Monday, August 11, 2008

Continuing On...

The trip continues…
We leave Lake Louise and head north.
The first stop is Peyto Lake, another turquoise blue glacier fed lake. The walk to see it is a short, but steep hike, which provides ample opportunities to admire the beautiful wildflowers growing along the trail. At the top, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the lake.

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Then onto the Athabasca Glacier, which is part of the Columbia Ice Field in Jasper National Park…
The Athabasca Glacier flowing downhill from the Columbia Ice Field is moving so slowly that you cannot see it move. Your eye does not perceive its massive size until you are on it.
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The water we are drinking which has melted from snow that fell 150 years ago. It is the purest water you can drink. But how long will we continue to have these sources of water? How long will it be before the glaciers are completely gone? The Park Service talks about the natural cycle of growth and receding of glaciers. But, that is relative to thousands of billions of years- not our lifetime. In exploring the beauty and majesty of these natural scenes, I can’t help but consider what impact humans have had in changing the landscape and whether there is any change of reversing the damage we have done.

But, there is no cell phone service and the only internet service can only be accessed through a computer with an antiquated hard drive at the cost of $2.00 for 15 minutes. Even the movie we are watching via the dish satellite network paused and flashed the message “Poor signal quality”. We have entered into a world that I do not experience except when there are power outages. The digital divide definitely exists here!
The feeling of being disconnected is disconcerting. For my son, it is painful. His need to be connected with his friends is an essential part of his life. I remember when we had taken a trip years back when my daughter was a teenager. We were not as connected then, but IM was a part of her daily life. The need to find a hotel with an internet connection was a priority in her mind. While an internet connection is a bonus for my son, it is cell phone access that is a priority. He text messages as if it were IM, smiling and laughing as each new message arrives. He sends photos of his recent sightings of interesting cars and sights sharing his experiences as he goes inviting his friends to become a part of his experience. The world is much smaller and flatter for him and millions of others. Being connected is part of his being in the world.

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