ANTICIPATION

View from Mistaya Lodge

View from Mistaya Lodge

What is the best part of travel: anticipation, participation or the memory? I am about to leave for Mistaya Lodge, high in the Canadian Rockies, for two weeks of snowshoeing. This won’t be my first visit–more like my tenth.

I know that getting to the lodge will involve a spectacular helicopter ride up u-shaped valleys where glaciers spill from lofty summits, their crevasses gaping like ragged mouths, and sheer rock walls splotched with snow gleam black and white in the morning sun.

I look forward to good companions, good snow, more good food than is good for me. There will be early mornings and cold nights when sleep comes easily after an active day. There will be peace and spiritual renewal from experiencing a winter wilderness of incredible beauty.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a year, since the day I left after my last stay. The reality can always differ, of course; the weather may be terrible, the snow heavy or crusty, and last year, I injured my knee just before going, and spent two weeks confined to the lodge. Anticipation is never sullied by actual events or disappointing photos that affect the memory. It isn’t the most exciting or rewarding aspect of travel, but it is perhaps the most enjoyable.