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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Rocky Trails, Far From Concrete Jungles

I just spent one a half months living and working in Lake Louise, living out one of my dreams since I first glimpsed the Rockies.
My backyard for one and a half months. Winter album: click here
Indeed, every morning felt like waking up in a dream, the rising sun illuminating tumbling mountains and carpet green forests outside my window. One step outside and a breath of cold air, drawn deep into my lungs - so fresh and revitalizing - was all I needed to face the day, no hits of caffeine required.

I was in no rush - I worked evenings. After a nice breakfast I could go skiing, cross country skiing or hiking. Or I could stay home and do yoga, practice guitar or read. Sometimes my roommate did yoga and I would join her. Other days I would do it on my own.

I went with the flow, listened to my body and my mind. Here, body and mind spoke clearly. Or maybe it was more easily heard without all the typical overstimulus of the city drowning them out. My roommate and I chose not to have a TV, which also helped. Surprisingly, the activity I chose most often was reading and playing guitar, proving that I am a home body. As long as I am in the mountains I don't need to be on a mountain.

It got lonely at times, but my roommate, Brianne, and I enjoyed eachother's company whenever we were both home. We had a few friendly neighbours. And I had just found an awesome hiking partner. Time would eventually expand my social circle.
Don't look at me, look at those! Spring photo album: click here
Evenings at the restaurant were sometimes stressful. But as I eased into the job and the staff became familiar with me, it became fun and rewarding. On the short walk home, I'd stare at the stars, glimmering like diamonds across the quilted night. I made sure to carry bear spray with me, as the bears have emerged from hibernation and are attracted to the smell of food I got from the restaurant. The Station itself is a beautiful restaurant - the antique building originally housed the first train station in town.
Inside The Station restaurant
Every day felt like living in a bubble, insulated from the chaotic world outside those towering rock walls. I guess that's why all sorts of people choose to come here. And I really mean all sorts. Lake Louise folk include working holiday Aussies and nature lovers, like me. But there are also a lot of people who, for whatever reason, didn't fit in to wherever they came from. So they found escape, and eachother's company, here in Lake Louise. I guess I sort of belong in this column too.

After all, I also escaped to the mountains from Vancouver and its long commutes, high prices, loud noises, hurried people, crazy people, and endless distractions. But I do also miss many things about the city. I miss cultural events and people watching. I miss finding my community of like-minded people who are educated and aware about global issues, and are collaboratively working towards addressing them. I also kind of miss the sushi too.

City life, I guess you get the good with the bad. Mountain life, it's simple and blissful, but in ignorance. Both will play tug-of-war on my heartstrings to a stalemate. I know I can't have the best of both worlds. I can only make the best of the world I am in, no matter where I find myself.

Flickr photos:
Winter -
Spring -

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