Now, it sounds bad. Maybe it was, jury is still out on that. But I wanted to be near a lake so I could go swimming. That was my goal. And – at least for that as a goal – it was met. What this vacation was, was a lesson in practical goal-setting.
1) Yes, being near a lake is good but
2) Having a toilet near by and
3) Having running water and
4) Having electricity are also great.
But the views? I guess I’m willing to do anything for an adventure.
So, I decided once I did my fifth move in all of about one year that I was going to take some time off of work and go on a mini-vacation – one that was out of town, where I’d be stuck in the woods somewhere and where I’d have to cook my own food and I’d be -hopefully- near a lake.
Well, me in my lack of planning state, I only started looking a week or so out from the long weekend in August, so I ended up not having a huge amount of choice. I had a few options – some in cities (not ideal), some staying in smaller communities in ‘untested’ spaces (also not ideal) and some staying in way-overpriced hotels. I chose this one space because I figured the same hostess had several cabins on the same property so she must be set-up professionally.
So I start on my drive to my chosen destination – Fauquier, BC – just south of Nakusp. I’d never been to that specific area – Nelson, Castelgar, Ainsworth, Kelowna and Vernon, sure, but never to any spots along the Arrow Lakes. Adventure! I started on my way in the morning right after an oil change and doing a walk-through of my old apartment and hit Canmore around 1pm. I thought I was making pretty good time. I stopped in Yoho Park at Faeder Lake – apparently I could have swam there but with no one around and not knowing if there were weird insects etc in there, it didn’t even cross my mind.
So on I went – through Golden and on to Revelstoke. 170km! No big deal.
Well, for most of the trip I followed one poor soul who was in over their heads driving – they were slamming on their brakes at every turn, and randomly, and would *not* pull over. One jeep passed 3km of traffic to pass this person and I, only a few cars back, followed suit, only to come upon a truck pulling a horse trailer doing the same thing. I don’t know what possessed people who were uncomfortable driving in the mountains to want to drive in the mountains on the long weekend, but man, it was painful. And added an extra hour to my drive.
And it’s not so much the cautiousness that drives me bonkers – if it was just slowing down, that would be fine. It’s the slamming on of brakes instead of slowing to go around a corner, the slamming of brakes going into a tunnel instead of turning on lights (this happened, and I was almost involved in an 8-car pile up).
As a public service announcement – yes, there are passing lanes, but we were always taught driving at the coast that if there is someone tailing you, just pull over and let them pass. I guess these folks didn’t get the message.
So Revelstoke was a bit of a haven, and I realized not only was I frustrated from the drive but I was hangry. I had a snack and drove on to the ferry to get to Nakusp. I thought at the time – I’m only an hour or so from the property, I don’t need to pee just yet.
The thing that struck me the most about my travels in this part of BC was the astounding lack of people. Sure there were some trailers and campers, but as soon as I went south on 23, there was NO ONE on the road. A bit of an eerie feeling, but it was lovely – reminded me of times driving out to the lake back in the day in Port Alberni.
Get to the ferry – the ferry just sailed. Had to wait for an hour for the next one. Watched the parade of people that were also going to Nakusp – of particular interest were the hippy couple in front of me that almost missed the ferry because they were off smoking a j with only four minutes to departure time.
I thought “I don’t need to go to the washroom yet, I’ll be fine”. So I get to the other side, drive the 50km to Nakusp and fill up with gas and clean critters and bugs off my windshield. Then I vaguely recall my hostesses’ instructions to “Go on #6 highway” and to call her when I got to Nakusp. I called, left a message and then headed on my way.
Now it was getting a bit dark out already, and I thought that when I looked at the map I’d be following the Arrow Lakes down to Fauquier. I thought it was strange that I was passing some other lakes and going through farmland for a while – until I checked my phone and sure enough, I had taken the wrong #6 Highway – the 6 I wanted was “West” not “South”. So, back I go, Left my hostess a message. And backtrack the 40km back to Nakusp and then the 40km to my cabin.
I get to the top of the driveway and call again saying “Hi, I’m here…. “. No answer.
I pull into this odd long driveway, also reminiscent of spending time at Sproat Lake when I was a girl, and I start weaving my car down the driveway past some cute cabins and past some vehicles. Obviously I had the right spot, but not obviously where was my hostess?
I get out of my car, after having tried the line again, I tried knocking on the door, and no answer. A ridiculously fluffy and awesome cat (later I was introduced to him as Bear) came to greet me at least, although I was told later as well that he probably wanted in the house.
I go back to my car again, and try to collect my thoughts. I email through AirBnb and I call again, this time a bit more emotional (not crying or angry, but a deflated combination of the two). I decide to go and try again, knocking etc and I tried calling right at the door to see if I could hear the phone. Sure enough – it rings. But loudly. I look around – the phone is literally IN a planter. Outside.
So I look at the phone, try to think of friends overseas that I haven’t talked to in ages, then I see the “call base” button. So I press it. Then I hear some smashing around in the cabin that I had knocked at before. Then the smashing stopped. Then I pressed it again and I knocked at the same time, and I finally see the door open to a smallish lady in a wheelchair looking up “You should be quiet, there are other people sleeping in here”.
“Uhm, yes and I am supposed to stay here, and I couldn’t get a hold of you at all.”. I know she could tell that I wasn’t pleased.
At this point it was dark. I was cold and needed to pee SO badly.
I asked if she had a flashlight or lamp.
“Oh there’s one in your cabin there just above the bed”. I sighed. And I trudged down this incline to the cabin, and found the lamp.
I trudged back up to my car and started unpacking, asking where I can put things because the cabin was small and there was zero room for a fridge. The hostess kindly let me store a few things in her small fridge outside, which was great. Then I asked “I know you said the toilet was at the top of the property but is there one in your house that I can use? I really have to go, I’ve been on the road since Revelstoke”. She made indications that the one up top was the only one on the property (I didn’t believe her at the time, but later this was confirmed to be true…) and that if I needed to go to just go “anywhere”.
I took my stuff, went to the cabin and “settled in”. Settled meant just throwing my stuff places randomly, and throwing myself on the bed and trying to figure out how I would manage this peeing thing.
I’m not a woman of the woods. I am my mother’s daughter – my idea of camping is a Motel 6. So this prospect was weird/ uninvited/ odd/ and did I mention weird? Like I’m going to pee on this person’s property for no reason whatsoever – other than it’s late and I can’t figure out how to get to the top of the property?
After a bit of deliberation and woe is me’s, I did it. I went outside, squatted and let ‘er go. And I think I probably had about 2L of liquid in there because I went and went and went. It was ridiculous. I realized the next morning that I peed right on the pathway so felt a bit embarrassed about that. But Day One was nothing compared to Day Two.
Images below – 1&2: Faeder Lake; 3&4: Arrow Lake Ferry to Naksup;
Image 5: I peed here.