Tuesday 6 October 2015

Second Annual Chinook Hills Druid Camp Sep 18 - 20, 2015

Alban Elfed

As the Wheel of the Year turned from Summer to Autumn we celebrated the Autumn Equinox beside the Bow River, in the trees at the base of  the Rocky Mountains.  It was our second annual camping trip, and even more fun than the previous one.  There is just something magical about sharing time in the woods around a campfire.  

There where six of us, with a variety of accommodations, some more and some less bear proof. Thankfully we did not encounter any bears.    As we set up our camp it became obvious that we were in a very special place, complete with a natural spot for our alter.  This three trunked spruce tree held up a stone (it had obviously been there for a long time, and now was permanently wedged in).


Besides visiting and sharing stories, cooking on the gas stove and tending to our camp,  we had time to explore, to see the stars at night and really unwind.   Even though or maybe especially because  we are 'urban' druids, being amongst the trees feels right.   There was time to think about the individual paths we are each on.  

Half of our group got up early Saturday morning and went on a hike to a magical place,  Karst Spring in Kananaskis Country  to see the spring water that gushes out from under a rock wall.  The adventurers  were treated to some early autumn snow.  The other half of the group were treated with a sighting of  a beautiful doe, and no snow.

Later that afternoon we all went on a hike at Bankhead, in Banff National Park. Bankhead  is an abandoned coal mining town.  Parks Canada signs explained early life in the busy town  in the early 1900s.  

The trail is made of coal.  Not much of the original town remains, but there is plenty of coal on the ground and crumbling building foundations to show where the operations were. 

Later on  at sundown we held our Alban Elfed Ceremony around our campfire.  It was a beautiful late night under the stars in good company.

Sunday morning came much to early, but did bring a beautiful rainbow across the Bow River from our camp.

It was hard to pack up and come back to fast pace of  the city.

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