Remember that Billy Idol song Dancing with Myself ("My-se-elf")? No? Okay then, here it is! Now that you've established my approximate age, be reassured I have, for the most part, moved beyond dancing with myself. Instead, I'm writing to myself. Not so very punk, but so be it.
I try to keep a journal when I'm travelling, but on this year's summer vacation I decided to make a collage every day and mail it to myself. It was a way to keep the collage bug alive (no worries there, really), but I was also curious to see how these collages make it through the mail and whether they'd all arrived. I'm pleased to report that they all made it home fully intact. Yeah for glue sticks (UHU rules) and invisible Scotch tape.
Honestly? I was getting a bit bored at the end because I was trying to use materials at hand that had something to do with where I was. Tourist brochures start to look a lot alike after awhile. I had a bit of washi tape with me, but other than that, used what I had at hand (primarily maps and brochures).
Here's the result:
|You might notice that I added a blood pressure test here? I was "optimal!" I wish I'd taken one at the end of the trip!|
|Fun day. I hadn't been to Telegraph Cove for a lot of years. Very busy, but still charming.|
|Our cushy ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Bella. The next ferry was about 1/20th the size. ..|
|Yes, I did bring that postage stamp from home. Nice to juxtapose the petroglyphs of the Nuxalk people with the rock carving of an explorer, Alexander MacKenzie who perhaps left the first graffiti in Canada on a rock on the Pacific coast in 1793.|
Here's a close-up of the stamp:
I was really hoping to get some interesting cancellations along the route. Somewhat by chance I read that the post office in Bella Coola has its own unique cancellation. I'm over 50 and pretty much beyond worrying about people think about me, so I marched into the post office and asked the nice lady to stamp my journal. Good thing I did, because the franking on the actual stamp was hard to see. Here is the cancellation with art by a Nuxalk artist:
|The background here was actually from a large glossy tourist magazine promoting the Chilcotin area, but the art was done by a Tofino artist, Mark Hobson. We watched fishermen use these large nets (beside very swift moving water) for quite awhile. The pictographs were a bit tough to find (poorly written directions; bah), but worth it.|
|I haven't been to Barkerville for over 17 years, so I was worried it might have become too much of a tourist trap. It was busy, but we were pleasantly surprised. And, yes, there was a historic post office.|
I have a soft spot for Barkerville because my parents went there on their honeymoon, back in 1958, just around the time it became a provincial park and historic site. I do have one BIG beef though. There were no good cards - not even good postcards - that you could pick up there. Craziness. With all of that historic fodder you think someone would come up with something! I did pick up this photo of one of the famous Cariboo camels that were part of the BC gold rush. Not exactly Barkerville, but perhaps they were were on their way there when this photo was snapped.
|A little travel tip if you go to this area: stop in Wells first, especially if you like to write letters and send postcards. It a similar era as Barkerville, but people actually live there today and many of the historic buildings are restored and painted in fairly funky colours. There are several excellent artists in town and lots of options for picking up from art and cards (and great coffee, too). We had a great visit at two churches converted into galleries: Amazing Space and St. George Gallery.|
One very cool thing about the Wells-Barkerville area is that they have an annual Sled Dog Mail Run. The last weekend of January, they re-create the the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run and mail is cancelled with a unique cancellation at Quesnel, Wells, and Barkerville. Every year there is also a artist-designed envelope. You never know. I might get it together to get some envelopes in next year's run!
|We visited friends in Valemount who have just opened a new brewery, Three Ranges. Thus began about five days of visiting with old friends from our mountain days.|
|My old office in the lower left. Maligne Canyon everywhere else. Parks Canada? Your "Proper Awesome" slogan is dumb.|
|Miette Hot Springs day. And the goofy guys in costume? Just watch this and you'll understand. (Thank you to my little buddy Keeley for introducing me to that.)|