Canadian kids have it so easy. They only have to remember eight states instead of fifty. In addition, they don’t have to change clothes because it is always freezing, too cold to consider disrobing.
Pi, too cold for comfort
We learned this when we crossed the northern border last week. As a courteous Canadian officer checked our passports, the temperature must have dropped 30 degrees. He told us, “Welcome to chilly, Trump-free, Canada. Why not kick off your visit with a dip in one of our hot springs!”.
We did and for the next week we enjoyed everything north of Idaho. I especially liked the exotic names like “Kootenay” and “Yoho” National Parks. “Banff”, with its groovy double f’s, was so Aspen and we didn’t bother getting out of the car. We didn't need cowboy boots, turquoise jewelry, or salt water taffy.
We were seeking rugged wilderness as I am married a former Campfire Girl.
Francesca is happiest clambering over boulders in pursuit of a mountain’s apex. I reluctantly follow as she added something in our marriage vows that require it.
On these hikes Francesca points out poisonous plants and after a while they all seem deadly. I tell myself, “Don’t touch anything green”.
Long ago I learned I prefer "walks" over hikes. They are on smooth, level ground and by the time you've circled the block, you're done.
But now we were in the America's Alps. The snow-topped peaks begged to be conquered. So, we ambled up we endless stairs of jagged rocks and loose boulders. Even though rock slide warnings littered out path, we would continue until I would utter, Okay, that's enough for me!". At night, we camped.
In “Illecillewaet” we experienced the perfect setting. It was clean, surrounded by huge Christmas trees, and had a stony brook babbling by.
One night, after a cooking salmon on the fire, our neighbor, John of Saskatchewan (one of the 8 states), joined us for what he called a “hootenanny”. He played guitar as we joined in with ukuleles. Fortunately for our neighbors, the brook babbled loud enough to cover us up.
In the morning we hiked up a trail that lead to this glacier.
After half of the journey I was too pooped to continue. Still, craning my neck, I could see a blue chunk of ice that seemed thirty-feet thick. Wondrous it was, and, we even better, we did not encounter “Bear #50”, the grizzly said to be lurking in the area.
Returning to our campsite we joked about the stoner van parked next to us with bad graphics. On the front hood was a huge, ugly hand and covering the back in large letters, “You Don’t Know Who Your Friends Are Until You’ve Been Put in Jail”.
Hmm. Francesca and I thought there must be easier ways to assess friendships.
The next morning, a storm blew through and since I am allergic to hail and this was the perfect campsite, we took refuge in the log cabin across the brook.
The howling Canadian wind snapped a fifty-foot Christmas tree crunching our neighbor’s stoner van. I told my wife, “After they replace the windshield they should change their back-door message to 'You Don’t Know Who Your Friends Are Until a Tree Falls On You' ”.
Thankfully no one was hurt and from the smell emanating from their campsite earlier, they had enough ganja to get them through this'n. Our van had enough buy-it-by-the-liter Canadian gas to keep us moving so we continued west.
Vancouver was calling.