Trekking Despite COVID and Rain

“This sounds interesting,” read a recent email from Kamloops Library and forwarded by Sandra Holmes to members of Clearwater’s Writers’ Circle. “Silent Write” was an invitation to “join other local writers for silent writing time.”

“Just the push I need to compose Trekking Tale #259 about our recent trip to the Cariboo,” I thought. Half a dozen of us showed up on Zoom with host John-Paul Baker. After introductions, a video of an author reading his humorous poem called The Lanyard had us chuckling and relaxing. Then it was: “Okay, you have 45 minutes for silent writing — absolutely any kind of writing.”

Immediately, the following words began to flow from my pen: In early July my husband John and I set off for Williams Lake, promising Gypsy that friends would visit her. Not convinced, she sat on her cat tower with her back to us as we left! Stop one soon followed as we collected my golf clubs from Lacarya Golf Course in Blackpool. “We’re on our way,” I messaged B.F.F. Joan.

Only one farm in Little Fort had cut part of its hay field and we expressed sorrow at the difficulties that ranchers were having. This included the family whose Wedding Reception #3 we would attend on Saturday. After slowing to a crawl at the top of the 10-kilometre long hill on Highway 24 owing to thick fog, the next 150 kilometres were uneventful — until we were nearing 150 Mile on Highway 97.

We were between a pilot car and a tractor trailer whose huge load was half a modular home covering the full lane. Fortunately, he stayed well back for suddenly a deer popped up onto the far lane. Narrowly missed by a truck coming towards it, the deer continued to cross unsteadily in front of us. I tromped on the brake pedal and thanked the makers of our Toyota Rav for brakes that brought us to a smooth stop in a remarkably short distance. What a scary close call!

Pleasant activities filled our days, but thanks to the weather, golfing kept being delayed. When shopping, we noticed how each store had its own system to encourage social distancing, masks or not, gloves essential for bulk foods.

Now I’ll explain the earlier reference to Wedding Reception #3. First came the actual wedding in Prince George, but with “less than 50” being the rule, only family and closest friends attended, in its outdoor, lakeside setting.

A week later, other Prince George friends attended an indoor reception there. Our event came a week after that one, and was held in the spacious shop at the groom’s parents’ ranch at Big Lake, for more Williams Lake friends. Here, safe from threatening raindrops, was the bride in her splendid gown for its third airing!

Wedding decorations and photos, now transforming that workshop into a pretty hall, had also already been used twice. In a video of the wedding ceremony, we could hear the rain pouring down. “We were drenched!” grandma Joan had told us. With perfect timing, the answer to the question, “If anyone knows any reason this couple should not be married, speak now or — ” was a loud clap of thunder!

Sunday reintroduced us to blue sky and sunshine. Much chatter and laughter accompanied our morning coffee, make that brunch, provided by my sister in Quesnel. Reluctantly I had decided not to visit other friends in that city, my first home in B.C., so we next drove to Richbar Golf Club and Nursery.

“Oh no!” Joan exclaimed upon noticing that no power carts were in sight.

“Although today is clear, the course is too wet and soft from so much rain we simply cannot risk having ruts,” explained the friendly lass. “We can’t even make exceptions for disabled customers.”

Goodbye to the hope that John would drive still-recuperating me around that most attractive site so Joan and I could both play. We consoled ourselves by eating wings at Wings!

Monday, our final full day, saw almost blue skies, so our golf clubs were put to good use at last on the Williams Lake course. The power cart took Joan and I up hill and down dale as we chased that wily ball over 18 challenging holes. For some strange reason we like doing that!

John and I saw more wildlife on the way home, with no dramatics this time. Taking the rural route past the west end of Horse Lake, a mama deer was running (safely) towards us, wee one still in spots, behind her. When I slowed down, it stopped and stared at us inquisitively. John wouldn’t let me kidnap this cutie, so away we went, leaving the fawn to catch up to its mother.

We’d seen a female moose in fading daylight upon our return from Wedding Reception #3, and on Highway 24 we saw its counterpart. Crossing slowly in front of us, this huge male gave us plenty of time to inspect its wide antlers.

P.S., with three minutes of scribble time left after writing the above draft of my potential Trekking Tale, I had just enough time to think of a title before the sharing and discussion of our efforts to “Silent Write” began.

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