Our next stop after Glacier was Golden, with the intent to catch up on internet needs and rest our legs before more hiking in Banff. We spent several hours at a coffee shop before heading to Whitetooth Brewing Company (we can’t resist a brewery). We planned to get a quick beer and get to bed early so we could leave early in the morning for Banff. Even though it was Monday evening, the brewery patio was crowded and a couple musicians from Tampa, Florida were performing on the lawn. We got a beer sampler and stood awkwardly for a moment on the patio, looking for a place to sit. A couple sat on stumps around a large, low wooden table and encouraged us to pull up a stump (a joke as the stumps were immovable). We sat down and were soon joined by the owner of the brewery, who seemed to know the couple that had invited us to sit down. I think David and I were both a little star struck and were excited to hear the brewery owner had been to Pfriem, one of our favorite breweries in Hood River. I asked about the beer scene in Canada and he said it is hard to make it in a small town, especially when tourism is so variable. We loved our beer, especially the Psychosis 7 (check it out if you can find it!).
Soon Larry (of the originally mentioned couple) came over to sit next to David and struck up a conversation with us. He had seen us pull up in our van and was curious about our story. He and his wife Carol also have a van and are lovers of travel. They spend each summer in Golden, but then travel for the winter, typically internationally. They also love breweries, and have been to Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival, so we may have unknowingly crossed paths before. When he learned we didn’t know exactly where we would be spending the night, Larry offered us a spot in front of their house just a couple minutes away. When we arrived, they invited us in for a beer. We continued to swap travel stories and discuss our upcoming plans. David mentioned that his grandparents had named Mt. Kelvin in the Bugaboos, and we planned to stop there sometime after Banff and Jasper. Larry and Carol clued us in to the fact that we were just north of the Bugaboos, and it wouldn’t make sense to come back to them after Banff and Jasper when we would be on a more southeasterly path. Coincidentally, they also knew the weather was supposed to be beautiful the next day, unusual at this time of year. They suggested tomorrow was the day to do the Bugaboos, and again our plans were changed by a series of coincidences and the kindness of strangers.
The hospitality didn’t end there, as they invited us back the next morning for breakfast before we headed to the Bugaboos. Larry and Carol definitely inspired us with their devotion to exploring, meeting people, and giving to others. We were touched by their generosity and kindness, again so unexpected. Larry encouraged us to read Spark your Dream, a book by two young Argentinians that drive from Chile to Prudoe Bay Alaska. Along the way, they learn to accept help from others and also realize that the most meaningful part of travel is the people they meet. I also found a blog maintained by the couple, and particularly like the quote below:
Their message to one and all is simple. Live your dreams. If you don’t live it now…so… when? Be bold.http://www.argentinaalaska.com/blog/Welcome-alaska
We too are realizing the impact of the people we meet and the importance of leaving yourselves open to accept the kindness of others. We feel so fortunate to be able to pursue our van dream and to have already been impacted by the people we have met.