September 17, 2014: Lessons Learned

 “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien 


Christina Lake, BC


Vancouver, BC


Some thoughts and observations from the road less travelled between Vancouver and Calgary: 


Delta, BC

The weather is already more autumnal and school bells east of British Columbia have been ringing for a couple of weeks, so perhaps the time is right to draw upon lessons learned from carefree summer pleasures. From September to June, many of us have reason to emphasize the importance of doing homework, studying for tests and achieving good grades. What we often overlook is the need to explore ideas, concepts and places, with no obvious or greater purpose beyond the pure joy of exploration. Summer provides students with that break from structured learning, a chance to get sidetracked and stumble upon practical truths that illuminate, enthuse and sustain. 


Near Balfour, BC


When it came to education and the Internet, my late friend George lamented the ease of access to sophisticated search engines capable of honing in on the crux of an assignment. While his children would complete their homework with great efficiency, he felt they missed out on opportunities to be inspired by an array of subjects that, in our day, we would discover under the guise of researching a project. We would head to the Fraser-Hickson Library just a few short blocks from West Hill High School, open encyclopedias and reference books to work on an essay about Henry Hudson, and end up reading the surrounding articles about Hubble's law, Huckleberry Finn and the Hudson Hornet. 


Kaslo, BC




Near Hope, BC

To witness the sockeye run in the Fraser River and observe their brethren, the smaller, landlocked Kokanee salmon enter spawning streams in the West Kootenay, is to marvel at a remarkable journey that links seemingly distinct ecosystems. From creeks to lakes to rivers to oceans and back again, these fish contribute to the health of birds, bears and wolves that prey on them, enrich forests that absorb nutrients from their remains and bolster the economy of nearby communities. 



Near Nelson, BC



Near Peachland, BC

Imagine possibilities! Watch the clouds drift and change shape over Okanagan Lake, or switch off the cellphone and contemplate the silence on the shores of Pavilion Lake.


Near Pavilion, BC


Close to Cranbrook is St. Eugene’s Mission, where Canadian history resonates with sadness and significance. From 1910 until its closure in 1970, the three-storey residential school housed Okanagan, Shuswap, Blackfoot and Ktunaxa children. In 1984, the late Ktunaxa elder Mary Paul stated: “Since it was within that building that the culture of the Kootenay Indian was taken away, it should be within that building that it is returned.” In 2003, the completely renovated structure reopened as a top-notch resort owned and operated by First Nations.


Near Cranbrook, BC

Standing between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Purcell Range to the west, the nearby St. Eugene's Church was financed by the 1893 sale of a $12,000 mining claim staked by Pierre, a member of the Ktunaxa First Nation and Father Nicolas Coccola of the Oblate Order. That claim for a deposit above Moyie, became St. Eugene’s Mine. By 1907, it was the largest lead-silver operation in Canada, giving Consolidated Mining and Smelting (Cominco) its start.  


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Montreal, QC

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