Posted by: Noni | May 6, 2010

Southern Entry Blocked, Detour North

If I ever write a book it could be titled Locked In, Locked out. Every aspect of my life could fit easily into one of those two categories. I make plans, just like everybody else, but things don’t always go the way I design. For instance, Lauren and I had arranged a vacation to Southern California. My good friend Spike has a ranch in the high desert and we were going to ride some horses, take a zip line dip in the swimming hole, and hike across dry lake beds… Then, when we were sufficiently rested and had rejuvenated from the warmth of the days and crisp star studded nights, we could head east to Las Vegas and tear up the strip. My tolerance for the gambling buzz and the flashy glitz of Sin City is limited, so after a day or 2, we would head back to Spike’s for a few more days sitting in the sun and working on our projects via laptops and blackberries. (I’m a self admitted workaholic and can’t go much more than a day or 2 without checking emails and negotiating details for execution or discussion.) Our final destination was to be Los Angeles and Venice beach… people watching along the boardwalk, wave dodging and rollerblading followed by a frosty beverage witnessing the sunset across the Pacific. But, plans change… This is what we got instead…

We had been turned back at the border for reasons still not clear, but in an effort to make the most of it we switched gears and turned north to Lauren’s cabin near Princeton BC. We arrived after a treacherous 3 hour drive through windy slush covered highway. The steep inclines and hairpin switchbacks made for stressful journey. I kept thinking “But… today is May 4th!” Thankfully we arrived at “Scum Valley” (as the locals call it) safely and quickly settled to the task of mixing cocktails. A fisherman glided past in a rowboat so I suggested to Lauren that we grab the canoe and paddle to meet him. I was sober and steady but Lauren was a wee bit wobbly. I soon realized that we were dangerously close to tipping into the ice water. I warned Lauren to keep her center of gravity low. Her answer, “I know what I’m doing” I turned for shore and paddled with controlled determination. A few feet from land Lauren spun in her seat and reached for the nose of the canoe. SLOOSH! I managed to keep my head up but the rest of me was pretty much soaked. Lauren stood waist high in the water and watched in shock as I hauled the canoe onto shore and tipped the water from it. She waded out and took off her red jacket which she held in front of her as she slogged up the hill toward the cabin. I struggled to keep silent, allowing Lauren to deliver her apology for dumping us. I was actually surprised that the water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. Perhaps I was running on adrenaline and the ice hadn’t bit my bones yet. In this picture you can see a dry patch on my jeans. I still can’t figure out how that managed to stay dry…?

I pealed my pants off and hung them over the deck railing placing my soggy boots beside them. Lauren hung hers next to mine. I came into the cabin and stoked the fire. Lauren handed me a pair of flannel pajamas and I sat near the stove stirring and poking to evoke maximum heat. We were toasty in no time.

That night before we went to bed I stood on the deck staring up at the stars and was excited that we would have sunshine in the morning because it was so clear. Little did I expect that we’d wake up to snow and chill temperatures. Our pants were frozen on the railing.

At the time of writing, I sit looking over the lake, slurping French Onion soup with roast chicken chunks. It had simmered on top of the wood stove all morning as Lauren and I emptied the cabin of all bedding cushions and clothing (Spring Cleaning) to air in the fresh mountain breeze. May long weekend is the usual date they open up the cabin so we’re getting it ready for the start of the summer season. Lauren is busy putting new foil on the propane cook-top and whisking the cobwebs and dead bugs out of the corners. We moved the furniture around yesterday to make it a bit more spacious and functional. It was awesome to sit and play cribbage while looking at the loons chasing each other and making ripples across the water. The trees at this altitude are weeks behind the ones at the coast which have already turned from bud to leaves, the straw along the shore gray and lifeless. I’m inspired by the peaceful simplicity of this area. Each vista affords a new canvas for my camera. I squatted to capture a bright green lichen moss on a rotted stump in the early light this morning then crouched behind the bow of an abandoned canoe to focus on the dormant logging rig across the pond.

It’s a mixed blessing not having internet connection here. In the past few months I’ve spent far too many hours hunched over my tiny netbook squinting at grainy videos and scanning news coverage of distant lands. My plan, (and we’ll see how this one pans out) is to focus my energy on pre-production for my film in South Africa later this summer (their winter), promoting and launching the Noni project and developing my newest story which will be an epic 3D extravaganza. Lauren and I make an extremely capable and productive team. In the past few weeks we have built a set of stairs, written a treatment, developed an outline and details for execution of a top secret new project and artfully skirted a disastrous vacation bust into an enjoyable retreat in the mountains. Be ready to see some HUGE changes and updates on all sites soon.

Off to town soon for more supplies and to “connect” to our virtual lives. Moral for today, woman who paddles with tipsy partner can end up with snow crusted boots and crispy jeans.

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