Former Journal editor Ken Alexander loved living in Ashcroft, but never got used to the trins. Photo: Wendy Coomber.

Former Journal editor Ken Alexander loved living in Ashcroft, but never got used to the trins. Photo: Wendy Coomber.

The Editor’s Desk: The best place on earth

A former Journal editor reflects on the charms of the town he once called home.

Ah, Ashcroft.

I’m so glad to have been able to visit my old stomping grounds again—even if it was only for a short time.

Ashcroft is dear to my heart for so many reasons.

There were so many highlights in my life when I rented the editor and publisher chairs at The Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal for three or four years in the early to mid-1980s.

My wife, Kris, and I always tell friends and family Ashcroft was our favourite community to live in.

Our reasons were simple, but they’re important.

The residents of Ashcroft are so fortunate to live here, but you know that already.

Folks will probably be able to check off a number of the same reasons we loved it here.

Let’s start with the setting—Ashcroft is nestled in a valley along the South Thompson River.

The rising and setting sun on the sandy hills and hoodoos is a glorious gold and red colour. We never tired of stepping outside to it in when the community was so quiet and peaceful.

The weather is glorious here—it’s hot and sunny much longer that most places in the province.

Yes, it can get dang hot in summer, but there ways to cool off—we loved the picnics at the pool or at the slough.

You can ‘t beat the winters here, though—sometimes you can sweep the snow off the driveways and sidewalks.

You can grow just about any vegetable or fruit in Ashcroft. Heck, you just have to spit a seed out and you’ll have a garden before you know it.

But what’s really golden about Ashcroft is it’s people—they are lovely.

It’s the same today as it was almost four decades ago.

You walk down the street and people look you in the eye and smile.

If they know you, they’ll take the time to chat. If they don’t know you, they’ll greet you and pause slightly in case you want to chat.

That’s small town attitude for you—you’re never going to be alone unless you want to.

Kris and I had two children while we lived here—the oldest was born in Kamloops and our youngest was born in Ashcroft and got a “I was born at Ashcroft Hospital” t-shirt.

Kris and I were married here, but we didn’t get no stinkin’ t-shirts— just saying.

Kris and I still have first-circle friends who live in Ashcroft.

We did a lot together. We had dinner together at least a couple of times a week. We raised our children together and went up to our cabin at Green Lake together, which was a great experience for both families.

This week when I bumped into some of thems for a photo, we fell into a comfort zone that felt like we never left Ashcroft.

However, there is one downfall—the trains.

I never stopped hearing or feeling the trains. Even though the old-timers told me I would get used to them in time and “you won’t even know they are here.”

I met one of them the other day and said, “I didn’t get used to the trains.”

He looked me in the eye and chuckled: “You didn’t stay long enough.”

He’s right.

We didn’t stay long enough.

Thanks for the memories.