let’s get lost

by underswansea


I’ve been asked plenty of times why I still live in the Valley. Our kids have grown and moved on. Lisa and I have started and ran three successful businesses. Good jobs are difficult to find and our kids always remind us we could make more money in the city.

On top of that, prices for everything from a litre of gas to a loaf of bread is more expensive in the area then almost anywhere else in BC.

The lake is surrounded by large Machomes, lived in only a month or two a year. Investments for people with too much. In the summer the lake is covered with motorboats and jet skis. In the winter it’s covered in ice shacks while vehicles wiz in every direction.

During summer and every long weekend the entire Valley is taken over by tourists in a mad rush to. . . see it all and relax I guess? They come in Beamers, Escalades and jacked up trucks hauling travel trailers, motor boats, ATV’s, dirt bikes, motorcycles, snowmobiles, campers, jeeps and just about anything else that puffs smoke and makes noise.

I can understand why folks would want to escape the city. I don’t blame them. But I will tell you this, without exception, the more expensive and noisy the toys, the higher the revs while exceeding the posted speed limit, the more exhaust belched into the air, the more Tim Horton cups and beer tins thrown out the windows the dumber and more annoying the tourist! And they keep coming in greater numbers every year.

You can tell I don’t work for the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce!


Regardless of the ruck I can still get lost out there. I can disappear and not see or hear another person for as long as I want.

Willow and I walked through the trees where I shot my first rifle. I couldn’t have been more than six. It was before I could walk across a log over the creek on my own. My father set up an old oil tin against a bank. I plugged it first shot and it gave me a thrill to see it jump. I took the spent cartridges, from the day, home and saved them.


We overlooked the creek where a couple Dippers bobbed and weaved. Willow snuck up on them. Once she was close she set off after them. They flew, but only about a foot off the water, turning where the creek bends. Willow was hot in pursuit, even got close, splashing into deeper water. Once she realized she was outsmarted she turned back to me and we both laughed at each other’s smiles.

Back to the original question; why we still live here. As long as I can still get lost picking berries or watching stars or small birds, as long as Willow can run without a leash chasing animal tracks and feeling the wild on her tongue, as long as Lisa and I can still find flat hot rocks or soft green moss to make love on – the tourists are just going to have to put up with us.