We haven’t been very good explorers.
The snow laid heavy on our plans throughout the winter, knowing many back roads in our new area are unnavigable during the colder months.
With warmer temperatures in our recent past and the sun gleaming out of the great blue sky yesterday, we set out in search of adventure. Our friend, Beth, had told me about abandoned houses in the deep woods past Tranquille Valley.
Head down Red Lake Road, she said.
Easy peasy, I thought.
First, however, I must keep Shep happy. That meant a stop at Cooney Bay and a dip in Kamloops Lake.
The beach was alive with activity … two older women sat on their beach chairs working on watercolour sketches of the beauty they saw before them.
Children laughed, dogs splashed and adults wandered.
I sat on the beach while Shep laid in the cool water and drank. I reminded him to leave some for the fish.
And then it was time to set forth.
The road into the mountains is steep and winding. Occasionally, I glanced to my right and cringed, knowing there was a massive drop just on the other side of that bank.
I took a deep breath and forged on.
With no network reception, we were GPS-less. All we had was a Backroad Mapbook of the Thompson-Okanagan. I was left guessing whether the turn I just took was that one on the black line or the next one.
I crept along at a moderate speed, unfamiliar with the road and remembering how My American prefers me to drive with some care and precaution. After all, it may help me avoid the occasional misadventure.
We passed through the small community of Tranquille Valley, waving at the friendly residents out walking their dogs while off-roaders sped past as if they were on the Coquihalla.
Onward and upward, the next section of the route was a steep uphill.
I figured we were only a few kilometres off the turn onto Red Lake Road but then the wheels of the truck started to spin. The road, saturated by the spring breakup, was thick with mud.
The backend fishtailed and I started to think our adventure had to end for the day. I nodded my head to the power of Mother Nature, pulled a careful three-point turn on a straight stretch, dropped the truck into first gear and made our way back down the hill.
And then I spied it: a glint of sunshine off the snow sitting on the hood.
The old truck sat lonely and abandoned amid the trees.
The old Chevy was left behind by someone who didn’t need it anymore.
For me, it was a gift, after a long day with no destination.
Red Lake will be saved for another day.