The real Waterton is a whole lot more impressive.
These tell much more about the place, and the air and sky there, than the Parks Canada website. Where are my photos you ask? Aha. Well. my camera stayed at home like a good camera should not.
Still it wasn't the scenery that really struck home this visit. The scenery was grand, but it was socked in most of the time. Misty veils hung low on the mountains and when you could see high, you still could not see far.
No. What is really impressive about Waterton at this time of year is the quiet. There was an overwhelming sense of being at the edge of utter silence, not in a heavy way, just in the way a great land lays itself down to sleep, just in the way mother nature wafts her gentle hand across the landscape, gently and softly tucking things in before the serious weather of winter. A great quiet settles in the nooks and crannies of a place and slowly muffles evidence of grand personal exploits, extreme climbing and long hikes. The great quiet soaks into the senses almost before you realize it is there.
Busy winters and skiing are not the face of Waterton and there is something comforting in knowing that there is one park where a mountain winters gentle silence is honoured and allowed to stand, respected for what it is.
We stayed at the Waterton Lakes Lodge and I just cannot say enough about this really fine hotel. Short staffed as everyone is at this time of year, the people did a wonderful job. The young ladies and gents staffing the hotel and Vimys Lounge and Grill were wonderful. They served us in the morning, they served us at lunch and served the wedding banquet in the evening too. Long long hours but every one of those hours and all the people met with smiles. And though I did not meet her or him, whoever the chef was...I would follow you anywhere.
All that quiet, all that peace, all the great food, on top of comfy snuggly rooms, makes me long to return.