MY TRIP TO ROCKY MOUNTAINS IN CANADA (July 24-July 29, 2013)
My dream to hike to the top of the Rocky Mountains that was dreamed 40 years ago came true. Air Canada brought me and my family from La Guardia Airport, NY to Calgary International Airport, Alberta, Canada on July 24th, 2013 via Toronto airport. The airplane was flying through a sea of snow white clouds up to 20,000 feet high and above the 20,000 feet high there were no clouds at all and the plane was speeding at 37,000 feet high in the sky. At 20,000 feet and below I could look down on the ground and see the most of ground well lined farm land not only in Canada, but also in the Midwest of the United States. Taking off the ground always gives us thrilling and mysterious moments, though very uneasy when the plane touches down. Driving about 3 hours from the Calgary airport to the Banff National Park and to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was exciting. So many high Rocky Mountains on the both sides kept me busy watching the spectacular views of the great Nature God created. I found it difficult to advance further without stopping frequently to appreciate the panoramic views of Rocky Mountains and blue water lakes everywhere. After driving the meandering mountain road, I finally arrived at the 8 story huge hotel the Fairmont Chateau that was built more than 100 years ago. The moment I pulled the car in front of the hotel, the spectacular views of grotesque mountains on both sides of Lake Louise and the almost 1000 acre emerald hue color lake Louise I exclaimed, “This is a paradise “The 545 room hotel was packed with tourists from around the world. It was noticeable to witness that higher percentage of tourists flocking to Lake Louise was Chinese. Countless tourists like me lined up along the lake with cameras clicking without a brief stop. The beauty of the Banff Park and Lake Louise absolutely captivated me. It was not until 40 years later that I could come here to enjoy watching this incomparable scenery the almighty God created. I prayed the Lord for the wonder of Nature. I reinforced my strong conviction in the faith of God when I lost myself in looking over the panoramic views of Mt.Fairvew, Mt.Aberdeen, Mt.Defroy and Mt. Victoria, which surround the light green waters of Lake Louise. Queen Victoria named the highest mountain among those four her name and named the name of the hotel after her daughter’s name Louise. On the other side of the Fairview Mountain there is Lake Moraine that is surrounded by 10 high mountains with 11.000 feet high and the color of the lake is unimaginably dark blue. The overlooking view from the rocky hill on the lake and a chain of high Rocky Mountains made me think I was living in a fantasy island full of dreams.
With my family, I canoed for an hour to circle the 1,000 acre lake up to the edge of Mt. Victoria that is still covered with glaciers. Next morning I joined a group of hikers to hike glacier trails totaling 8 hours round trip hiking overlooking the Lake Louise. In the middle of trails in the heart of the mountains there is a tea house constructed with 100 % wood and the 11,000 feet mountains of Aberdeen, Defroy and Victoria were standing solemnly above my head. It is gorgeous and grandiose. A long breathing pretending to embrace the high mountains in the tea house seemed to lead me to forget my retired age bringing me back to the youth. My daughter Caroline was busy taking shots and filming video of the sceneries every step she moves. On Every interesting spots Caroline took a while to jot down her feelings about wonders of Nature. Through this venturous trip I found her very inquisitive in making observations of nature. She was a little different from normal people in observing
Natural phenomena. Now I remember why she rejected all the employment opportunities offered her right after her graduation from college. She waited and waited for the final decision from NBC Universal where she applied for a position of PD, where she has been working in the capacity of marketing manager. I respected her very much for her power of concentration on her interest. These characteristics made her today. Since my retirement she has made a few arrangements of trips for parents as a gift of filial piety, ranging from a trip to Atlantis, Bahamas, Finger Lake in winter and Malibu Beach, CA to a special trip to Rocky Mountains, Alberta etc. Telling myself that this might be the first and last trip to Rocky, I thanked God for giving me this opportunity to be able to hike the glacier trails for 8 hours at my age 68. And I cannot forget Caroline for her filial piety for these humble parents. On the glacier valley in front of Mt.Victoria overlooking the Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau Hotel surrounded by mysterious grotesque mountains, I sang with the highest volume of my voice, hoping the rocky mountain collapse, my favorite songs (“From This Valley”,” OH, Sole Mio”, Korean classic” San Deul Baram”, Sungooja”) loudly, which echoed back to me after the sound hit the four big rocky mountains. I was so glad to get feedback from hikers down the valley saying that they heard my voice. As the Incan civilization in the early 14th century built “The Sky City” on the top of Ausangate mountain in the Andes defining the critical relationship between Human being and God, Human being and Nature, and the relationship between human being and human being, English and European explorers practiced the relationships by building the hotel for a vacation of human being in the mysterious and spectacular spot in the Canadian Rockies. Standing and overlooking down the valley, on the top of hill of Mountain Victoria, the beautiful, picturesque valley, mountains, crystal blue lake strongly convinced me of the existence of the creator, Almighty God, who linked connected the fate of human being to God. The grandiose Nature captivated the minds of human being, and thus tourists from all over the world are flocking to this unique place in the world to appreciate the wonders of Nature and establish friendly relationships among each other.
The unique atmosphere Lake Louise provides is itself peace, liberty, love, hope and happiness. The spirit of Rocky Mountains and lakes is certainly inspiring impalpable motivation for human beings to dream a better one, breed idealism, and inspire a greedy appetite for a better life.
The journey to Rocky Mountains is not easy at all, and very challenging, but it will be adding a new chapter to the history of everyone who attempts to experience.
The essential relationships among God, human being and Nature are clearly defined from this adventurous trip.
Dr. Hubert Hojae Lee
Commissioner of Human Rights
Chairman of Korean American Foundation USA (www.kafusanj.com)
Member of Colonial Williamsburg & Mount Vernon Washington Foundation