A Waylaid Practice Backpack Trip

This morning we were supposed to wake up in our tent out in the mountains on a practice backpack trip in Banff National Park. Instead we wake up at my cousin’s house in Calgary who has sheltered my sister and her husband (R&D), Murray and me for the past two nights.

On Thursday, we help R&D load their household into a Budget Rental Truck and start our drive from Edmonton to Canmore, where they are moving back to after spending 5 or so years in Edmonton. We get turned around at the Kananaskis turnoff. The highway is closed due to Cougar Creek, in Canmore, flooding and taking out parts of Hwy 1 and 1A. There is no access into Canmore except emergency vehicles.

So here we sit watching the devastation happening across southern Alberta. High River, Canmore, Bragg Creek, Calgary, Banff, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat are all affected. Flooding caused by extreme rainfall (200mm in Canmore!)  has taken out highways, subdivisions, whole downtowns and bridges.

The power of water is amazing. The dedication of emergency fire, police, hospital staff is incredible. The destruction is mind boggling. The compassion shown by people for their neighbours is heart warming.

I learn that social media is the place for news. Facebook is invaluable for R&D to get information on the status of their home in Canmore. (Luckily it is not near Cougar Creek and the flood risk for them is manageable.) The Town of Canmore and The Rocky Mountain Outlook newspaper website are posting updates constantly. 106.5 Mountain FM has been tweeting also. These four sources have been extremely helpful to R&D.

To be so close to this devastation and to be indirectly involved has been exhausting and astonishing.

The practice backpack trip will have to wait.

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