Thursday, July 19, 2007
Heading to the National Park
We're off in the morning for eight days in the wilderness called Jasper National Park. If you don't hear from us in ten days (and you had expected to hear from us) then alert the media, the National Guard, the Marines, the Mounties, the Fire Brigade, the Arrogant Worms, the Milkmen, the Carpenters' Union, or some other group of your choice. Anyway, in honour of this festive occasion, I thought I would pass on some Park queries received by tourists (and, yes, they're real as far as I know): This is a list of questions asked by tourists at the Banff National Park Information Kiosks: 1. How do the elk know they’re supposed to cross at the “Elk Crossing” signs? 2. At what elevation does an elk become a moose? 3. Tourist: “How do you pronounce ‘Elk’?” Park Information Staff: “‘Elk.’” Tourist: “Oh.” 4. Are the bears with collars tame? 5. Is there anywhere I can see the bears pose? 6. Is it okay to keep an open bag of bacon on the picnic table, or should I store it in my tent? 7. Where can I find Alpine Flamingos? 8. I saw an animal on the way to Banff today — could you tell me what it was? 9. Are there birds in Canada? 10. Did I miss the turnoff for Canada? 11. Where does Alberta end and Canada begin? 12. Do you have a map of the State of Jasper? 13. Is this the part of Canada that speaks French, or is that Saskatchewan? 14. If I go to B.C., do I have to go through Ontario? 15. Which is the way to the Columbia Rice fields? 16. How far is Banff from Canada? 17. What’s the best way to see Canada in a day? 18. Do they search you at the B.C. border? 19. When we enter B.C., do we have to convert our money to British pounds? 20. Where can I buy a raccoon hat? ALL Canadians own one, don’t they? 21. Are there phones in Banff? 22. So it’s eight kilometers away… is that in miles? 23. We’re on the decibel system, you know. 24. Where can I get my husband really, REALLY, lost?? 25. Is that two kilometers by foot or by car? 26. Don’t you Canadians know anything? 27. Where do you put the animals at night? 28. Tourist: “How do you get your lakes so blue?” Park staff: “We take the water out in the winter and paint the bottom.” Tourist: “Oh!” I especially like the Alpine Flamingos...maybe we'll run into some of those this week!