I mentioned in Post 11b that Charlie, one of my two main characters, insisted that the novel should both start and finish at Bertha Lake.
Bertha, in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, is his favorite hike.
The lake holds both his happiest and his most horrific memories.
The photo above is from the south end of the lake looking north.
In 2011, the year he turned seventy, he almost died up ahead there on the right-hand side just before the end of the lake.
He’d been encouraged not to try going around it. So far, no one had been able to because of all the snow. But Charlie tried it anyway.
Just after he started out, it began to rain. And gradually that gentle rain turned into a downpour, which made the snow slopes quite unstable, and exceedingly dangerous.
But Bertha also gave him happy memories, including the one you just read about in Part I, Chapter 1.
Charlie also insisted that the novel be divided into thirteen parts, starting with Part XIII, Chapter 1, and ending with Part XIII, Chapter 1. His reason for insisting on the number thirteen is explained in Post 11b.
I didn’t really see a problem with that, so I said Yes. I’d already said No to him about a number of other things.
But then I changed my mind about starting with Part XIII, Chapter 1. I’m still ending with Part XIII. I’m OK with that. But I think I’ll just start with Part I, Chapter 1.
Charlie’s been somewhat preoccupied lately. Maybe he won’t notice.
Here are some other photos of Bertha Lake that Charlie took on his hike around it with Jillian:
The lake is named after Bertha Ekelund. Charlie really struggled, unsuccessfully, to find out exactly who she was, and what, if anything, she had to do with Joe Cosley.
I recently read a biography, though, Being Bertha: How a Wayward Woman Became a Local Legend, written by her great-niece, Fran Genereux. It would have answered all of Charlie’s questions, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t published until 2017.
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