Friday, March 13, 2009

Banff and Calgary - Day 6 (Epilogue)

We woke up at the unearthly time of 5:30 in the morning. This was especially bad for me, considering that having stayed on Pacific time, it was like waking up at 4:30 in the morning for me, which is not that much later than when I go to bed on the weekends.

Standing outside with my pack waiting for Kevin to get the car from the back, I stared up at the cold, crisp night sky filled with glimmering stars. The ground was covered in a layer of snow glistening dimly from nearby streetlights and the pale glow from the stars and the tiny sliver of a new moon. On this first day of December, I can feel winter is starting to arrive. As I played with making my breath into clouds of different shapes and sizes, I reflected on how I will miss the feeling of winter playfully nipping at my face. I also reflected on my long weekend trip, and felt quite satisfied with the amount of adventuring I fit into four days. I met a variety of characters who shared with me their differing views on life, explored strange cities and had seen some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I have also come away with a newfound respect for nature and a sense that nothing is permanent so we must learn to enjoy all the positives in our lives in the current moment rather than dwell on the negative and look forward to better times.

We chatted a bit more during the drive to the airport on the empty lonely roads of early morning. As the plane took off I was treated to an areal view of where the Canadian Rockies collides with the Canadian Prairies, forming a massive straight line of folds followed by jagged peaks for as far as the eye can see. The sunlight was just hitting the top of the snowy peaks as we flew across the border back into the US. There was an amazing view of Mount Rainier, which I was surprised to see from as far south as California. On the final approach, I was treated to a beautiful view of a thick layer of fog folding and rippling around the Californian coastline and the San Francisco Bay. This was a great, relaxing way to end a vacation. However, I felt a shudder of mundane familiarity by the thought that I would be in the office at work in less than an hour.

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