Sunday, October 24, 2010

Goodbye to D'Arcy

I am staying at Sam's place in D'Arcy before heading east for the winter.

Doesn't that sound backwards? Shouldn't I be heading west or south? Silly me!

On Tuesday night I slept in the truck. It was cold but fine in my warm sleeping bag.

On Wednesday night, knowing that it would be colder than Tuesday, I thought I'd sleep in Sam's guest room, the attic. But the place is absolutely infested with stink bugs. I started out killing a bunch of them, they are slow-moving and easy targets, but it didn't stop the tide. I read in bed for awhile, occasionally smashing a stink bug, but when one crawled up onto my chest I gave up. Shaking out all my bedding and clothes I beat a retreat to the truck.

Sam has closed off his attic in hopes that the cold will do in the miserable creatures, but at the very least the closed trapdoor should keep them up in the attic rather than downstairs in his living space.

They're fairly harmless, just disgusting. Sam tells me they are not native to North America, so they have no predators here. They are vegetarian and cause problems for some farmers, but do not bite humans or carry disease. They are large and slow-moving and when they fly they seem incapable of landing, they just crash into things. Also they emit a bad smell, hence their name.

Nights are getting cold, in the truck it dropped to +3C. By the time I reach northern Ontario it should be closer to -3C.

I am debating whether to take the Duffy Lake Road (the switchback road from hell) from here, or retrace my steps to Vancouver and take the Coquihalla. Apparently there is construction on the Duffy Lake with one lane of traffic for almost 50 km. On those switchbacks that means a good hour or more, so if you get to the flag point at the wrong time you could be waiting for up to 2 hours to go through. Normally that road would cut hundreds of kilometers and a couple of hours off the trip east, so it's a dilemma. Also it's very scenic when driven during the daytime with no snow on the road.

I have friends in Edmonton that I will stay with and visit, a night on the road in Saskatchewan---hopefully I will make it back to Buffalo Pound Lake Provincial Park for that night---and another night with my niece in Winnipeg. Then two nights on the road in northern Ontario and a visit with my brother in Kirkland Lake. Another dilemma. Take the colder northern route or the slightly warmer but considerably longer southern route? I will have to play it by ear, it will depend on just how cold. I think I can handle -5C, but I am not sure about -10C.

Yesterday I went walking on the mountain with the dogs, and they took off on me. There was no hope of finding them, they move a lot faster than I can. I didn't know if they had found some shortcut home or if they were off hunting (they do that sometimes). I called them a bunch of times and then started walking back to Sam's place. The lousy buggers caught up with me about 15 minutes away from the cabin. Hapi (the female) is the instigator, Hiro (the male) is more inclined to return when called than she is, but he gets anxious when she doesn't come too so he tends to stay with her.

While walking home without them I was thinking bad thoughts about them. They don't like to abandon each other in the mountains, but they sure don't care about abandoning me. However they did stick close to me after they returned, waiting for me to catch up whenever they got just out of sight. And they were completely beat for the rest of the day when we got back to the cabin.

This will probably be the last time I visit this place, I will most likely not return before Sam moves to Windsong.


Barbara Anne said...

Anne, you are one bold and adventurous woman! More power to you!

I wish you wisdom in choosing your routes and a safe trip.

Sam and the dogs will miss you. Has it been worked out who will take the dogs when Sam moves?


Annie said...

Well as the old fable says, that's a year away and who knows, perhaps the horse will sing. We shall see.

Thanks for good wishes, I am going to need them I think.