Time and again during our trip I am shocked by how often I make wrong assumptions on a daily basis.
One example: our campsite at Mt. Robson Provincial Park, the booking of which was a big deal for Naomi and me. Why we were so concerned was because campsites there tend to be reserved very quickly the day they’re made available. So, one day in February, we woke up early and scanned the campsite map online to find that most of the sites had not yet been taken.
Great, I thought, I’ll pick the one at the end of the road; it will be the furthest “in”, thus the most quiet and remote.
At this provincial park, there are two campsites, one tiny with 19 sites, the other large with 140. These sites are for “front country” camping, where you just grab your stuff from the car and haul it a bit to pitch your tent, as opposed to back country camping, where you must hike for hours sometimes to get to your campsite. It was important to me to get into the smaller of the two, in order to be away from as many people as possible.
What the Internet didn’t show us, as we looked over the available spots, was that the campsite at the “end” was really closest to the highway, as the road was in fact a loop; those sites closest to the beginning or end of the loop turned out to be extremely noisy. And this was a very busy highway to boot, with heavy trucks and raucous motorcycles roaring by until the wee hours of the morning. Needless to say, I was kicking myself for making this wrong assumption. We had to endure two nights of sleep-depriving nighttime noise.
Assumptions. Wrong assumptions.
I learned to mistrust my assumptions eventually, which is a good thing, possessing a vivid imagination that can easily take me to all kinds of mistaken conclusions. Until I started catching myself I would too often say to Naomi, “This is not at all what I imagined.”
One of my worst assumptions got me into a lot of trouble. This happened at Lake Louise where in my mind I thought that a little village lay near the lake, like some Swiss hamlet in the Alps.
We were looking for a place to stock up on food and have lunch and I drove us into a massive parking lot where thousands of cars carrying throngs of tourists were parked. These people were obviously there for the iconic view of Lake Louise but Naomi seemed to know before I did that we were in no way approaching a “village”.
Finally, endlessly circling for a non-existent parking spot, we asked a man in uniform, who looked as if he had been asked the same question 400 times already that day, where the “village” was. He directed us back to a block of buildings that we had already passed and even then we couldn’t find this “village”.
Because, in fact, there is no Lake Louise village, unless you count what is in essence a strip mall.
But it took about an hour to realize our mistake and I won’t tell you about the hard feelings between Naomi and I due to me believing one thing and reality being something else entirely different.
Another time, at a hot springs spa, I assumed that it would be no problem going from the cold pool right back into the hottest pool.
Not so. Once back in the hot water, my body started tingling and then I began to feel weak and faint. It took quite a while to get over the unpleasantness.
And finally, as I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, I had always assumed that Lake Superior was too large and rough to be good to swim in.
Wrong. It’s wonderful, clean and refreshingly cool.