This past long weekend we headed up north to a small town called McLeese Lake. We stayed at a campground there owned by a relative. There was fishing and boating and lots of room for the children to run around.
The drive took over 8 hours, including time we stopped to have dinner and let the kids run around at a playground. They handled the trip beautifully, both there and back. And no DVD player!
The scenery was spectacular. We truly do live in a beautiful province. And a huge one! Our long journey took us only a third of the way up the province. We passed various types of geography and topography. The dense, evergreen forests of the West Coasts with its cedar and Douglas Fir gave way to sparser forests dominated by pine. The devastation of the Northern Pine Beetle was evidenced by the bright orange-red of dead conifers that had succumbed to the plague of bark-dwelling insects. Their number has increased dramatically over the last few years due to mild winters and effective suppression of forest fires. Fortunately, some enterprising souls have managed to find a commercial use for wood harvested from infected pine tress, but it has still made an impact on the local forest industry.
The scene above was taken just outside of Lillooet, where the road winds through deep canyons on either side of which rise tall, rocky mountains. We stopped at a lovely picnic area provided and maintained by BC Hydro, the crown corporation that controls the hydroelectricity that powers our province.
Two things were made readily apparent to me on our trip. First, the children thrived in an environment where they could roam freely outside during the day. On our entire trip there was not one temper tantrum or meltdown, nor any major conflicts between the siblings or between children and adults. I have never enjoyed the children more, all while getting ample time for myself to knit and sit in the cool shade. The second revelation was just how vast and beautiful our province is, and how many opportunities exist for wonderful family vacations just a few hours away by car in many directions. I’m looking forward to planning future vacations with the family, whether we are tent camping or RV-ing (I’d like to rent one soon and see how that mode of travel appeals).
Back in the city it has been hard to be in our small, dark apartment after the vast outdoor spaces we’d gotten used to. The search for a rental house is in full swing, though we’ve decided to stay within the city for now. I’m hoping we can find something before summer ends (usually in early October), though I’m now convinced that rain will not deter the kids from playing outdoors. We have two more trips planned this month: the Bonfire music festival, and spending the Labour Day long weekend back at Monck Park in the lovely and desolate Nicola Valley.