I kicked us into gear absurdly early to make it to Lake Moraine before tourists mobbed the place. It was a futile effort; even as we scraped ice off the windshield, cars were winding up the road toward the two beautiful lakes.
We arrived to find a wedding party shooting what has become a popular photo: the ruination of a wedding gown. Slowly, they subsided into the frigid mountain water. Turns out it wasn’t their real garb and they were wearing wetsuits under their faux finery. Since it was 5°C (which is 41° in real money), they were still shivering uncontrollably by the time they were done.
“If I did that, my mother would kill me,” Mary told a bystander. She was right. My inner hausfrau was offended. I doubt the average couple thought much about why it had become a popular meme in 2016.
I’ve had many photos taken of me painting. I don’t mind being part of the scenery, but a Chinese tourist flummoxed me. “Do you mind if we take my picture with you?” she asked. In our world that means engaging with one another in the photo. “No, no!” she exclaimed. She wanted me to continue painting stonily away while she cavorted in front of me, making double-handed V signs. It was as if she was an influencer and I was a boulder or a sign that read “Welcome to Moraine Lake.”
Bizarrely, this was not the only time we were treated as props by tourists.
In 2016, my daughter Mary and I set off across Alaska and Canada on a Great White North Adventure, which you can read about starting here. We arrived in Anchorage at the beginning of September and got home in mid-October. In between, we visited every province but PEI (been there, done that), and Yukon Territory. In retrospect, it might have made more sense to do this during the summer, since Alaska and Canada threw a mess of strange weather at us.
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Lake Moraine is 9X12, oil on archival canvasboard.
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