Country girl in the big city


Today was a big day for me. I had to get a few things from Mountain Equipment Coop and wanted to go to the Reece Terris installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I am not used to getting around in big cities and decided to take public transit which gave me some sleepless hours last night but I made it to the West Coast Express station at 7:45. It is the commuter train that runs along the coast. Quite beautiful. It had poured yesterday so I carried an umbrella for rain insurance. The weight of it in my bag made me want to reconsider but the sky convinced me otherwise.

The trip was uneventful and I managed all of the transfers I needed to get to the MEC area which also had several other camping type stores. I went to one called 3 Vets, didn’t find anything I liked and so I headed for MEC…which was closed. Imagine, an outdoor adventure store not opening til 10. Half the day is gone by then. While I waited I visited a couple of other stores in the nearby area and found some of the stuff I wanted but it was VERY expensive. I almost turned around and went home. By then the sun was shining and the umbrella was dragging at my arm.

It turned out that MEC had nothing I wanted so I ended up in another little store. There I got everything at a price I could afford. Better than that I met Mary. She was getting a few things for a hike she is taking to an ice field in Alberta somewhere with 7 of her girlfriends. We chatted for a while and she invited me home to stay with her for a few days. Wow! Mary, that is so great. The last time someone, a total stranger invited me home I was in St. John’s Newfoundland. Everyone told me that it was because the hospitality in the east is next to none…and that could be true but the warmth of western hospitality made me very warm inside Thanks Mary and I promise I wouldn’t have noticed if the place really was a mess. It would have been just great to go over your maps and our plans together. Have a blast and lets talk soon.

The art gallery was a bit of a disappointment. The installation was only half finished…although it was s good as I had expected. There was an exhibit of the old Dutch Painters that was stunning and the rest of the gallery was torn apart making way for an Emily Carr exhit. I was disappointed to miss that one BUT when I arrived the place was buzzing. Outside, on the drive way the band Radio Play was giving a free concert . The music set toes tapping. Volunteers were moving through the crowd giving out bananas. It was the kick off of Mel Thompson’s ride across Canada for mental health awareness. The whole event was very inspirational with some great speakers including Mel’s daughter who is suffering from mental illness. Her talk was an emotional one and I don’t think that anyone had a dry eyes when she was finished. The culmination of the event was Mel and some friends riding off into the sunset on their bicycles. Actually they were following the same route that Sue and I drove in on. Tonight they are in Mission, tomorrow they should make Hope and within 5 days they will be in Kamloops. They are heading for the east coast. Wow! With our miles still fresh in my mind, and my bottom just barely recovered from sitting on the van seat…I can’t even imagine how his will feel by the end of today…let alone at the end of every day til he gets to his destination. I wish him luck on his quest.


Mel leading the pack

The way home was uneventful except I took the sky train which is like a subway in the air. Very cool with a whole new set of complications to negotiate including a down pour with large hail and thunderstorms. I didn’t get use the umbrella though because I was on the bus. It came home dry. You have to know that if I had left it home, it would have poured all day. I don’t know if the residents of Vancouver fully appreciate the gift of sunshine that I gave them.

Well off to pack for my trip to Whitehorse in the morning. Keep in touch and pass the website along.

Sign in the Art Gallery cafe: Support B.C.’s forest industry, take plenty of napkins.

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