Thursday, November 6, 2014

Relaxing by a glacial stream

Terry and I stopped at a narrow valley in the Canadian Rockies which had a trail leading to the cliff edge of another glacier. The parking lot was right beside a meandering glacial stream. This became the resting spot for tourists before the hike and after. I hiked with Terry up to a rocky overlook that gave a sweeping view of the whole valley.

A warning sign marked the trail from this halfway point toward the glacier wall. It warned that if the glacier calved, that hikers could drown or be crushed by building sized chunks of ice. Terry wanted to push forward on the unmaintained trail but I turned back to sketch at the stream. One woman was carving her initials on a rock using a smaller rock as her writing tool. I don't understand this basic human need to scar a gorgeous landscape to prove that you had been there. I suppose I'm doing the same thing by sketching. I need to leave a mark. Stones probably last longer than paper, so maybe I picked the wrong medium to work with.

We had drinks in the car, so I grabbed one and hiked back to the first overlook. I got a bit nervous when I finished my sketch and Terry hadn't returned. Of course if the glacier had calved, I would have noticed the immense surge of water down the valley. Of course she didn't know where I had set up to sketch, so I hiked back to the car. When she returned, we had lunch in the car and then pushed off to the next sight.


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