Whirlwind, winging it, 40 hour weekend trip to the mountains

I thought we were going to Fernie.  A quick trip to the base of the mountains for a refreshing hit of fresh green air, maybe a walk through town, an early dinner and leisure drive home again?  But,  I think he had something else in mind.

Of course we had to stop at the Cinnamon Bear Bakery and Coffee shop in the pass for a recommended travel sweet treat to help us through until we got to a place where we could eat a real breakfast.

Hitting the highway at a leisurely 99kms we took in the breathtaking awakening of spring in the Rocky Mountains.  Settling into our regular groove of comfortable conversation as we always do when set off to travel great distances, the time passed quickly.

Fernie…

He took me to a campground.  Mt. Fernie.  I fell in LOVE!  Thick forest, large river with low flow areas to dip yourself on hot days or maybe fish a little.  Pathways both well worn and not so much leading from one site or path to another.  Clean and tidy, large private sites and public facilities as well.  It was amazing! I must go back.  I must walk each and every forest lined pathway, listen to every wildlife sound, and revel in every fresh scent of it. I will perch myself at the banks of the river and allow it too run right through me, cleansing my soul.  It actually broke me a little to leave this place.   I WILL go back!

Travelling on.

In short time, rather shocking in time actually, we rolled into Creston and both sighed dreamily at the sight of the wineries along the main road.  They were just taking shape, each fruit tree carefully pruned and the large masses of land maintained with such great care I felt almost guilty at the state of my own small yard back in Alberta.   We made a mental note to stop by again one day, linger longer and take home some of their fruity fares.

Starving, it was time to stop.  Ricky’s for late lunch, early dinner.   Inside we were seated quickly and the waitress made her entrance by peeking over reading glasses and around the high backed bench as if to make sure I was actually there and safe or something. I burst into a giggle.  We instantly bonded.  She was hilarious and made me smile so much my cheeks hurt from the ordeal.  By this time I KNEW we were headed to my most favourite place this side of the mountains and so we asked her about the state of the ferry.  Not good news, 6 mile lineup for the May long weekend and a landslide on the other highway to boot, bummer.

When the dinner was over and my wonderful man gave her a generous tip, she thanked us.  She told us we were an awesome couple and gave us her name. I almost started to cry. Our lovely waitresses name was Sharon, my mothers name of all things.  There may be no significance in this name for you, my one loyal reader, but I have stories of when my mom passed and then when dad was passing a year later of all the signs my mom had given him, given us all.  They comforted him as he knew he was to see her so soon.  Signs are what held my siblings and our kids upright and solid during it all.  I carry those with me as my most sacred, precious of talismans.  This meant to me, that my man and I were on a path, and for this weekend, it was the right path. I settled my thoughts and spirit on the fact that wherever we end up tonight will be where we were meant to be. My shoulders relaxed and I felt tears of joy bubble up inside me.  My folks were with us, in that moment, they liked BC too. I grabbed his hand and he kissed me.  I hoped he felt the same, as he would never get to meet my parents in this  lifetime.

We continued on toward the ferry.  I think we had an unspoken agenda that if it was going to be an impossible feat to get to the other side we would turn back and stay in Creston.  But ooooh I wanted to get on that boat.  The pull was strong.

No cars.  None.  Not even the rush of them coming OFF the ferry.  How odd. We hit the 6 mile mark… no line up.  I think we both kind of made a cheery motion, sort of a silent OH YA between us and kept on going.

It was a one ferry trip wait.  I was thrilled beyond words.  Happy tears well up so easily when I’m in the mountains I fear. I feel lighter and everything seems to be easier to handle and when things just go your way… oohhhh the love of it swells me to full.  I no longer feel like the heavy, lazy, tired self I have become, dragging my feet and lugging baggage so heavy it feels sometimes I’m going backward with the weight of it.   I can, in fact, sense wings at my back and that I could actually spread them wide to fly across that clear, blue liquid expanse.  I only wish.

The lake, though high from flooding, was calm.  The mountains, though warm with spring, was still painted with snow capped peaks.  The coffee was hot and strong. My company; he was comfortable and loving.  The surroundings were scented with good food and fresh air and we were entertained by the zippy antics of visiting hummingbirds. What more could I possibly ask for in this moment?

In a whirlwind, winging it adventure, we had made it to our most favourite place in this country in record time, with barely a half tank of gas spent.  (I can say I told you so as a previous argument about unnecessary speeding that lasted a good solid long time may have assisted in this change of driving morals).  I digress.

Balfour and Kaslo, BC.  Little towns tucked away in the crevice of a mountain side, thickly surrounded by a diverse ecological forest community.  A place with no Wal-Mart and no Costco.  A place where one can breathe.  A step in any direction and you find yourself fishing in clear blue depths, hiking along dense woodland pathways and climbing up solid rock. Each turn took my breath away.

What Id give just to savor a piece of it for my very own, respect its beauty and live with it for even just a short time.  I hope I would not get tired of its serenity, the organic way of it.  The ebb and the flow of mother natures true spirit.

We got sooooo lucky.  We were able to secure one of the last beds in all of Kaslo.  And as it turned out, it was a cabin, of our very own, overlooking the lake and the mountains, set up on a piece of land developed for the express purpose of living in pure paradise.  A little utopia, just 10 minutes out of Kaslo called Wing Creek Resort. I highly advise!

Parking in front of fruit trees growing in rows, all lovingly tended and fresh with green new leaves, the proprietors were already walking up the path to greet us.  They were amazing, talkative and ambitious.  REALLY ambitious.  Their history seemed to reflect the journey my man and I had just begun, it was odd to hear, as if our life was already written and lived.  Again, a sign I took as we were walking that perfect path.

Ferns, oh my loving ferns,  nestled close to the rushing river bed. Vines hugged the solid wood of the cabin structures while wild flowers, natural herbs and grasses grew both wild and structured. (mental note – must buy more ferns for my current home) Each building burrowed into the scenery, not one on top of the other and not too many.  It was private enough and yet a sense of community could be felt there. So much beauty in one place, it was hard to take it all in when one knew it wouldn’t be for long.

The cabins were obviously from the 70’s BUT had been redone miraculously to add a sort of new vibe, a touch of the old with the clean lines of the contemporary.  Well done, round of applause.  Our cabin, #5, had a kitchen, a fireplace, a bed and a bathroom all tucked into about 600 square feet I think, maybe less?  Cozy is the word.  We chose that cabin because of the view off the front porch.  We later shared a drink on that patio and I felt it was what our lives really should be like.

The night came early and the morning bright.  We had to go home but decided we would be leisurely about it. Stop and see a few things on our way back.  I was sooo damned excited!

Time was in abundance as I’m an early riser.  He doesn’t get to sleep in because of that… ha… #sorrynotsorry.  The morning began with some exercise. The walk to the lake from our cabin boasted a bit of a challenge.  The switch back trails going down were not so hard really, but we knew, with much trepidation, that the hike going back up was going to take its toll on our knees.  We decided then and there, if spirit willing, we would be allowed our own piece of this type of serenity; we would like it to be just a mite closer to the lake.   Please and thank you.

Once near the water we calmed, sat, and spoke deeply and easily; the kind of conversation that makes impacts without length or pendulum swing passions in any direction, my absolute favourite kind.  And yes, going up posed a challenge, as expected, to our city raised flabby bodies.  GROAN!

Finally, packed and back into the truck we go.  The trip home started with an OMG mouth watering breakfast at the Treehouse Restaurant. I was, fall on the ground grumpy ass starved as well, so anything would have been alright but it served me well. Absolutely delicious!

*a little Kaslo plug here – Kaslo has many delicious restaurants and cafes, I may add, as our dinner the night before at the Bluebell Bistro is SOOO worth a hardy mention and standing ovation.  We ate with such gusto, barely tasting the delight of natural grown fruits and nuts and vegetables that danced with our taste buds, that our meal was sadly gone too soon and we were left want for more.  So, of course, we got some of their fresh baked goods to take home with.

Slowing down to savour is hard for the two of us… something we need to work on together.

Full bellies and day two of whirlwind adventure, we meandered through the streets busy with May Day celebrations and headed back to the truck. We had to stop at the SS Moyie first, however.

This brilliant old vessel saw its last voyage many moons ago but the story she tells within her bulkheads are too numerous to share in just one walkabout.  I will have to go again and maybe again after that to get it all in.  I wanted to squeeze my mans hand with delight when he grabbed mine as we walked through the swinging gate towards her loveliness.   And many times I wanted to squeeze his arm with the excitement when I spotted something endearing in the tiny accommodations, or the immaculately maintained décor or the incredible detail.

History, though never my strong suit in school, now thrills me when I get the opportunity to walk through its ghostly halls.   Like honestly, a set of broken eye glasses or random dusty torn leather bound books, an ancient child’s toy and a rumpled stained bunk bed, tells stories I may never hear and can only imagine.  Feeling solid, scrubbed smooth wood beneath my fingertips, the smell of fire long dampened with age and the feel of spirits that once laughed and cried in these moments forever captured in something as simple as a photograph just gets to me.

Ahhhh I can’t get carried away as there is more to this day. You will just have to go and see for yourself.

We got back to the ferry and with disappointment between us we got right on.  Boo!  No lingering with the ducks today.  I felt a little bad for my guy, its one of his memory favs after all.

We stood watching the shore.  He watched the memories of his childhood and future hopes drift away.  He pouted then, childlike, and it drew me close to him.  I held him and those memories past and future together as solidly as I could within my arms.

Now…. The glass house.  A MUST SEE!  Built by David Brown, east of the Kootney Lake, near, I think Boswell?  You will have to look it up.  A quote I read by him was this.  “…indulge a whim of a peculiar nature.”  HA!  Totally captures the essence of this, once, home of the lovely couple, now turned museum by lingering family that live near the site.

It is constructed with over 500,000 embalming fluid bottles if you can imagine.  And built ON TO a rock, literally.  The stairs to the kitchen were the actual mountain side rock.  I wanted to walk up and down, up and down, and I don’t know why.  I wanted to sit in the chair by the window in the tiny round room with a cup of tea in hand and watch, just watch the water as I suspect he and his wife had done hundreds of times.

My man wanted to linger at the door of the living area.  He didn’t get the chance to take it all in and wanted to go back.  I swear one day we will and will go slower than we did that day.  Take it all in, discuss what we each see and feel and hear in depth.  Ingrain yesteryear into our minds together.  Maybe use some of that brilliance in our own future mountain home?  Maybe not embalming glass, no, probably not.

Again, I was sad to leave.  But we had to move on.  We spied on a campground for sale with some binoculars from a turn off at the side of the highway but decided that though it’s a good idea, the place was not ours.  We had left pieces of our hearts and souls across the water and will gather them again one day, I’m sure.

We made it back to the pass…. heavy sigh.  His knack for traveling without using too much gas has become quite the miraculous thing and I was entirely impressed by him.  But I was also hungry and tired.  I cannot imagine how he felt.  He was the sole driver and provider of this trip and I had no way to thank him.  Guilt hangs with me always, like a bad cough you just can’t shake.  Sorry. Digressing again… 

Dinner at the bar was sort of bitter sweet and didn’t taste as good knowing the prairies loomed closer.  He had to leave tomorrow, back to work a bazillion miles away.  It always hangs so heavy between us this crazy distance.  I think I’m getting used to it, which may be a bad thing.

We made it home.  Late, tired, but fulfilled.  We had a plan, or so I thought.  Hard to make plans when, even after a year or so, you don’t share an address or a tax return.

Whether we are together or apart, I know where I want to land.  I may not get to do this soon or maybe in this lifetime.  The clutches of the prairies seem to have a solid painful hold on me and I don’t know why yet.   I have to work harder for awhile I think.  Get myself back on solid financial ground.  I have been adrift for too long, making unwise choices and not living in the moments.  I have been waiting or searching and wasting so much time.

Today, I enjoyed rehashing the delicious memories of our long weekend together on my poor neglected blog.  God I love to write.  I have, kind of, set a restart button. Looked in the mirror and gave myself a good ‘what for’ and finger shake this morning.  Wishing I had the wisdom of my folks right now.  Though I may not have shed the tears of my wanted dreams with them, they would have agreed to go camping with me to a place we have never been before and I KNOW my parents, dad especially,  would have LOVED it there.

We didn’t take many pictures as we enjoyed just being together without looking behind the lens of a phone at each other.  If you want to see them I have some posted on my Instagram linked to this account or you can just peruse the links I’ve set for you in this blog.  I highly recommend it all.

Post Script.
To the mountains, your strength gives me hope.  To the calm waters, thank you, as always, for humbling my troubled mind. To the ever abundant colours and shades of green, do NOT ever change, I need you desperately. To the very animated humans of Wing Creek, thank you for showing me what CAN be done.  And, to my man, my weekend boyfriend, my food connoisseur… I don’t think my dreams can come true without you.  Thank you for the whirlwind adventure, thank you for winging it to Wing Creek and back in 40 hours(ish).  I don’t have the words to speak of how much it meant me but I sure can write them.   So much love.

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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