Three more sleeps.
Nearly five months after our arrival, we are gearing up to leave this little village in the Cariboo. Not caribou the animal, aka reindeer but Cariboo the region in British Columbia where can be found the Gold Rush Trail that took prospectors North to either wealth or ruin between 1858 and 1865.
Click this link for more on the Gold Rush Trail: http://www.cariboogoldrush.com/highways.htm</a
In exchange for our labour in the Gold Trail RV Park, we have had the use of a fully serviced RV site for the duration of our stay. The park is located at the North end of the village, on the Cariboo Highway or Highway 97 as it appears on the maps. In general the work is not difficult – mowing lawns, cleaning bathrooms, watering flowers and garbage removal are the regular things we could count on. Early in the season there was a great deal of heavier work, such as scraping and painting of over twenty picnic tables and countless metres of fences. Last week, after a hard overnight frost, we emptied all the planters and stacked them ready for next season.
There is another resident worker whose responsibility it is to keep the vegetable gardens weeded and maintained, and numerous other tasks. The owner, Mike, is an ambitious sort who sells an abundance of bedding plants and hanging flower baskets in spring and early summer, and tomatoes and other produce in the late summer and early fall. Those bedding plants and hanging baskets were mine to care for throughout the season, as well as the permanent planters used as park decor. I could not begin to estimate the number of baskets, plants and cases of tomatoes that passed through the park. In addition to his RV park and flower/vegetable stand enterprises, Mike operates a restaurant, The Road Kill Grill on his deck, where he serves up a buffet of home made side dishes with the diner’s choice of grilled meats from his menu. Along with a hearty meal the diner is treated to nonstop entertainment in the form of Mike’s opinion on almost anything you care to discuss, and some things you would rather not. If you want to enjoy your meal, you definitely have to bring your most twisted and tolerant sense of humour. While it has generally been a sleepy, lonely summer, separated from our dear friends and families, it has not been without its exciting moments. The latest of these was the tragic death of a village resident at the hands of another. This took place just weeks ago, and just metres from our door. As it is still an ongoing investigation, and as I am not familiar with any of the people involved, it is not for me to say more on the issue.
On a much lighter note, Clinton celebrates its heritage in May with a fancy-dress ball, a rodeo and a parade. My husband was persuaded to drive the park truck in the parade.
Another event of note this summer was story of The Three Bears. In late August we found a souvenir on the lawn, and Mike felt the it would be appropriate to tag it for the entertainment of the tourists. Unfortunately for the bear and her two cubs, this story did not have a happy ending. After several nocturnal raids on our compost pile and garbage bins, Wildlife officers provided a humane trap, which was moved around, seemingly at the whim of the villagers. Finally, a pair of cubs was captured, and in my innocence I thought they would be held until Momma was caught and that the whole family would be relocated some place remote and safe. How wrong I was! once the adult bear was captured, it was determined that the animals were too dependent on civilisation-based food sources, creating a safety hazard for both bears and humans, and the last I heard, they had been destroyed. This upset me to no end, as I felt certain there must be a way to remove them far enough from civilisation to rehabituate them to a more natural diet. I guess I was wrong.
We were able to take two weekends away from the park to connect with folks on the “outside,” and in addition have had several groups and individuals find their way to Clinton to visit us. So lovely to spend time with those we love and with whom we have shared interests!
An interesting and educational summer it has been, but we are more than happy to be heading back to Sunny Alberta to reunite with friends, family and our family doctor, who will get our prescriptions in order so that these snowbirds may fly South once again.