Tuesday, September 21

Mountains To Valleys

Today I got into the Okanagan Valley, which is in the Southern Mainland of B.C. Banff was a lot of fun, and I definitely would have enjoyed staying longer, but I've been falling a little behind schedule, and considering that I should be back in Halifax in a month or so, it was time to move on.

On Wednesday, I took a bus from Banff to a town called Golden, which is still in the Rockies, but on the B.C. side. Before taking the bus, I had lunch with a girl that I met at the hostel the night before, who had just gotten to Banff, and was planning on staying for a few months. It was interesting because she was from Quebec, but not Montreal. It seems like almost all of the Quebecors that I meet out here are from Montreal Island or it's south shore, but she was from way up around Lac Saint Jean. Also, while getting on the bus, I bumped into two Scottish guys that I'd seen at the hostel, which made for some company and conversation on the ride to B.C. Golden itself was boring, a depressed town with a really fancy sign on the way in that said, oddly enough, 'The Town of Opportunity.' Maybe the opportunity to get bored....

After just one night there, I took off for Revelstoke, which is a few hours farther west. The bus station in Golden was connected to a truck stop, and being an hour early for the bus, I couldn't help myself but ask a few of the truckers for rides. In the end, I got a lift from a trucker from Montanta. The conversation went back and forth from road stories to politics. After seeing so much of the American presidential campaign on television, it was interesting to talk to someone who was totally sold by the 'don't vote for Kerry, he's too flip-floppy' ads. I don't understand the appeal at all, but I wasn't about to argue given the circumstances. [I'm not sure if that qualifies as hitch-hiking or not, but I really have been trying to avoid it, at least in terms of standing on the road...]

After five days there, I got a ride to Vernon, the first stop in the Okanagan, with a German couple that I met in the hostel in Revelstoke. Although I've only been here for a few hours, it seems like a nice enough town. It also feels a lot less touristic than any of the towns that I've been to in the last few weeks - a welcome change. As an added plus, the weather is the warmest that I've felt in about two months. Ever since I hit Manitoba, I've been followed by cold weather (yes, I am that important. The weather follows me, not vice-versa), and of course being in the Rockies didn't help matters any. Now, given the change in elevation between here and Revelstoke (which is still in the mountains), it almost feels like summer again.

The pace is much slower in these towns than I'm used to, especially after being in Alberta for the last month. Considering that I didn't care so much for the place in general, it's a little ironic that I was there for so long. A week stuck in Edmonton [waiting for the weather to get nice enough to camp out in the parks], a week in Jasper, a week in the back country, and a week in Banff. On a bit of a (long winded) side rant, one thing that's been in the news a lot lately (at least here) is how Alberta will soon be debt free, and all of the bitching over having any of that money taken out of the province. It seemed like every day the headline in the news was some puff piece. 'How are we going to spend all of our new-found wealth, especially after the spike in oil prices?' I know I sound a little bitter, but after hearing the same thing every day for a month, it started to get a bit irritating. Last week, though, I read an article that got me thinking about something else that might be ironic, besides my staying there so long. Cars in Japan are now being designed to run electrically in combination with gasoline, which drastically cuts down on the amount of gas they use. All of that means that the demand for gas is likely to drop significantly in the next 50 to 75 years. But what will be in really high demand by the time we're heading towards the next century? The one thing that Alberta doesn't seem to have too much of - at least to the best of my knowledge - is water, and what they do have is fast being lost as their glaciers melt (due to global warming). So perhaps down the line, the eastern half of the country will become the so called 'have' provinces, as the demand for water rises. But then again, if Quebec becomes a 'have' province, the odds of confederation lasting will probably go down the toilet... [sigh] I think I'll stop thinking about the future for a while, before I give myself a headache.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, I admit it! Since school started I forgot you were still somewhere out there in the Great White North. Hey, I've written stuff for months on my website with nobody but me knowing it. Some updates on freunds of yours, Bert has gone off somewhere in the USA and Seb & Marina are off to some place called Switzerland. There's almost nobody of any significance left in mtl. well, except me.

davie

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said it already and I'll say it again - come to Quebec!

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eh? come to quebec? i live in quebec... and after having seen the rest of canada, i can honestly say that there's nowhere i'd rather live than montreal, with quebec city being second. btw, don't forget to sign your name when posting a comment.

ian.

5:18 PM  

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