Our circumstances answer to our expectations. – Thoreau From: ‘Summit Stones and Adventure Musings’ by DSD
Occasionally, there is a day when it seems important to relax, revisit and refresh.
I find myself leisurely driving east on Tunnel Mountain Road in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada above the Town of Banff with no particular objective in mind. Lunchtime accidentally coincides with my arrival at the Banff Hoodoos viewpoint. The Bow River below is running high. The world-famous Banff Springs Hotel lies resplendent in the distance and the hoodoos stand firm over the Bow River circle with mighty Mount Rundle in the background.
The Town of Banff hosts many meticulously maintained historic homes which tell stories of the town’s developement. These pioneer dwellings are spread throughout the town and there is a pamphlet I can pick up at the Banff Visitor Centre on the main street, Banff Avenue, which will guide me on a fascinating walk through history. A few of these heritage homes are resident on Beaver Street directly behind the Banff Visitor Centre. I read and walk, not at the same time.
At the Luxton Residence, 206 Beaver Street, in the Town of Banff, I decide I will do something I have been looking forward to for decades. I will visit the Banff Cemetery. It is at the end of Beaver Street on Buffalo Street. One entrance with a bit of parking is near the Transformer Substation where electrical power was first introduced to the Town of Banff near 1905 from Bankhead below nearby Lake Minnewanka.
I should mention that visiting cemeteries is very special for me. It always has been and, over many decades, I have searched for unique locations of historical significance where the grave stones tell fascinating stories, often of legendary proportion. These include Boot Hill, Tombstone Arizona, many ghost towns in the American Southwest and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
A cemetery gives me a profound sense of peace. It is very relaxing as I stroll through history and conjure up images of life long ago and hardships endured.
Always, I spend extra time at the grave sites of young children and feel a deep sense of calm and sadness. Life then was hard in a different way.
Markers with familiar family surnames make me wonder if we were related by long gone relationships. One day I will tackle that genealogical project.
The tombstone of a young bride tugs at my heart-strings. Surrounding markers tell more of the story.
It has been a grand, fascinating day with several kilometres of walking and discovery.