A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Lake Louise

After exiting off of Trans-Canada Highway 1 onto Alberta Provincial Highway 1A west — which is also known at that point as Lake Louise Drive — to its western terminus on that bright and sunny day, I was about to drive through the town of Lake Louise on my way to the lake itself when I approached an intersection just west of the highway.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Lake Louise

No traffic light exists at the intersection of Lake Louise Drive and Village Road — rather, traffic from all four directions is required to stop at this intersection…

…but on days during which traffic can potentially be a problem, someone is assigned to the intersection to manually direct traffic.

Several vehicles were lined up in front of me in the right lane — including a minivan, which was directly in front of me.

Once the minivan arrived at the stop line and crosswalk at the eastern edge of the intersection, it came to a complete stop and stayed there.

The man who was directing traffic then waved his hand as an indication for the driver of the minivan to proceed safely.

The minivan did not budge.

He waved his hand again, this time more definitively.

The minivan did not budge.

He then waved his entire arm.

The minivan did not budge.

He glared at the driver of the minivan and waved his entire arm several times.

The minivan did not budge.

He then waved his arm continuously — almost violently, to the point where his whole body was shaking to the movement of the arm — out of sheer exasperation, with a look of obvious frustration displayed across his face.

The minivan finally moved and was on its way towards Lake Louise.

When my turn to proceed came, he waved me on. I held the palm of my hand outstretched with an exaggerated bewildered look on my face which seemed to say “what can I tell you?”

He then smiled and started laughing, shaking his head as he faced towards the ground.

I think I made his day; and in return, he made my day, as I started laughing as I drove through the intersection, realizing that this was an example of non-verbal communication at its best.


When driving a vehicle of any kind, the driver must be attentive, alert, and aware of his or her surroundings at all times — even if the vehicle is at a complete stop.

What else can I say?!?

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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