Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


Rocky Mountain Local

I’m in the Canadian Rockies right now where the bears have the local/seasonal thing down. They forage lower on the mountain in summer, lower still in late summer for the wild blackberries, huckleberries, buffalo and dogwood berries, moving to higher elevations again in fall for roots, juniper bushes and eventually winter’s hibernation.

They live within the limits and the rich diversity of their particular mountainous environment. We’ve seen many and varied mushrooms everywhere at around 6,000 feet, mountain munchkins. I’m enthralled with the shrooms, but knowledge is limited so I leave them alone for now and just take their picture and wonder if bears eat mushrooms.

We’ve been here a week & a half now, hiking, kayaking, camping (mostly), biking (Bob) among the awesome jumble of peaks that comprise the Canadian Rockies, each one different from the other in character. I love stone, so I’m in a sort of crazed stupor most of the time, gaga over the monolithic design of all this limestone, dolomite, travertine, quartz, sandstone, conglomerates, breccia, shale, mudstone, argillite, granite . . . to name a few of the varieties of sedimentary rock that was thrust skyward from the sea bottom eons ago. Skyward is an understatement. And, no my friends, I’m not filling my pockets with stone, rather my backpack. Kidding.

It’s against the rules.

Anyway . . . we were hiking out of the Mt. Robson area a few days ago along with Ranger Ann Hurley, and after discussing the mountains, glaciers, big-horned sheep (which we’ve seen up close), global warming and politics, eventually our conversation turned to farmer’s markets. I swear I didn’t bring it up, Ranger Ann did.

Following her seasonal stint in the Canadian Rockies as a Ranger, she lives in a small town in northern B.C. where they have a weekly farmer’s market through September she thought. She spoke of it with appreciation, affection and pride. Our conversation with her was one experience among many along the way that show a growing grassroots effort toward sustainability that’s happening globally.

Every community has their story. We overheard a table of traveling Germans last night discussing sustainability; the fancy schmancy chateau at Lake Louise where we bought a deli lunch the other day had biodegradable ‘plastic’ utensils; a ‘bus’ parked along side the road in Jasper invites locals and visitors to separate waste and recycle. (Bear-proof garbage bins and loads of mountain bikes are reminders that we’re not in Kansas anymore.)

Among the international crowd visiting and living here it’s encouraging to hear and see the awareness, in various guises, of sustainability. Grassroots is the key (along with maybe some leadership?) and that conscientiousness is coming from every which way around the globe, including here in the Canadian Rockies. Maybe we follow the bear’s seasonal/local model.

Time to put on boots and head out.

Home soon. Wish you were here.


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1 Responses »

  1. Wish we were there, too.
    Sounds like a fantastic trip.