Selected Tales from the Waste family travels for Bechtel Corporation

Family Trip From Sandpoint, Idaho to Banff and Calgary, Canada, 1961

Banff and Lake Louise



My Mom and Dad packed the kids in the station wagon and drove across the nearby Canadian border, all the way to beautiful Banff up in the Rockies. It was September, 1961 - long before any real development. Back then, it was just a small but world-class resort in a national park-like setting. From left: me, Shawn, Jamie and Steve. We visited Lake Louise, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. There was virtually no one else there but us. Driving through the national parks, we had very closeup bear and moose encounters. We also spent some time swimming in a famous hot springs near Banff.

Starting at four years old, I was fascinated by the prehistoric world and dinosaurs in particular. I had known about the Calgary dinosaur statues but never dreamt I would get a chance to see them. Knowing how much dinosaurs meant to me, my parents were nice enough to take us to Calgary on our trip. In the picture above, my body language says it all - I couldn't wait to get in there! There we are, sitting on the tail of a really large Brontosaurus. I could have spent hours looking at it but we had to keep moving.



There was nowhere else on Earth I would rather have been that day. What a lucky junior paleontologist I was. In the late 1950's and early 1960's, it was unusual for a young person to be so interested in the ancient Earth's natural history. Almost had the field to myself, then.

Today, the old dinosaurs in Calgary are gone, replaced by new and different types in more realistic environments. The old ones did look a little odd standing in the park with trees that didn't exist back in the Mesozooic Age.


Later that year, back in Sandpoint, on Christmas morning I kept a close watch for what I really wanted that year . . . . . . . . . fossils! Somehow I got a whole box of them. Note also the "tiki gods" from Hawaii that my brother Steve and I still wore (see Steve's in the Lake Louise picture). The two of us had continued wearing them ever since moving to Idaho. Why? For good luck, of course. They worked pretty well that year!


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