She woke early, sunrise in the mountains was truly Nature's art. She dressed in warm sweat pants and sweat shirt, ran her fingers through her hair, and grabbed her camera and headed out the door.
The colors that signaled the start of another day, the hues of pinks and oranges on the snow capped mountains against a vibrant blue sky was truly a work of art. No photograph could adequately capture the beauty in the truest sense. She was going to try, and she hiked to where she could get some good shots as the sun rose in the east.
She thought she was alone, when all of a sudden, he was there at her side, and they enjoyed the sunrise together, forgetting to take the photographs each so desired. They perched on a boulder, and silently, watched as the sun chased away the darkness of night. The silence was awed, they needed no words to explain what they saw, for each had the eye for the beauty around them.
She laughed, now the daylight was in full display, and the colors of the early morning had dissipated. "My husband could never understand why I got up so early to watch that show. He never fully understood my desire to capture it on film." It was nice to find someone who could appreciate the beauty, as she did.
He smiled at her, "I forgot to take pictures. I was rather engrossed in the simple beauty of it all."
"I know, isn't it magnificent?"
It was only 7 AM, and they had a couple of hours before they were to meet for breakfast, so they decided to each go and get ready for the day, and get an early start on breakfast at least. A half hour later, they met, each showered, and ready to tackle the trek at Johnston's canyon. A hearty breakfast at the little restaurant, that made the best coffee one had ever tasted. It must be the mountain air, but breakfast had never tasted so good. They lingered again, over the coffee, and got a thermos to go, along with bottles of water, and snacks in each of their backpacks.
The drive to the base of the walk wasn't that far, and once again, she drove. They parked, and each took their pack and camera bags, and set off at a leisurely pace. They talked as they walked, about photography, and life in general, what they did for a living, kids, and their respective late spouses. It was a time of discovery for both of them.
They snapped pictures as they walked, the forest greens, the sky blues, and wispy clouds that had floated in for the time being. The day was gorgeous, warm for the mountain summer, and they both shed the light jackets they were wearing.
The walk to the lower falls was gentle, easy, and the pictures they each got there were good. Each pleased with the results, they set off for the upper falls, and the walk became a bit more taxing, so they took their time, pausing to rest, and drink water, and nibble on homemade trail mix. The air was warm, but had the fresh scent of pine, moss, and something that can't be described. Something unique to mountain air. She told him of her time working in Banff, as a nurse in the hospital, and living in a resort that most people only get to visit. There was something about being a "local" and she still considered herself as such, even though many years had passed since she actually lived there.
They continued their hike, and finally got to the upper falls. She stood back as her companion took it in for the first time. He turned to her, and smiled a warm silent "thank you", and took his camera and started to take the pictures that he hoped would sell for a fine price back home. She joined him, and snapped some shots as well. They sat in the cool of the rock cavern, cut out by years of cascading water, and rested before they started back down the mountain. It was a great day, and it was fun to see someone else as excited about the wondrous beauty around them as she was. They decided to go to into the town of Banff for dinner, and he asked her where would be a good place to eat. She had someplace in mind, another favorite from years gone by.
It was good to be making new memories.
That night after dinner, they decided to get together with their laptops and view each others photos. It was plain to see he was a professional, his camera and other equipment gave him away, and she oohed and aahed over his "stuff". She was just an amateur, but still had a decent camera, and a good eye for a great shot. They sat in his cabin, with coffee and the computers between them critiquing each others work. She learned a lot from him that evening, and suspected that this would become a nightly ritual, after the day's shots. Photos were saved onto disks, and coffee was finished. She packed up her laptop, and he, being the gentleman that he was, walked her to her cabin. He left her once again, with a kiss on the cheek, and a promise to meet her at the boulder at sunrise.
She watched him turn, once again, and walk away, back to his own cabin. She let herself into her cabin, and leaned against the door. She liked this gentleman, with the soft southern drawl, who seemed to understand the pain of her loss. Perhaps it was time to move on, she thought as she readied herself for bed. She looked at her flannel pajamas, and grimaced at the "un-sexiness" of them, and then chided herself at the thought, wondering where it had come from in the first place. There hadn't been a man in her life that she wanted in that way for five years now. Perhaps, maybe. . .
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/novels/a-walk-around-the-lake-chapter-3.aspx">A Walk Around the Lake, Chapter 3</a>