Thursday, September 27, 2007

okay okay....

Back on the road.... Our last camp was supposed to be somewhere else, but we didn't find signs or an exit off the hellacious highway we were on. Not hellaciously high traffic, but straight up, straight down and boring as hell...boring......boring... boring.
But we found a sign for a Provincial campground in an unexpected place. It said it was 8 k off the road...I think some practical joker removed the 2 from in front of that 8...we thought there was no way there was a park way down this rangeland road, winding (seemingly)endlessly through scrub brush and cattle...and we drove long past 8k, nearly turned back once, changed our minds, got grouchy, felt cheated....and then?

Kentucky Lake. Our last camp was there, tucked down among three lakes, beyond the scrub brush and the cattle, and was drop-dead gorgeous. This camp was also much lower in elevation than the camp we were originally looking for and, as I found out later, that was a very good thing.

We were still quite high up, and as night fell, without a cloud in the sky, we saw the stars like no other night we'd been out. We could have held the milky way in our hands. The stars felt close enough that we could have been the ones to hang them. We could have folded the dark blanket down behind them. You forget sometimes what it's like out there. That night we spent alone on Trout Lake was cloudy and it rained so we didn't get that awestruck, jaw-dropping reminder of how tiny we are in the universe until this last night out...

That night was also the first frost of the season. Thankfully we were at Kentucky Lake instead of higher up the mountain where we had originally planned. I generally run cold anyway. I dash down the freezer aisle in the grocery store. I wear wool socks all year. That night, I had four shirts, a hoodie, two pairs of pajama pants(one fleece), socks, blankets...I was so cold it was painful and I thought my feet would fall off. I emptied my backpack over my feet, tried to get the dog to sleep on them(she refused sleeping on those blocks of ice), folded our towels around them...and was awake nearly all night. But at least we weren't higher up. I wouldn't have made it without crying if it had been any colder. I came to camping late in life. It is not always easy for me to give up hot showers, cable tv and internet for long underwear and greasy hair... but I have learned to love it in large parts.
But that was a very looooong night.

In the morning, after an extra strong, extra large, HOT coffee and a warm up session in the sun, we walked the lake. Stunning. Really.

It was as if Maxfield Parrish had come and chosen the colour palette... and I love Maxfield Parrish.

We didn't see any more bears, although there had been sightings. It was a bit of a disappointment, but not entirely. The walk itself was so gorgeous that throwing a bear into the midst of it might have been overkill.
Probably not, but I'll just keep telling myself that.

So, yeah, we've been home a while now. The work on the master bedroom continues, one wall left to finish. One floor left to refinish.... a new pellet stove comes tomorrow, cast iron and red enamel. Sexy.

Dog walking again, the neighbourhood shit continues....but that's for another post...

We've had a dinner party, had a wine tour, had a visit with Emily. I turned quietly and uneventfully 39 without unwrapping anything. Still holding our breath and sending what strength we can to a new, little man.
And that is that.
Is it time to hit the road again?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'll be back....

tomorrow...we'll finish up vacation and then I can get back to reality. Dammit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thank you, thank you, thank you....

Had an update from Emily about our friend...and her darling one, the wee one..."Ashton had surgery yesterday. He seems to be doing well...he's on intense pain medication and is still intabated. He'll be coming off both of those over the next couple of days. They can't hold him or touch him but they can get in and see him. Hopefully he'll be coming home in a couple of weeks." Thanks for all the well wishes for someone you don't even know. It seems to be working.

S, my thoughts and prayers are with you, your husband, and Ashton's brothers. All will be well. Ashton will be home soon. Nothing else matters right now. Be strong. Be comforted. Be well and whole and full of hope.
Love, love, love...absolute love.

Monday, September 24, 2007

one moment....

Nothing I say on this page is as important as this one thing, this one real thing...
My friend should be coming home with her new baby wrapped in a knitted blanket...this little darling should be healthy and strong, and this one moment, of all moments, should be joyous. But it is not quite that easy sometimes.Everyone just send a powerful thought out to the universe, to god, to nature, to the earth... send some strength and determination to this little man in need, and his mom, who is in need, also. Then, go tell your kids you love them and how miraculous they are! Okay? Thanks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Highway 31

Technically, we were heading north, but I didn't think to take a picture of that sign in time...when we finally found another sign, it was South. Highway 31, both north and south, is a Provincial HIGHWAY!!!! I have never encountered a highway like it... This is a highway, folks. A provincial highway. They keep it open all year. I don't know how they do's dirt and gravel. In some places, it is dirt packed over rocks covering an area of where there USED to be a road before a cool is this highway?
This is a view from the know, just taken out the window... wow.

Trout Lake, the town, is on the other end of Trout Lake from where we camped. It is a sweet little town. Nice, nice people. I can't get over how friendly every one was on this trip. Is it the mountain air? The elbow room? What?
We took a little tour through town. Lovely, lovely place. Small year round population and some seasonal cabins. A very pretty place.

We stopped for gas. Yup. Right here, we stopped for gas.

Oh my goodness. How cool is this gas pump on the coolest highway ever? Pretty damn cool. Right?!?

And we stopped for a coffee at the Noboard Cafe. The best soy latte...and the best view a coffee shop could ever have. Again, super friendly service. If you are travelling through, stop and check out their photos on the walls inside...amazing stuff.
And get a latte!

We continued down the road to Nakusp. Next time through, we'll camp at the hotsprings! This time, we stayed in a Provincial campground on the lake...didn't take any pictures that afternoon/evening. I don't know why. I just seemed to forget about the camera for the rest of the day. We had a lovely walk on the beach, though.

And in the morning, we packed up for our last day on the more camp to show you...but enough is enough for today. I have to go put a layer of plaster on the walls, finish the laundry, bake some banana bread, plan a turkey dinner for tomorrow, get the guest room ready and walk the dog... whew. I need a nap.
Talk to you all later, eh?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"The Chance to Love Everything"

All summer I made friends
with the creatures nearby -
they flowed through the fields
and under the tent walls,

or padded through the door,
grinning through their many teeth,
looking for seeds,
suet, sugar; muttering and humming,

opening the breadbox, happiest when
there was milk and music. But once
in the night I heard a sound

outside the door, the canvas
bulged slightly - something
was pressing inward at eye level.

I watched, trembling, sure I had heard
the click of claws, the smack of lips
outside my gauzy house -
I imagined the red eyes,
the broad tongue, the enormous lap.

Would it be friendly too?
Fear defeated me. And yet,
not in faith and not in madness
but with the courage I thought
my dream deserved,
I stepped outside. It was gone.

Then I whirled at the sound of some
shambling tonnage.
Did I see a black haunch slipping
back through the trees? Did I see
the moonlight shining on it?
Did I actually reach out my arms
toward it, toward paradise falling, like
the fading of the dearest, wildest hope -
the dark heart of the story that is all
the reason for its telling?

by Mary Oliver
*Don't you just love her poetry? Sigh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I've lost count of the days now....

but, eventually, we left Kaslo and hit the road again. We were officially on our way home now, though we were going to take our time getting there. It was sad to leave our friends...and the bears...and the beautiful space they all share. We followed our friend's directions to see the Kokanee spawning and maybe, just maybe, see a Grizzly Bear feasting on fish.
It was a beautiful drive, and though we hung around for quite a while, we did not see any Grizzlies....maybe next year, eh?

We did see lots of Kokanee....

lots and lots and lots of Kokanee. Did I mention lots? Of Kokanee? Like, lots...a whole lot...a big mess of fish. You have no idea. None. Really.

Later, we found ourselves on this lovely lake, Trout Lake...on the northern end of it. It was quiet and coming on time to find a place to stop for the night.

So we made a couple of stops to check out the surroundings, and take in the last warm rays of the afternoon.

We found an old, um, driveway? I do not know what else to call it. Yup. Let's call it a driveway, okay? So we drove on down it.

And here we found ourselves a private campground...not meaning privately owned but just plain private. Room for us and us alone. A beach, a dock, a firepit, a picnic table made from salvaged wood....someone industrious spends good time here in the summer. We thank them kindly for all their labour.

There was the remains of this old rock cabin here, hence the driveway, I suppose.

And a little barn or shed tucked back into the woods.

Pretty cool.

Okay...look at this...can you see what I see?

Look hard. Can you see it? It's called remoteness. Isolation. Wilderness. Wildness. Clarity.
Breathe it in.
You don't get this everyday.
Savour it.
Taste it.

Not a single house, not a single house light, not one car, not a headlight, or campfire, or boat, or camper, or tent...well, besides ours.
What a way to spend the night. Really. I can't begin to tell you.
We've only got a couple days left now.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Walk with us? Kaslo River walk....

Climbing The Chagrin River by Mary Oliver.

We enter the green river,
heron harbor,
mud-basin lined

with snagheaps, where turtles
sun themselves--we push
through the falling
silky weight

bounding down
through the black flanks
of wet rocks--we wade

striped warm and cold
under hemlock
and white pine--climb

stone steps into
the timeless castles
of emerald eddies,

swirls, channels
cold as ice tumbling
out of a white flow--

sheer sheets
flying off rocks,
frivolous and lustrous,

skirting the secret pools--
full of the yellow hair
of last year's leaves

where grizzled fish
hang halfway down,
like tarnished swords,
while around them

fingerlings sparkle
and descend,
nails of light
in the loose
racing waters.