End of the Line – Smithers

It’s been a long week and I’m glad I arrived safely at my summer destination and looking forward to lots of writing, reading and a little exploring.  I have a spectacular view of the Hudson’s Bay Glacier – all I have to do is open my back door and look up – out past the power lines – but nothing is perfect.

I left Kelowna last Tuesday, drove the hundred miles to Kamloops. The book manager recognized me from last year and asked if I wanted to do a signing – and, of course, I said “yes.”  She set out a table and chair and the four books that were left on the shelf from last year. I took a bunch out of the back seat of my truck and I was in business.  I must confess that I had totally forgotten that this was a holiday weekend and although I spent lots of time sitting and doing nothing I still sold 10 books.  Not great but a few coins jingling in my pocket is always a good day.  That’s all I can hope for these days. Decided to leave it to one day.

That night I camped in Clinton.  There is a VERY cheap and cheerful campground right on the outskirts of town that I found last year.  Can’t say much for the campground but the owner (Michael) is a fantastic cook and puts on a barbecue in the evening.  For $13.00 I had a gorgeous plateful of ribs along with all the potatoes and gravy, rice and beans that I could eat.  I brought my own bottle of wine (since he is not licensed) – had a glass and a half and I was a VERY happy camper. If you’re not a “ribs” person (if such a person exists) you can have chicken or salmon.

I had hoped to do a signing in Williams Lake since I was VERY successful last year but (and here’s where I discovered that it’s a long-weekend holiday) the campground was full.  I was told that everything had been booked last year so I ended up parking with a dozen other campers at the Tourist Information Center.  I was invited to join 5 other campers (who were on their way to Alaska) for a spaghetti dinner which was absolutely wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyed their company except for one drunken husband who ruined all conversation – he was loud, boorish and unless you were head-to-head with who you were talking to you heard nothing.

When I arrived in Prince George I took a wrong turn and ended up on the road to Vanderhoof.  I took that as a sign to continue on since that was the road I wanted.  I camped at Dave’s RV Park in Vanderhoof.  Spotlessly clean but (and I think this is a sign of the times) almost empty.  I went into their clubhouse, laundry and shower room and discovered the latest issue of the RV Times.  My story about Victoria, BC was published in that issue.  I was told that one of my pictures would be the cover of that issue but that didn’t happen so I was somewhat disappointed.  They did a nice job on the story though with lots of sidebars.  I’m sure the campground in Victoria where I stayed will be delighted with it.

Saturday was my last day on the road.  Halfway to Smithers I ended up with a headache similar to the one I had the day before. It was just enough to annoy and make me was to stay put but I kept driving.  About 10 miles past Burns Lake and really out in the boonies I was delighted to see Hossack Road…..now who da thunk.  Had I been in a better frame of mind I would have stopped and perhaps met another Hossack but I just kept driving.

In Smithers I stopped for groceries and drove to the campground.  I checked in, tried to nap in the hopes of getting rid of the headache but I didn’t do either.  It suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t had a cup of coffee since I got on the road Tuesday.  I made a small pot and before I had finished a quarter of the cup my headache was gone – never to return.  And who says caffeine isn’t addictive.  My next door neighbor was an older man traveling alone.  We sat out at the picnic table – he with his scotch and me with my coffee.  A pleasant way to spend half an hour – just before the rain came down in buckets.

Well – I have lots of food and I’m perfectly comfortable, for the moment anyway, and I intend to finish writing my mini read on Morocco.    Must get back to work now.    Joei

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