Part of the reason I started blogging many years ago was to document the transformation of the Columbia Valley from a small town to a small city. That transformation has been complete for years now. If we haven’t quite hit city status, nobody can deny, we are a bustling tourist trap, full of self serving business people and disrespectful tourists and second home owners.
The photographs I publish on this page rarely show the popular tourist sites. There is plenty of places to see those. Although places are spoiled yearly, I’m lucky to know of a few good places that still exist far from the hand of disrespecting tourists.
Although the original purpose of this blog is complete I will still continue to put up pictures. If I wanted readers I’d do it on Facebook or Instagram, but those platforms make me sad.
As I continue I am going to turn off commenting. For a couple reasons, although I appreciate people reading and commenting, it seems like a chore for both the reader and writer.
This past year has been difficult, as we face another tourist season I fear it’s going to get worse for the valley. The past year has shown just how disrespectful people are towards one another.
I have always tried to have a positive outlook for humanity. I’ve thought, although slow to learn, goodness and common sense will prevail. Having watched this past year of destruction and absolute disrespect towards each other my faith has been shaken. As humanity faces unprecedented environmental and health challenges I’m unsure it can be turned around.
So what does this mean; not much really. It doesn’t mean I will change or stop caring about the place I’ve grown up. However, I don’t think the people who give a shit can be as forgiving as in the past.
A perfect Spring day. Overcast, rain and snow in the morning. In the afternoon the sun came out with temperatures rising. Willow and I headed for the river to see what we could see. She snuffed up the smells thawing in the wetlands. I envied her yet was content with the sun on my face. Very fine day.
Lisa and I rang in the New Year in a rather low key manner. We enjoyed a nice dinner of steamed crab legs, vegetables, tapenade, crackers and hot pepper Oregon grape and rose hip jelly made by my good friend Dave. After dinner we watched an episode of The Crown on Netflix. The rest of the night was spent in front of the fire listening to fireworks. The fireworks started at 6 pm and continued throughout the night. There was no official fireworks this year due to Covid, so most were set off by individuals.
It goes without saying it has been a different year. Luckily our family has been spared from the personal heartbreak and financial hardship Covid has placed on so many families and individuals.
Not being able to see our kids and grandkids has been difficult, especially during the Christmas season. It seems odd considering how many people are not adhering to the Provincial and Federal safety protocols. However, as I like to point out to my children, and they understand, it is about how we conduct ourselves, considering we have elderly grandparents and recognizing many other families do as well. For us that’s what it comes down to.
2021 we are looking forward to getting to know you.
Don’t make such a rhubarb about the current goings on!
Covid19 precautions are starting to ease in Canada. We are seeing more tourists. Shops are starting to reopen. About two thirds of the vehicles on the highway and around town, on the weekend, are from neighbouring province Alberta, ignoring warnings not to travel outside of your home province.
The ambulance has been out several times today, a sure sign the roads are getting busier with tourists.
It should be reminded, we are as susceptible to this disease now as we were two months ago.The only thing changed is we have learned to social distance and bought time to possibly better ready our health care system. Numbers show most are still vulnerable to contract the sickness. This will remain so until a vaccine is developed. It will be interesting how we go forward.
A handsome Flicker.
Five years from now, we will know better how we managed this illness, did we overreact, was there things we could have done better? Right now we move forward with the information we have.
Strange times. One good thing in our small community; it’s amazing to see people forgetting about money and tourists, choosing instead to support each other.
It’s the country. The bush in April. When you can get stuck tighter than a fiddler’s fart in mud or snow. The sky turning bruised in evening. The Columbia running before and after. Turning over in winter. There is not much you can have faith in, but the sky and river and creek behind Swansea, the Swans heading north and the Meadowlarks arriving. They continue to keep their promises.
The truck was hip hopping. He had escaped the ruck. It was all mud, dog barks and volume on the radio. He had pushed off.
He grabbed a long leggy one from the floor boards. Cracked the tab and took a long swig.
He held on above Horsethief, heading towards snags. Catching a break, here and there, getting a glimpse of an Eagle holding steady.
It was muddy and he tried to keep it out of the ruts. The leggy ones kept coming and he didn’t see a soul. He made the burn, watched the river, saw what the wind had done.
It fell dark. He ran blind towards the river trying to get closer to the melting ice and rushing water. Through bush and snow. Over deadfalls.
In the morning, shaking like a cat shitting razor-blades, the pups led him back. He hoped for one more forgotten long leggy one. The way back was always worse than the going. He had pushed off, but not hard enough.
It’s quiet. Just like I remember it. Tough to get over the eery part though. We’re so used to the valley full of tourists. Second home owners coming out to their big homes, investments they say. Or cabins; now that’s a joke.
Bruce Street. Downtown Invermere, BC Canada.
Do I miss them? My job for the last few years depends on them. Still, to see the downtown deserted, it’s like turning back time. I can see my brother and I running through those streets jumping and touching the swinging signs, falling off bicycles, busted for smoking pot that couldn’t get an astronaut high. Drinking was our thing. It delivered.
Maurice’s Food Basket. Mom would have drove through the front window, if it weren’t for a telephone pole right out front. My best friend, a couple years older than me, lived up top. He busted me open with a two-by-four. I just about cut his head off when I threw an old licence plate at him. I quit hanging around with him when he reached puberty. He wanted me to play with his cock. He said, pretend it’s a gear shift. I knew he wasn’t going to pretend he was a car.
After this is over, are we going to go back to the way things were? Getting on planes? Pretending we are explorers in foreign countries that see us as tourists. Are we going to burn gasoline tearing up the backcountry? Going where we figure. Are the art shops going to make a living selling egg carton caterpillars?
The Mercantile. Lisa and I used to pick out our school clothes without our parents present. All we had to do was sign for them. Our parents would settle it later.
It’s no different now then then. We don’t now what we are fighting for or against. Hopefully history spares our town.
The Toby Theatre and Cenotaph. Who has grown up here and not taken a drink or smoked a joint at the Cenotaph, it’s a right of passage, goddammit! And the Toby where I watched whatever was showing, everything from True Grit to Linda Lovelace for President. I even threw up on the floor, in the lobby, when my brother gave me too many Bugles. I can still remember how good it felt eating them and how bad the aftermath looked. I’m still not sure who had to clean that up.