This afternoon I got out and headed up Red Mountain Road. It’s the only place I can walk (hike) here without driving – and I am not about to drive in this stuff. Funny – it’s a world away from a huge city – as different as it could possibly be – and yet I had constant deja vu: walking home from work in Toronto from Bay and Bloor all the way to Royal York and Bloor. It was about a 15K walk. I think my 3.5 hours on Red Mountain Road today was about the same distance. And yes, in Toronto I walked past shops and houses and all the sights you would expect in a city. Here, I walked by trees and the occasional home. But the sort of road-walking monotony was exactly the same. It was walking for the sake of walking. Walking because my body needed to move.
So clearly there are benefits to this kind of walking: the monotony allows my mind freedom to think and I worked on two story plots – those stories are now ready for the keyboard.
But those sorts of walks do nothing to bring joy to my heart. But they’re a fact of life here. I miss being able to walk out my front door and straight down through the back 40 – or across the tiny foot bridge into Hemer Park. I knew I was lucky. I never took that wonderful home above the stable for granted.
This is not to say that I don’t think this place in the Kootenays isn’t wonderful. It’s a gem. The alpine hiking in the summer is outstanding – second to none. I spent an entire summer in heaven this year.
And there will be amazing snowshoeing. And skiing in all likelihood.
But there is also this – the road.