It is a good thing I pack up at night and sleep in my truck because it rained a lot. I would say at least two or three millimetres which is unusual for a desert-like region. I am taking a few minutes to relax then get dressed, find a washroom and charge my phone.
Morning – I went around town to look for other wood supplies and did not see any so I went back to the gas station. It is threatening to rain but I am defiant and built a fire. With a reserve and a veneer plant it is surprising more people do not sell wood here.
This ‘thriving’ community is not so thriving downtown. I saw at least six businesses closed and up for sale including the lumber store and a historic building built in the eighteen sixties. If I won the sixty million I would buy up most of them, first thing I would do is open a camping supply store in the old lumber store. This town could use a Coghlans/UST supplier, add firewood and make a small garden section and I think I would do very well here.
There is a clear division of wealth in the native community defined by how they keep up their homes. There is also a serious issue of abandoned vehicles on native properties. As many as eight in at least one homestead. It appears they run them into the ground but instead of selling off the wreck for scrap metal they park it in their yard. Perhaps it is some unusual status symbol, I do not know but the landscape and villages would look nicer without them. There’s another business idea, a scrap metal processing yard.
And abandoned buildings, I saw many of them in Lil’wat, N. Quatqya, and Sek’wel’was. We give a lot of money to the native tribes but their leaders squander it and the people suffer. Instead of blaming their leaders they continue to go after the Federal government. They claim that some, like that woman in Ontario, do not speak for them. But the leaders who do are just as corrupt. I do not believe in reserves. I think every native person should have been given one acre of land, and each child native one half acre, then it would be passed down. And there would have to be annual allowances or stipends for them to care for their land. Plus, I would create hunting reserves where ‘tribes of natives’ maintained a village. Perhaps a hundred acres encircling a ‘village’ of twenty-five acres or more.
How can a tribe claim to have ‘sacred land’ or locations on a reserve when reserves were created by the white man following the white man’s dominance of the region? I wonder why the iron rock has never been returned, from the Church, to its rightful place in nature. We covet a rock from space that does not even belong to us. It is clearly a way for the white man to deny the native people their religious practises and beliefs, but seriously this is the twenty-first century, give it back already.
I never even noticed until now, the foothills to the south of town have snow on the top of them. The one has a light covering extending about two hundred metres down from the peak. I am not sure how high the hill is, maybe three thousand metres or more.
Evening – I walked down by the creek late this afternoon. I photographed a heron from only five metres away. The snow remains on the top of the hill a sign that winter has not forgotten Lillooet. I returned to my slumber only to find that the dream had left me. Why did I post to Facebook when I said I would not even use my phone? Because I wanted to share my experience and show my friends there is still more than memes can express of my life. I am more than my Facebook status. I should not continually have to sell myself to be adored, the woman should want to be with me without hesitation or doubt.
Tonight, I am thinking a lot about my time in Nunavut, not in a homesick way though. It is more in a cultural way or a life experience way. The woman who is traveling up and down the coast in her VW van left this morning. I never spoke to her but I wondered if that will be me in twenty years. I do not want to be caged but I do not want to be alone either. I could be and pursue a relationship, built on my past love, but to what end? As I said before and I will say it again I should not have to convince someone to love me. I un-hid my profile on the online dating site I use, it is time to get back into the world again. I am sure that some people will notice I did not delete my profile but you know what – I do not care.
And any town that breeds black widow spiders in the campground washroom is not a town I want to live in. I think the thirty plus degree weather in summer already discouraged me mind you. I am debating moving, I need to prep my dentures but I am comfortable here by the fire. I guess it will only take a couple minutes then I can sit for a while without any obligations.
Night – I will have a confusing time re-adjusting to my life next week. I love being on vacation not because it is an escape but rather because it allows me to look at my life from outside of the box. To ask myself with a level of neutrality “Am I where I want to be at this point in my life?” The answer is not so black and white. I have a good job, a home, savings, a truck that runs, internet, an identity… is a lack of true love the reason my life feels incomplete? I don’t feel the connection with my latest relationship that I did before. I still love her in a way but not in the way on which a meaningful relationship is built. I do not desire to “settle” for her nor would she have me “settle” for her.
My fire is down to embers, the wood boards of the bridge rattle beneath the tires of crossing vehicles, the music continues softly on a distant radio, the water of the nearby creek continues to roar over the rocks making a wind-like whooshing sound, the vehicles rumble and groan and swish past on the highway above, the voices of other campers carry through the darkness. I am more cold than tired and the fire is all but burned down to a pile the size of my hand. I am writing by the light of my lantern and neither it nor the fire provide adequate heat for me to sit out here any longer. I have much to say, but I will do it from the warmth of my truck and sleeping bag.
This week of vacation so far, I have read – “Native Chiefs and Famous Metis” by Holly Quan; “David Thompson” by Elle Andra-Warner; “Hudson’s Bay Company Adventures” by Elle Andra-Warner. Last week I finished “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde; and a week previous “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I am about to start “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. So profound and famous and yet she only ever wrote this single novel, curious.
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