There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

16 October 2012

my final sunrise, and other moments from the International Peace Park

When I first arrived to Waterton, I went almost immediately down to the lake shore, found a comfortable stone by an uprooted tree, and sat for hours listening to the waves lap upon the shore.

On my last day, I sat on the boat harbor as the sun rose before me and the moon said goodnight from behind.







I watched the great peaks before me change color from brown to a brilliant crimson in the changing light. I sat in the dirt as birds chirped their morning song. I watched a group of Rocky Mountain goats disobey all traffic laws, abiding to only the law of nature as they made their way around my car....








I took the time to appreciate Nature in a way that is impossible unless one's daily distractions are removed from your psyche.

14 October 2012

Cameron's Glacier

The morning started in town, viewing a couple getting their wedding photo's taken at Cameron Falls in Waterton. As I watched, my eyes wandered to the left towards a sign with a trail head marking the starting point to Cameron's Glacier, 5.8 miles ahead.

With my pack ready and strapped to me, I left the happy couple to start my own solo adventure, destination unknown....








The temperature is chilly, but the start of the trek is extremely vertical, and the sweat rolls from my brow in buckets, cooling off in the morning air. After a mile straight up, the trail levels out to a spectacular view of Waterton below.





















The peaks protect and guide me through the forest, my thoughts are my companion mile after mile. In the mid afternoon I arrive to the glacier.

Others strip their sweaty clothes and swim in the glacial waters of the lake. Some rents kayaks and row upon the clear waters. I find a secluded spot along the shore to rest in the warmth of the sun.













Pages of a book turn til completion, my body is refreshed from the peace and quiet here. I take one last, long look at my surroundings, then make my way back down in the quickly diminishing evening light.








*****

03 October 2012

across spiritual waters to Goat Haunt

Between glacier carved mountains on either side, Waterton lake's icy blue water beckons one to climb upon a boat and feel out it's nooks and crannies.
So I did.











One learns much on a simple cruise such as this. You see that this is the only place where a border between countries is made through the forest up the mountainside.




















You learn that due to a glacier's constantly moving, freezing and receding, that all the mountains are literally stacked like pancakes, and with one wrong step, millions of years of shale will slide off and into the water below.





















A place such as this makes you wonder about "intelligence" and how that is determined. Many may think that humans are at the top of the evolutionary chain.
Bears have such a highly developed sense of smell that they can know when a female bear is on their menses from miles away.






















You find that at the other end of the lake is the least visited place to get your passport stamped, Goat Haunt border crossing. The agents are humorless, the scenery divine.













I find that spending time on the spiritual water of Waterton lake can positively change the way one thinks. I only wish I had enough time to have fully grasped the new thoughts.

28 September 2012

one with the buffalo

Softly creeping down the old wooden steps to the lobby for morning coffee, I catch a glimpse of brilliant light from a yonder window. I step outside to a wind that chills me to the bone, but my breath gasps from the sight  before me....

Gathering only the barest of essentials ; camera, jacket, and thermos, I hop into the car and quickly drive out to the paddocks. Today I will sit in the open prairie of Alberta and watch the sun rise with the buffalo.





















Long before the White Man came to North America, the buffalo roamed this land by the hundreds of thousands. The Native American Indian worshipped the great animal, as it provided both warmth and food for it's people.
Hunted by the White Man to near extinction, one can no longer see buffalo in great numbers migrating across the plains. They are now in small numbers on protected lands.
I sit on the paddock as the small herd grazes in the morning light, and feel eons of time flash before me.










Oh great Tatonka, I hope you will one day roam again in great numbers.

20 September 2012

exploring Red Rock canyon

There is such freedom in turning down a road just to see where it may take you.
Stop and sit on a rock, watching clouds roll by.

A sign shows me the edible vs. the poisonous plants in the area.
I study it for a long time, then venture along the trail for a meal.

Berries explode with flavor on my tongue.
Bare feet splash glacial water onto my warm skin.










A lone, puffy cloud appears from nowhere in the blue sky
taking various shapes of beauty.











I love turning down a road to the unknown adventure that lays in wait, like when we were young.

19 October 2011

up & down endless streets in the GTA

Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.



John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

*****
An unknown force compelled me to go, and I'm still unsure as to why. Perhaps to see the most beautiful sunset as the plane was descending, or perhaps I've got a screw loose and have no boundaries. 
No matter to reason, the GTA ( Greater Toronto Area)  spoke to me in a lover's whisper to feel her out, explore her depths and charms. 
So I did.
I stay on Bloor street, across from the University and the ROM. A perfect location to start my wandering of the city in the morning. After a long day in the air, I'm ready for food and drink.
Little India, Chinatown, Little Italy, Oh Canada!....the choices are endless and overwhelming. I let the bottle of wine pick my food, and settle on a nice Canadian Red, complemented by Atlantic smoked salmon on toast and Indian Butter Chicken.
I sleep well.

 I awake to the alarm, but not mine, the hotel fire alarm. Panicked, I revert to primary school education and feel the door for heat, smell for smoke. The announcement comes over the speakers to evacuate the building using the stairs. I quickly dress and flee to the street with other haggard confused guests.

Only a kitchen fire, all is safe now. Please return to your rooms......
I surmise that no more coffee is needed, and start my day.
No map in hand, no GPS on the phone, I use intuition and luck to find my way. I go to Philosopher's Walk at the University, marveling at the buildings and architecture.
I see, for the first time, black squirrels throughout the city, parks, buildings, vacant lots. I am reminded of the Pied Piper of Hamelin and the rats.

 Continuing the journey, I enjoy green organic tea in a local coffee shop, and read for a time. I'm in no rush. I see Lake Ontario, the waves are ice cold as winter seems to try and drown out the remnants of Fall. Children playing, students chatting, people shopping. A peaceful weekend.

Hunger strikes, and I find a little house that serves Ethiopian food. The authenticity is palpable, the food divine.
I finish eating, and walk more. Aimlessly and content.
The night comes, and with it my main reason for the trip, the Iron and Wine show down by the pier.

lead singer for Iron & Wine
 I see a Persian drum for the first time, played by an Iranian beauty. I tell myself I love her, knowing that I'll never see her again.

The show rekindles me, ignites my own uniqueness, and confirms the notion that one should be true to them self, their ideals, and not compromise to appease the masses.