Friday, September 19, 2008


August was good and the sun was high and bright for the long days. It only rained once in Edmonton. The trip South was on Highway 22, the Cowboy Trail. You can see the mountains from 22 about 160km South of the Yellowhead Trail, West of Edmonton. The Rockies, coming in from Alberta, are sentinels. The vast golden plains give way to awkward crags and hills where the wind bends the trees on the hills and the distant mountains loom until suddenly you are upon them, immense. Driving was hypnotic, which posed little threat, as the road was flat and straight and there were no cars to be seen in either direction; only the Rockies on the skyline. I drove like that with my windows rolled down so I could smell the sweetgrass and horses and hear the birds. Especially the birds. Sometimes I would pull into the entrance of a ranch field, park the truck and just listen. For four summers I had not heard a Chickadee even once. It was strange to realize that.

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