Thursday, August 5, 2010

Icefields here we come!

Imagine with me driving through heavy laden forests, sparkling blue waters, dense low clouds hanging over the mountain tops and glaciers all around you. The sky is gray, the mountains are gray, the roads are dark and everything looks cold, hard, and daunting. It is beautiful. It holds you in awe. The experience reminds you that you are only a speck of dust on this earth as the mountains tower thousands of feet above your head. As we entered the Icefields Parkway we were greeted by a lovely little lake called Hector Lake. At 8:00 a.m., the waters were so still that you could see your reflection in the glassy sparkling blue water.

Picture upon picture revealed the cloudy gray skies, the dark mountains and tree covered water's edge both above the shoreline and below. The driving was easy and the scenery easy to see from the road. We saw glacier upon glacier. The snow was icy blue in color and towered hundreds of feet in the deep crevasses and across the tops of more than half the mountains we passed. Every turn, every stop, you could snap pictures in a 360 degree circle. Each time exclaiming “Oh Wow”. There were mountain streams that would jut out of the canyons thousands of feet. There were mountain streams that would gurgle beside the roads, there were mountain streams that would be rushing beside you one moment, then you would heard this thundering sound and the stream would tumble hundreds of feet to the next level. It was simply incredible.

About half way through the Icefields Parkway we came upon the Columbian Icefields rest stop. You could take a special bus tour out onto the Columbian glacier and walk upon it if you desired. We did not want to take 3 hours to do this, so we just snapped pictures. But, oh, the pictures. I have never seen so many glaciers all at once…so massive…so deep…so glorious. The sun was beginning to shine by the time we got off the Columbian Icefields and the pictures were incredible. Ice blue glaciers…white puffy clouds dancing shadows over the facades of the massive stone structures. We snapped pictures, but the pictures cannot capture the glory.

Did you ever see such blue water?
 You marvel at creation. You marvel that you have sight and can see the majestic sight, the glorious color. You marvel that you can smell the evergreen forest and the mountain flowers. You marvel that you can feel the cold blow of wind off the glaciers and yet feel the warmth of the sun at the same time. We ate our picnic lunch right here – hugging our coats a little closer and pulling our hats up over our head.

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