Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sharing the trial with mountain goats

Lisa, Lucas, Kai and Peter bag
Quiniscoe Mountain
My family and I spent the last week in Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park. What stood out for me the most is how our two young sons Lucas (6) and Kai (5) went on long hikes and bagged a few peaks each over 2500 m. They were pretty flipped-out in getting to the top of Quiniscoe Mountain (2551 metres). And to be honest, I am one proud father to think of the effort, endurance and goodwill they both showed in getting to the top of this mountain.

Quiniscoe Mountain seen
from Quiniscoe Lake
The Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park is an outstanding place to bring a family and both the Ranger (John Henry) and all the staff at the Cathedral Lakes Lodge were outstanding. During our stay in the park, we spent the first three nights camping and the last two nights in the lodge. During our last night of camping the temperature dropped to -2 degrees Celsius. All good as we had brought good sleeping bags and fleecy jammies... The food prepared in the lodge was outstanding and it was good to meet others who had spent their days hiking in the park and exploring its many lakes and mountain peaks. We even took the time to do some trout fishing, and Lucas caught his first lake trout. We cleaned it and cooked it on an open fire... yum. Unfortunately my presentation of the cooked trout wasn't the greatest and the boys refused to eat any. Note to self, when having the boys try a new food, presentation is important.

Another significant event was sharing the trail with two mountain goats. We were very fortunate to sit ourselves just off the trial and allowed these amazing creatures to pass.The fun part was having the goats peer back at us from over the small bluff after they had passed.

What were my big lessons while on this family trip?
  • Lucas and Kai love wildlife... they always want to see creatures, big and small, in their natural environment.
  • Sometimes, children need a firm reminder that they are capable and need to push though to achieve their goals (even if they have been set by their parents)
  • Durvla Murphy is correct in that we need to be reminded we are still animals and spending time in the solitude of the mountains is time well spent.
...To me that perfection of stillness is the grace of the mountains poured into one's soul.....I know and have always known that we 20th century humans need to escape at intervals from that alien world which has so abruptly replaced the environment that bred us. We need to be close to, and opposed to, and sometimes subservient to, and always respectful of the physical realities of the planet we live on. We need to receive its pure silences and attend to its winds, to wade thru its rivers and sweat under its sun, to plough thru its sands and sleep on its bumps. Not all the time but often enough for us to remember that we are animals. Clever animals yet ultimately dependent, like any other animals on the forces of Nature... - Dervla Murphy