Last year was full of journeys, both in terms of travel and emotions, and of firsts. Recovering from a rocky end to 2010, I found emotional balance as my body took its time to heal. I also began a new romantic relationship in the spring that has helped me better understand myself and discover what a loving partnership really ought to feel like (answer: fantastic). That discovery induced some much-needed catharsis and put my past into perspective. I travelled overseas for the first time in almost a decade — and boarded the plane unaccompanied for the first time ever — and made two trips within BC with my sweetheart.
I arrived in England on Friday morning. The British woman who had sat next to me on the plane lamented as we exited that it was cloudy. No problem, I said. “Nothing could be worse than the Vancouver weather the other day.” Anyway, I find the clouds settled over the hills kind of intriguing.
It’s greener here than Vancouver right now, but the hills in the country are still brown from a distance between the patches of grass and pasture. I’m trying to imagine what it looks like when it’s all lush. The place is covered in daffodils, some tulips have sprung, magnolias and the odd cherry bloom, and the birds are gloriously loud. On a forest walk, I spotted salmonberry bushes in early bloom, and learned one can suck on the nectar for a treat, which will be sweet if the petals are easy plucked.
I hope my lack of writing lately is a sign of a good social life rather than exhaustion. Here is finally my experience at the recent slow food cycle.
The gems are often tucked away at the end of a road. Like last year’s treasures in Pemberton, the most wonderful spots in Agassiz’s slow food cycle route lay a ways down a road or off a nondescript path you only just had to trust would lead somewhere.
At one end of the self-guided, circuitous route through Agassiz’s sprawling farmland and country houses was a paradise I could not have expected. The Back Porch seemed to suggest with its name a rustic and romantic place. Greeted by dozens of bikes, we found ourselves on a farm that could have been transplanted from the artsy, organic culture of BC’s Gulf Islands. A pottery studio and coffee grinding shop occupied the first outbuilding, a unique combination that was at once odd and harmonious. Antique coffee grinders (ca. 1919) sat among vintage graphic design pieces which tickled my design nerd fancy!
Yesterday I attended my first Slow Food Cycle Sunday, in Pemberton. Whew, what a ride!
We arrived in Pemberton Village rather on time considering the road construction on the Sea to Sky Highway. (No rockslides, thankfully!) Treacherous road, but man, what a view! The parking lot at Signal Hill Elementary School was rapidly filling up when we unloaded our stuff, packed up our saddle bags and took off in the direction of the Community Centre which would be our official starting point. It was obvious then that there was a huge turnout, and in fact the count thus far exceeds 2000 riders! It was mildly sunny and cool, but the weather didn’t do what was forecasted. It did the exact opposite, without the potential thunderstorm that seemed imminent.
I learned of this annual event when I naughtily “borrowed” my landlady’s Westworld Magazine to read a few interesting food-related articles before I delivered it upstairs. When I finished reading the article about Slow Food Cycle Sunday, I wrote down the event details and without hesitation decided I would attend. (Do read the article, a PDF complete with tantalizing photographs!) Now the date is finally approaching — not that I wish summer to pass quickly as it has been, but I’ve been looking forward to this — and I’m training daily now for the tour.
The regular Monday lunch blog was bumped due to an afternoon studio workshop.
Right away our facilitator asked what we’d be doing if we weren’t there in the meeting. I said I’d be writing my lunch blog, which is true, though it occurred to me later that if I didn’t have to work I’d still be on Vancouver Island with my folks.
Possibly the shortest trip I’ve ever made to the Island, I begged my parents to bring me along to visit some extended family and friends. It sure was a surprise to see how gorgeous the area is this time of year. All the fall colours were out in glorious, rich tones that we seldom see here, whether because of the different types of trees or even just the climate. (Victoria is generally warmer and drier than Vancouver; our leaves seem to mostly turn brown and sludgey.) The sun even popped out for a visit yesterday evening.
(August 9, lunchtimeish)
Here we are at Stemwinder Provincial Park, about 25 km east of Princeton, BC. The boyfriend has taken the car to the next town, Hedley, to get some foodstuffs and fishing bait. It’s a bit dusty and I’m on battery power so I won’t keep Peanut (that’s my laptop) on too long, but I thought it would be interesting to write a post while at the site rather than after. Obviously there’s no wireless here so I’ll post when I get home. (I brought Peanut along to watch The Departed one evening.)
We arrived yesterday afternoon to find Bromley Rock’s campsite full! I knew there was another one further down and we found it only half full with plenty of choices. This spot is quieter and today is only about as full so far as it was when we arrived; many people have left.
We didn’t take many photos on this trip, but I’d like to share with you the water tower in Spirit Lake, ID — transformed into a teapot! When “mama” told us about this, we just had to see it.
(above 4) skies above the idaho-washington state border. do you see nessy?
(above 3) Lac Sans Souci (“lake without worry”)
fishing at spirit lake (photo by chris)
view of spirit lake from above, with trippy side view mirror action. reminiscient of cultus lake and columbia valley