "saint's feast day" in the traditional sense.
Edith Cavell, who was 49 at the time of her execution, was already notable as a pioneer of modern nursing in Belgium.
The Edith Cavell we saw:
|That's a glacier winding its way down the mountain on the right. |
A few months ago, a large piece fell off and changed the landscape below and washed out a large area.
I watched it VERY carefully....
|Me following my brother and Wilma the wonder dog up the mountain.|
It was so cold and you can see I am well bundled!
|The tip of the glacier coming down to the glacier lake below.|
Those massive ridges below were caused by the piece that fell.
|Looking back behind us to other peaks...|
|My brother and I. Good looking chap, huh?|
|Heading back down. It was STEEP!|
|Barry and I - trying to stay warm!|
|Me in front of a brook as we head down the mountain!|
|We stopped at the lake down below. |
This really helps you see how high up we were.
The peak is 3,300 metres high - over 10,000 feet
|The water is the most amazing green down below. |
None of my pictures do it justice.
None of the pictures I have ever seen do it justice!
On the way up towards the peak we passed a mother bear and two cubs. Barry shot a video of the two cubs, but hasn't quite figured out how to make it view-able except in the camera!
After we finished, we decided to head for lunch at a great little restaurant called Fomosa. I highly recommend the Verde Pizza, the wine, and the vanilla gelato.
Next: Wendy and Barry reach new heights and though they are thrilled, are very afraid... Okay - Wendy is a little afraid...
Those who hate travelogues, feel free to pour yourself a drink and wait till about Sunday....
Happy to be home, but missing the mountains! xoxo wendy