The mountains can bring out the child in me
The sight of Grouse Mountain on Monday afternoon, majestically wreathed in shreds and wisps of cloud and looking so close that I could make out individual trees high up on the slopes brought back memories of childhood trips to Canada’s Jasper and Banff National Parks.
Especially to Banff, that first time. The summer when every radio in the park (and I mean every single radio) was playing the song “Spinning Wheel” by the Can-Am band Blood, Sweat & Tears. The first time that I ever saw mountains.
That would’ve been July of 1969. I would’ve been nearly 7-years-old. It was only days after I had been placed with my first and best foster family; after my first glimpse of colour television and of a man walking on the Moon. My first trip out of Saskatchewan — whether I knew it or not.
Some 46 years later I can say that my sight of the Rocky Mountains made a much stronger first impression on me than the “one giant leap for mankind”.
To think that I can see mountains any time I want (barring days when they’re cancelled due to rain or fog) has been an ever-present wonder to me for 35 years.
The mountains that I’m seeing are, of course, not the Rocky Mountains (though I thought they were when I first moved to Vancouver); they’re the North Shore Mountains which are among the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains.
The North Shore Mountains are only about 18 kilometres northwest of Vancouver while the Rocky Mountains are over 600 kilometres away to the east, on the border between British Columbia and Alberta. Click the image to enlarge it.