road trip

we drove

IMG_8374 We went on a road trip last weekend back to the mountains. Our destination was Nelson, nestled in a narrow valley with a long lake-river running by. I had a list of places I wanted to have coffee or get food at and tea blends and favorite products to buy. There were friends to visit, a few stored possessions to collect, and I wanted to see the splendor of the fall colours and say goodbye to the house that we are selling.

It rained heavily the morning we left our island home. From the ferryboat, the mist hung heavy on the shorelines we passed, long tendrils of cloud clinging to the tall conifers. I glimpsed a bald eagle through sheets of sideways rain.

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And then we drove, and drove and drove, for hours. Mostly Jer drove while I read aloud to him. I drove a long winding section through high country, bright reds, oranges, pinks and yellows sweeping by under now-blue skies.

Next, a magnificent landscape of Ponderosa pines and rolling hills; sagebrush; magpies; dry crumbling mountains laced with silver, gold and copper; the shimmering Similkameen, shallow and wide, rolling on down over rounded river rocks.

It was raining when we drove into Nelson, the beautiful lake peaceful, but the excitement of the day had been lost to the kind of dream-shattering conversation that sometimes only long hours in a vehicle can bring. The placid water and yellow-leaved cottonwoods then served as a backdrop for us to build new plans and dreams over subsequent drives along the lake shore that weekend.

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Golden

I'm learning the tides on my walks to work, and also the short seasons of the flowering plants that inhabit the dry, rocky margins of the shore. Already the long grass has cured to deep gold and I haven't seen the otters frolicking in it for over a week; they drift lazy in the kelp beds instead. The camas and California poppies are almost done, giving way to stonecrop and Nootka rose.  We drove up island to Nanaimo for an evening road trip adventure this week, through shady maples, lush farmland and tall Douglas firs. Now, I know that Nanaimo has some ugly strip malls going on, but the winding streets of the old city centre are pretty charming, and a road trip (with some good pizza at Torta Luna along the way) was just what we needed. 

This has also been a good week for visits. My beautiful, talented friend LA came to the island for a brief visit from the mountains, and we walked and walked, and ate very well indeed. My dad came by my work this morning, and on Sunday we went over to Salt Spring Island to visit my family there. The day was hot and sunny, perfect for drinking coffee, walks down to the beach, and my stepdad M's homemade cider. The salmonberries and honeysuckle were ripe, so I snacked as we walked, leaving a trail of orange trumpet flowers along the roadside. 

I brought some of my watercolour paintings into our local print shop this afternoon. It's part of working towards my dream of having an etsy shop up and running, and selling art prints and mobiles and jewellery, and whatever else I'm drawn to create. Yay!

I hope everyone out there is having a rich and vibrant May. 

PS I'm changing the title of this post because whenever I look at it (just what we needed) I get that old song in my head, even though the words are a little different, and that is perhaps not what we needed.