So This is What Happens
© 2018 KLarson
So This is What Happens
© 2018 KLarson
Aargh! They are forecasting snow flurries for today!
It’s too soon, I say, too soon!
Ah, well, it was bound to happen. We do live in the frozen god-damned North after all.
I’ll just try and remember the beautiful summer we had and the absolutely stunning month of September. Nothing to complain about there, that’s for sure. But still, snow? On October 10th? It’s just not fair.
This is going to be a quick ramble about the past couple of weeks. We celebrated our 33rd anniversary on Sept. 29th and spent a wonderful, somewhat leisurely weekend at home. Tim bought me some beautiful roses and we went for dinner at what was once one of my favorite restaurants, The Creperie. Sadly, it was not as good as I remembered it being. In fact, the whole meal was a complete let-down. The place is old, an institution, really, but whereas some institutions have worked hard to cultivate and maintain that specialty of feeling that goes along with such a designation The Creperie has merely stagnated.
The decor is too worn and frayed to be considered quaint or antiquated; poor Tim was nearly crippled by the time they got around to bringing him a chair that had even a tiny bit of support. The tables are too small and wobbly — every time the waiter brought something to the table I had to lift my wine glass for fear of it winding up in my lap.
The food was barely mediocre — our parmesan crisps (cut up crepes deep-fried and then dusted with garlic and parmesan) were a soggy, oily mess — inedible. My chicken cordon bleu was overcooked bordering on burnt, the vegetables were cold and the ‘new’ potatoes were anything but. Tim said his crepes were fine, but nothing remarkable. Dessert was a let-down as well. Pre-frozen then thawed ice-cream filled crepes doused with store-bought chocolate and raspberry sauces.
The service was adequate, but not what I’d consider attentive. When we mentioned the inedible crisps the response we got was, “yes, it’s a always a mixed bag when you order those”. Wtf? But, I had promised Tim I wouldn’t make a fuss seeing as it was our anniversary, so I just told the waiter to take them away. Then, when we mentioned that Tim’s back was killing him because of the horrible chair he was sitting in and that we would like a replacement, he said he’d see what he could do. Well, his stellar efforts brought Tim a chair just as we were eating dessert.
I have every intention of writing to the management of The Creperie to let them know of our horrible evening, but I’m terrified if I do they’ll offer us a coupon or something to return and I just don’t think I could.
On to better experiences. . .
We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada last weekend. We had our three grandchildren for most of the weekend and that was a blessing. It was tons of fun — just the medicine I needed. Prior to that I had been feeling kind of down in the dumps — I think it’s the changing of the seasons. But with their boundless energy surrounding me I couldn’t help but be lifted out of my funk.
Monday, we went over to my son and daughter-in-law’s new home here in Bon Accord and had a lovely Thanksgiving meal. It was simple, delicious food — roast chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, gravy and stuffing. Followed by pumpkin tarts and apple crisp — which I supplied. Grandma always does dessert!
After we got home I decided to go out for a quick walk to help settle my tummy and I realized as I walked just how great my life really is. I had spent a great deal of time earlier in the day talking to my parents and my siblings and that was a joy. I got to spend precious time with my son and his family, I didn’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner, my husband finally finished our deck, I have a lovely, comfy home in a small, quiet town where I can safely go out for a walk in the darkening evening. And, to top it all off as I strolled about the streets of Bon Accord the northern lights came out to play.
It was a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend.
. . . and what a beautiful weekend it was!
Tim and I took off to Miette for our anniversary. This trip has become something of a tradition with us. This is year 3. The weather was gorgeous and the hot springs just the thing we needed to soak our cares away.
We got in around 7:30 Friday night and immediately headed up to the hot springs. We sat and relaxed til they kicked everyone out at 9. Then we went back and I made us a late snack. We sat outside enjoying the cool mountain air and had a glass of wine (me) and a beer (him). Lovely.
Saturday we slept in a bit then had a hearty breakfast I cooked in a hurry. Then, we packed up a light lunch and headed off to Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Wings Glacier. We took a short trip down to Lake Edith where I took a few pictures of the lake and some fungi. A very beautiful spot. Have driven by there numerous times, am glad we took the time to explore it.
Up at the parking lot I was surprised to see a crowded lot. Apparently many others had the same idea we did to enjoy what could be the last nice weekend in the mountains. We donned our hiking boots, I slung my camera over my neck and Tim packed along his book, some writing paper and a bottle of water. I told him he wouldn’t have an opportunity to read or make notes, but he insisted. (Didn’t turn a page or scribble one single note — hah!)
We decided to just to the glacier loop trail, rather than try going up to the meadows. Good thing. The way we dawdled along we’d have been up there in the dark. We had a great time scrabbling over rock and getting close to the glacier pond’s edge. Very beautiful, but very cold. Then we decided to head up to the ice cave, which is hollowed out at the toe of what used to be the tail end of the angel’s body. Over time the glacier has separated so that now the wings hover far above the ‘body’ or toe.
It’s quite spectacular to get up close to the cave and I had wanted to get some interior shots, but when we heard cracking and rocks falling inside we thought we’d better get the hell out of there. Others actually went inside, but I think that’s tempting fate just a little too much. Adventurous I am, fool-hardy I am not.
We spent a lovely afternoon there at the glacier, taking pictures, talking, just hanging out together. We don’t often get to do that. Yes, we spend lots of time together, but never just relaxing time. Later, when we meandered back down to the parking lot, we drove a short distance to where there were some picnic tables in a stream bed. It was very chilly, but a lovely spot. We opened our cooler and had a hearty meal of ham sausage, cheese bread and raw veggies. All washed down with a nice cold beer. I could have sat there until the sun went down, but we had plans to go soak our weary feet in the hot springs again.
This morning, we were up at 5:30 because I wanted to see if I could get some mountain sunrise shots. This is when I discovered I’d forgotten my tripod. Doh! Decided to go anyway. So off we set in the pitch dark to find the spot I’d pegged as being a good bet for some morning pictures. We got there about 6 a.m. only to find a camper parked on the side. Well, tough, I said. It’s a free country and they shouldn’t be there, anyway.
We marvelled at the beauty of the sky and the unbelievable multitude of stars overhead. With all the light pollution in and around Edmonton, we never get to see the kind of sky we saw this morning. Gradually, very gradually the horizon began to lighten. I was beginning to despair that, in the mountains, sunrise would not be the glorious spectacle that it is on the prairie, and to some degree, I was right. But, when the sky began to turn pink and the opposing mountains to glow warm in the emerging sun’s fiery light, I smiled deeply and was glad I was there to see it.
It’s an embarrassing admission on my part to say that in all the years I’ve been going to the mountains I have never once been up early enough to see the sun rise. Isn’t that sad? But, then, I think, at least I’ve made the effort now. And, now that I’ve seen how glorious it is, I will be sure to do it again.
By the time I got my few shots of Ashlar Ridge (most of them blurry) Tim and I were thoroughly chilled. He had wrapped himself in a blanket and was standing behind me trying to keep me as warm as he could. I had thin gloves on to keep my fingers from freezing, but, by the time I had decided it wasn’t going to get any better I was shivering through and through. We hopped in the car and cranked up the heat. We had been up and out for two hours. Tim turned the car back towards the resort. As we drove along I noticed through the trees that the sky had turned to fire. I pointed out a small pull out on the east side of the road and Tim obliged.
This is where I took the really distinct shots of the sunrise. Again, cursing myself for forgetting the tripod, I stood and shot until my knees were knocking. Then, back to the car, back to the resort, back to our room and a warm bed. We had to throw on extra blankets and we huddled together as though we’d never be warm again, but eventually, we fell back asleep.
Awake again at 9:30 we packed up our belongings, loaded the car and then went for breakfast in the small restaurant attached to the resort. This resort was built in 1938, and you can tell that not much has changed since it was first established. It is not ‘fancy’, definitely not 5 star, but it is extremely popular. Many of the guests who come at the time of year Tim and I have chosen to come have been coming to the Miette Resort for over 20 years. Some, I believe, much longer than that.
It is a homey, friendly, clean and well-kept little place. The hot springs are a mere 3-minute walk from the door of your room, and, best of all, it’s quiet. There are no stores, no streets, no traffic — nothing but fresh air and trees and sky and mountains. We’ve already planned our trip for next year. Only next year, if the weather is good, we’re going up on the motorcycle. That will be truly wonderful.
The trip home was a quiet ride. It’s always tough to leave a fantasy and go back to the reality of home and work. But we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the golds of the poplars and aspens, the near-black of the pines interspersed throughout. The highway was busy — everyone heading home after what was probably their last camping trip or their weekend in the Rockies.
There is one particular mountain that I love to look at as we leave the park. I don’t know the name of it, but it is an amazing formation. And I always marvel that at one time what I am looking up at in wonder and awe was the bottom of an ocean floor. In a way that I can’t explain that knowledge always puts life in to perspective for me. What we have in this life is truly beautiful, truly blessed. And I am grateful.