mid July

lake_smAbove the lake.

It seems these last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Lisa and I still make time to get out in the bush regularly. The weather has been clear and hot. The garden is chugging right along.

Our children have been out to visit. It has been nice to have them with plenty of laughter filling the house. We helped move Lisa’s parents into a new home. Their old place was getting too large for them. Now they live just a stone’s throw from us. This is a relief for Lisa. It was so nice to see our kids taking time away from their schedules in the city to come home and make their grandparents welcome. They think the world of their Grandparents, and know how hard they have worked for everything. Lisa and I are very proud of our children.

RCE_0397Glacier Lillies. Maddy and Lisa telling Chad to pay attention,
while he takes a photo of the large peaks.

The photos in this post are from a place I find very special. Lisa, Maddy, Chad, Willow and I hiked in yesterday. It has been several years since we have been there, due to roads and bridges washed out. There was a time I would hike from wherever the road ended. But I was young and stubborn then. My Father and I even had some long hikes into Leman Lake.

RCE_0373.jpgAlpine Forget-Me-Not.

Back then the trail crossed several slides with tall skunk cabbage and elder bushes. It was closed in thick. You never knew if a bear or moose was going to be waiting for you around the next corner.

We all looked in vain for a way to cross the swift creek. While Lisa, Chad and I were looking for a deadfall across, we noticed Maddy on the other side putting her boots back on. That ended the search. We all took off our boots rolled up our pant legs and subjected our feet to freezing cold water and sharp rocks. Willow crossed enthusiastically, got caught in the current, and came out about twenty yards downstream.

RCE_0412Scorpion Weed. 

We took time to rest, along the trail. It was still steep and in some places overgrown. Lisa reminisced about hiking here while pregnant with Kelsie. Being pregnant never slowed her down. We wondered around marvelling at the sights and smells.

The hike reminded me to try to stay in good enough shape to be able to show these places to Cooper and Scarlett when they are old enough to hike the mountains on their own. That will be sooner than a blink of an eye. Yet that same, seemingly small, time will start taking a toll on my hips and knees. No doubt, just as my father, my balance will be tested on logs over the creek and I’ll curse the rain for making the rocks slippery.

willow_smWillow takes a dip.

We looked for wild flowers and porcupine quills. Maddy and Lisa alerted Chad to pay attention, because,  if I pointed out a ‘Glacier Lily’ on the way up, I may ask him what it was on the way down and he better know the answer.

RCE_0511Sky, rock, bush and water.

To experience these places with loved ones is a gift. The colour of the lake, the sky and large mountains, the smell of spring slides bringing down old spruce, the ice and snow and how I cheer it now, thinking if we could only get a few cold years the glaciers could build up again, how I am a fool to think such things are up to me, the fish and bears and all the wild flowers, the overgrown trail with so many ghosts and so much yet to show.

I always try to look extra hard before I leave, because I never know when I will see it all again.

9 thoughts on “mid July

    1. underswansea

      Hi Julie, thank you for your kind words. It’s not difficult to get a good picture when you have that kind of view in front of you. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. mountaincoward

    Hi Bob, I thought I had a follow on your blog but it seems to have slipped away – I’ve renewed it – hope I haven’t missed too much. Was wondering where you’d gone!

    When you say ‘slides’, do you mean waterslides? Had to laugh at the dog being swept away briefly – bet it didn’t put it off! I always take my boots and socks off and cross barefoot – don’t mind the cold water but not keen on sharp rocks! I find the cold water makes your circulation improve in your feet for the rest of the day after they’ve dried out!


    1. underswansea

      Hi Carol, every time I have to take off my boots to cross a creek I think of you and how you say in your blog that you don’t mind it. I’ll do just about anything before I take my boots off. It’s not the cold it’s my tender feet. A slide is an area on the mountain that the snow has ‘slid’ or avalanched from the top of the mountain. It often takes any trees, rocks, etc and deposits them at the bottom of the mountain. Crossing these areas in the summer can be nerve wracking because they are covered in thick alders, making it difficult to see. Grizzly bears and moose like to hide out in them. Because you can’t see 4 feet in front of you, it’s best to sing a song aloud if hiking alone. Take care.


      1. mountaincoward

        Yeah, I heard you were supposed to sing and make a lot of noise – I often sing on my mountain walks anyway – people coming the other way usually think I’m batty!

        I’ve cut the underside of my foot on riverbeds before and it takes ages to heal up on that soft skin under your instep.


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