Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Canada, here we come!

Kootenai NWR II
On the Kootenai, near Bonners Ferry ID
by Steven A. Wolfe (Flickr

Finished packing about 12:30 pm, and after a quick lunch at that old standby, Subway, hit the road for Canada, a leisurely drive east and north, past murky skies clouded over with smoggy smoke from wildfires everywhere. 

Today we have television, smart phones, and even my little new Kindle Fire to alert us to such danger ahead. But I wondered what life was like for those fur traders traveling across Canada during the summers. How did they know fires lay ahead?

Made me remember camping in eastern Oregon once when Rachel was 3. We had hiked straight up for about three miles, set up the tent by a nice little lake, maybe Blue Lake. In the morning, the air was blue, really blue. A smokey blue. Just then, a ranger came by and said, "Get on out of here as fast as you can! We got a forest fire coming." We tore down the tent, threw our stuff into our back packs, and ran back down that trail as fast as we could. Got in the car and travelled a ways down the road to find fire on both sides of the road, the fire crew working hard to put it out. Smoke burned our eyes. We could taste the smoke in the back of our throats for a long time. That was the last time we went camping for awhile.

Our rules now are:  If it's over 90 degrees, we're camping at the motel. Otherwise, our little car is loaded with tent, cookstove, and all the accoutrements. Last night we slept at the very comfortable Dodge Peak Lodge in Bonners Ferry and split a civilized brisket sandwich and a Pilsner at a local brewery. Today, Radium Hot Springs awaits.

I did spend hours upgrading the virus checker on this old netbook (maybe 6 years old?) to find the operating system didn't sync with the new virus checker. But success at last, so I will post updates as I can . . . musings on our trip north to Fort St. James, Edmonton, and just maybe to the Hudson's Bay Company Archives Library at Winnipeg before turning home.

May your summer be cool with good travels and no forest fires.


Sandy Brown Jensen said...

Hey, Beth!
We are headed for Canada in a couple weeks, too...Aug. 16 we head for Vancouver Island with lots of "NON-GRADING" activities planned like whale watching, kayaking, museum- going.
In the summer of 1971, I was backpacking with my family in the high Cascades up above Lake Chelan. A helicopter came over and the pilot made get outta here cuz of fire motions that my dad understood. We came down in record time, and The Lady of the Lake was full of handsome firemen is what I remember...lots of fire memories came back to me with this post.

Safe journey!


Beth Camp said...

Love this note, Sandy. And I also love leaving all behind -- to spend time in the woods, near the ocean, exploring a museum or library I've never been too. Have a joyous summer!