This summer turned out to be a lot of me saying, “I know I’m taking full time condensed courses, but yeah, I think I have time to fit that in.” I found time to take on a bunch of extra work, go to a festival, take several day-trips up the Sea to Sky, and I even squeezed in two weeks of backpacking into the one week I had off between classes. But no, I did not have time to blog. So now I’m faced with the gargantuan task of summing up the 3 months since my last post into something with few enough words that my brain– exhausted by the fact that I just finished a university degree (what?)– can handle concentrating on long enough to write.
So, of course there was the studying, the working, and the angst…
But now I know all about human sexuality, I can speak Spanish muy bien, I’ve had the privilege of learning from and spending some quality time with Kevin Chong, and I’m not as broke as I expected to be thanks to the Harmony Arts Festival.
In between all that hustle, I did manage to chill the hell out in the following scenic locations in Vancouver…
I also got way into my old Vancouver-based hobby, urban exploration, hanging out in abandoned mansions, all sketch-like in Point Grey
I also found myself a few days off to explore the Whistler train wreck and Parkhurst ghost town…
The highlight of the summer, though, has to be the two weeks I spent in the interior at the end of June/ beginning of July. I hit the road immediately after finishing work on a Sunday evening and got myself to Lower Joffre Lake before the sun set, and the next morning, I hiked the trail to the top lake at 6am before heading to Kamloops to celebrate my friend Monte’s birthday.
After helping Monte eat all the “pachos”(like nachos, except with potatoes) that one person can wrangle for free on their birthday in the town of Kamloops, I made a b-line for Rossland to see some familiar faces and places with a healthy summer glow on them. That was where, of course, things started to deviate from what little plans I had.
Somewhere along the way to Rossland, my tent poles fell off my backpack in someone’s car, and I found myself with no shelter of my own. My plans of backcountry hiking suddenly seemed a little less exciting than they had been, so I came up with this idea to go out into the forest and find one of the Nancy Greene cabins that I’d heard were in the woods west of Rossland. My friend Geoff, who I can not thank enough for what happened next, was also heading west, for his Bass Coast Music Festival pre-show volunteer shift in Merrit, so he offered to drive me up to the trailhead.
As soon as we got out of town, he asked me, “So… Do you want to go camping in Merrit?”
“No,” I said, “That’s stupid. I just did that drive yesterday.”
I had a million reasons not to go. The drive, which I had indeed done the day before was a 5 hour ordeal, I knew that I’d probably be doing just a bunch of sitting around once I was there, and I had no shortage of work and school commitments that I had to get back to in Vancouver on the same day that Bass Coast was due to begin, so I’d be hanging out with a bunch of people I would be incredibly jealous of. It was less than a 20 minute drive to the trailhead, but somehow Geoff convinced me to tag along before we made it there.
Once we arrived at the event grounds, things continued to escalate. I went from planning to just hang around by the river, to volunteering a little for my keep after my presence was discovered, to doing a whole 30 hours of volunteer work with plans to sell my wristband, to calling my boss and emailing my prof. I got my weekend sailing lesson covered by a coworker and stretched the truth just a little bit to get an exam moved, successfully pushing back my responsibilities even further than I already had to make time for the festival.
Because I had an especially good time, I managed to take zero photos of anything during the festival or the volunteer shift, but I’ve got plenty of good memories to make up for that. Favourites include raving for Rossland at the Brothel Cats set, getting super muddy in the rain, The Funk Hunters, that skinny guy with the blue hair twerking, the general experience of being at our sweet river-front campsite with some of my favourite people, and a bunch of other things that I definitely should not write about under my real name.
I’ve also got to mention Kalso– possibly my favourite little town in the whole entire world, where I spent the entire time between that volunteer shift and Bass Coast. I expected to breeze through Kaslo in less than 24 hours, but I ended up spending three whole days there. It’s hands-down the friendliest place I’ve ever been. Not only does everyone say hi, but I couldn’t walk a block while wearing my backpack without someone asking what I was up to and if I needed any help. I spent my first night next to a rusty old boat, down by the lake, my second night not sleeping at all whilst listening to some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever heard off of a stage in a then-stranger’s living room, and my third night crashing in the previously mentioned livingroom after exploring the town with a new friend. I think that I have to go back and visit before I head down south.
Speaking of down south, for those of you who haven’t heard, these are my plans… At the end of September, I’m heading back down to the United States to visit some friends from last year, then in November, I’ve got a flight from San Fransisco to Juliaca, Peru. The plan is that I’ll backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia for about 6 months… but I don’t have a return flight just yet. Until I leave for the United States, though, any friends in BC who are planning anything fun, please invite me!
Last but not least, I need to give a big shoutout to a girl named Ashley– my one-of-a-kind partner in petty crime and beach bumming buddy. MVP for my summer. She’s also an extremely talented photographer. She took every picture in this post not explicitly credited to someone else. Her instagram feed is really pretty and interesting, and y’all should go follow her: littlegoldenage
That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. Tune in next time to find out what happens when Allie has 3 weeks and fuck all to do!