The Road to Takakkaw Falls

by | May 21, 2006 | Acceptance, Guidance, Holy Spirit, Peace

It was pouring rain and the sky was a menacing dark grey blob without even a hint of the so-hoped-for sunshine. We had dropped off my wife at a conference in Banff that morning, and had driven into British Columbia with the hopes of seeing the BC side of the Rockies. It appeared, however, that the endless rain would keep us trapped in our vehicle.

We stopped at the information center in a town called Field. We figured that if nothing else, we would be able to take some shelter from the elements. While there, however, my kids discovered that there were two landmarks in the region: Takkakaw Falls and Emerald Lake.

“Let’s go!” They insisted. “We’ve driven this far already, it would be sad to go back without seeing them!”

I, for one, was still cleaning the rain off of my glasses from our brief run from the car into the building, and another trek into the elements was NOT what I was anticipating. “What about the rain?” I queried.

“We’re not made out of sugar, papa! We won’t melt!”

I had to smile at my younger boy’s use of one of my wife’s favorite expressions, but it didn’t do anything to calm the strange knot in my stomach. “Okay,” I said, with more than a little hesitation. “Let’s go!”

The next thirteen kilometers would prove to be a scary, “Alfred Hitchcock” kind of experience. The road was narrow and bumpy initially, but otherwise, it was fine. This quickly changed after the first two kilometers, however. As we began to climb up a mountain, it became much more treacherous, especially with the rain water filling the numerous potholes. Then, suddenly, I was faced with a double-loop serpentine with 208º turns! I successfully ended the first with the front of my van stuck in the second switchback, going straight into the mountain side! Luckily no cars were coming down the mountain, and the cars behind me graciously stayed out of my way! I backed up carefully and finally made it back onto the road.

I was just breathing a sigh of relief when my oldest boy cheerfully piped up with: “It’s a good thing that you don’t drive a Japanese car, Papa!”

I didn’t get it at first, as my “intelligent” reply so nicely illustrated: “Huh???”

“In Japan the steering wheel is on the right side! If you were driving on the right side of this road, you would have a heart attack!”

My heart lurched anyway. “What makes you say that???”

“Because there’s a sheer drop on this side of the road that looks like it goes down about three kilometers!” He exclaimed, a little too cheerfully.

Now, when I was much younger, I was a dare-devil and heights meant nothing to me. I remember leaning out over top of the Tower of Pisa in Italy, enjoying the view and wishing the tower were even higher. But now that I’ve started shrinking and my hair has begun to evaporate, stepping on a simple small ladder leaves me with a super sonic-beating heart and silly dizziness spells! And that’s exactly what happened when I heard my son’s description of the side of the road. “Euh guys…” I paused, struggling to regain control of my shaking voice. “May I . . . Uh . . . May I recommend that you don’t tell me about this? Otherwise, one of you is going to have to drive!” WRONG THING TO SAY!


Somehow, that single word spoken in stereo did nothing to calm my rattled nerves. Neither did the fact that the road kept on spiraling in an upward direction. Then the worst thought ever entered my mind: We had to come back down this very same road!!! Oh, why did I ever agree to seeing these falls in the first place? Better yet, why had I agreed to leave my comfortable home in FLAT Ontario???

We eventually reached our destination, and as I parked the car, I began a prayer of thanksgiving.

“What’s wrong, Papa?” My boys wanted to know.

I didn’t bother answering. They would never understand!

We put coats and hats on and stepped out into the rainy wilderness. It was well worth it, believe me. The falls were beautiful, but what made them even more stunning was the mist from the downpour. We decided to brave the rain and get in as close as we could. Maybe losing what was left of my hair in our blood curling trek up the mountain had been worth it after all! We left gratified enough to face our next challenge: How to get back DOWN that mountain in one piece!

Some of the decisions we face in life seem very frightening. Some days, staying in bed seems more attractive than facing the choices we will be forced to make. There is one choice, however, that will make all the difference in the world: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28 NIV); and “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6 NIV)

You can face these decisions with peace in your heart if you make the resolution to let Jesus be your guide in all things. His Spirit will fill you and guide you, and that inner peace that He provides will never be disturbed. It’s an “out-of-this world” experience that is available to anyone ready to let Jesus shine in their lives.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Josh 24:15 NKJV) Are you willing to let Jesus make a difference in your life?

P. S. Can anyone help me drive down the road from Takkakaw Falls? I’m stuck up here!

Rob Chaffart


The Road to Takakkaw Falls