Home from a smoky 2500 km road trip across BC. North to Little Fort and Deka Lake. East to Golden. South to Canal Flats. Forced up north again by fire-blocked roads, retracing our steps back almost to Kamloops. South at Sicamous, through the Okanagan to Keremeos, and west on the Hope Princeton to Vancouver, the ferry, and home.
It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Surreal. Visibility varying from 100 metres up to a km or two at most. Mountain tops dissolving into thin air. Smouldering hillsides attended by thwacking helicopters toting watery loads. The forest, from hoary oldsters to little saplings, standing silently, roots clenched in the soil, sorrowing while their brothers’ ashes swirl through their branches. Farmsteads hunkered down in the valley-bottoms, sprinklers spitting defiance at the angry skies. The highway unfurling ahead into a smoky beige mist. Red sun, red moon, no stars.
The world stopped a km or two away, no matter how fast or far we went. The closest mountain barely discernible, the next a hinted outline, and beyond, nothingness.
Where were the grand vistas, the serried ranks of mountains framing our route, the rich green valleys and sparkling blue waters? Only a memory, in my mind’s eye. 😢