Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Timely Holiday

Having just returned from driving approximately 900 miles return to see friends who live in the Kootenays, I have to tell you, in my opinion, at least, that I reside in one of the most stunning provinces in Canada.

As we drove, the colours from the turning Leaves became more and more startling. Leaves have mostly dropped where I live; as we drove further South, some Trees had only just begun to turn. The hues became almost psychedelic in their brilliance, along with the rays from a golden Sun in an intensely sapphire-blue Sky.

We drove to Revelstoke, in the eastern part of the province, near the Rockies and then turned South along Hwy. 23. This is a very quiet, country road where there was little traffic...but oh! what incredible views we had as we drove through Mountains and travelled beside huge Lakes.  The Water glittered in the strong Sunshine and turned darkly sullen and angry when Clouds obscured the face of Sun.

We drove through Valleys where little light ever appeared...yet even there, the golden leaves offered a gentle glow. Mountains arose straight from the road in many areas. In others, lovely shiny, black Shale Cliffs rose high.

Gorges and Canyons and high Mountain roads made me turn my face away from the edge of the road, the odd time. These roads were narrow, with few concrete barriers...when we met any kind of large vehicle on this twisty, turny road, there were times I closed my eyes.

But just as quickly as we came into mountainous areas,  Valleys and pastoral farms appeared. Coming from the brownish-shaded, arid Cariboo, seeing these luscious, flat green fields made me blink my eyes. Could anything be that green?

I was awestruck by the numerous hot Springs in the area. Some have been developed; my favourite place of all must be Ainesworth Hot Springs. One can wander deep into large, warm Caverns, with warm Water swirling around one's legs. Its walls are smooth, calcified. It reminds me of what a womb must feel like to an infant. This is Mother Earth's womb.

There were tiny, unincorporated villages dotted here and there. And the larger centres...such as the towns of New Denver, Nakusp, and Kaslo...were so endearing in their funky outlook. I had the largest, freshest hamburger for lunch I can remember having for awhile in Nakusp from a tiny, roadside stand.

Burbling Creeks and Rivers fed the Lakes,  their origins from the large Glaciers dotting the area. Small ferries trundled back and forth, taking travellers over the stretch of the Arrow Lakes to connect with the highway on the other side. One ferry, across the Lower Arrow Lake, from Needles to Fauquier, took no more than a few minutes; all ferries were part of the highways, and therefore no cost was involved.

I love road trips such as this one. On the way to Queen's Bay, our destination on Kootenay Lake, there was no lack of conversation. Graham and I solve the problems of the World, as we drive. And we are accustomed to long drives...our trips to the Coast have prepared us for lengthy car jaunts.

We drove through Lumby, a town much changed since I drove through it last, many years ago. I silently said hello to my friend Priscilla, who writes about Salmon conservation for her blog the Xpress and lives in this pretty little area.

We drove to our destination in one day; on our return, we divided the trip into two days, staying in Kamloops overnight. We spent the next morning shopping, before returning home to our two Dogs, who were being looked after by our wonderful sitter.

At times, there is nothing better to do than to go where Spirit moves me. The highways and roads we took were hardly planned, yet the reward at only taking a road less travelled was bountiful. I am not all that fond of mountainous terrain, but the Ranges we travelled through, so close to the Rockies, have changed my mind. Perhaps I have not known Mountains in their Fall finery.

And my Father lived in Nakusp for many years. I have many of his I understand why he loved the Mountains so. He was an artist. Even I, many years away from when I held a paint brush in my hands, felt a distinct urge to paint what I saw before me. How could you live here...and not somehow have the urge to translate Nature's beauty into some artistic form?

I found the populace who live amongst the tall Mountains a different that has not forgotten how to live off the Land. Quietly and at peace. In one town, for example, the people have voted for no cell phone usage.  

I noticed, as we drove through the small Villages and Towns, that there were many, many hikers and walkers about and few vehicles. There is a taste of the old days here...days when I belonged in the hippie culture and life seemed more serene and slow and self-sustainable. It seemed to be, at any rate. 
And I believe this is why I am so attracted to the area.

It feels as if I've gone back in time.

It feels like home.


  1. You had a beautiful trip. I wish the ferries in BC were considered part of the highway. Seems like they are so costly. Makes you think twice about heading down the mainland or over to Vancouver Island. I loved our pictures. - Margy

  2. Very interesting Marion and thanks for the links. Sounds like a very enjoyable break. All the best. Dave

  3. hello marion, i love all these photos but that first one--that winding road--is unbelievable. what a metaphor!

    i'm so glad you had such a great trip. what beauty you share here. but you know, marion, it is your reverence that always touches me the most. you are most special.

    love love

  4. Wow! You got so nice chance to enjoy your best holidays. You have portrayed it in the above article very nicely. From your post we can imagine that you have enjoyed a lot in your holidays.

  5. Powell River Books,

    Margy, these ferries ARE in BC. I wish those ferries between Vancouver Island and the Coast were part of the highway myself...every time we go to the Island it costs an arm and a leg to go over and come back. Those ferries, at one time, did not cost anything near as much, if I remember correctly. Now, I think it's something like $60 one way...or was that last month?! :)

    And then you've got the ferries along the Sunshine coast as does become trying. I think, for residents,at least, there should be some kind of break with reference to how much BC Ferries charges.


    Thank you, Dave...I wish I could have put more photos up, but Google had other ideas. In the Ainesworth Link, they will take you on a virtual tour of the caves...I thought it was interesting.


    You wouldn't believe how many photos I have of winding roads, hahaha, from this trip. There were so many curves on this road, I'm sure Graham's arms were getting tired. I was taking photos through the car window, so some are a little grainy and have fly specks on them, heh.

    Thank you, kj, you know you are special, as well!! xoxo

    Holidays in Greece,

    Thank you so much for visiting...and welcome! Yes, we saw many different people, places and things, making for a very joyful holiday indeed. I'm glad I was able to portray that.

  6. The roads less travelled are always the best I find, and when I used to go out into the country-side we would turn right or left quite randomly upon fancy and found some lovely places in doing so. That photos of the houses with the green roofs looks like Hobbiton! Gorgeous. It all is actually, I envy you but am also so glad you live somewhere that is that beautiful and can lift your spirit so. If you see any long-tailed tits wave at them hehe x

  7. Marion, the photos (and accompanying words) took my breath away! I can't add enough glowing adjectives.....but stunning, exhilirating, inspirational, glorious are some.
    Living in a fairly large city..... and being unemployed for quite a while....I am "exiled" from visiting any of these magical places.... but I have been to some that are similiar (the Bavarian Alps in September/October come to mind). I love hiking - serious hiking - and how I miss it....and everything your post encompasses....the mountains, the trees, the unexpected sightings of towns.... sigh....

    Thank you! This was something my soul needed as a restorative! I did get a "taste" of this while visiting KJ a few weeks back.... but I hunger for more..... ONE DAY!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  8. You live in heaven, Marion! The colors are amazingly vivid. I love the little red tree in one of them. Thanks for sharing your photos and your trip. Oh, how I miss road trips!! With my bad back, I can't sit for long and therefore can only take short trips.


  9. Don't you love when a journey with-out also becomes a journey within? Such lovely photos! You seem so close to nature already - it's no wonder such beauty made you wax so poetic :)

  10. All-Consuming,

    I can imagine those beautiful little country roads and lanes where you live, Michelle. I'll bet you found some very charming places. See...I wish I was there to wander along those I envy you!

    I actually thought of you when I saw those little houses. It was an inn and you could stay in cool.

    We'll take a road trip when you visit; you'll be astonished at the vast, uninhabited places here. And I'm sure we'll be able to find a long-tailed Tit or two for you!!!


  11. Wow, Marion, what beautiful photos, and verbal descriptions.

  12. Just beautiful photos, loved this post.

  13. omg! marion, those photos are beeeautiful! so quaint. i've always favored mountains than the sea, but if i could have both... that would be truly heaven! i am a hippie soul myself :)

  14. Hi Marion! Your journey looks and sounds like a wonderful one. I love road trips! You do live in a beautiful, magical place. xoxo

  15. Robin,

    You'll have to come and do some serious hiking here...there are really awesome trails, almost anywhere in BC. Perhaps you can put that on your list of goals to work toward...I do list is as long as your arm, heh!


    I can certainly understand how painful driving long distances can be...I paid the price. We stopped here and there and walked about...I'm glad I took the trip, despite the pain!


    This trip brought back a lot of memories of trips done long lent itself to inner questioning. I do love that part. And then there is the time where one can discuss these things...without cell phones, computers, etc.

  16. Snow,

    Thank you, kind Sir!


    Thank you,'s a beautiful part of the province, for sure...anywhere I pointed the camera was a photo op, practically!


    I know your 'hippie soul' since I have one. When you get to New Zealand, on the South Island there are huge Mountains and Glaciers. I can't wait for you to photograph those!


    I loved your trip and photos as well...North America has some outstanding beauty, for certain!