On our second day in Jasper National Park, my brother-in-law, Jai, and I decided to hike the 3.7 km Maligne Canyon Trail. Although a bit rugged for me to carry a paintbag to and fro, I carried my sketchpad and camera to record some ideas for a future studio piece of the falls. It’s amazing to see the “potholes” that the forceful water creates in the solid rock of the streambed, and even a slow-moving eddy of water caught in one of them, all surrounded by the lush hygrohypnum moss commonly found in this area.
I finished the sketches and photos, ate lunch in the Tea Room at the top of the falls, and began walking back down to the car. Wouldn’t you know that a few minutes later, as I joked with some other folks I’d met along the trail, my toe caught on a tree root and down I went, severely spraining my right thumb as I caught myself.
Dave called it a “Thumb Bummer” since I couldn’t hold a paint brush or pen at all. Fortunately the old acronym RICE — Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation — a few doses of Advil came to the rescue, and in three days I recovered enough to gingerly hold my brush again. Yea! Although still sore, this country is way too beautiful to let a thumb bummer get in way of painting it!