Reading his words, knowing how much he loves this place – led me to do some thinking. (but not too much – that shite hurts!)
Thought I’d write down my thoughts.
It’s no secret that I was always hesitant to move to this place. As Simon and the whole world knows, I “loved the house, hated the property. But I decided to give it a good shot for a number of reasons. First – Simon loved it. Second – we couldn’t live together in my little stable – far too small. We would have to find a place to rent or buy as soon as we got back from our epic Canadian Rockies motor home trip. And while I’d imagined that place would be on the island (preferably Cedar), I could see Simon’s reasoning – this was a house and property we could afford. It was a fraction of the price of anything we could have on the island.
And it had mountains so hiking was right there.
So the adventure began last year in late October – not the best time to start. To be fair, we’d explored a tiny bit of the alpine in the area: Kokanee Glacier Park and Gwillim Lakes in the Valhallas – both gorgeous! So there was promise.
And then the grey set in. After that the frigid cold. And the snow. Not all of this was bad news. We’d had the foresight to immediately join the Kootenay Mountaineering Club and within weeks of moving I was out on my first snowshoe trip up White Queen and Beattie. And it was beautiful. And the people were amazing.
Since moving here I have met some of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I snowshoed my ass of last winter through a wonderland that I have seen on Vancouver Island 0n Forbidden Plateau and so on – but not in such abundance.
That said, the great snowshoeing is to be had 1.5 hours south of where we live. The trips I took in our area saddened me – all on roads because you can’t access the alpine here from paved roads so in the winter, you’re out of luck. And the drive is fine, except often the roads are snowy and I am still a white knuckle driver on bad roads. Upsides and downsides.
And boy, does this place get socked in at this time of year. Sun? What’s that? And they said the West Coast was grey! Ha!
This is the first time I have ever been affected by grey. I breeze through winters. Not here.
Okay – that’s the down side. Let’s look at last summer. Best season of hiking I’ve ever experienced. I was up in the alpine every second day and on occasion, several days in a row. And, to be clear, the alpine here is beyond beautiful. It’s heart-stopping. It’s as fine as anything I’ve experienced in the Rockies (except maybe Snowbird Pass).
Halfway through the summer, I was fine with living here. All was good.
And then it started snowing at the end of October. That has melted now but the rain and grey are oppressive.
So we’re selling. I still love the house. I love what we (read mostly Simon) have done with it. Every day it’s more beautiful. It has some shortcomings – but it’s beautiful. I love the house.
But now I weigh everything in. We’ve lived here for more than a year. I’ve seen it through four seasons.
I would move back to the island in a flash. Not even a second thought. Why? Well, here, even in the summer, I am dependent on someone else getting me to the alpine (oh those logging roads!) When I went on my own this summer, I drove south where the mountains aren’t as pretty but the roads to trailheads are paved.
I miss my independence. I miss the ocean. I miss being closer to a major town (although I never want to live in one). I miss green year round and I miss mild winters. I felt blessed to live where I did.
That said, I am willing to compromise. I’ll give it a shot living in New Denver where the snow falls later and melts earlier. One of the big things I missed living here was being able to just open my front door and walk. In New Denver I will be able to do that.
It seems like a fair compromise – a decent solution. I expect we’ll have another amazing summer. And I also have X-country skis now. I expect I’ll enjoy that and it will help with winter as well the snowshoeing.
So – let’s see how it goes. I have no idea how quickly it will sell. But, as I said, it’s beautiful. I think it’s the nicest property on the market around here.