‘Exploring’ just part of the job

Reporter looks for news tips, adventure suggestions

There I was with a few minutes to spare on my commute (if we can even call it that) from Midway to Grand Forks, just over a week ago. It wasn’t like a commute I’d ever had before, like any of the times I was cramped on an Ottawa city bus holding a book to avoid eye contact with headphones in to drown out the noise. Instead, I was peering over a cliff up Gibbs Creek Road at a young black bear in a clearcut. It was my “long-cut” home from work on Saturday.

It’s so easy to settle into routines and miss what’s happening right next door to us. That’s why I was grateful that in my first week in Boundary Country I was invited to bowhunting and boxing events in Rock Creek — a place I’d only ever visited for a music festival or when I was just passing through on my bike (I will forever be grateful for that long downhill from Anarchist Summit down to the Kettle after climbing out of Osoyoos on a much-too-warm summer day). It’s pretty cool to get to “explore” the province and call it work.

In the city, my life was governed by bus routes from which I rarely deviated. I knew my coffee shop, my favourite driver, my very seat on the 97 bus to downtown. Out here in the Boundary, I’m thrilled that there is so much to explore here and so little dictation over where we can go.

Two weeks ago, I threw my camping gear into a rubbermaid and now tote it around in the back of my car, ready to find a spot to settle down for the evening if a story takes me just temptingly too far away from home to justify driving back in the evening. It’s part practical — it’s best not to drive when you’re tired — and part for fun, because I realize that I have a lot more exploring to do to understand some of the stories happening in the region, and also, who doesn’t enjoy a nice impromptu camping trip?

(I also put a bathing suit and towel in my car last week because I don’t have air conditioning so I will be relying on the local waterways and eateries for relief from my sauna of a vehicle).

Wilgress Lake caught my eye one night driving home from Midway. The rain was fresh but the sky was clearing and the dawn temperature was rising, lifting clouds of the surface of the still lake. It was amazing but I only got a glimpse. Luckily, I got to stop there again, at just around the same point in the sunset, on Sunday after a drive back from the coast. Fog crept in across the still water and ripples erupted and faded in the moments when trout leapt for mosquitoes. It was a perfect pause before settling into a week of talking and typing at the computer.

Instead of gazing off at cigarette butts in a roadside gutter at an Ottawa bus stop, I’m thrilled to get to spend my commuting hours (and they are hours) taking in the Boundary. But if you know any “long-cuts” that are well worth anyone’s while, please do let me know. Your reporter is now accepting news tips, submissions, letters to the editor and hiking/biking/adventure advice.

I know that to be a local is to be able to refer to specific mountain peaks and logging road turnoffs and gradually I am getting there. With kids out of school and summer holidays set for some readers, I wish you a happy time exploring this summer too — see you out there.

Just Posted

Hundreds turn out for Singh, NDP candidate rally in Penticton

The messaging was clear, NDP “chooses you”

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Son Ranch Timber Co. wins provincial award for woodlot management

The Freer family has been operating the business for nearly 30 years

How local candidates are using Facebook to advertise directly to you

Liberal campaign is the biggest spender on Facebook ads in South Okanangan–West Kootenay

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Most Read