Weighed down by excess baggage

Learning to let go of the stuff that clutters our lives, trips us up and keeps us from getting a ride to the next town.

We all come with a lot of baggage these days. That’s something that I’ve been seeing for more than a year now, but I just noticed it the other day when I drove past a couple of hitchhikers with at least half a dozen brightly coloured backpacks and travel bags spread out in front of them. Even if I was inclined to give them a ride, where would I have put all their STUFF?

A few days before that, I saw a young hitchiker with his road bike sitting lamely in front of him, his pannier bags arrayed on the ground and his thumb out. Mind you, sometimes accidents happen and plans change quickly.

When I was a kid, the norm for hitchhiking seemed to be a backpack and a guitar. Now I see people hitchhiking with what seems to be all that they own.

Reminds me of Charles Bedaux’s infamous Canadian Sub-Arctic Expedition in 1934. American millionaire Bedaux rounded up an entourage of Citroen halftracks, a couple of surveyors, geologist, filmmakers and radio operators, dozens of local cowboys, his wife, his mistress, his valet, a maid, a hunting buddy, a few cooks, mechanics and what have you. He loaded 130 pack horses with supplies that included cases of champagne, caviar, canned Devonshire cream, cigarettes, expensive boots, shoes and clothing, as well as food and equipment.

The group was to forge a route from Edmonton to Telegraph Creek, but their overloaded horses and vehicles soon bogged down in the mud and muskeg and the trip ended at Fort Ware, 300 miles shy of their destination. Four days were spent distributing loads of surplus canned food, clothing, etc., and the last case of Devonshire Cream among the local Indians.

It’s like that with ordinary people also. We carry a lot of unnecessary baggage around with us, unwilling to part with it, and unaware of the effect it has on the people around us until it becomes overwhelming. It affects the opportunities that come – or don’t come – our way, as well as the choices we make.

Better to travel lightly and take only what we need. That keeps our options open.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read