Thursday, August 16, 2012

Surprised by Grief

Okay, anyone who knows me, knows I am NOT given to tears. So when I'm sitting in Ikea, enjoying my free coffee and the companion of a good friend, and suddenly find myself crying...well, it gives me pause.

Don't get me wrong, I apparently needed a good cry. But now, hours later, I am still feeling it. Both catharsis and angst.

We were talking about something very important in her area that I have exquisite experience in. I'm even now struggling to name it for you the reader. It is so personal and painful and exhausting and tender. It's sensory processing disorder (SPD).

And as I shared my understanding of what her friend is going through, the 16 years of parenting someone I love so much who suffers daily from SPD, well, I fell apart.

I have been strong and determined; an advocate and defender; a coach and cheerleader. I am also a mother. And it is a journey I never imagined. Apparently a crack appeared and the tears came running through. So glad I was with a friend who got it. It was a tender gift to my soul.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Canada Retrospective...Columbia Icefield

After our drive on the Bow Valley Parkway and walk along Lake Moraine we headed northwest to Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefield. The Athabasca Glacier feeds many of the lakes and rivers in the region. It was a three-hour drive from Banff and filled with a continuous display of mountain grandeur.

Just 125 km to go...the Icefield Centre.
Bow Lake - one of the many wonderful sights
 on the Icefield Parkway.
Yet another amazing glacier on our
 route to the Columbia Icefield
I kept hanging out the window on our three-hour drive
 to capture as many beautiful sights I could.
To get to the Icefield we started to ascend the Candian
Rockies. This was at Bridal Veil Falls...looking back
 from where we had come. You can see a small bit of
the road below.
Our approach to the Icefield and the changing weather.
A slice of heaven.
Our first peek at the Icefield as we came around the bend.
The Columbia Icefield...we would soon be standing
 out in the middle of it.
A Brewster SnoCoach.

These "bus" wheels were huge!

Our SnoCoach. You get to walk around, for about 15 minutes,
 on the icefield. The ice melt is drinkable and most took
 advantage of the crisp and clear glacial refreshment.

The view straight up the glacier icefield.

Matthew staying warm our on the
icefield perimeter.

Glacial runoff...crystal.
The ice melt from the glacier.
Todd enjoying a silly moment.
Another glacier that rings the icefield.
Then the weather changed and the clouds engulfed us and
 the rain began to fall creating a mystical landscape.

And as quickly as the clouds came in, they disppeared. This
was the view upon returning to the Icefield Centre.

The view from the Icefield Centre.
And on the drive back to Canmore we were charmed
 with a Grizzly sighting!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Canada Retrospective...Banff National Park Part 2

In Banff we reveled in the vistas at Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, the Lake Agnes Teahouse (not so much the hike to get there but the teahouse was really novel), Sunshine Meadows, the Bow Valley Parkway looking for wildlife, the Lake Minnetonka cruise and simply walking around the town. For this post I'll concentrate on our drive along the Bow Valley Parkway and our trip to Moraine Lake...the step sister to Lake Louise, but just as spectacular.

Looking for animals!
Not a bad view to enjoy every day we
 were in Banff and driving the Parkwa.y

There are few words for the Bow River framed
by the Canadian Rockies...just gorgeous.
Oh yes...a black bear sighting!
And this beauty graced us by coming out of the woods
 to give us a great look.
The drive to Lake Moraine.

Our first look at Lake Moraine.
So turquiose and reflective.
Matthew, in full CU hoodie, going in
for a closer look.
On the lake front walk and looking back at the lake's edge.
The lake front path. The blue lake peeking through the trees.
The farther in we walked the more amazing the
snowcapped peaks were.
The glacier comes into view.
A reminder...and we saw so many.

A Canada Retrospective...Kootenay National Park

Back to Canada...Our first adventure into British Columbia, and a park outside Banff, was Kootenay National Park. Our goal was the Radium Hot Springs but there was plenty of other water along the way. 
 Kootenay in British Columbia.
And on the road to the Radium Hot Springs...
another gorgeous day.

We have been at so many spots on the
Continental Divide and now Canada.

They are not kidding when they say
to watch for wildlife.

Spectacular vistas around every corner.
We stopped to take in Marble Canyon.
All I can say is "wow." LOVED!
Todd on one of the many bridges that
crisscrossed the canyon.
I thought the rocks carved by water
were fabulous.
The water below.

This is the reward at the top of the canyon.
The burn remnants from a past fire
and more spectacular water.

This was an unplanned stop...
more amazing water.
Is this not the coolest about a great root system.

I loved these rockes just above the

My brother Peter the incredible photographer.
Our lunch stop at the historic Kootenay Lodge.
Our lunch companion...we would later see a
live one on our way home. So cool.
The mountain goats dotted this hill on
beside the road so of course we slowed
 to take a few pictures.
Momma and baby.
The destination ... hot springs. Awwwwwww.
The men...Todd with no tan, Peter freshly back from
a trip to Aruba, and Matthew sporting the swim shirt.
It was beautiful and very refreshing.
The drive back to Canmore. What is not to love?