To wake one morning finally and have a reasonable workload, deadlines met, and still looming, a job still hunted for … but for today … to know what today requires and know I can accomplish these things.
And have even an hour, amidst the tasks, to enjoy beauty, and the creation of and sharing of where life has taken me and us, unexpected and delightful.
Perhaps the hour really is not mine to claim, but that will only be known later so for now the joy of life relived.
On a week to a conference, prohibited from attending by a lay-pastor full of spite, I relaxed in the mountain views out the door, and the joy of working … for it was too cold to ski Sunshine, a gift from a friend and a life-long love of mine. I never was ever too keen on skiing when the valley temperatures are below -30C. Somehow pain and frost bite just take the joy out of gliding free down across and through the snow on telemarks skis.
So I was inside, though able to see beauty each day.
Bleeping Cold Steam Rising From Frigid Flowing Water
The day we left the conference the temperatures went wildly warm, up to just below zero and then above.
The big snow fall sat on slopes barely intact and the helicopters flew to bomb the snow loose before nature decided to pack it all at once down on top of the valley inhabitants or wanderers. As if back in Fort Ripley with the constant bombing and shelling practice shaking the earth with loud ominous thunder echoing across the clouds invisible.
When a day later we headed north to traverse the icefields and dry camp at the new un-serviced Whirlpool campground we knew the road likely would be closed from 11 to 17 for three hours, yes the math is off, for snow bombing (avalanche control).
The previous and falling snow made a quiet wonderland, traversable still, though just deep enough.
We pulled off to breathe, and to take photos, and to marvel.
The trees held the snow, on the steep slopes off the roadway.
To no surprise then the flashing signs at Lake Louise, and the barricade closed at the Saskatchewan River Crossing. The surprise was that at that rather major junction there is a summer only hotel and service station, with fuel and everything else … in even the telephone line to the pay phone is disconnected and dormant for the winter. And that I checked by walking through the deep snow because for miles (okay Canadian Kilometers with a long o J) there is absolutely NOOOO cell service. So we had no updates and no way to notify friends and family that we’d decided to simply wait for the road to open.
Cloud draped Mountains around the Barricade Closed
We tried driving into a trailhead parking lot, but the snow was too deep and the truck simply not high enough nor powerful enough with enough traction to pull through all the snow up to mid axel. It bogged down and I stopped, and shovelled, and shovelled and shovelled and … finally it did not just spin in place but backed out.
Stuck it had serendipitously leveled the trailer to so close to perfect, that considering our options, we just shoveled some more and put the camper right back where it had been stuck, though now with ample area around to walk and service everything needed should we stay overnight and now after 1700 it looked like that was going to be necessary.
Dry, private camping, waiting
And it was. And there was no news even as a few trucks arrived, trying to get to Prince George, unaware of the closed road.
We finally met a park ranger returning from the far side of the barricade. The news was they’d closed the road at 11 ish, and at 12 ish the day before an avalanche had crossed the road. A path was punched through the snow and debris, but the helicopter snow bombers could not fly because of the high winds and the forecast did not make that likely for another few days, Monday at the earliest.
So we settled in not wondering if or when, because by Monday I needed to be home in Cold Lake.
Where the snow had fallen and was melting warmly into the ground, in drops by drops even off the deck railing out my door.
And we sort of celebrated Valentine’s Day, early in the mountains and late at home with roses.
Now faded in the late stages of colour and life.