Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada commemorates the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system, which began there in 1885. Naturally occurring warm mineral springs can be found inside the cave and outside in an emerald-coloured basin.
I worked at the Cave & Basin for three summers when the Parks Department operated the place as a public swimming pool some fifty years ago while I was at university. At the time, I didn’t give much thought to any water other than the milky sulphur pools people were swimming in – I’d been down to the warm marsh at the base of the mountain exactly once and I was completely unaware of the lovely springs and pools above the cave.
Even now, although there are lots of warm and hot springs all along the mountain chains in Alberta and British Columbia, most of us don't give them much thought. We should be looking at geothermal power potential more seriously, though probably not at any spring that happens to have given birth to a National Park.