Fibromyalgia is such a fickle thing. One day you feel like you’re dying (you know you aren’t). The next day you feel great – at least until you’re into the 13th hour of a day of driving.
The weather today turned out to be perfect – sunny, dry and in the 70’s. Who could ask for more? So we jumped in the car and headed for Canada. Okay, I personally didn’t jump, especially at 7:30 AM. But I was pretty chipper. Must have been that Ben & Jerry’s last night.
Yes, I said Canada. Why? Because we love Canada, but have never had the opportunity to visit any of the western provinces. So we set out from Kalispell, MT bright and early. Canada did not disappoint. We entered in British Columbia. The mountains there are even more spectacular than the US Rockies. I didn’t think that was possible. And we didn’t even go that far north. We headed into Alberta, where the Waterton National Park is located. Waterton is at the north end of Glacier National Park (US) and they have been combined into a “Peace Park.” It is a United Nations term and Waterton/Glacier is the second Peace Park we have visited. The other was Campobello Island. It is a tribute to two nations that have spent so much time with peaceful borders, even if the inhabitants of both nations can at times think they are the superior nation.
The truth is Canadians are, for the most part, friendly, welcoming, helpful and lots of fun. If you ever have a chance, watch CBC television on Friday nights – comedy at its best. Canadians can laugh at themselves and their uniqueness. Sad to say, we here in the US have a lot more trouble with that. We tend to take ourselves far too seriously. The interesting thing is that Canadians have a fabulous country and a much better national anthem (watch a Canadian hockey game on TV if you haven’t heard it yet), and they know it; but if you visit them, they won’t be rude or overbearing.
Waterton NP was lovely, with the snowcapped mountains and beautiful lakes. When we left Waterton, we headed back to the US through the Chief Mountain entry point. At Customs, we were given the usual questioning and the three agents checked through our car. This was perhaps the most embarassing point in the day. Why? Well … while my husband was answering the questions about our destination, etc, I was watching the agent in the back seat find my bra among the various snacks and maps we had accumulated. I know you gals will sympathize with having spent more than enough time encased in a non-wire underwire vise. So between Waterton and the border, it got the old heave ho into the back seat. I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall when those agents discussed us after we left. “You won’t believe what I found in the back seat … big too.” At least it wasn’t illegal. Sometimes I think they should be.
About an hour and a half outside of Kalispell on the return trip, “IT” happened. My body decided it did not want to sit in the car another minute. Since walking back over 60 miles was also out of the question, my body had to lose that battle. But to show it’s displeasure at losing, it decided to make the evening far less pleasant than the rest of the day had been. The pain started in the low back and moved out in both directions. No problem. Then it did the unthinkable – it went to my neck and head. I can deal with pain in most parts of my body, but those headaches scare me to death … sometimes they last so long, you think they’re never going away. So the battle began. Changed the angle of the seat back, took off my glasses, stretched the muscles. Finally, back at the room, it was time for the muscle relaxant and pain medicine. Then I took out my secret weapon – Thermacare heat wraps. Because they can stay on as long as 8 hours and supply constant heat, even when you do things like write a blog, they are a minor miracle for me. No more being tied to the heating pad. Seems to be helping. I’ll know better in the morning, when I get up.
What really got me through the last hour and a half was thinking about something that happened in the first hour of our day. We were just a few miles south of Eureka, MT. Suddenly, a bald eagle came soaring out of the trees on the right side of the road and flew right over the front of our car, no more than 25 feet in front of us. He proceeded to glide to a tree on the left side of the road and sit there. We stopped. People whizzed by. We took his picture several times (a special thanks to the new camera, which has a much stronger zoom than its predecesor). He just stayed there and looked at us as we looked at him.
As exciting as it was to see the bald eagle, that in and of itself was not what could hold my attention while trying to fend off pain. Seeing an eagle isn’t impossible if you are in a place that they inhabit. But what if I told you that this was the third time! The first time was in southern Utah last November. The second was in Spearfish, SD at Christmas time last year. Every time the eagle swooped down from the right, directly in front of our car so that we could see him clearly, then glided to a tree on the left side. This third time was certainly the best photo op – closer, more to the outer branches of the tree. But I am struck by the similarities. And I wonder about the odds of such a set of occurances.
I have some Lakota friends out on the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD (yes, we visited them at Christmas – that’s another story.) When I asked about the place of the eagle in Lakota culture, I was told that eagles carry our prayers to God. Boy, do I have a story to share with you another time regarding contact with God. Right now, though, I am puzzling over eagles and what, if anything they are saying to us. After all, an eagle may just be an eagle, to paraphrase Freud. If any of you have any further information on this eagle business or know a Lakota medicine man, let me hear from you. I would like to speak with someone understanding of multiple sighting.
For now I’ll just have to wait to see if anyone has a revelation or hope someone knows a medicine man. Right now, the meds are kicking in and it takes all I’ve got to keep my eyes open. Good night!!