Yesterday, a friend and I had this exchange.
Her: I finally left the house.
Me: I was thinking about doing that
Her: I have to say, it’s overrated
Me: That’s my impression too
I went outside long enough for a walk around the block. The snow is still here.
Today is a holiday. A few years ago, Canada decided we needed a holiday in February, to bridge the gap between Christmas and Easter, and the third Monday in February is it. Every province calls it something different; in BC, it’s Family Day.
The last of the snow came down on Friday evening. Most of the roads are clear now. There’s even been some sun. I thought today might be a good day for the first hike of the year.
I picked my favourite trail, Tavistock Point, in Fort Langley, an easy trip on the bus, a loop by the water, surrounded by trees. I made an early start. I even packed a lunch.
The day started badly. I forgot my bus pass in my other coat. My water bottle came open and soaked my bag. But I had change for the fare. I used my gloves to mop up the water. I’d made it this far; I would keep going.
Tavistock Trail is on tiny McMillan Island, most of which has been returned to the Kwantlen indigenous people. There’s only one land bridge to get there (which I now always think of as “the bridge where Archie bought his gun”).
My first sign this wasn’t going to be an easy hike was the pedestrian sidewalks weren’t cleared. The second sign happened just moments off the bridge.
I slipped, but caught my fall with one knee. The man walking ahead of me had earphones in and didn’t notice, didn’t stop. When I got back to my feet, I slipped again, both feet going out from under me and down hard on my ass. He still didn’t stop.
A woman in a car opened her door to ask if I was OK, if I needed help.
“I’m fine,” I told her. “It was just a bump.”
But as soon as I started walking, I hurt all over. I knew I wouldn’t be hiking today, and that was before I saw the icy mess of trail.
Snow isn’t supposed to last this long on the south coast. That’s why I live here. We get a few hours of pretty white snow, then it melts away after dinner time. This is all supposed to be gone by now, but this year, it’s hanging on.
I sat a while to enjoy the quiet and the ice breaking up, floating down the river. I had the best London Fog at Blacksmith Bakery and wrote a bit. Then I caught the bus home.
It wasn’t the day I had planned. But it’s only 1pm, and I already got a good story.