Entering the Land of Giants
We entered a new universe. Yes, today, very clearly Karuna and I entered the Rocky Mountains. Leaving the open plains behind us we are now amidst the jolly green giants (some of beautifully snow-capped, by the way). We now see only small portions of the sky as it is upstaged .
Okay, so we entered some quaint towns, many of them with a history of coal mining. This meant prosperity for some generations but disaster for another. At Frank, the town, we read a plaque informing us of the great loss of lives and sacrifice.
“In the early morning of 29 April, 1903, most of the almost 600 residents were asleep. At 4:10, a crashing and thunderous roar filled the dark, sleeping town and spilled out into the Crowsnest Pass. A wedge of limestone over one kilometre wide, 425 metres long and 150 metres deep had broken from the crest of Turtle Mountain…In about 90 seconds homes, buildings and lives were destroyed…Seventy people died. It was the worst natural disaster to overtake Alberta. Stories are still told of the man who fought through the slide to flag down an oncoming train, or of the baby unharmed perched on a boulder.”
Karuna and I had come to know that similar kinds of coal mining tragedies took place in the last century along the Crowsnest Pass. You can’t help feeling for these people, perhaps even offer a prayer or a mantra even though their lives have passed on long ago. I guess, it’s a good reason to view this trail as a pilgrim’s route.
Later on we happened to meet a coal miner by profession. We learned about his life as he did about ours in the monastic vein of things.
In the afternoon section of walking, which I did solo, I encountered plenty of appreciative motorists expressing by honks or hand waves. That credit goes largely to the radio announcements made over-the-air waves that I’m out for a spiritual healing.
May the Source be with you!