I don’t know what Minnewanka means yet. I’m sitting, as we speak, on a tourist barge in Banff National Park (Alberta). About to go out boating on a 14-km-long lake named Minnewanka. Anyone who has been here will probably tell you the most striking things about this place are the incandescent blue-green water and the pastry-like mountains, with layers of rock that make them look like cakes of baklava…huge baklava. Dessert to salve the spirits of the mountain giants.
Our tour guide is Todd, and the skipper is amazingly just 20 years old…Pierre. He says he has been working here all his life. I’m sitting in the second tier of seats, up toward the back where I can hear the growl of the engine as we pull away from the dock and out into the peaking little waves. Continue reading
I thought I had everything I needed when I left Nebraska. Wrong! First, there were the things I should’ve brought but forgot: hammer, cooler, tea ball. Then there were the things I knew I would need to get somewhere along the road: small stove, binoculars, paper towels.
Finally, there were the things I didn’t know I needed until I saw them: battery-powered fan, waterproof belt latch box for my phone, mosquito hood. A very nice man named Richard behind the counter in the camping section at Walmart had a great amount of patience with me and all my Canada shopping. He also had some terrific suggestions. Thanks, Richard! Continue reading
I would like to say my traveling isn’t about running away from things, but as I zoomed down I-80 today on the first leg of my trip to Canada and the Pacific Northwest, I realized there is a little bit of that–fleeing–in my heart. I can’t help it. I have had a lot of things to flee from in my life, and I suppose it has become something of a habit.
This time, though, I’m not fleeing chaos or disaster. I’m fleeing normality. Much less serious. The emotional charge of this trip seems weaker than it was when I headed out to Florida to see a client in snowy December 2011 and didn’t come home to Nebraska for six months. Back then, I was reeling from a separation and impending divorce. This time, after the healing powers of time have done their work on me, life is good. I feel settled into the idea of traveling, of living the life I was meant to live. Continue reading