Day 3: Mount Robson to Fraser (446 Km)
The day of fright: Code PO442
I wake up under the immense mass of Mount Robson, covered with low clouds, so low that they seem to embrace you with their tiny drops of water. Tamely, it rains. This seems like a beautiful place, scored for the return, but for that, there are two months left.
The relationship between Van and its occupants is narrowing, we are already getting to know each other, everything is placed in a way that is comfortable, that nothing falls into the curves, that the box of clothes that I have under the body does not move bed … starting to live a place to make it home. And singing, loudly, I make kilometres through these green, green landscapes, dotted with pink, with the black asphalt line as the only witness of civilization. He had announced a town … where? I have not been able to find it, it must have been that pair of wooden houses that I saw a few kilometres ago, and the towns are so minimal here.
Suddenly, in the dashboard light comes on that I don’t know. I get scared I immediately pay attention to oil levels, temperature, brakes, water, gasoline … it’s none of them. Everything seems to be fine, the van circulates comfortably at the strict 90 Km/hour, but the light does not go out and I have no idea what it means. I stop at the first parking lot on the road and call my son Daniel and explain what happens. It’s a motor problem, mom, he tells me. You have to look for a workshop immediately, it can be serious. The next town, Mc Bride, is 80 kilometres away. Go slowly, mom, and you are telling me, says my son trying to take the matter away.
My world collapses, I see the end of the adventure, I want to cry, dead of disgust in a lonely parking lot on the third day of leaving. I make coffee, smoke a cigarette, get wet looking at the gray sky above my head and ask the goddesses a little, just a little compassion.
With a shrunken soul, I reach Mc Bride, just a gas station, a couple of shops, a small blue church and the workshop my son found for me. I tell you what happens to the car and the girl in the office, listless and sad, tells me that she is sorry, but that the motor check control has it on the mountain, that they have had a breakdown and they don’t know when she will be back, maybe tomorrow , tells me, wrapped in sadness. Go to Prince George, advise me.
Another 200 kilometers of anguish. It rains, now torrentially, the road is a lagoon, the world around does not exist, the water curtain erases everything, the trucks cause in its wake a horizontal deluge.
I’m so exhausted from driving in this rain that I see the announcement of a Cedar Forest, the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut.
We went down for a walk a little, this time with a friendly, gentle rain. The path between this century-old cedar forest is a raised wooden corridor, a delight of place that reconciles me with this morning of anguish. The leaves of the shrubs, immense, collect the rain, like huge trays that offer their water to the hundreds of birds that populate this fragrant and clean fairytale forest.
Blue, who, despite not knowing what distresses me, does know That I’m distressed, doesn’t separate from me. Smell, sniff, chase a stretch of squirrels and come back next to me jumping for happy dog.
After the walk through the forest I find myself better, I face the kilometers that I have left to Prince George in a more positive way. From a few lilmeters before you know it’s a big city, two-lane road and constructions around. ! It’s huge!
I decide to enter through the area of the industrial estates, and in the first workshop I see I go down and ask them. A very old lady, but about 80 years old, tells me that they don’t do that and, in the summun of kindness, makes me a map pointing out the three workshops around that could look at my car. I greatly appreciate your gesture.
In the first of the workshops they tell me no, but in the second a nice guy tells me that if I can wait a while, I connect the “tester” and see what happens to the car. I make myself something to eat, I’m really tired, it’s stopped raining and the day, although gray, has a beautiful light.
! Code PO442! That’s been the favorable diagnosis of my car that takes me upside down all morning. And it seems the whole problem is that it doesn’t fit the gas tank closure well. With not filling the gas tank butt, problem solved, the mechanic tells me.
And he doesn’t charge me anything! The people around here are friendly and friendly. Despite the scare, it was a beautiful morning.
Poor Blue with a face of grief on the shop door.
They’re going to be a beautiful walk these 158km to Fraser Lake,the White Swan Capital of the world, they say. What has seduced me from this place is a beautiful municipal caravan park, with all services, and FREE, next to a beautiful lake.
The afternoon is dark and misty, the road with little traffic, cereal plots on the edge, huge expanses of corn, thousands of cows grazing in the meadows, the smell of freshly cut grass, perfectly delimited farms and plots, the rural Britsh Columbia and Agricultural. Beautiful.
The ideal place to spend tonight, get some rest and keep thinking about how I’m going to build a bookshelf for the books.
I’ve already decided where I’m going to place it. In the Rockies, on the bank of the Saskatchewan River, I found some woods at the water’s edge, curved, old, beautiful. Just the basis on which the books will support. Here’s the challenge: use only waste materials, reusing everything you find, without buying anything at all.
Day 5 from Fraser Lake to Telkwa – 198 Km.
The first American paella
We are in Telkwa on the farm of Paul and Marlene, with their children, a poet friend, their two dogs … And pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, alpacas, turkeys and some other animal that I do not remember.
A few months ago I signed up on a page of those to share house and chores, I uploaded a video telling my project and Paul wrote to me, offering me the possibility of spending a few days with them in his Farm, the Happy pig organic farm. I put the address on the GPS and I turn, following the indications until I reach the river, I enter three farms, I ask, there is no way … the GPS tells me a place every time. Finally, a charming gentleman tells me where he is, and when I am almost arriving a car comes to rescue me: it is Paul, who has seen my van go by and is aware of the GPS misses on this site.
Organic chicken paella, with organic vegetables and a delicious also organic Argentine Malbec.
I have traveled the farm with Paul, who has been telling me how they move animals in that huge land, how they feed them, winters and snow, the love they put in what they do this beautiful family moves me. From the living room of his beautiful house, you can see the whole farm. While it is time for paella, we have a beer and talk about how wonderful it is to be able to connect like this, from the other side of the ocean, and be here now, talking and smiling.
Paul has prepared a fire and we have begun to cook the paella, on fire, as it should be.
It has been a great afternoon.
Blue has a problem with black pigs and after much fighting with them, has touched the electric fence, has gotten a good scare and has not come back … With the hens has fixation, the Canadians were not going to be less, and he also likes to run after them.
Here he is now next to me, exhausted the little dog.
The afternoon passes between talks, poetry, stories of the farm and a wonderful sun that illuminates us until almost eleven at night.
How grateful I am to life!
Already in the morning, breakfast with the family and we start again.
Thanks Paul and Marlene, your love will always travel with me.