Cameron Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

The air is still, so windless that the water itself hardly moves, reflecting sky and Rocky Mountains. Not so many people know about Cameron Lake, one of many tucked among the stunning peaks of Waterton Lakes National Park in western Alberta. The much better known Glacier National Park just south of the Canadian border gets a lot more press. To say nothing of the press of visitors.

My family visits Waterton often, and my first visit there predates my active memory. But there are pictures of little-kid me alongside Linnet Lake, pre-adolescent me at an uncle’s cabin in the tiny town of Waterton nestled among the lakes and peaks, teenage me on the trail to Bertha Lake. And there are dozens of adult me kayaking on Cameron.

Cameron Lake is famous for its winds. Smart boaters get an early start because the wind checks in late morning and gets rip roaring by late afternoon. Of course it’s almost always blowing away from the boat dock. And this lake only permits human-powered rigs. Muscle up and paddle hard. A float on Cameron is a workout.

But not on an early October visit in 2022. This year, the weather gods offered a boon, a perfect sun-drenched autumn morning and no wind. Also. a deep deep quiet. No sighing of the trees, no chatter from other boaters. And, for a short time, no jets overhead. Then a brief chitter of magpies. Then the world in stillness.

I like to say I know this place well. The lake, this day, said otherwise.