Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Climb Every Mountain

Delores has challenged.
Her minions scramble to obey.
Today's words?
Frequent, mischief, donuts, sparkling, ankle, distress 

Cute. But hard to carry . . .

Our family was on holiday.
A not in-frequent occurrence.
A chance for mischief and mayhem.
And donuts for breakfast.
And which, for us, meant stopping at every point of interest, museum, and huge ball of string we could find.
We were in Yellowstone Park.
The kids were loving it because there was lots of ‘nature’ and not one ball of string anywhere in the vicinity.
We had hiked to the bottom of one of the falls.
A nice steadily-downhill walk of about two kilometers (a little over a mile).
We had enjoyed the sight of the pure, sparkling water pouring down the cliff face.
The clean air.
The rampant forest growth.
And the ‘people-on-vacation’ watching.
Probably the most fun activity of all.
We were ready to start the hike back.
Now, I should point out here that the worst thing about hiking down into a site is the probability that one will, inevitably have to come up to get back out.
Unless there are people-porters about.
And there never are.
Hmmm . . . might be a good idea, though.
But back to my story . . .
We had ascended about fifty feet when my eldest daughter turned her ankle.
Awakening an old, rather nasty injury.
She was suddenly hobbling about on one leg.
Not a really convenient – or safe – way to hike up a forest path.
I don’t care how wide and smooth it is.
As everyone else had preceded us by several minutes, because my oldest daughter hadn’t finished ‘soaking in the beauty’, and because cell phones only existed on Star Trek, there was no one to turn to in our distress.
There was nothing else to do.
I would have to carry her out.
I should probably mention here that, my seventeen-year-old daughter weighed exactly the same as me at this point in time.
And was several inches taller.
She climbed on my back and we started up.
I could make it about thirty steps before I had to stop to breathe.
And make sure my heart hadn’t found a way to climb up out of my chest.
Oh, we made it.
Though the walk that had taken us ten minutes to go down took over an hour back up.
Our family spotted us as we came up over the last rise. They closed around us and my Husby took our daughter up the last 100 yards.
Where we both, my daughter and me, collapsed on a convenient bench.
The attendants were instantly swarming around her, offering ice and wraps and comforting, consoling words.
I, on the other hand, received nothing but a blithely given, ‘Thanks, Mom!’
But that’s okay.
She still owes me.
And I have a long memory . . .


  1. I have a feeling that rescue will come back to haunt her in more ways than one lol.

  2. My ankle still threatens to turn now and again...
    That 'trip' was sheer torture after that...

  3. It seems to me that there was a time when we were in Waterton, hiking along a trail. Blair was around 3 so he could make it on his own pretty well. But it was a hot day and he decided that Mon needed to carry him. There are some humorous photos of Blair trying to get Mom to pick him up.

  4. Currency like that is better than gold :)

    Caitlin, you have the bluest eyes I've ever seen! Beautiful!

  5. Oh the poor ankle! I might have dragged her up sitting on her jacket, there's no way I could carry anyone my size up a hill. More probably, I would have just waited at the bottom until someone came looking for us.
    Your last two lines had me laughing.

    1. Waiting would have been the better option, in hindsight . . .
      Heehee . . . when she least expects it . . .


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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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