Since we're planning the International Conference of Hutterian Educators, ICHE 2014, I often think of past conferences. The last one was here in Manitoba as well, and I served as Registrar then, the same as this time around. I'm really looking forward to the start of registration to see who all we'll be hosting!
But today I want to focus on the last ICHE in Canmore, Alberta. Beside the scenic location this conference had some very interesting speakers and offered a two great field trips. I, along with my friend, Catherine (Oak River) opted to take part in hiking the Johnston Canyon Trail. I wasn't really sure what that would entail, but I was ready to have a go at it and take in some gorgeous mountain scenes. I also knew that we'd be hiking for a few hours at least. There were a group of about ten of us who were picked up at the conference site and taken to where we would start the hike.
Before we ventured out, our guide suggested we all wear cleats, as the trail was snow-packed and slippery. I wasn't terribly excited about that, as they were awkward to walk with, and took some getting used to. However, it didn't take me long to realize that I wouldn't have wanted to be without them. This trail is mostly narrow and rugged, and at times we were on the side of a mountain on a catwalk. WOW! The walk was a gradual, but steady climb, which this prairie girl was not used to at all. I remember, at one point some of us were lagging so far behind, that our guide came back looking for us. Luckily we were all still upright and moving, albeit at snail- paced, to ensure that our weary muscles and lungs don't get overworked.
It was grueling to say the least, but well worth it! I would really like to do that hike again sometime! The fresh mountain air was amazing and the scenery absolutely breath-taking. This was May, so it was still a bit cool and there was quite a bit of snow on the mountain trail. At the end of this trail there were huge waterfalls that were mostly frozen, so all you could see were gigantic ice formations with some water trickling over them. Sometimes, though we could here the rush of the waterfalls in the distance as we were walking. At the trail's end we had walked 2.7 kilometers and gained 120 meters in elevation. Needless to say, I was dog-tired, but at least I knew it was all downhill from here!
By the time we got back to the conference site, most of the people had left for the day, including our traveling companions who we were banking on to take us to our hotel. So, with what little energy we had left we trudged the half mile or so to our room for some rest. (Did anybody have a cell phone in 2008? I can't remember, but know for sure I didn't :) I clearly remember nicely settling onto my bed, when there was a knock on our door. Our traveling companions, (: Remember J, J, J, E, K, and A.?) the dear souls: "We're going out for supper. Are you ready?"
"I. Don't. Think. So. You are going to bring us some. Thank you very much! The pizza and pop, but more than that, just resting was heavenly. But it was a good kind of tired, knowing we had experienced something we never had before.
How Great Thou Art - by 9 year old Rhema