We are not an outdoorsy family.
You won’t hear the words “hike” or “trail” come from any member of my foursome unless we’re reading a book or talking about something someone else has planned.
We like to be outdoors – chatting with the neighbours, manning the barbecue, riding bikes around the block – but hanging in the outdoors? Not our thing. Me most of all. (May I direct newcomers to my camping rant here.)
Driving the long gravel road to Mt. Engadine Lodge for a one-night stay in the Valley may have changed that. I wouldn’t say it transformed me but it definitely nudged all of us a little further to the nature-loving side.
And what is to blame for this?
Well, it started with a Bear.
We’re driving along, minding our own business when I look up and out and there it is. A bear – bigger than a cub, smaller than a full-grown. A teen bear, if you will, walking right there by the river.
We pulled the car over and watched him/her stop, play in the water and walk some more…for a good 10 minutes.
The boys put down their toys. Ish put the car in park.
And we sat there. Watching a bear wile away his/her day.
The silence seemed short lived. Once we moved on and the bear faded from sight the chatting and emailing and radio blasting returned.
But the next morning, as we sat on the deck of the lodge looking out at Moose before breakfast it returned.
We found it hard to leave and I realized we kinda like it here in the Kananaskis Valley.
Somehow the quiet was filling us. The kids were adapting to the quiet and becoming quieter. And if you’ve spent any time with those two you can understand why I suggested we stay just a little bit longer.
And so, though we should have left early that day for our next adventure we didn’t. We sat on that porch, my men and I, sipping our hot drinks and reading our books and watching for moose.
And we were all happy to do it.