One year ago, on Canada Day, I discovered the Interior Authors’ Group (IAG) tent at Art in the Park in Kamloops’ lovely Riverside Park and signed up. After attending meetings from September until June, I felt the bond that comes with sharing ideas and experiences, and learning through presentations given by members of our group about our passion/hobby – writing. So, when the summer get-together was announced for Pritchard, I knew I’d go.
Getting there has to be part of the fun, perhaps triggering a new Trekking Tale around the next corner! Clearwater friends had recently driven a circuit from Kamloops around by Paul and Pinantan Lakes to Pritchard and back through Barnhartvale. Despite rain and John being unable to come, I turned east at the Husky Station just this side of Kamloops. At first the road was familiar, as we’d looked “everywhere” when searching for our new piece of paradise a few years ago. The road winds and climbs, descends, then does it all over again. No stops this round – just promises to bring John and time to explore soon.
After Pinantan Lake, rain easing, I was soon on a gravel road, firm and wide, dipping and curving through treed ranching country. Suddenly the view opened out and I was looking at the grassy hillsides of the wide South Thompson River valley. The wooden bridge to Pritchard on Highway 1 was in the distance way below me. There’s one short passing spot on that long narrow bridge as it arches high above the river: right at the top. With the elevated water level, the current has pushed lots of debris against its supports, but some was finding its way downstream towards Kamloops. I had much more fun ahead of me before I headed that same direction.
Our group’s welcoming president and hard-working husband had filled their double garage with tables to receive contributions for our potluck supper. Extra canopies and lots of chairs were rearranged with each change of the weather – from sun to wind to rain and back round again! Several of our members, with family and friends, shared their additional talents – stringed instruments, flute and voice. Initially tucked in under a couple of cherry trees, the biggest problem with their musical arrangements was chasing pages across the lawn as the breeze strengthened! Rain stopped them just as they finished Pachelbel’s Canon with finesse, about half way through their presentation. Suddenly eating in that double garage seemed like a good idea. Some folks spread through the house onto the front porch where they viewed the north side of the valley down which I had so recently driven. All were dry, comfortable – and very well fed, as we tried a little of each delicious creation. Very talented group indeed!
Where there’s a will there’s a way and we wanted to hear the remaining musical treats that had been prepared for us. Well, the garage became a concert hall and the melodies continued. (Our duo sang “Love Me Tender” better than Elvis ever did!) Through our several hours together, new connections were made and old ones strengthened, but eventually it was over.
As I left, the skies really opened and I was thankful it was still daylight as I drove the Trans Canada to Kamloops and north onto Highway 5. Water splashed high and wide from cars and trucks whizzing along, and the ruts in the asphalt making hydroplaning a concern. I was in McLure before it eased off, and home safely before dark. It had all been a great adventure, with time spent with new friends who share a challenging, enjoyable, mutual interest – writing.