Twenty years ago, when I was 45 and Sara was 15, we decided to go to Jasper for our annual mother/daughter Rocky Mountain getaway the first week of June. That week we stayed in a bed and breakfast with an awe-inspiring view of Mount Whistler from the the quaint kitchen nook where we enjoyed our coffee and fresh muffins. Since neither Sara nor I had any desire to take the Jasper Tramway, we considered that our option of enjoying the spectacular view from the lookout point was to be missed.
That is, until Carol our host said that there was a trail head at the base of Whistler’s Mountain, and had we not come to Jasper to do some hiking in the mountains? She was very candid that it was an all-day trek to reach the site where the tram stopped to load and unload, but that if we were properly prepared she was certain we could complete the hike.
Eventually, after much cajoling and several promises, Sara consented to come on my “forced march”, which she frequently called my endless walks up and down hills and higher plateaus, no doubt remembering Sunshine Village and the hike of the Five Lakes.
Thus we began, after an early start, a hearty breakfast, and two back packs loaded with food and drinks, which fortunately became lighter as the day progressed. Hour after hour we carried on; when nearing the lookout, the hike became quite treacherous, particularly because we were climbing in running shoes.
At last we arrived, just as the tram was unloading a group of passengers who were quite amazed that we had elected to walk when we could have had a ride. After we rested, I asked Sara to continue on to the summit, but she adamantly refused. A stranger, who agreed, told me to continue, as she would stay with Sara while I carried on–her own husband had the same burning need to walk around on a mountain top.
Subsequently, up I continued, and it is indeed an incredible experience to stroll about on the peak of a 2464 m (8084 ft.) mountain. I graciously wrote Sara’s name in the log which is securely maintained in a box on the top as a record of all those who have succeeded in reaching the pinnacle of Whistler’s Mountain.
At the time, I considered climbing to the top of a mountain as one of my significant accomplishments. Now, though, I believe that having my first book published is my crowning achievement.