Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Abandon Hope (or Holiday or Holy Crap?)

I am in Hope.  On my way to Kelowna, to ride the trestles in Myra Canyon again, and hoping that this trip, which I did exactly a year ago with a happy George, will bring some peace in some way or other.

Last year Hope was very different from Vancouver. Less traffic and the air smelled of the things one expects to smell.
Today it smells like exhaust. That strange haze that has characterized Vancouver air in the last few days is present here as well.  It looks like morning fog/haze but it doesn't burn off through even the hottesty of days.  Oh well, as long as Vancouverits still believe that their city is the 3rd most livable city in the world ;-(

My road rager was even scarier looking (not my pic)
I check out of my hotel at 10:40 and since I didn’t eat breakfast, I hope to visit Kimchi Restaurant (I had fabulous Korean spicy squid there last night) again for lunch. They open at 11 am so I decide to kill the remaining time by filling up at a gas station, which I have to do anyway.  At this time the gas stations are already packed with people who left Vancouver in the morning.  So I wait a short distance from a pump with the lights on and with enough room for other cars (there are LOTS of them) to manoeuvre around me.  After about a 10 minute wait, the person at the pump finally leaves and I drive into the spot, only to be greeted by HONKS and a face distorted by rage and hate glaring at me through the front window of a blue pickup truck. The man keeps making faces and gesturing at me even when he violently backs up his truck to try another gas bay. A roaring pick-up engine makes me look that way and I discover that his new bay has an OUT OF ORDER sign at the pump.  Then I see a woman and her daughter trying to open the truck’s passenger door. The nutcase is married!  No luck for his wife either, he doesn’t unlock the passenger door and keeps driving around the gas station.  When he finally finds a working gas bay  and his truck stops moving, his wife and daughter catch up with him and open the passenger door, releasing a terrified and crying ~4 year old into the arms of his mother, while Mr. Anger Management glares at me through the side windows of his truck while he fills his tank.

People aren’t born that way.   Something makes them that way.   I am reminded of what I told a friend only three days ago. After spending 2 weeks in hotel room inundated with horrific car noise and exhaust all day and driving through nightmarish traffic, I said “I’m ready to bite someone”. 

But that’s old research news. Put too many rats in a cage and they start biting each other.  Stress, it’s called and the only thing that helps is finding a cage with fewer rats or a bottle of Prozac.  You think the number of people in Vancouver on anti-depressants is a coincidence?

 It’s amazing what one night of sleep without constant car noise has done to my mood. I am relaxed.  Even Mr. Hate In Your Face creates only small temporary ripples on the calm surface of my mood lake.  I drive about 100 km/hour even though the Coquihalla Highway’s posted speed limit is 120 km/hour and I am continuously noisily and pushily passed by other cars (and thundering 18 Wheelers) going at least 130 km/hour.  What was that again?  It’s not the destination that is important, it is the journey?  Then why the rush, people?

Coquihalla pass or summit or something
 When I’m about 15 minutes away from Merrit, I see smoke along the highway on the other side of a valley.  Forest fire or just a Diesel smoke column of a truck hitting the gas too hard?  Something sinister in my mind whispers ‘car fire’ and just in case I grab the camera out of my backpack on the passenger seat.
False Alarm?

hang on ...

Gut feeling well calibrated. The passenger cabin is almost burned out, while the victim’s belongings are still uncharred. There is a tow truck for trucks present but not a single firefighting vehicle. Everyone is waiting for the fire to consume the rest of the UHaul from a safe distance.  Too many exploding gas tanks in the movies.

FIRE !!!

The cabin is gone; now Mom's attic is on fire

No comments:

Post a Comment