Our whole lives my parents and I have been traveling by the little town of Field, B.C.on the side of the trans Canada highway as we have climbed or descended through the Rockies on various vacations. This morning, on the second day our travels to their Sixtieth Anniversary weekend destination, we all woke up in this, oh so picturesque, tiny town. I’d learned, googling on my iPad the night before that, “ Field was established during the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) as a locomotive depot for pusher engines required to help trains over the nearby Field Hill and Big Hill.”
While I waited for Mom and Dad to meet me for breakfast I strolled the mountain streets above the train yards, clicking away with my iphone camera, wondering if I had what it takes to start up a guest house- which appeared to be the main occupation in Field – could I bake a scone, turn down a bed, put up with guests ridiculous questions – like mine, “Hey, anyone know when the TransCanada will open?”
Finishing off the fat sausages and thick toast with our coffees, we could gaze from the restaurant out to the highway and see that it would be a different sort of drive to the cottage and anniversary weekend. It would be a drive completely void of the hundreds of big transport trucks normally taking this route to the coast, with the highway still closed at that crucial point behind us.
As we motored along, winding through the mountains at a relaxed pace, we were stocking up for the weekend, purchasing early B.C fruit at one stand (sweet little strawberries), discovering a new baker at a Salmon Arm coffee shop (whole wheat sourdough), and finally buying the very last of a crop of asparagus to add to our haul – as long as three asparagus a piece for twenty-seven people would work out.
We drove through Golden and Revelstoke, Sicamous, Salmon Arm and Sorento, traveling in and out of storms, through sunshine and under rainbows, before turning down our steep driveway to the cottage on the lake – where my dad took my mom’s hand, his lovely bride of sixty years, and helped her down the walkway to the party destination.
With my daughters and husband following behind us we’ll all have twenty-four hours to prepare coleslaw and beet and rice salad, saute Alberta beef, bake nanaimo bars and ginger cookies, blow up air mattresses and freshen rooms, sweep the decks and buy the booze, twist the streamers and pick bouquets…stay tuned – will the ‘bridal couple reveal the secrets to seven hundred and twenty months of wedded bliss?