Knitting in the North

A discussion of knitting, family, home and other stuff.

Anchors Away

You're right, the beauty of blogging is that I can go on and on and on, and you don't have to sit there with a bored expression on your face, waiting for it to be over. If what I have to share is uninteresting to you, you can skip down, or move on altogether. It's quite nice, actually. Here's my first installment: We left Prince George on Thursday, July 20th. Because I am an extreme and detailed planner, we mapped out our route ahead of time, and made the appropriate reservations at the various campsites we decided to stay at. My Wonderful Husband Stuart had to work on Thursday, but arranged to leave early, so we hit the road at about 3pm, and drove to Mount Robson Provincial Park. Mount Robson is the highest in the Canadian Rockies, and is terribly beautiful. Our stay there was lovely, and was the only "real camping" we did during our trip. We were surrounded by trees, the smell of pine, and sat around a campfire, eating smokies and toasting (or incinerating) marshmallows. We picked flowers and wore them in our hair, and chose flower-child names for each of us. Mine is Ocean. It was peaceful and wonderful, and I was reluctant to leave. Next time, we'll definitely plan to be there a tad longer. Friday morning dawned clear and blue; we headed off to Jasper National Park, and traveled down through the icefields. I must confess, I have journeyed along the highway between Prince George and Jasper so often, that I no longer am breathless at the sight. It is sad that I can be so conditioned, especially since I grew up on the Prairies, and when I first moved out here, I lived in a daily state of awe. Taking the road through the icefields was a different story. I have been through there once before, as a child, and clearly remember the amazing feelings and thoughts I experienced at the sight. I felt so humbled, so close to God, so tiny. The feelings were all there, waiting for me. A new addition to my thoughts, though, was the perspective of a knitter. As I looked at the hills, the trees, the water, I could see it all knitted. The textures were lovely, and I wanted to reach out my hand and run it along the treetops, which looked like chunky boucle, or a soft, lovely eyelash yarn. The mountain peaks were a grey Lopi, and the water was a clear, soft turquoise silk. Being still fairly new to the knitting world, this was a new and interesting experience for me. I have never looked at things, people, or nature in this way. I think part of it is Ruth's influence on me - her way of looking at colours and patterns around her has delighted and surprised and educated me. The weather could not have co-operated more, especially since we have an air-conditioned vehicle. It was clear, without a cloud in the sky, and very hot. I think the average as we drove was about 35 degrees C. We stopped for ice cream once, and sat in the shade of a tree, and just enjoyed. Then we drove on to Banff, which is, like Jasper, both a National Park and a town. We all needed a break at that point, so we braved the extremely busy town streets, and found a parking space that could accommodate both the truck and tent trailer. The town is meant to look quaint, and is lovely in many ways, but I was a touch disappointed at the commercialism. I suppose it's necessary, and it pays for the park and the roads, but it was still a bit... hokey. Then I changed tack completely, and dove straight into the commercial beast, when Stuart spotted a Lush store. That is one of my favourite places, apart from a yarn store, to shop, and I was very excited. I stocked up on some essential items, and bought a few gifts. We had a meal, and then packed everyone up for the short jog to our campground just outside of Calgary. Once we had the tent trailer set up, and everyone had used the facilities, I cajoled Stuart into driving me to the mall so I could cut off my hair. I had forgotten that hairstyles and camping don't mix, and couldn't take it a moment longer. I used to wear my hair pixie-short, and so had never experienced the hassles of bad camping hair. I've been trying to grow it out for the last while, and was almost, but not quite to the place where I could tie it up in a ponytail or a clip;I'm now back to square one. The worst part was that the hair stylist didn't do at all what I asked her to, but it made the rest of the trip much more comfortable for me, so it was worth it. I'll start growing it out again now, I guess. I didn't really have the opportunity to camp much as a child. I think we tried it once or twice while traveling, to save on hotel costs, but the four of us were crammed into a 2 man tent that I "won" from a walk-a-thon, and next day we were up with the birds to pack up and hit the road. Stuart introduced me to camping a few years ago, and I was completely unprepared for how much I would love it. The joke in my family has always been that my idea of camping is to throw a sleeping bag on a hotel bed, and I will confess to earning the title "High Maintenance" a time or two. Camping wasn't at all what I expected, and I love it. I try to go as much as I can, and always have fun, rain or shine. However, living in Northern British Columbia, we camp in the woods, or at a Provincial Park. There are lots of trees, lots of space, and generally lots of privacy. Once we hit Calgary, I realized there was another world of camping out there. The place we stayed was like a camping resort for families. There were so many conveniences: swimming pool, mini-golf, playground, laundry, games room, even a little store (just in case you forgot something essential, like Kraft dinner). There were no trees to speak of , and very little privacy. It was fun, just not what I was used to. I missed the campfires, the smell of nature, watching my children tromp off into the bush to explore. I didn't miss outhouses, no showers, and the risk of bears, though, so I suppose it was a trade off. OKC: I did actually knit a bit while we were driving on Friday. I worked on Sizzle, which is stocking stitch, and pretty mindless, as long as I kept track of the decreases and increases. I'm not that fast of a knitter, especially while we're driving, but it comforted me to have it in my hands while we traveled. Final Note: I'm very frustrated with Blogger. I wrote this post this morning, and have been trying all day to add some pictures, with no luck. I'm posting without the photos now, but will try to go back and edit later, if I ever find it's working again.