Oldies at Large – Indulging in Mountain Life

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 7.38.21 amInvolving yourself in the wilds of Mountain Life here in the Rocky Mountains of Canada is to step into the indulgent. While surrounded by some of the most magnificent of landscapes, man in part attempts to convince him and herself that they are in control. They think that they have managed to tame what is wild.

The list is endless… white water rafting, mountaineering, bushwalking and a raft of many other activities, often risky. In doing this we try to kid ourselves that we are in control of our lives and of the world around us. What fools we can be at times. When things go wrong we call it an accident… an accident of our indulgent attitude I often think, and hopefully not a tragic accident.

Have you ever wondered what a bear would think of you throwing yourself off a bridge tied to an elastic band?  Indulgent would be the least of the descriptive thoughts that would come to his mind.

We are on one of our respite bites and are shacked up in four stars of indulgent. It is time to wash-up, clean-up and straighten-up before we head down into Northern USA, Montana and out into the prairie lands. These lands, which were one of the last holds of the American Indian nations are now divided into reservations within states and we plan to touch on what we can. But that is the makings of another posting… this post is about indulgent.

GeeseWe are on the lookout for wildlife and we spent the last day before we head south seeing the last of the Canadian Rockies. To do this we are headed into the renown Peter Lougheed Provincial Park which lay sheltered in Kananaskis Country. This whole area has a rich history, it was the last refuge of the Cree Indians who split from the main groups and took off north looking for sanctuary.

It also within its boundaries has the Spray Valley Reservoir, which controls the hydroelectric plant. This Dam was built by refugees also, those from WW2 who were of German descent or sympathies when they were encamped in Canmore. It is truly a refuge for many and all, and is now a refuge for wildlife as well.

The Me’tis people, those of a cross-cultural tradition being of both European and Indian were a creed rejected by both cultures in their day and it became a refuge for these proud people. They grouped together to form a nation. Often raised in the Indian tradition they also had a varying understanding of the European ways. This was how the Me’tis people came to be and they became a tribal group in their own right, contesting for land-rights along with the First Peoples, the settlers and the creatures of the land.

This to me was an interesting thing because Australian’s are of an equally mixed culture. We certainly were never purely English but a mix of England, Ireland, Scotland, Welsh and even South African in the very earliest days of the penal colony. There are also many other racial influences from different cultures that have had a presence in Aus. Yet we are taught that the foundations of the people of our nation are of English origin. This is truly crap! This has never been our reality. We were certainly governed by the harsh and brutal laws of England, but she was never truly our mother.

This belief or assertion is something that was never the case for Australians and it is more an invention of the Squatocracy, the Rum Corp and the rejected ‘elite’ as they knew themselves to be in their push to recreate the class distinctions of Ole’ England. This distinction placed them at the top with others to serve their needs.

Aussies have and always will be a cross-cultural breed, including our ‘First Peoples’ as they exist today. I can personally strongly identify with the advocacy of the Me’tis People of Canada. Australia’s racial problems are based more in social conditioning than genetics and Aussies, ALL Aussies, have every right to be regarded as a single nation, made up of many cultures and unique in our own right.

The vast majority of Aboriginal people today are of cross-cultural descent but are being conditioned to think that they are not. There is now more of the old ‘squattocracy’s need for apartheid’ about their political movements than there is a need act and build a unified nation which will truly address the needs of the socially disadvantaged.

TroutHowever back to our journey… one of the neatest things we saw in our adventure, aside from wildlife in the Kananaskis Country was while we were visiting the lakes that string out all along the road/track. We happened upon a worker who was seeding the lakes with young trout.

These were purely for the sports fisherman as the region is very popular for anglers.  As he explained it, each season they seed the lakes for the recreational fishermen who are so numerous that the natural population can’t cope with the demand.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 7.33.29 amI thought that was entirely sensible, particularly when a young angler turned up to find lots and lots of trout just waiting to be hooked. Success is not guaranteed but the young fisherman had a great time non-the-less.

Lake Louise is one of the Eastern lakes and it is frozen for several months in winter providing opportunities for both skiing and other fun of the frozen variety. Now it is in thaw and it is simply stunning to view and equally entertaining for the angler.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 7.30.48 pmAnother of the places in the region, which attracts a lot of visitors is Banff. It’s lake is equally stunning if not more so and it is a favourite for water and snow sports. It reminded me so much of Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.

A place which is a favoured destination of repute for tourists even though both these destinations seem to be the exact opposite of each other… brilliant, entertaining for the cashed up and simply a tourist resort location of spectacular beauty.

Interesting notes:

  • The mozzies in Canada are big and lazy.
  • Still waiting to see a fly.
  • We aren’t gunna miss winter in Aus. It is the same as summer in Canada.
  • We’re the only ones wearing parka’s.
  • Canadians think it is time to go swimming in what equates to our winter.
  • Tipping is insane… what a crazy system. Employer’s should not be allowed to pay workers so little.
  • Road grids are called Texas gates and Motorways/roads/ highways are called Trails.

Jan is an Australian author and writer. You can find our more about her publications at her official web site. Be sure to check out the reader discounts there.

Jan an Naum

Rockies FP smallRead the full travelogue of Jans adventures in the e-book ‘The Rockies and the Greater NW USA’ now available at Amazon for just $US1.99




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