Sunday, July 28, 2013


Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage, Carol (my wife) and I headed out on Highway #1 in a rented Chrysler Town 'n' Country van.  We drove west to beautiful British Columbia, Canada, first to a wedding in Williams Lake, and finally to a birthday party in Invermere.  This was my fourth consecutive summer buskation to the Canadian Rockies.  This was the second birthday party for my grand-daughter, Eden, daughter of my daughter, Natika (pictured left).

Our first stop, Golden, British Columbia, is situated right on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Rocky Mountain Trench.  We stayed only overnight at Golden, then drove through the Rogers Pass, followed by a winding highway along the Shuswap, toward our Greyhound Bus Depot stop in Kamloops.  Our youngest son, Travers, had flown from Amsterdam to Vancouver, then he hopped a Greyhound to Kamloops.  The three of us were to be at a family wedding in Williams Lake the next day.  I was to be the emcee.

We three drove out of Kamloops, in the Thompson Valley of Ponderosa Pines and Big Sagebrush, past Cache Creek on our way to Williams Lake. 

Williams Lake, commonly called The Puddle, is a cowboy city in the heart of Cariboo.  My nephew, Taelor, and Kristelle (his bride-to-be) had a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony followed by a town hall reception of delicious food and delightful entertainment.  To be cliché, A GREAT TIME HAD BY ALL!

The next morning we followed my sister, Lin, brother-in-law, Cal, and their youngest, Harrison, two hours up the highway to their home in Prince George.  (My mother also lives in Prince George.)

Prince George is considered the Northern Capital of British Columbia.  Situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers, this major city is the transition zone between the Northern and Southern Rocky Mountain Trench.

Colloquially known as PG, Cal drove me to the downtown, where we met Rick Kerbrat, the manager of RUINS SKATE SHOP.  (Yes, Rick Kerbrat, a great name for a skate boarder … CURB RAT:) Rick was very gracious and gave me the thumbs up to busk in front of his establishment.

After farewells to Lin and Cal, Harrison, and Mom, we drove to the town of Jasper, the center of Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies

In Jasper there is NO BUSKING ALLOWED (though I did witness scruffy cadge blowing a lame harmonica, taking up an entire main street bench, having his dozens of papers spread about). The scribbled sign alongside him read, Poems for Pennies.

The next morning we drove down the Jasper-to-Banff highway, hiking several times along the route, which included Athabasca Falls and the Columbia Ice Fields.  (Travers pictured below on the ice.)

At the end of day we drove into the summer resort town of Invermere, situated in the Columbia Valley on the north end of Lake Windermere, home of my daughter, Natika, and her daughter, Eden.
Hiking in the mountains near Invermere  with Natika, Eden, and Glee’na, their rotweiller, we sighted two eagles.  The end of our hike was enhanced with the juxtaposed sounds of the forest against those of the bagpipes.   PETER JANSEN has been playing his bagpipes and drinking beers on this path for over 30 years.  Peter states that They ran me out of town years ago, so I bring my bagpipes and beers up here.

I play bagpipes to silence the voices in my head, reads his t-shirt.

My buskspot in Invermere was beside Sarah and Laura, who were selling shirts and jewelry at kiosk on the main street.  Invermere has a population of 4,000 in winter, swelling to 40,000 in summer!

After some Yoga dives (for Eden) at the pool in Radium Hot Springs, we celebrated Eden’s second birthday!

On our buskation, we stravaged many a weald and waterfall, and observed the surrounding wildlife:
A black bear at Jasper, mountain goats on the ridge of the Columbia Ice Fields, deer in a back yard at Invermere, eagles atop a tree on a mountain trail along Lake Windermere, and bighorn sheep at Radium Hot Springs.

As I close this blog entry, I am laden with a considerable weltschmerz of good-byes.  Good-bye to the highway sandwich snunches of calabrese salami, edam cheese, packed on butterless baguettes, and washed down with bottles of Rocky Mountain Adam’s Ale.

Good-bye to those who posed for my CHAUCERIAN PARADE:

 [Myself, busking in downtown PG]
[Carol and Eden watching me busk]

[Taelor and Lin --
groom and mother of the groom]

[Trav and Eden and Carol on a hike]

Good-bye to Lin and Cal and Harrison.  We love you and see you not often enough! 

And an especial good-bye to Natika and Eden.


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