There is a sacred place, 90mins south of Calgary, that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is sacred to the Blackfoot tribe who relied on it for their survival. For thousands of years they relied nearly entirely on Bison for their food, clothing and shelter. Before the ‘white man came’, millions of Bison roamed the prairies in expansive herds and ‘life was plentiful’. The techniques to capture this massive and powerful beast is no more ingenious and industrial than at Head Smashed In.
Hundreds of Bison were shepherded and chased over a particularly suitable cliff in the late Autumn; their carcases stripped to fill the Winter stores in every imaginable way. Tools from bones, bags and clothes from hides. This sheer drop is the resting place for 100,000 Bison ran to their deaths over fifty centuries of near-continuous use.
In stark contrast to that experience, we also took a trip to the Rockies.
The wildfire smoke that curtailed our plans last week has dissipated. So we also ventured North West into Banff national park. The ‘must see’ for my parent’s visit was Lake Louise. I persuaded everyone a 5 am wake-up would be rewarded with a beautiful late sun-rise over the mountains down into this tourist hot-spot. It was touch and go.. during the early part of our drive, the morning clouds were dense and cleared more slowly than we’d hoped.
As the Rockies came into view, they were bathed in rich, deep sunrise blood-red. A breathtaking landscape. We all took photos from the car not wanting to stop – racing to the final destination.
We arrived at Lake Louise shortly before 9 am. It was still quiet. The lake was like glass. Clouds allowed streaks of sunshine to highlight parts of the hillsides. I was relieved – it was worth the early morning. Mrs K senior I think summed it up rather nicely;
“It’s like a masters oil painting – finished overnight, just for us.”