This is only the second year for the newly formed, British Columbia Family Day. It sure feels good to have a long weekend. It has warmed up to minus 10°c. Lisa and I decided to stay in the valley bottom and walk into the Wilmer Sloughs. A few years ago, it was decided by the environmentalist movement to substitute the word ‘slough’ to ‘wetland’. Wetland had positive connotations, they say. I still use the word ‘slough’ and still respect the still water flowing through rushes.
Lisa and I watched our step over the icy patches.
Always figured selective naming only changes so many minds. Usually it’s preaching to the converted. In the town of Invermere, both environmentalists and developers banter about the term ‘smart growth’. Another example of hard fought, selective, bullshit lingo. To both camps, it means building high density tenements for tourists and second home owners. Radium is a bastion of ‘smart growth’ with empty banks of condos overlooking the mill and sewer lagoons. At least it keeps them all in one place, a good friend says. That is the only thing ‘smart’ about it, I say. It is eery to drive through these deserted neighbourhoods during midweek. It is like touring a well coiffed ghetto after the apocalypse. It may be ‘smart’ but it does nothing for community.
It is not often you get an extra day. The dogs had their noses down. The Solitaire followed us around.
We walked the ice but never felt quite safe. One never knows how the water moves in the sloughs. When I was younger I skied to Goose Island in 30 blow weather and awoke to see my tracks sunk in fresh water frozen over. Lisa’s grandfather said I was a fool.
Plenty of tracks out there. The animals must be lighter on there feet.