This week, on Lens-Artists Challenge #144, Tina has challenged us with the topic of “Taking flight.”
This topic took me back 4 years to May 2017 when I last visited Canada. It was my first ever “without mom” road trip. I rented and paid for a car, booked all the hotels and motels along the way, and made the 12-hours drive from Salt Lake City, Utah to Lethridge, Alberta, Canada. It was the longest distance I’ve ever driven.
My aunt accompanied me on this trip because my mom would’ve freaked out if I went alone. She would drive the Canadian leg of the journey while I would take the U.S.-leg.
We spent a total of 7 days in Canada, visiting the 4 National Parks along the Rocky Mountain range. Along the way, I shot over 2,000 photos. This topic reminded me of that trip because as we spent the duration of 3 days exploring the Icefield Parkway, we encountered a lot of wildlife – bears, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and a variety of birds. Funny thing was we were more afraid of them than they were of us.
I remember this photo so well. My aunt had stopped by the road and got out to take some pictures. I remained in the car because I was exhausted. She had just left when this raven landed on the hood of the car. At that moment, I could feel my heart pounding. “Don’t move,” I told myself. “If you don’t move, it won’t attack.”
For a minute, I sat like a statue while trying hard not to let the fight or flight response take effect. There was a part of me that wanted to push open the door and bolt while another part of me told me to stay calm, that when my aunt comes back, the bird will fly away.
Traffic jams frustrates me because I have no clue of what caused it. I remember sitting on the passenger side of the car being very annoyed. We were on a schedule to see as much as we could and we had already started the morning later than planned.
“Why don’t you get out of the car and see what’s going on?” My aunt said.
So I did, pushed the door open, camera around my neck, and walked down the road. It turned out these big horn sheep were occupying the road. One of them turned in my direction, giving me a look that read, “this is our territory.” Once again, my heart began to pound. I quickly snapped a picture, and darted back to the car.
By the end of the trip, I felt glad I didn’t get attacked by any hostile native residents of the national parks.