The road trip continued to Banff. One off my bucket list.
We were continually ready and waiting for a big wildlife moment and heard Emily scream ‘A Bear! A Bear! there on the left’ There it was – our bear. A quick zoom round on the highway – me scrambling to switch lenses on my camera and position.
My adrenaline through the roof.
‘Shhhhh. Quiet kids, don’t scare it. Drive closer Phil…no… closer’
10 feet away I snapped our bear feasting on berries even giving me eye contact at one point. I was like a hunter with a camera. I prefer shooting this way.
We journeyed on to Banff retelling our bear story with great excitement. Beautiful Banff, named after the Scottish town of Banffshire – surrounded by mountains – Sulphur, Cascade, Rundle and Norquay.
Waterfalls, calm lakes, rushing rivers, horse rides, buzz and shopping all in one pretty package. We enjoyed a browse in downtown Banff with its beautiful backdrop, exploring the candy shops and endless souvenir shops. I found myself drawn into them – feather ornaments, hoodoo statues and all things bear. I even considered a 20 action pocket knife with my name intricately carved – I didn’t succumb as I wasn’t sure I needed one in Kelowna.
I did see the same knife with the name ‘Jesus’- I’m sure He could have used one in His line of work.
I bought a flake instead, all the way from Cadburys, Bourneville.
We visited the visitor’s centre where Emily showed the member of staff our bear pics.
‘Whoa guys you got close up to a Grizzly!’
‘A Grrr…whatly’ I said
‘Yep – you can see by its claws’
There goes my adrenaline again. Mama bear this time.
One of my favorite pics was this one below
Shortly after this sign we stopped to check out some small falls. We strolled down and joined others in the ‘fall phenomenon’.
Who were the others? The family with matching new holiday white shirts, shoes and teeth. The hippy family, a myriad of colors and the teen with black hair, eyes, a couple of ear stretchers through which I could probably observe the falls and visible underwear. I think he belonged to the white family.
I looked at him as if to say – yeah I’m cool too, look at me, can you tell I’m a youth worker?
Then it happened, we seemed to step into a subconscious orderly line to observe the falls. A hypnotic trance descended as we stared at the crashing water – the rage and the noise drawing us in.
Imagining what it would like to jump in.
The moment ended and we acknowledged our silent goodbyes.
Except for the teen who voiced ‘that was freakin’ awesome’.
You couldn’t write it could you?
Our other wild friends were these…
All the normal holiday activity too… kayaking, fishing, arguing, splinters, band aids, late nights, excess carbs, reading, movies, ‘are we there yet’ and a certain child wired on wifi.
Not forgetting the never ending
‘How much spending money do I have left’? And that’s just me!
I am so thankful to God for family and life on this often Rocky Road.