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Published: June 28th 2019
Classic Lake Louise
Never tired of beauty enhanced by a red canoe
In the pouring rain we got on the Skrastins Club
bus destined for Lake Louise
. I was so shaken by the snowfall warning that I had provisional gear in case we were diverted because of bad trail conditions. Unexpectedly, the sky lightened after about half an hour, and encouraging spots of blue sky emerged after about an hour. Fresh snow twinkled from mountain tops, but nothing was on the ground. Rain ceased.
While all the other hikers trod off on their paths, Candace and I had planned a lazy start to a slow day of relaxation. The coffee at the deli in the Chateau Lake Louise
was mellow and rich, especially accompanied by a shared scone fill of finely chopped walnuts.
Unnecessarily fortified, we joined the hundreds of international tourists who were joyously photographing the light emerald lake, classically enhanced by paddlers in red canoes. Emphathetic excitement filled me as memories of my own "once in a lifetime" trips flooded through my vision of the familiar scene. I indulged in my favourite role of taking photos for one family group and for one couple, so they could later remember their time together in one of the earth's most beautiful locations.
Candace and I took photos of the towering mountains and the tiny mosses. Turning back towards the hotel and an indulgent lunch, we stopped to rest on a lake-side bench. Another woman graciously welcomed us to her spot, and we began chatting. In introducing ourselves, she revealed that she was Sister Helen Prejean
, author of the famous memoir, Dead Man Walking
, origin of the movie and an opera. She said her new book, River of Fire
, was about to be published, a "prequel" to Dead Man Walking. When I said I would read it, she told me to be prepared for a "roller-coaster of emotions". Swallowing our astonishment at meeting a person of world renown, we all made genuine conversation about the death penalty, the deleterious effects of poverty, world politics and the slow accomplishment of change. She extolled Canada both for our more open political system and for the beauty of the Rockies, as we each found inspiration in the calm waters and green environment in front of us. After about forty minutes, her three travel companions returned from their walk to claim her again for their lunch.
Now much too late for a luxurious, decadent lunch in the Fairview Room, Candace and I
returned to the deli for quicker items. That let us have a few minutes more for wandering on other paths where more mosses grew.
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