Tuesday, 7 August 2007

A Well-Spent Afternoon

We took an afternoon trip to Waterton Lakes National Park today. The park is about an hour from home, but I don't spend nearly as much time up there as I could. The kids and I go maybe once a year. My step-mom, on the other hand, has a year pass to the park and goes up there whenever she can. She isn't from Alberta, so maybe for me it is a case of not appreciating the things in my own back yard.

Waterton is a popular tourist attraction and whenever I'm there I always hear a group or two speaking in some European language. My family plays the license plate game to see who can find the plate from the farthest away. Today it was Florida. Again I wonder why I don't get up there more often. What am I missing that people fly all the way from Europe and drive across the United States to see.

There is so much to do in Waterton. As we drove into the park, we passed the stables and I remembered the trail rides we used to go on when I was a teenager. It immediately went on my list of things to do with my own children. Then I remembered the ferry that goes around the lake, taking us all the way over to the American side in Glacier Park. Another thing to put on the list. Then I thought about the "Summit" hike. The hike takes all day, but has some of the most breath-taking scenery. (I am certainly not in shape for that type of hike this year, but it will make a great goal for next year.) We used to do this hike during young women's camp. We almost always saw interesting wildlife along the way, even the occasional bear.

I guess I don't take enough time to stop and enjoy the scenery. Even today, I hesitated to go because there were so many things at home that needed to be done. I have a hard time stopping the roller coaster and getting off once in awhile. And yet the trip was worth it. The kids had a great time, we were in the great outdoors, we spent time together as a family and the memories made this afternoon will linger long after the day ends. It was a much better use of my time than more hours staring at the computer screen. And who knows what little tidbits from today will end up in a story.


Josi said...

I'm on vacation right now, in the beautiful rocky mountains and yet I find myself so busy doing other things I haven't really absorbed it yet. So I know what you mean. Thanks for the reminder before I go back home and wonder why I didn't pay a bit more attention.

It's beautiful up there!

Stephanie said...

Relax and enjoy your vacation before it is over. The mountains have to be one of God's most incredible creations.

Mandi said...

I know what you mean - my aunt and uncle are visiting from Wyoming right now. The other night at our family dinner they were listing all the fun things they've been doing around Southern Alberta since they arrived, and I realized that they were mostly things I have never seen or done even though I grew up right here! Perhaps we all need to make more of an effort to appreciate our own homes.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Oh the outdoors is just a wonderful way to spend a vacation. Although I prefer a cabin in the woods, with all the amenities. So I can appreciate nature and then run right in and use a very modern bathroom. I know, very weird.

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