285. I saw grizzly bears today. Mom (Bear 64) and three cubs. They were grazing the dandelion meadow beside Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy. 1A) between Johnston Canyon and Banff Town (on the way back from Lake Louise).
Every visit to the unparalleled Canadian Rockies and World Heritage Site, Banff National Park, I am healed. The muscle of the mountains, the changing moods of the covering cloud, the diamond jubilee dancing on pristine water, the wary and evasive wildlife... all of it a testament to beauty and a restoration of hope. There are many gifts to number.
The drive out was shrouded with cloud and pounding rain. 286. We camped with our little dog and small trailer at Tunnel Mountain but it rained most of the weekend. 287. We visited with good friends, Joyce and Sam Hewson, who tented at Two Jack Lakeside (is there a more breathtaking camping spot? I think not) and they built great fires despite the rain so all was well.
Yet after another long night of pounding rain keeping me from sleep, I suggested we drive to Lake Louise. The rain was steady but light and lifted just as we reached the lake. Always beautiful, but shrouded in cloud, we couldn't see the heights of the mountains. Yet 288. the lake always charms and 289. the cafe makes astonishingly great lattes.
It was the drive back from Lake Louise that charmed me most. Brent wanted to read the Sunday Sun so I drove, and 290. chose the path less traveled: the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A). After stopping briefly to 291. photograph two bull elk, a passing pro photographer whispered, "There are some grizzly bears just down the road, they're a lot more interesting than this." And so they were.
Brent took the wheel after the bear encounter and we returned to our campsite to pack up and head home. 292. Cascade Mountain was still hiding its head under a cover of white fur, but the blue sky and persistent sun made it joyful.
As we headed home, 293. Brent looked at me. "I was getting really tired of the rain and so impatient. I would have rather just packed up and gone home, but when I see the joy you get from the mountains, I love that. It really feeds your soul." 294. I'm so grateful he noticed. And appreciates it.
Yes, Brent it feeds my soul. Yes, yes, it does.