Sunday, 27 September 2015

A Bit Of A Wander

We didn't make it home yesterday. That's not a bad thing. We decided to wander a bit on our way out of Vancouver. We wandered over to Maple Ridge and stopped by to see Chris and Dianne at home. That certainly took more than a couple of minutes. Katherine got the tour of the house and I chatted with Chris for a bit. By the time we got underway again, a half an hour had passed, a happy half an hour.

We wandered further up the Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge, right through to Stave Falls where I showed Katherine where we lived for those tumultuous years, in a 900 square foot house with a dozen kids. I tried to show her the old pond, the back pasture, the yard, the barn and sheds, but they were mostly overgrown with alder and brambles. The place isn't the same, but it's been nearly 50 years so what can you expect.

I took her to see Rolly Lake, one of my favourite places in that part of the world, a perfect little mountain lake, filled with trout, small enough to swim in and even across, with a terrific pathway all round. Fifty years back it was a bit more rugged, with a lot more fish, and bigger fish, but that might just be my memory playing tricks on me. No matter, it is still a beautiful little lake.

Our road finally took us out through the forests and back to the highway in Mission, where we crossed the Mission Bridge. I told Katherine stories of before the bridge, when we crossed the train bridge, and how the old wooden ties caught fire at least once every year. I told her about when they built the new bridge, and how they have added to it over the years.

We made our way to Lepp's Farm Market, where we had a wonderful snack and coffee with Meaghan, Charlotte, and Orson. She chattered on, and on, telling us all her stories and asking us for ours. The Charlotte said "I wish they could make your legs well so you could walk again." I thought how much I would like that too.

Our wandering journey continued as I showed Katherine the Vedder Canal and the Chilliwack River, ripe with spawning salmon at this time of year. There were plenty of people fishing, plenty of pink salmon spawning, and plenty of dead fish on the riverside. It's her first experience with this fact of nature; she didn't care for all the dead fish. She also commented on how easy it seemed for people to catch them. At this time of year, it's not difficult.

Finally we headed towards Calgary on the freeway, but instead of taking the newer, faster Coquihalla Highway, we wandered up the Fraser Canyon on Highway 1, the original Trans Canada route. We stopped at Hell's Gate, then again at Lytton where the Thompson River joins the Fraser River. After the requisite photographs, we finally wandered up to Kamloops, where we spent the night.

Not every road trip has to go as planned. Not every destination must be achieved. In fact, the more I get used to what ALS is doing to me, the more I realize how pointless any plan really is, for the most part, at least when trying to plan your life. I have goals. I have ambitions. They are just more of a wander now than a direct route.

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