Staycations provide the most satisfying holidays

Writer recounts all of her best vacations have been exploring the local area.

Dear Editor

Here we are, halfway through our Summer Break already, and still the temperatures are rising! This is when we really appreciate air-conditioning indoors and the shady spots outdoors.

The other day we were on our way to the Bonaparte when we were amused to see a flock of sheep all huddled together in the shade of a lone tree. Who said that sheep were stupid?

I must admit that my inclination in these temperatures has been to sit around in the “cool” and watch all the athletes at the PanAm games exerting themselves in the heat and humidity of a Toronto summer.  They were all so energetic, agile and (almost all!) gracious in their various successes and losses – they are wonderful examples of what our young folks are.

I have also been reading the newspapers and finding myself taken back to our arrival in Ashcroft at 6pm at 106 degrees F in the shade! There has been much talk of “staycations” – what a wonderful creation that word is! – and this took me back to our first years in Ashcroft, when our time off was in the height of summer when the schools closed and the price of airfares and hotels soared with the temperatures! We compromised by travelling locally and exploring close to home, when we were not at the swimming pool, down by the river and the old bridge, and the kids were learning to swim.

We discovered Cornwall Mountain in the early summer when the snowdrifts had gone and all the wildflowers were blooming in profusion, and experienced “Alpine coffee” courtesy of the Forestry Fire Watch Officer. We found Loon Lake, Pavilion Lake and Barnes Lake where John loved to fish and teach our kids how to catch and clean fish ready for the pan. We took drives along the backroads locally and were stunned by the vistas that appeared before us. In Fall we went through Back Valley to  Deadman Creek and were amazed by the gold and blue pictures we saw, just like a calendar and we had always thought calendar pictures were too perfect to be true!

Close to hand are Spences Bridge, Logan Lake, Merritt, Savona, Clinton, 70 Mile House and  Green Lake. Later we would visit further away spots like Barkerville – a marvellous reconstruction, Radium Hot Springs in the Kootenays, the salmon run at Adams River, Manyberries in southern Alberta, to name a few. There are so many spots close at hand as well as within a day’s journey, just waiting for us to discover them. Taking our visitors to see just what we have here always renews our pleasure in this area when we had forgotten how much we really enjoy it all, and makes us aware that we should revisit some of the old haunts before they disappear.

Another thing that seems to slip our collective memories quite often comes to mind when we read the list inThe Journal of the clubs and organisations and groups of supporters we have here. Who would have believed that a community our size could support so many talents and interests?

There does seem to be an ebb and flow to many clubs, though. They appear and, with a hard working membership, thrive for a few years, then die through attrition, and some new ones start up instead, taking in different interests and talents. One organisation that has stood the test of time displays the variety of talents available here, the event of the Fall, The Ashcroft Fall Fair. There is such a great deal of work that goes into the production of such an event that is never seen by the public, and we should all be sure to let the committee know how much we appreciate their efforts, even if only by turning up at the event on Sept. 13.

Our own Seniors group will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 12:30pm for carpet bowling and card games.  No doubt there will be exchanges of summer adventures and talk about all the places we have been to and the things we have seen and done! Why not mark us on your calendar and join us at the old Lady Minto building, that now holds the Village Offices, to share your adventures? You would be most welcome!

Joyce West

Ashcroft

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