We went to the Eucharist at Christ Church Trinity Invermere this morning. Instead of the Anglican interim pastor a Reformed pastor officiated, and the liturgy took on the characteristic ethos of a modern reformed church celebration. The preaching and the prayers used were eloquent, beautiful and appropriate expressions of the Epiphany theme. It was a refreshing alternative to the comfortable familiarity of the Anglican way of doing things.
We went down to the lake to Kinsman Beach again and skied for half an hour after the service. It was clear and bright, but too cold to stay out for longer, because of the light wind. But it was worth the effort. We took the track in the opposite direction - basically Invermere town south side of the lake, which is occupied by leisure homes, boat houses and landing stages, with little or no sign of occupation in this closed season.
We watched a group of half a dozen men out on the ice with their snow shovels, levelling by scraping a square surface out of the rough snow and ice - the arean for a curling rink. We learned that a local tournament will soon take place here. Tents and stalls will appear and lots of people gather to cheer on their teams. Locals here in the largest populated place in this part of the valley know how to make the most of their lake all year round.
After a late lunch, John took Jasmine and I out for a drive down the fourteen mile length of Columbia Lake, as far as local logging centre Canal Flats, with the mountains en route lit by late afternoon sun. We stopped and walked on the ice at two places with landing stages and play parks. At the first one, a CPR coal train going south passed us by. John counted 130 trucks plus the four engines, confirming the count I made a couple of weeks ago. I've now revised my best guess - the train is more like two kilometres, a mile and a quarter long. Standing off shore, it was possible because of the long shape of the lake to see the entire length of the train in one gaze. I look forward to viewing the photo taken on a large enough screen to check whether this was captured by camera.
Viewed from the highway above the lake, its frozen surface seemed mottled, as if covered by waves, quite different in character to the surface of Windermere lake. On closer inspection, the snow cover on Columbia lake was not nearly as thick, and there were patches with little or no snow cover, where the ice was dark and transparent where exposed. The only reason I could think of for this difference was a kind of wind tunnel effect. Columbia lake is longer and straighter than Windermere. Without obstruction a wind would be able to keep snow moving across the surface, to pile up on Columbia's shores. The less regular shape of Windermere and its surrounding valleys would possibly hinder this sweeping wind effect and allow snow to settle to more of a depth across greater areas of the lake surface.
There's so much beauty to behold in this region, you'd need several life times of gazing to tire of it. Tomorrow is our last day before we travel. What shall we do I wonder?