Time flies by at a blistering pace.
Since moving to New Zealand, several years had elapsed. Now seemed as good a time as any to rekindle my acquaintance with my country of birth, Canada. I had not seen anyone in my immediate family for close to 3 years, and during that time several new family members had surfaced, none of whom I had met. It had also been nearly 7 years since I had ventured to my hometown of Terrace, a modest community in north-west British Columbia, and there existed a deep aspiration to reconnect with some of the people and places there.
Memories are not faithful impressions of the reality they are based upon - more accurately, they are constructed simulations of the past, and become less reliable with time. For this reason, I needed to revisit the foundations of these memories, to revive the truthful reality of the numerous people and places that existed in my head. By doing so, I hoped to update the old memories...and make some new ones. One must periodically revisit and tend to one's roots if future branches are to grow and flourish.
So then, back to the beginning...this is Origin.
Like a prelude to a dream, the flight gently glided onto the tarmac of Vancouver Internatonal Airport. As usual, I waited for the other passengers to disembark before doing so myself. There was no particular rush. I always take a single, small carry-on backpack wherever I go, no matter the length of the trip, so there was no luggage to collect. There would also be nobody to greet me, for few knew of my coming. Given that I was fasted for 48 hours, I had no jet-lag - I find the multiday fasts completely mitigate jet-lag no matter the destination, so long as the meal to break the fast is timed appropriately.
First of many ferries.
Cloud on the road to Pat and Janice's cabin.
Beautiful channels surround the cabin.
Captain Cameron showing off his impressive boating skills.
Josie and I trying to look mean (I am trying, she is succeeding).
Tim thunders in to Egmont on his boat.
In Egmont, with brothers Pat and Tim.
In Nanaimo, with brother Simon.
Dad and his boat, Coast Explorer II.
Mum, Julia, and Averie on the boat.
My parents, partaking in keto salmon salad.
Hanging with Freya, Princess of the Wood.
The Voyage North
Rocketing out of Qualicum Beach, the tranquil coastal havens kept me constant company until Comox. For old time's sake, I sat down in a White Spot restaurant and ordered two burgers with lettuce buns - not keto, barely even low-carb, but I was there for other reasons. I meditated on the lyrics to "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley as it played in the restaurant, which I used to listen to a lot in Australia, and which was a recurring song at our 20-year high school reunion back in 2012. This summer would be our 30-year reunion, although nobody had planned a formal get-together this time around.
Road to Port Hardy.
Northern Expedition awaits in the morning twilight.
Group of riders, all bikes custom-made.
Sunset in Grenville Channel.
A gentle wake trails behind.
Ride from Prince Rupert to Terrace.
The spattering rain eased as I strayed into Terrace. I went straight downtown to "pull a mainer" as we used to say (that means to ride down the main street, Lakelse Avenue). There were some familiar buildings, but many outlets I did not recognize. It was disappointing to see no less than three cannabis stores, none of which were present at my last visit, 7 years ago. I've got nothing against cannabis, and have the occasional patient who uses it to good effect, but its short-term benefits must be weighed against its longer-term effects...there is a dark side.
Terrace's Old Bridge.
3639 Krumm Road.
Roland takes a breather on Thornhill Mountain.
Lots of greenery on the trail.
Nice view of Lakelse Lake.
A break in the clouds reveals Terrace.
Roland claims the summit of Thornhill Mountain.
Bubbling brook at the bottom of Gunsight Mountain.
Steady climb to Gunsight Lake.
Despite the mists and flies, it's a lovely lake.
Climbing up to the peak, looking back at the lake.
The peak of Gunsight Mountain, somewhat unremarkable.
Nice view near the start of Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
First ridge - the peak is further than it looks.
Trail up a ridge.
Many peaks and possibilities.
This is the only peak that matters...I'm ready.
A steep and snowy ascent.
Summit claimed, and worth the effort.
View of Terrace.
Farewell to Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
Evening twilight at the lake.
During my rest days, when I was not revisiting places from the past by traipsing up and down the mountains, there was time to revisit people from the past.
The Nisga'a Highway.
Rosswood General Store.
Geoff and Gayle Appleton.
Hanging with Kelly and Rod.
Harry and Elsa Murphy.
Bear Country Inn with Roland, Gynette, and mighty Connor.