We drove to the middle of nowhere. We’ve been to Africa. It’s not in the middle of nowhere; there are more people than square feet. Where we drove, one can get lost. And no one would be around to know where you might have gone. It feels like a million miles from everywhere–though a grocery store is only an hour away.
Though the teenager was thrilled by this expedition, the younger three wondered when the pain of the drive would end. A couple hours winding British Columbia mountain roads — for what?
When we’d finally get to the turnoff that would tell us that the road was not safe, no longer in use, we turned right and drove up it…
Good thing we have 4 WD–this ain’t no Sunday drive. Oh wait, it’s Sunday.
The couple hundred feet drops as we switchback along — tumbling rocky mountains and an occasional deer nipping a bush greet us.
The only sign of civilization at the top: an outhouse telling us to “Beware of possible wasp nests! Please latch outhouse door, wind gusts will rip unlatched door off its hinges”.
More than two hours driving, we were ready to rock this mountain (well, two of us were).
Until the first few steps revealed we’d either gained weight on our trip up or oxygen saturation was lower.
She’d not be the only one saying “help me”.
It was clear quickly that we weren’t zipping up those footpath switchbacks in the tour books suggestion of an hour. Every half dozen steps up, we stopped for oxygen.
And selfies that resemble satisfaction.
What motivated us to keep going? This…
But there were more than a few expressions of this…
…from everyone under forty one.
This guy would be the primary role of picnic caregiver, two backpacks. He didn’t complain. Checking our pulses at 150 bpm, out of breath, he knew we couldn’t do it. A good mile of switchbacks UP the mountain–he was the only one trained for this. Imagine that the book says this is an “easy” hike.
The flat trails were met with cheers of relief.
Opposite our trail was the notorious Jumbo Mountain. Locals are resisting the creation of a new ski resort in our quieter mountain community. Someone has cleared patches of mountain for some reason.
Something I’ve not seen before: new coniferous trees muddied in parts. They might appeared burned on one side, or perhaps an animal has rubbed against it, but I see some type of sap or mud gumming up the needles. This area is so dry there could easily be forest fires — just fifteen minutes away from our home, fire has ripped down the mountain putting the residents on evacuation warning.
We entered a woodland thick with mosquitos.
Good thing we brought the Africa Deet. So clear was the water, I’m sure it would be drinkable.
What are these flowers? We’re only weeks away from the abundant blooming of mountain meadows, but so many hikes, so little time, we’ll likely not find our way back here this summer.
Our most optimistic and hearty child has had quite enough of the bugs and the ‘walk’.
Six years old, like daddy like son, he’s accomplished quite a feat. Driving home, my husband naps before his night shift and I take that 4WD off because I’m swinging along these mountain roads like a kid on a playground. We stop to take a dip at the Kaslo beach and collapse in front of the lakeside café for a well-earned burger and fries.
Van Gogh said, “If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere”. But I’d rather find it on a mountain.