I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain.
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line.
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.
Sometimes you need a little perspective. Recently, my family and I traveled to the Canadian Rockies to see the mountains and the wildlife, and to take some pictures.
In middle age, I had forgotten to take into account the altitude and the toll it would take on our bodies. So that was a bit of a shock to get used to…harder to breathe and exercise, less stamina. For people who normally live at 500 ft. sea level, a week at 5000 feet was a bit rough. It’s subtle however. You don’t really feel anything at first, it kind of sneaks up on you. And we spent a lot of time going up and down mountains as well, so we were much higher than 5000 feet at many times.
But the thing that stayed with me the most was the lovely quiet. Standing at the top of a mountain, I had a moment, and one that will stay with me for a long time. The trees and the mountains, so majestic, were perfectly natural in their environment. The wildlife, so real and unfettered in its surroundings, was also natural. The only thing for as far as I could see, that was not comfortable and completely natural in this environment, were humans.
We are the disturbers.
In order for us to be there, we have to change the environment. We have to chop the trees and move the mountains for our roads and buildings. We tear up the earth for ski runs and paved trails. We carve a way so that more of us can come through and enjoy the scenery. And the more of us that are in any given place, the further everything gets from its natural state.
A little depressing.
In fairness, Parks Canada does a remarkable job in the National Forests to protect everything. In fact, they would much rather scare off the humans than disturb a bear doing its bear thing. I think that’s admirable. I think it’s necessary. Because it seems to me that we are the ones who can cause the problems. We are the ones that disturb the balance of nature. We are the ones who interfere, who travel with all our RV’s and campers and rental cars. We are the ones purchasing souvenirs, bringing our lunches into campgrounds, making garbage. A bear on the side of the road can cause a traffic jam for half a mile, with people jumping out of their cars trying to get a picture, creeping right up to the animal with their cars, crowding, crowding, crowding.
Don’t get me wrong. We did the same thing. Are you kidding? Of course we stopped to see a bear eating along the roadside. But we were not part of the crowd that was walking up to a wild animal.
Truly, it was an amazing trip with a view that we could not imagine, being from the flatlands of the midwest. But it really pointed out to me how uncomfortable and intrusive we humans can be. It’s good to see that the world holds vast places where we are small and insignificant. And that the wildness and the wilderness do just fine without us.
I’m adding a gallery of some of our pics: