On our way back South from Jasper to Canmore along the Icefield Parkway we had booked one night at the iconic Num-Ti-Jah (meaning “Pinemarten” in the language of the Stone tribe which used to live here) Lodge on the shores of the Bow Lake.
This self built and by now pretty dated wooden structure was the lifetime work of “Jimmy” Simpson, a UK immigrant, and his family. Jimmy must have been one of these larger than life characters working as an outfitter, a mountain guide to the rich and famous, as a public speaker and as an artist pretty much until his death at the age of 95.
(Images taken from the NTJ Lodge)
He reminded me a bit of a similar character of my childhood, a South Tyrolian mountaineer and globetrotter called Louis Trenker who in the 70th had a television show where he just set behind a desk and told the stories of his colourful life. He too lived far into his nineties and remained a lifelong inspiration.
On our journey along the Icefield Parkway I ceased the opportunity to sit on a fully grown grizzly bear
and I learned my lesson never ever to ask for two scoops of ice cream in America….
We still arrived early enough at the lodge for me to us the wood fired house owned sauna
before enjoying dinner in the atmospheric Elkhorn Dining Room.
Getting up early the next day was rewarded with a blue sky and fabulous views of the lake, the surrounding glaciers and an outstanding hike to the Bow Glacier Falls.