The photo is framed with trees layered to reach the sky. The turquoise lake ripples silently, except for the occasional splash or drip from the paddle of a red canoe cutting through the water.
Gravel crunches under the feet of travellers who have made this pilgrimage. Occasionally the rhythm of the crunch is broken by a brief stumble but with a quick pick up the rhythm commences again. Bells rattle from ankles and walking poles and dog collars and bags, a message to the bears of humans approaching. I am yet to spy one of these magnificent creatures.
The scene begins to lose crispness as smoke wafts through. The stark white of the glacier watching over us becomes a muted grey. The smell of weak pine wood assaults the nose.
Chipmunks gather and scramble over the rocky edges of the lake. They perform like a busker, then pose for the cameras, hopeful for a tasty morsel. The tourists obey the “Do not feed the wildlife” signs though. Yet still the chipmunks perform, ever hopeful.
Voices break the serenity. They share their thoughts, amazement, and gossip. They speak to strangers, loved ones, new friends. They have their stories to share like these gigantic rugged mountains watching over us.
My tummy rumbles without food for none is available to purchase here. I munch on a cookie I’d bought the day before, but hadn’t eaten. The crisp crunch of an apple nearby reminds me how hungry I am. I can smell the sweet juice from where I sit. I watch in envy, the stranger eating it.
Time for a selfie or two.