Egypt Lake Rainfire Camping

Egypt Lake

Backpacking Healy Pass
July ’72

It rained on us by the time we got down to Egypt Lake. It didn’t
dampen our spirits though. It did, however, affect our decision to
continue hiking. For the most part we stayed close to the fire. We did
manage to do some fishing. We only caught three (I caught one), but
they were dearly appreciated. After two wet nights of camping, we
hiked out of Egypt Lake the same way we hiked in. Once again, we were
awed by the wildflower meadows on top of Healy Pass. When we reached
the truck, we got a great big reality check.

At the trailhead, where we had parked the truck, the cars that were
there when we arrived were gone, and with them so were our bikes. We
were flabbergasted. In that fantastically beautiful place, a gift of
God for all to appreciate, we were sick to our stomachs. We drove back
to Banff and reported the theft, but we knew we would never see our
bikes again (after riding thousands of miles on a bike you got pretty

Back in Banff, we were still getting used to the fact that our bikes
had been stolen when we ran into Dain. We were stocking up on
groceries when we bumped into him in the store. Our reunions were
becoming phenomenal. Each time our paths crossed, we naturally had to
have a beer and this time was no different. In the nearest pub, he
listened as we cried in our beers over our lost bikes, poor us. When
he told us he had found some public hot springs, we cheered up some.
We spent the evening swimming in the naturally warm springs, but we
had to pay to get in. There were so many people swimming (it was
really a commercial swimming pool), it didn’t take long for the
novelty to wear off.

As I write, I’m sitting in the sun somewhere about half way between
Lake Louise and Banff. Mike and I didn’t spend last night in the
hostel (it was probably full anyway), so after our swim we drove off
looking for a spot to camp. We camped off the highway, and in the
morning when we were getting ready to leave, a Ranger pulled up. He
was not happy about our camping outside the campgrounds. There wasn’t
much he could do though. Our campsite was clean. We left no sign that
we had camped.

It’s off to Jasper and beyond now. I feel a bit naked without my bike.
Our hopes of getting to the coast are riding on Old Smoke, the oil
guzzling ’51 ford pickup. Thank God it’s a warm sunny day. I was
beginning to wonder if summer was ever going to come. Although it was
really sad to get my bike stolen, maybe that quirk of fate has helped
me make up my mind about school. I’ll probably return in the fall.
Finding a job in Canada wasn’t very doable. Maybe when I get back in
the States I will stumble on a job at a university. I’m not holding my
breath, though.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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