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Bungalow camps in Canada Canadian Pacific Railway Company; Thornley, Betty; Macbeth, Madge 1923

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spwaKwsf*"'.^^8- BUNGALOW CAMPS IN
FOUR years ago the first Bungalow Camp along the
line of the Canadian Pacific was constructed. So
popular did this solution of the Where-to-Go and What-
to-Do vacation problem immediately become that other
bungalow camps of a similar type were created. In 1923
five new bungalow camps were opened, bringing the total
to eleven—three in Ontario, the remainder in the Rocky
Mountains. Next year further construction is contemplated for both east and west.
Behind the Bungalow Camp idea is an impelling
thought—that of taking men and women close to the
real heart of nature and of providing for them at moderate cost physical and mental recreation, amid beautiful
scenery, not otherwise so easily accessible.
Asst. Passenger Traffic Mgr.,        Asst. Passenger Traffic Mgr., Passenger Traffic Manager,
General Passenger Traffic Manager, Vice-President in Charge of Traffic,
CHI\I^TMAS    1923
•O^X*     f^GA. t9j <"?'?*- BUNGALOW CAMPS IN
By Betty Thomley
THIS morning isn't in the least like other mornings. For it isn't hard to
get up. Indeed, it would be impossible to stay in bed, even though
the three fat red blankets feel so good. There's a thrill and a tingle to
the air.    Something says, "Come out!"
It isn't the bold slate-grey bird with a trim white cap on his head who just
landed on the window-sill. And it isn't the gopher he chased under the verandah for spite.    Maybe it was a mountain . . .
Anyhow, here you are, out on the floor poking a big armful of clean bright
wood into the little round stove with the draught that nearly pulls you up the
chimney. There are dollars and metropolitan dollars' worth of that wood in
the box behind the door. But it's all yours—whew!—isn't the fire good?
July? Yes, of course it's July. And if you had a paper (which Heaven and
the C.P.R. forbid), you'd see that New York was prostrated and Chicago
couldn't even moan. But it's chilly here at six o'clock—blessedly, gorgeously
chilly. For you're at Wapta Camp in the Canadian Pacific Rockies, almost
at the top, on the Great Divide, where people talk of heat-waves in the
reminiscent tones of grandfather and the Civil War.
It's too early for breakfast, so you tuck some triscuits into your pocket and
a bit of chocolate, and slip out of your brown and beige bungalow with the
blue curtains. Over your shoulder you look at all the other little bungalows
backed into the mountain with a green lake at their toes; you fill your lungs
down to the last lazy quarter-inch with Rocky Mountain air; and if you don't
fly then and there, it's because you know walking is going to be so much more
fun. For this is your first morning. And you're going to Sherbrooke Lake.
If you were sensible, like most people, you'd have breakfast first and ride up.
But you can't wait to be sensible.    You never could!
That Walk to Sherbrooke Lake in the Morning
The tops of the mountains are blotted out in cloud that smokes slowly off
and up as you look at it. . . . The hills are red with Indian Paintbrush.
. . . There isn't a sound. . . . The road skirts round the green lake,
dives into the trees, goes up—up—and turns into a trail—up—up—till, at your
first breathless stop, you can see Lake Wapta like a mislaid piece of a green
puzzle-map, and a tiny foolish train with a puff of white marabou smoke,
crawling around its giant saucer-curve.
Then you pass behind an outlying buttress, and there isn't any lake, any
camp, any railroad. Just you. And trees. And millions of flowers. And
something quick and soft that scuttles through the underbrush. And the
trail. ... Is there anything so fascinating, so beckoningly not-to-be-
resisted as a trail errant?
Half an hour. Three-quarters. A crow caws. . . . And you climb
into a ghost-forest, silver-grey dead trees on a great bare hillside, all their
tiny down-curved branches eerily perfect. But no leaves ever again. They
died years and years ago in a forest fire. Cr-r-reak, they say, cr-r-reak, as the
wind sings over them under the far blue sky, and a marmot whistles. . . .
The Dominion Parks Commission ought to take them on tour across the continent as an object lesson.
Page two *qmr** *w
'• . - V-
"The custom of O'Hara is to float out over the still cool depths"
And then at last you round the mountainside
into a high upland meadow. The whole world is full
of the sound of water—a thin elfin trickle underfoot
from a glacial stream that has branched so often it chuckles at itself—a great
breathless flashing roar whirling valleyward through the trees away off to the
left—you can catch a glimpse of it here and there, a storm of white in its teeth.
You're walking on springy moss full of white heather-flowers, moss that smells
like all the Harris tweeds in the world, cut through with the thin cold of
glaciers. . . . And you don't need the trail any more, because that chill
malachite thing at the end of the valley is the lake itself, shut between brown
mountains and the fir-green of the trees.
You come to the margin, and you sit on a dead silver-grey log and cup your
hand and drink. Colder than ice-water. Better than any water there ever
was, with a rim of glass at the lip. Then you go back and lie down with your
nose in the heather. Your body's tired. Your soul is miles away from
thought of any kind to which you've been accustomed. You've just sense
enough to be drowsily thankful that nothing ever managed to kill you while
you were growing up, and working hard enough to earn the right to go to sleep
again at eight o'clock if you wanted to! . . . .
Pa&e three By and by, having eaten all the triscuits, you've moved to skirt back by
the pointed-treed little forest that rises behind the lake. . . . Pale yellow
columbines stand like elf-lamps on the brown floor. If you were your own
remote ancestor, you'd doubtless kneel there in the doorway of that strange
cathedral and say your prayers. . . .
i So you go down the trail, heather in your pocket, your coat over your arm.
Singing. Not out loud, like a Latin. But under your breath. You can't
sing, you know—you never could.    But you've just got to.
Four Weeks to Get Young In!
And all this soul-and-body entertainment, this smoothing you out and
tuning you up, has taken place before breakfast—on your first day. And
you've got four—f-o-u-r—agelong weeks of it ahead!
That evening, up at the community house with its gay flowers and chintzes
everywhere, yellow and green and brown like the woods themselves, you join
the ring around the blazing logs in the great stone fireplace. All you did,
yourself, after your strenuous climb, was to get settled in your bungalow and
take a little trot on a white horse called "Tommy" who knew the Yoho road
as a lady knows her own drawing-room. But these people can talk loftily of
trails and lakes and passes, of miles and guides and levels, after the manner of
So, listening to them, you determine to set out for Lake O'Hara Camp in the
morning. Tommy, faithful beast, will appear at nine sharp. ... So you
go down the hill to your bungalow early.
In the night you wake to the sound of rain on the roof—whispering rain—
the soothingest sound in the world. Poor apartment dweller that you are,
you haven't heard that sound since your childhood in the big old house with
the dim attic where you used to go and lie on your tummy under the high-
peaked window and hear the rain falling on Treasure Island and the Jungle
Book. . . . You're years nearer to that time to-night than you were a
week ago. . . .    The mountains did it.
Across Nine Miles—O'Hara Beckons
The trail to O'Hara is a long trail, a rough trail, a muddy trail. But
Tommy doesn't care. And you, sitting at ease on his philosophic back, mile
after twisting mile, feel your mind float out between the trees, across the blue-
grey distances, till it comes to rest on those eternal hills that hump their
amazing backs into the sky. Why is it you can't describe a mountain or paint
it, or photograph it convincingly?    You can get the shape and the colour of
Bungalow Camp at Lake O'Hara
Frank Photo
Page lour
;    .' ,     :•■;'•? it— in a sense you can
get the height and the
girth. But no one ever
put the sheer weight,
the unbelievable mass of
the thing, on any bit of
paper or board.
Here is the tame and
solid earth of the plainsman's knowing, and it
has "suddenly protruded
itself, it has risen up, it
hangs over. Who can
say it will stay there, this
giant bulk that blocks
the heavens? And yet,
serene and still, the miracle continues with the
snows upon its head!
In no way does the
trail prepare you for
O'Hara itself, roofed
over with trees as the
path is for most of the
miles. You realize that
you're somehow working
in behind that right-
hand rampart of Mt.
Victoria, that you've
seen from the verandah
of the Chateau at Lake
Louise. But it's all so
immense. You begin to
think O'Hara has retired
up some secluded valley,
laughing at tourists in
its Irish-green sleeve.
But you make a sudden
twist to the left, Tommy
climbs nobly with an
eager look in his eye, and—you're there!
Some people say Lake Louise is the loveliest thing in the mountains. But
they haven't seen O'Hara—a thousand feet higher, a million meadows'
greener, and so much nearer to those still white peaks. John S. Sargent said
he'd never get tired looking at it. Lucky man, Sargent, with a painter's eye
that could carry it all away.
You aren't a painter, but you're bound to have some queer experiences with
that little picture postcard of O'Hara that goes home with you in your trunk.
You're going to find magic in its flat black and white pattern—something that
you can stare your way into, so that you walk right out of your steam-heated
apartment, walk with your eyes, back into the space and the colour, back into
the breath of the spruce and the smell of water, and the high peace of it, back
into that cool golden afternoon when you walked half-way round the lovely
limpid thing hidden away where no one ever saw it, century after century.
There were six kinds of moss on one little fat flat rock you sat on. And you
looked down through the water, so clear it hardly seemed to be there at all,
Map showing location of the Bungalow Camps in the
Canadian Pacific Rockies
Page five Armstrong Roberts Photo
Starting off on the trail to Lake O'Hara from the community house of Wapta Bungalow Camp
and you saw a white crab-thing a quarter of an inch long, looking like the
bleached ninety-second cousin of a lobster, digging himself a hole in the pale
grey dust that used to be Mt. Victoria, and burying himself head first.
Then it came to you as never before, what an extraordinary thing this universe
is. And you wondered if Mt. Victoria knew it, and the crab. Perhaps,
being simple souls, they knew far more about it than you did. . . . All of
which will come back to you, mountain and dust and crab, as you look at the
picture postcard when you get it safely home.
Things to Eat, and Things to Do
Meals in the mountains are all good. But meals at O'Hara take on an
extra special wonder by virtue of the fact that everything has to be brought in
over that nine-mile trail. Yet you have whatever your heart could desire,
including salad and fresh fruit. And when you catch a glimpse of partial
explanation in the smiling yellow face in the kitchen, you think again of the
strangeness of a world that has Canton in it—and those miles of tunnelled
streets under the bamboo awnings—and this great spacious nothingness,
given to God and the bears!
That evening is dedicated to the sunset and the raft. For the custom of
O'Hara is to float out over the still cool depths to see those violent cerise
banners flung across from crag to crag, and watch them distil into gold, and
fade into purple as the stars come out. If there's a moon—oh, little moon
over O'Hara, we could give a million million dollars for you willingly, if you'd
Page six " Your brown and beige bungalow with blue curtains"
only shine down our street at home! But you
wouldn't come away from Cathedral, and Odaray,
and Hungakee, and the Wiwaxy Peaks.
Upstairs to Lake McArthur
Next morning, the trip to Lake McArthur undoubtedly divides the sheep
from the goats, though we leave it to you to name your own company. The
wise of this world lie snug abed till the conventional breakfast hour, after which
horses appear. But the fools rise up at dawn (while one thermometer says
37° and the other 21°), and push boldly out into a dew-starred meadow with a
little slim cloud out of the sky parked right in front of the dining-room, sitting
on the grass!
After a breakfast that seems impossible when you return to sea-level
appetite, you go up—up—upstairs till you see the camp shrink into little gay
yellow toy-houses, and you feel as though you must be going to take lunch
with Orion and the Great Bear. Then you come into an upland meadow with
mountains on all sides, and a little clear stream trickling across it, lined and
frilled with white flowers and yellow flowers; spaced, too, with nice well-
behaved stepping-stones that wouldn't think of turning over.
Then you hoist yourself up another brown aerial staircase, and you come
out onto another meadow all strewn with huge grey rocks. On the hugest of
these sits a fat brown marmot, as big as a dog, with cream-coloured head
and shoulders and a pair of eyes that could see the moon at noon. . . . Look!
There are three more furry heads up beside him, marmot kittens, as playful as
real kittens and far more curious. Then he whistles like nothing else you ever
heard (thin, high, shrill, eerie in that lost place), and there are no kittens.
There never were, he wishes you to feel. . . .
You swing out onto a mountainside for your last and stiffest climb, with an
immense and secret valley to the right, a valley that clouds could sail in, and
hundred-year forests hide at the bottom of, a valley glissaded with enormous
mountains, their heads all powdered, and so very near.
Page seven J
Armstrong Roberts Photo
Cabins by the lake shore at Wapta Bungalow Camp
You go around the corner of that mountain—up over a great rockslide—
up—up—till your heart beats in your ears and your feet walk on top of each
other, and—you're out on the last great tableland where there's neither
peaceful stream, nor huge rock, nor whistling marmot—nothing but infinite
silence, and white heather, and great tongues of snow in the hollows, and at
the end of the meadow, a towering whiteness with a frozen lake at its feet.
Frozen until the middle of July.
Blue. Bluer than anything you ever thought could be. Frosted blue,
melted a bit at the edges, but even there, laced with long faint crystal fingers
that might turn it back to ice as you watched.
Are You Hot?    Are You Cold?    Both!
And here is where you realize that fairy-tale combination you've always
dreamed about—to be warm and cool at the same time. You can wade in
crunchy snow—with blossoms on each side of it. While you feast your eyes
on enough ice for all the long cold drinks of a thirsty world—the thin silk shirt
on your back is still wet from the climb. And when you sit down against a
huge and heavenly chilly grey stone—you have to tilt your brown felt hat-
brim down to keep the shouting blue-glorious sky out of your eyes, and the
high and shining sun!
Lie down in the heather, you poor complex, city-wearied thing. Let the
little soft tinkling voices whisper to you as the mountain snow trickles down,
not in a single stream, but everywhere at once, around this strange blue lake.
Here is the home of the ultimate peace.    Nothing to disturb the wonder of the
Page eight V-
Lake McArthur—"The mountain snow trickles down the strange blue lake"
first day of creation before the Lord made the mosquito. . . .    Go to sleep
in the sun!
The Things They Do at O'Hara
If you're a true mountaineer, you'll stay many days at O'Hara, taking the
Ottertail trail that branches off on the way to McArthur; climbing to Lake
Oesa; perhaps even going up over Abbott Pass to Louise, though this trip is
easier done from the other side; or over Opabin Pass to the Valley of the Ten
Peaks. Quite half the people who stay at O'Hara come over the passes—
with Swiss guides, of course—and the camp-fire is surrounded with tales o'
nights, and in the morning, you mustn't be surprised if you're waked with
the sound of a real yodel!
After O'Hara, a few lazy days at Wapta again (where you can have a
blazing hot bath), and then there comes the morning when you call for Tommy
to ride to Yoho Camp—thirteen miles—from which point you're going over the
pass to Emerald Lake, where your bags will precede you by train.
On the Road to Yoho
There are few roads where you can trot in these so-rocky mountains, but
this is one of them, and as you follow the old railway line, superseded to-day by
the famous four levels of the spiral tunnels, you're glad that Tommy has wings
as well as brains in his feet. The Kicking Horse River plunges along through
its valley, beside the road at first, then far, far down in one roaring cascade
after another, till by the time you reach the big pink rock opposite the mouth
Page nine Armstrong Roberts Photo
' Yoho Bungalow Camp is cradled in the roar of the falls"
of Yoho Valley, its brawling hardly rises up to you at all, out of the tall old
forest that lines the bottom like green moss.
Mt. Stephen is behind you, an elephant-nosed giant with his head in the
mists and a few thousand tons of blue ice on his shoulder. He has a full-
grown silver mine scored into that long trunk, but it looks like a bridge of
matches that ends in a swallow's hole. In front, the valley opens—enormous
green gash in the world—a valley you'd not be surprised to see all the angels of
God come riding down on comets. A far gleam of blue—light on a thousand
acres of never-melted snow—the flash of the Yoho—and you have to choose
whether you'll let Tommy keep to the road like a gentleman, or drop over the
edge where the telephone poles go down, and follow the one-strand wire
(like Eric's golden thread), till you come to the upper bridge into the valley.
Whichever way you go, it's heavenly going.
There are motor roads, of course, from Wapta to Field—from Field to
Emerald—from Field to Yoho. And if you're tired, or lazy, or not so young in
your legs as you are in your eyes, you can let the specially-licensed chauffeur
give you a most marvellous trip of it around those hairpin curves. But in any
case, you come at last to the wide valley opposite the twelve-hundred-foot
drop of Takakkaw—Takakkaw, like spun glass, like silver fire—Takakkaw
that springs out of the enormous inert mass of Daly Glacier like the soul out
of the body—only Takakkaw hasn't yet learned to go up, despite the fact
that you never saw water so ethereal.
Yoho Bungalow Camp is cradled in the roar of the falls—you hear it all day
Page ten . •wm?*r?*&*rH*' "wt
li ...
t \%
Armstrong Roberts Photo
"Sky high where the glaciers are"
long as you explore the nearer points; its great undertone
fills the bowl of the night as you lie in bed in the cheerful
yellow lamplight, while the stove sisses a bit, and—
Do You Walk to Yoho Glacier—or Ride?
Before you know, it's morning.    There are so many
things to do, and you've such oceans of pep—what shall
you do first?    Walk the seven miles to Yoho Glacier?
Or  ride?    Over  the  road that loses itself in acres of
stones,   criss-crossed   by  a  raging  little  glacial  stream
divided into a dozen streamlets—on through a stately
avenue of trees like the approach to a great castle—up
a hill, where the road runs out into a trail—down the hill
again, beside a little lost lake—and so on to Laughing
Falls, not very high, but sweet and cold and chuckly—
across the rushing ice-grey Yoho River on a
\ two-log  bridge—up   another  hill—then,   sud
denly, the glacier, humped up huge and white,
'■">. a glacier you can walk on, for it
has no crevasses since it lies in
a cup. . . .
Lunch, in plebeian bites.
Page eleven nimipr ^T^ -.-Tr ■-jaBg aKg$ r2P"  '4?   ^ S^*
"Whichever way you go there^~a wonderful
lunch waiting for you"
Hot coffee.    Heavens, how good it tastes! . . .   And back home, they're trickling round the corner for iced something-or-other—what there is left of them.
For the Favourite of the Gods
If you're a favourite of the gods, you may get up on the right-hand wall of
the Yoho Valley some day and walk that lovely upland meadow that slopes to
Fairy Lake, sky-high were the glaciers are. You may even walk on the Daly
ice field itself—mile after frozen mile, stretching from Mt. Balfour to Mt.
Page eleven Armstrong Roberts Photo
Tea House at Summit Lake, Yoho Pass
Niles. It isn't so cold in the sunshine; and you
could come down over behind Sherbrooke Lake and
surprise them all at Wapta! But this, of course,
you could never do alone, or even with an ordinary
guide, for there are no trails there. Only instinct,
in the brains of men who were born to know the
way of the rocks and the snows. But one of them
might take a notion to be nice to you. . . . You
never can tell!
The left-hand side of the Valley, though—ah,
that's for one and all.   Tommy sighs when he thinks
' You can go over Burgess Pass and come down into Field"
Page thirteen %&«mmmi»
limUJ '■/■'!
PrS».   I   W
'■r/!i¥:    % ■■•■'• "^if^CT. ,„.
At Wapta Bun
'That evening, up at the Community house with its gay
brown like the woods themselves, you join the ring a
Page sixteen
\     1. lalow Camp
lowers and chintzes everywhere, yellow and green and
jund the blazing logs in the great home fireplace."
Page seventeen
III The top of the world at Storm Mountain Rest
* 'From the verandah you can see Storm, of course, the long slag walls of the Sawback Range—Castle Mountain, too,
and looking down the road to the southwest, peak after peak, peak after peak"
look down at the lake, it will be quite worth any journey you may have taken.
But you can be as strenuous as you like, for you can go over Burgess Pass and
come down into Field; you can climb Mt. Stephen, the most-climbed peak in
the mountains, and dig your own geology from the 150-foot-thick fossil beds;
you can go back to O'Hara, to McArthur, to Oesa, to the Ottertail; you can
even take the train to Leanchoil and explore the Ice River Valley, a place
where very few people know enough to go at all.
On the Banff-Lake Windermere Motor Road
But perhaps you want an entire change of scene, something to do that
doesn't in the least concern itself with horses or climbing. If so, you'll take a
trip down the Banff-Lake Windermere motor road, that 110-mile dream-come-
true that lets the traveller into land so new that many of the mountains aren't
named yet, and almost none of the trails are fixed for guideless tourists. Once
beyond the five-mile-on-either-side-of-the-highway that constitutes the long
ribbon of Kootenay Park, anyone who wants may shoot sheep and bear and
goats in season, to say nothing of deer and moose; and anyone who wants may
fish at any time, inside the Park or out, and never come trophyless home.
The road was opened on June 30th, 1923, and history began there, so far as
the modern world is concerned. But, if you chance on an old-timer you'll hear
tales of Kootenays and Blackfeet, of the Priest's mine and the Ochre beds, of
long-dead prospectors and silent chiefs, that will make a shadowy background
—a bit melancholy, but wholly picturesque—for the white-floored, tree-
bordered, mountain-crowned miles of the present.
You can start from Banff or from Louise, but the road proper begins midway between them, at Castle Mountain, and pitches southwest and steeply
upward into the untrodden wilds.
Page eighteen The Top of the World at Storm Mountain Rest
You were a chattering party when you left the
hotel—a heterogeneous crowd intent only on another
'fef.,,     trip.    But somehow, as the motor climbs, climbs, and
the miles reel off under your tires, the talk dies away.
'%■     ItStiJi ■„ This new world into which the road has bored its
^S^jjtr    \^ way is a world older than Time, yet, in some vivid
and tremendous fashion, still unfinished. That scarred skyline seems as though it might break in a black wave and
sweep down on life as we know it, with the crash of suns—
surely nothing so vital, so full of power, could be fixed forever   .  .  .   done.    These huge creatures of granite and snow that
crouch together above the tiny track, these mountains in among
whom you've dared to come—you've never seen so many together, so close—
herds of mountains, one behind the other, looking over each other's shoulders,
enormous, inert, yet—alive. . . .    You feel as though you'd slipped through
the hole in the wall—gone into the land where we only go in dreams.
At last you swing around a curve, and the biggest mountain of them all
sweeps into view. Some of the peaks must despise the names they've been
given—names of mere men and women, chance likenesses to unimportant
things—little names that mean nothing in the shadowy mind of so vast a
creature.    But this mountain is well named.    Storm.
A million tons of rock went to its making, a million years to its rearing, a
million storms to the carving of its great head, powdered with snow. No
trees to soften it, except the trees in the hills that break about its feet. Always
a cloud behind it.    Always a wandering wind.
And yet—opposite the mountain, perched by the side of the road, five
hundred feet above the valley floor, there stands Storm Mountain Rest. And
in the paradox of those first and last words lies the secret of the place. All
that there is in us that thrills to the storm—all that craves rest—yearns to the
wind-bare hilltop, where the little bungalow sits, inscrutable, and takes us in
for tea.
From the verandah you can see Storm, of course, and all the burnt-cinder
pinnacles, the long slag walls of the Sawback Range with cloud shadows
drifting across them—grey, violet, mist-coloured, black. Castle Mountain,
too. And, looking down the road to the south-west, peak after peak, peak
after peak—treed or treeless, black or snow-crowned—vista after vista that
flings together miles of far-off mountain-top in a little dip between two nearer
giants. If you aren't a real Alpinist, you can never see another such view in
all the Rockies or the Selkirks. It has an austere grandeur that makes it kin
to those snowbound miles far above timberline that few people but the Swiss
guides ever see.
Page   nineteen Sinclair Canyon on the Banff-Lake
Windermere automobile road
No wonder you decide to break your
motor trip to stay overnight—over many
nights. There's the three-mile trail to Boom
Lake—and right on over into the Valley of
the Ten Peaks if you're adventurous enough.
The motor road goes on to Vermilion, and
from that point you can get back, over many
spectacular mountain miles, to Lake O'Hara
and Wapta Camp. Storm Mountain Rest
House will one day be the centre of many
trails that ray out like the spokes of a magic
wheel. But the fishing won't be any better
in the creek than it is to-day, and the sunrise
will be no more wonderful than it always has
been from this solemn top of the world,
where the day begins with a primeval immensity that shakes whatever soul you
happen to have. The dripping grey chill,
the hush, the mist in the valleys, and then,
pink over the Sawbacks—flames over the
Sawbacks—the sun! No man who stays in
bed till the fit and proper time is ever as
cold as you are just before the miracle. But
no man with his nose in the pillow ever felt like an archangel at any time, and
—you did. No wonder the morning stars sang together. They were lucky
to be able to express what they felt!
But there comes a day when the road beckons, and off we go by motor,
under a high blue sky, to meet the Vermilion River, born almost on the toes
of Storm, but destined to rush into the cold arms of the Kootenay far to the
south. Having met it, we wind about and about in its company, thankful
that it dug such a spectacular yet convenient valley for itself just where we
wanted to go.
Always we can see peaks that have never been climbed—when the road
engineers came first in 1910, the country hadn't even been surveyed! Always
we can look down long valleys that cry for our cameras. . . . But the
motor whirls on, carrying us deeper into the shut-in world of gorge and crag
and glacier.
At Marble Canyon there is a gash in the rock three hundred feet deep, and a
trail to the Paint Pots, those mysterious round wells of colour from which the
Kootenays of the old days used
to get their sacred ochre, and
trade it to the plains Indians
for more mundane things. Today, an efficient little tea-house
makes the X that marks the
spot where many a motor-tourist stays for a meal, or for the
Big Game at
Vermilion Crossing
A few miles farther on, at
Vermilion  Crossing,  the river
turns    Sharply    to    the    SOUth- Armstrong Robert. Photo
West, and here, in the   bend   Of On the verandah of Sinclair Hot Springs Camp
Page twenty y
. •'
its cool and foamy
arm, there's another
camp, a tepee village
set where the Kootenays
themselves used to rest before
they crossed.    This is the very
middlemost middle of the big game
country.   If you want to see a bear, you have only to
wander off the road in the cool of the evening.    You
may even be surprised by a fantasia on pie-plates in
the grey dawn as the staff chases away a huge and
furry  clown  who   insists  on  kicking the milk pail
around because he's failed to reach the ham.    You're
in the Park, you see, and so is he.    Liberty, equality
and fraternity include the pursuit of hams.    But if
you're a hunter—well, it isn't so easy for him to carry
a foot-rule in his eye and judge just when he's got
his hind-leg on the wrong side of the magic five-
mile line.    And there are always guides to be had
who know where to locate not only bears of all
sizes, but sheep and goats and deer.
Fishing, too, can be had around Vermilion. >
And now that the trail over Wolverine Pass
has  been   completed—the very latest  and
most spectacular  wrinkle   in   the  Rockies'
multiple face—even the thirty-third degree
mountaineer is bound to be happy be
cause he has a four-day trip ahead
of him  that  not only includes the bleak grandeur
of the Pass, but the toes of
Mt. Goodsir, the Ottertail
Valley,   McArthur  Creek,
and Lake McArthur itself,
with O'Hara as the final
From Vermilion to
Sinclair Canyon
At Vermilion Crossing
' The River turns sharply, and here in the bend of its cool,
and foamy arm there is another camp"
As the Vermilion and the Kootenay approach each other, the most picturesque part of the trip begins, and the road winds along the high ridge
between the two rivers, cunningly graded and skilfully bent, caught to the
mountainside as only a genie or an inspired engineer could do it. Here, too,
is where you see that terific object lesson, five miles long, that weird study in
black and grey, in lines and spots, that used to be a forest before Kootenay
Page twenty-one Armstrong Roberts Photo
"Lake Windermere lies warm and still under skies that
are always blue"
Park was established.
But now it's an infinite
series of slim skeletons
that will soon be as silvered as those at Sherbrooke Lake. No
wonder the Parks
Commission has placed
a black-rimmed signboard at each end of
that pathetic cemetery.
Carelessness. That's
what did it. . . . And
when you take these
jackknife turns it's just
as well to remember
that there are other
forms of the disease
than those concerned
with cigarettes.
And then comes the level valley of the Kootenay and the long forest aisles—
a different world and a kinder. Here is where you'll see a deer, perhaps—
or a deer and two little fawns, startled and big-eyed and keen to get away,
but not really frightened. Here is where you see flowers among the timber,
and campers among the flowers.
And then you climb again to Sinclair Pass, sweeping upward in great
curves. You pass the Iron Gates, those grim rose-henna guardians of this
inner world. You drop down to Sinclair Hot Springs in the narrow gorge of
the canyon. And you go for a swim in the pool. Imagine wanting a temperature of 110° in July! But the high winds of the mountains have made it seem
the pleasantest thing that could happen to you—or perhaps the very pleasant -
est is the cup of tea and the flaky little hot biscuits you get in the pretty community house of the bungalow camp on the top of the hill after you're all
dressed and civilized again.
Lake Windermere Camp at the End of the Road
Next morning it doesn't take long to drop, circling like a great bird, to the
valley levels where Lake Windermere lies peaceful after all the emotional
climaxes of the mountains.
There's something hard to describe about this huge trench that the
Columbia River has dug between the Rockies and the Selkirks. The two
ranges tower, white-headed above their bench lands and their river reaches,
facing each other across a great green gulf, mountains of another world, as
aloof and ever-beautiful as one's memories of childhood. Lake Windermere
lies, warm and still, in the middle under skies that are always blue. There
are flowers and flowers and more flowers.    There are lazy bells again, as the
cows graze     But none of these things quite accounts for the feeling of
Elysian ease that makes the very soul of the place. When you go in swimming,
you turn over on your back and float, and look into the high blue. When
you fish—well, you do catch something every time, but you wouldn't much
care if you didn't. When you motor, you're willing to loaf. Truly, a lotus-
There's a golf course. There are tennis courts. There are motor launches
on the lake, and rumours of an old river boat that will take her serene course
under the orange moon while the people dance.    There's the David Thompson
Page twenty-two Fort where town
gatherings and
dances are held,
and you can study
the Indian in the
craftwork he has
left. There are
guides and horses
and outfits for you
to go shooting in
season, either into
the Selkirks or up
Vermilion way. Or
you can find ducks yourself, hundreds of them, almost anywhere in the valley.
And as for side trips—nobody who has ever seen a cool and breathless
picture of the Lake of the Hanging Glaciers will want to miss that astonishing
thing if he can spare the time, and is good for fording rivers. But even if he
isn't, there will still be Toby Canyon with its three-hundred-foot high bridge
and the Paradise mines beyond, eight thousand feet in air—and Radium Hot
Springs—and Swansea Peak—and—that's just a beginning. Indeed, as you
settle down in your bungalow at Lake Windermere Camp by the lake shore, it
comes to you that this isn't a place to visit and rush away from. It's a centre
for a whole summer's rest and exploration. Which is what the old-timers felt
when you were too young to know where the Rocky Mountains were.
Bungalows at Lake Windermere
In the Valley of the Ten Peaks
But there's one more bungalow camp we haven't seen, and if you're a
true bird of passage you'll fly north again over the Banff-Lake Windermere
Road (or round by train from Invermere to Golden, where you'll be on the
main line), and when you finally get off at Louise, you'll motor over to the
Valley of the Ten Peaks where the green-blue waters of Moraine Lake lie
below the high-pitched mountains and the ramparts of Babylonian brick.
A glacier reaches over the top of the world like a huge white paw, blue-green
at the tip; and there's a bungalow camp on a bench of the hills above the lake.
There are trails that time has smoothed into a kindness possessed by few
trails in the Rockies—the trail around the lake—the trail to Consolation Lake
in its still, park-like valley where there are always birds, and flowers, and good
fishing, and marmots
peering at you over
the tops of their ancestral halls—the trail to
Wenkchemna Lake and
Pass — the trail over
Sentinel Pass to Lake
Louise with lovely
Paradise Valley on the
way, and the grim pit
of Sheol, and Saddleback, where you'll have
one of the world's best
cups of tea no matter
when you make port,
and a chance to buy
interesting souvenirs,
as  unexpected  as
Moraine Lake Bungalow Camp flowers in a bird's nest.
On the bench of hills above the lake
By Madge Macbeth
WEST is West and East is East, and there's no especial reason for wanting
the two to meet—for holiday purposes, anyway!    Indeed, the farther
they are apart, and the more links there are in the chain of Bungalow
Camps, the greater the joy of the tourist.
He snatches up a map and looks at Ontario. A fine large province,
this . . . rather less thickly settled than he had imagined. An ideal place
for a playground, with its sweep of deep forest cut by a network of silvery
waterways, like glittering tinsel on a background of sombre velvet. Yes, a
fine large province, with fine large lakes, and literally hundreds of luring rivers
—aquatic trails through which he can travel and re-capture the appetite lost
somewhere between the Delicatessen at the corner and the Italian Restaurant
where they serve a table d'hote dinner for sixty-five cents (Saturday and
Sunday excluded); soothe frazzled nerves that jangled painfully at the sound
of even the softest voice; and win from Queen Night her priceless gift of
Sleep. Like a magic carpet, his fleet canoe will bear him whither whim
dictates, and unlike the sturdy mountain pony, it demands no food and little
attention.    The trails are as old as the sea, infinitely varied and hauntingly
Page twenty-four At French River Bungalow Camp
" This cabin commands a magnificent view of the river for about two miles"
lovely . . . trails that in the sunshine remind him of gleaming mercury, and
under grey shadows look like a strip of gun metal; trails that are broken by
turbulent rapids, where tongues of water rise, turn to curdling foam, break and
bluster onward, plunging over and around the rocks with crazy continuance—-
month after month, year after year—rushing, foaming, scolding, laughing,
dangerously daring .  . .
And there, are still, shadowy reaches where sky and hill and tree lie mirrored.    And they whisper to the paddler—
"Come! You want to taste a bit of heaven . . . Here is solitude without loneliness; quiet without monotony; here is ineffable peace. And that is all
there is to heaven. .  .  .    Come!"
And whoever listens to that siren call is conquered.
Anything to Get Away
Somewhere near. He is too restless to sit cooped up in the train. What's
this—French River—a Bungalow Camp—only 215 miles north of Toronto?
Fine!    Khaki  clothes,  fishing  tackle,   a bathing  suit—the  gods  are  good!
He gets away.!
French River Camp
The train rumbles hollowly across a splendid steel bridge. A strange note
in the primordial quiet. On one side, a lusty hill shuts off the view. On the
other, a broad river slips between high rock walls, bound upon some mysterious
business down in Georgian Bay. The train stops. The passenger alights.
This is French River Station.
Page twenty-five V*
If F&s. •   '""
mT~~ 11 Mm
Across the track there is a road, and a road is generally worth exploring.
This road leads up to the crest of that lusty hill, and there, like a crown, on
the brow of some mighty giant, rests the Camp; in the centre, the Community
House, flanked by rows of cabins.
His cabin commands a magnificent view of the river for about two miles.
There, on the 75-foot bluff, he is sure that Etienne Brule must have stood
more than three hundred years ago, and thrilled at the wonder of the panorama
that unfolded before him; he recalls that Champlain followed the French River
down to Georgian Bay and was said to have made camp on this very spot.
He is sitting on his very own verandah, his feet on the rail, his Dunhill
plumed with a bluish mist, and he thinks intently ... of nothing, scarcely
realizing the measure of his own contentment.
And over his shoulder he can see the interior of his very own cabin with its
hardwood floors, its screened, chintz-curtained windows framing an indescribable bit of pinkly-amber sky. Lazily, he notes the electric light, the running
water, a spacious clothes closet, and bed.
The throb of a deep-toned bell rouses him. From all quarters campers
are hurrying along the rocky boulevards to the dining-hall. They give
indisputable evidence of being ravenous.    He sighs ... a little disgusted.
Page twenty-six Nipigon River Camp
.      " you cherish an ardent hope to beat the
world's record for speckled trout"
But he eats a very creditable meal, sitting at a table
spread on the wide verandah
of the Community Building,
and listening to his three companions. They have just returned from a fortnight's trip
up to Lake Nipissing.
He gasps at the thought of
so much energy.
He leaves the table abruptly and goes to bed.
For a while he lies there, thinking how his very soul is sick with weariness,
and wondering when it will be morning.    He is conscious of a blurred symphony
of night-song, he feels intensely sorry for himself . . .   this terrible insomnia . . . and opens his eyes to find hot sunlight splashing across his bed.
He Essays a Short Trip
Everybody is making ready to fish. Guides, both Indian and white, ply
between the kitchen and the dock. In the dining room a few people are
eating a hasty breakfast with open fly-books beside them. "I'm going to
Meshaw Falls," volunteers one.    " Nice jaunt for a day."
"I'm going to try the Little French," calls another,
back for lunch."
There passes a guide with a huge pack on his shoulders
to woo a muscalunge from the Second Rapids to-day,"
The Tired Tourist watches them depart. Then he repairs to his verandah,
tips back his chair and prepares to take the complete rest he came for.
But in the middle of the morning he is drawn down to the dock, where a
merry crowd of amphibians is bathing. Before he knows exactly how it
happened, he is swimming too, and the waitress went twice to the kitchen to
replenish his plate with bass that an hour ago had been heading for Lake
Huron.    A little later, seeing a guide who looked as though he had nothing to
Page twenty-seven
"Possibly, I'll be
"Thought I'd try
announces a third. Armstrong Roberts Photo
" You scramble down the slippery rocks below the
falls and cast"
do, he suggests a trip to RecolletFalls,
about four miles distant, where seven
ill-starred priests lost their lives when
their canoes were whirled to the rapids
The Lust of Conquest
The river narrows as it glides between escarpments of moss-patterned
rock. The Tired Tourist thinks he
will make a cast or two.
"I've got one," he breathes, as
though the fact were cause for great
"Big fellow," comments Friend-
Guide, ready with the net.
Sunset finds fish still rising gamely. He can't stop. This is the happiest day he has known for years.
And the hungriest.
And now he's the Club nuisance.
He's bronzed and fat and dynamic to
a maddening degree. His stories are
outrageous—he caught a muscalunge
—and the description of that fight,
of landing the monster single-handed,
will fatigue an audience as long as breath stays in his body.
French River has much to answer for!
A wrack of sullen cloud cast shapeless shadows on Lake Helen when I
stepped out of my cabin in the morning. The sort of day you can go without
a hat, and without fear of adding to your wrinkles. Dazzling sunshine is all
right for the face of a landscape, but that of a woman is mortally apt to suffer!
A smart little launch bore us down the Nipigon River to see the picture
rocks on Lake Superior.
Imagine a great sheer cliff, upon whose face a mountain goat would not
dare to climb, decorated with a succession of cabalistic symbols executed in a
colour medium whose durability is unknown in modern pigment.
The Indians claim that the pictures are the work of a manitou, who simply
laid his finger on the rock, and thus gave out The Word that would remain
for all time. If they know the translation of the hieroglyphs, they pretend
The Nipigon Trip
But it is inconceivable that one should spend all one's time near Camp, or
even exploring the beauties of the Jackfish and the Steel Rivers. The Reservation can be visited in half a day, and also the amethyst mine. One simply
must go up river and take the Nipigon trip—which means that there is
eighty miles, or ten days, or a cramfull soul of delight, to make this summer
different from any other one has known.
Page twenty-eight V
Virgin Falls
The sky turns to tenderest rose. A single star, like a lonely beryl, guides
us through the Virgin Islands, and presently we hear the thunder of Virgin
Falls. The Indian guides grow silent . . . listening to the grandeur of
Nature's sonorous song.
We disembark from our launch and pick our way through a pungent trail
to a place of matchless beauty ... a sparsely-wooded cliff overlooking a
seethe of black-green water that lies in great smooth pools, apparently without
motion. On all sides of these vast glazed cups, masses of tinted foam rise;
they look like churning chalcedony. And below, in the liquid madness that
men call rapids, clouds of moonstones form and break . . . monotonously . . .
variedly . .  . day and night through the centuries .  .  .
Royal Sport
"Up the Nipigon" roughing-it-de-luxe takes on its true meaning. You
have a tarpaulin floor to your spacious A tent. You have a folding cot, and
a pile of soft clean blankets. Also, you have a pillow. It sounds absurd, but
you have a basin of hot water brought to your door in the morning, soap and a
bath towel, too. You have a dining tent, a substantial table, and folding
chairs. Your meal is cooked by a man who has titillated a royal palate—
that of the Prince of Wales. Yes, His Royal Highness took this very trip,
camped on these very spots, and possibly caught some of the very same trout
that will take your lure, and with cunning acquired by long experience, spew
it out to disappoint another angler!
You scramble down the slippery rocks below the Falls and cast. Like
a squat shadow, Friend-Guide stoops and nets a fine fat trout.
" 'Bout four pound," he says, although the thing looks twice that big.
You cherish an ardent hope to beat the world's record for speckled trout,
which was made in 1915 in Nipigon waters, when a monster weighing 14|
pounds was taken.
Another . . . and another. They seem to rush over that dark green wall
with no other intention than of swallowing your fly. There! This fellow
is a five-pounder, maybe more.    You stop fishing to eat half of your catch!
Shooting the Rapids
The increasing alertness of the two Indians that man one's canoe, the
sharp cry from the bow as the nose of the boat is caught in a swirling cataract,
the short stabbing with paddles that but a moment since were rhythmic and
slow.    Icy spray in one's face, rocks flashing by, the strange sensation of
The Nipigon Rapids—"Icy spray in one's face, rocks flashing by—one races as swiftly
as the water"
Page twenty-nine Devil's Gap Camp. Kenora.—"The cabins
nestle amid a grove of delicate birches"
being stationary, for one races as
swiftly as the water. A warning
from the stern ... a wall of foam
ahead . . . one shuts one's eyes,
and opens them to find placidity
. . . the rapids are past.
Wide Landscapes and
Smiling Skies
The fifteen miles from Virgin
Falls to Flat Rock were all too
short. So was the night we
camped there. Such fishing! Such
a sunset. . .  . Turneresque  in  its
flaming glory! Such a bonfire and satisfying rest! Over a trail broken by
the wild creatures of the forest, we made a portage, next day, and paused
only long enough to catch a pike that would not be driven away, then whirled
through a beautiful stretch of water called White Chute, and presently
arrived at Pine Portage, one of the most celebrated fishing grounds on the
river. We fished right in the rapids, our canoes anchored by a huge stone,
and held as steady as two stalwart guides could hold them. Where are
there words to describe such sport?
Homeward We Flew
And like a covey of homing birds we flew towards Cameron Falls and
Camp Alexander. A smart wind was blowing. The Indians unrolled their
packs and took from them a pile of blankets which they rigged up as sails.
The river widened into a lake. All the light in the world seemed caught,
imprisoned there. Landmarks rushed past. . . . Island portage, Split Rock,
Old Indian, Hiawatha's blanket. . . . The breeze stiffened into a gale. We
sang ... we shouted ... we were wild with the joy of it all. This was life
. . . life!
Both glad and sorry we danced up to the dock on Lake Helen. Our
mounted fish were lifted carefully ashore. Sun-burned, wind-burned and
fat—oh, Jimmie's incomparable flap-jacks!—we tried to give an out-going
party a hint of the pleasure that would be theirs. And words, those tricky
beggars, failed us.    We could only cry, "Fine!    Glorious!    Unforgettable!"
Page thirty np^TT;: tf.
Lac des Isles, an old explorer called the
Lake of the Woods, and with reason, for its
fair expanse is dappled with eleven thousand islands—eleven or thereabouts.   What
difference  does  one  more  or  less   really
make?    And threading your way between
a dozen of them, the launch rounds a sharp
curve, and there, guarding a narrow channel, stands an immense rock, whose natural
suggestiveness  to  an  inhuman   face   is
strengthened by the judicious use of a little
paint.    In brief, you are confronted
P     by a terrorizing presentment of the
Devil.    The head rises as from a subterranean pit, and the sinister smile
seems to follow you as you proceed
down the channel.
The Bungalow Camp blocks one end of
the Gap.    Its cabins nestle  amid a grove
of delicate birches, on the side of a gentle hill topped by the
Community House.    On the farther side, however, slender
pines croon their fragrant lullaby to the wayfarer, and offer
him the priceless anodyne of sleep.
There is never a dull moment at Devil's Gap. Fastidious fisher-folk
may prefer to engage guides and explore some distant part of the lake where
they sedulously—and successfully—woo large and small mouth bass, pike,
pickerel, salmon trout, muscalunge and sturgeon. But there is really no
necessity for venturing far afield. "Just around the corner" from Camp, one
can get one's eldest boy to row one in a good safe old tub, and bring back
a catch in half an hour that would turn old Izaak himself green with envy.
Picnics are a never-failing pleasure. And there is rest without ennui
for those who remain at Camp. The waterfront is a gay boulevard where
launches, bright with colour and the joyousness of the parties they convey,
continually ply. Even rainy days are bright. Through a silver mist, the
lake looks dream-like, tender, visionary.
Kenora Famed for Water Sports
Kenora has two annual events that are unique . . . one is the payment of
Treaty to the numerous bands of Indians in the district, and the other is the
Regatta. The sailing, paddling and rowing are truly splendid, but the swimming—especially of the children—is a feature you will not easily forget.
From the handsome residences that adorn the lake, they assemble, little tots
of meagre years and colossal courage, apparently as much at home in the
water as a child of the Marquesas.
On Saturday nights the waterway surrounding the Camp is blocked with
boats of all sizes and design. From all quarters young people, and people
who are almost young, crowd to the weekly dance. A good orchestra supplements the Camp piano, and a generous supper is provided for the two hundred
guests who come to serve the great god Jazz.
Page   thirty-one Armstrong Roberts Photo
Community House at Devil's Cap Camp, Kenora
The Golden Memory
And like a wonderful fade-out you will carry home a last glowing memory,
if you have stayed late at the Camp—if you have hunted in the magnificent
stretches of wooded density that are innocent of association with the lumberman ... or without the pursuit of deer, and moose, and caribou, or the
numerous smaller fur-bearing animals—if you have merely sailed through the
unscorching flame of autumn. Something of the Persian Fire-worshipper
awakes in you, something intensely devotional burns . . . and as you turn
your back reluctantly upon the most gorgeous landscape it has ever been your
privilege to see, you murmur in the vein of Endymion, "Oh may no wintry
season bare and hoary see it half-finished; but let Autumn bold,- with
universal tinge of sober gold, be all about me when I make an end."
Golden Memories—Lake of the Woods
Armstrong Roberts Photo
Page thirty-two A 


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