As I mentioned in my previous post, we just returned from the most wonderful trip to various parks throughout Alberta and British Columbia. This is the first of three posts where I'll talk about our trip. Read Canada, part II: Places and things here.

I'm beginning, of course, with the five senses of Canada.

Seeing: mountains, bigger and more beautiful and rugged than any other mountains I've seen. Elk, bighorn sheep (I love sheep), deer, and Nicholas spotted either a coyote or wolf on our way to the airport. All signage (food packaging, road signs etc.) in both English and French. Snow, nearly everywhere, once you get to a higher elevation.

Smelling: the fresh air. Hot cocoa or peppermint tea in the evenings in Mt Assinoboine. This store and everything in it. And the almost-scent of freshly fallen snow.

Tasting: gf bagel sandwiches, instant oatmeal, Justin's PB packets (I can safely say these are my favorite trail food. PB + a KIND bar is especially good). We also enjoyed EPIC bites and good Canadian salami. We ate perhaps a bit too much dehydrated food, but at least we shared it over the best conversation. Water from the mountain stream, boiled. In the two "off the grid" locations we visited, there was always a pot of water boiling. Mochas from Rave Coffee in Canmore—we had to go back a few times, ya know. And last, but not least, tea and cake up at Assiniboine lodge every day from 4pm to 5pm, in sock-footed feet on warm wood floors. 

Hearing: silence and the absence of city or traffic noise. The crackle of wood stoves. Canadian accents (in the form of polite conversation and encouragement). Nicholas skipping rocks, olympian style across the surface of every lake. Water boiling in the cook huts in Assiniboine or Lake O'Hara.

Feeling: the perfect "snowball" snow, and the joy of unexpected snowfall in September. Snow hitting my face. Hands numb from the cold, but warmed by the fire. Also, cold snow all over me when Nicholas pushed me into a snow bank. Awe, of how "big" God is, and how small I am. So in love with my best friend/adventurer/husband. Knitting by LED (and propane lighting) in the communal cook hut. 

Wearing: I lived in long underwear and wool socks, layered with other layers, with hat hair for days.  No makeup, few showers, but no mirrors, so who's looking. ;) On the few days we spent in "civilization" I wore pretty much the same thing, as we were waiting for check in time (and shower time!) or leggings under a comfortable jersey dress.

P.S.—While we were at Lake O'Hara, we were mistaken for Canadians, which was kind of fun. I've still got those Minnesota roots. ;)