I have not neglected posting, rather I have been enjoying summer activities that have kept me away from the computer. I view this as a good thing, and make no apologies. As a part of these activities I took a two week stretch to jaunt about Southern British Columbia. While I spent the majority of the time in the East Kootenays – that magical place that exists a whole hour in the future from the rest of the province – I did bounce around to a few places I had never been to, or had neglected for some time. No matter how many times I gallivant about this province I continually remain in awe of its size and diversity, and this time was no different.
I rolled out with a map and some vague ideas, which is fairly typical of how I begin most days, only minus the map. It all led to the renewed and concrete reflection that traipsing through British Columbia is a fantastic way to bring about some balance. Numerous stats, editorials, politicians, and businesses will easily extol how thriving BC is. The Lower Mainland is now Metro Vancouver, the Olympics are coming, the Okanagan is home to cities now, not towns or villages, we’re building bridges and widening highways. Yet, within a day I found myself in a mountain valley, tenting alone, hours away from cell phone service, and apparently one day removed from a bear sighting. The nagging disappointments about my evaporated worldly and national travel plans began to slip away as the expanse of one small section of the province took hold. The next day saw these disappointments slide away completely as I began with a hike through a part of the West Kootenays I had never been to. The lushness and variety of the greens around the Upper Arrow Lakes reminded me of Korea, yet remained characteristically British Columbian. By mid-day I had come to a stretch of highway that simply ends, and one has to catch on of BC’s inland ferries. I love a good ferry trip, I mean, who doesn’t, they’re just plain cool. You’re getting somewhere without having to do any work, not even press the pedal. The scenery, from nature to people watching, is usually some of the finest. Ferries, are also one of my favourite photo-ops as well. So, I made sure to use a ferry route I had never been on before and traversed the Upper Arrow Lakes. The views were worldclass, and a few of my dozen or so fellow passengers reaffirmed it. A German family was making the same crossing, having chosen to go RVing through BC for their summer vacation. It reminded me that visiting BC is a worldly trip, there is no need to hop on a jet plane if one is already here. This was reinforced throughout my two week trip, as I encountered Koreans, Italians, Japanese, Germans, English, Greek, and likely many more nationalities. The world comes to BC, because it is worthy of the world. It is a tiny part of the world when you spin the globe, but it is absolutely immense. For all my travels to different parts of the planet, I have never been more secluded than the times I have ventured into back-country BC. It is the perfect place to get away from it all and still experience the world.
The Arrow Lakes ferry trip also hosted a logging truck, which took up almost a third of the deck space. It served as a reminder that the good times we are all loving in this province are finely balanced on natural resources from far fetched places. Ever present evidence of the pine beetle infestation, coupled with constant roadside literature about the “new sollutions” served to reinforce this tricky balance. What I actually discovered to be reinforced more than anything, was how little humans can control in balancing the natural resources of this province. We can certainly get ourselves into a lot of trouble, but only time and natural processes alone can ever truly correct the imbalances.
Another boat ride, on a larger ferry across Kootenay Lake, and hundreds of kilometres through some of the most stunning scenery, and beautiful stops the Kootenays, BC, Canada, or the world has to offer, I took up residence in the East Kootenays for a while. Day trips took me to different places, including glaciers, streams, lakes, mountains and wildlife. The best things: it all felt world class, it was out in the wilderness, but by being in BC, one felt all at home and extremely fortunate.
I made sure to take in off-the-beaten-path places on the return trip as well, and it didn’t disappoint. Overall, I took hundreds of photos and will put a few of the decent ones up. Again, it was utterly fantastic to be away from the internet for a good stretch. Thanks for putting up with a rambling post as I get back to blogging. Upon my return, I was showing some friends some of the pics and they were slightly surprised to learn one could take a ferry ride in BC 700 kilometres inland from the ocean. There is always so much to learn right at home. Hopefully I can take in some more before the summer closes. Hopefully you can too.