Trent Ernst, Editor
Did you miss me?
Chances are, you didn’t even notice that I was missing, unless you were, say, my band mates, who were looking forward to two weeks of time off so we could get together and practice music. Instead, I have spent the last two weeks down in Burnaby, spending time with the in-laws.
Typically, when I go down to the Lower Mainland, I am struck by its…well, it’s attractiveness for lack of a better word.
Oh, I know, most people, when they refer to the Vancouver area at all focus on it’s ugly bits, of which there are many. The downtown eastside. The traffic. The sheer unaffordability of the houses.
I’ve never denied these exist, but the Vancouver area has a lot to recommend for itself, too.
For one thing, it’s got the North Shore Mountains, which are a different type of beautiful than our Northern Rockies, and I spent many an hour tromping about those shaggy, rainforest covered slopes when I lived down there.
And those rainforests? Okay, I’ll give you parity with the mountains, but you have to admit that an old growth rainforest, with its 300-year-old Douglas Fir and Red Cedars that you start to get out of breath just hiking around are far more impressive than the mile upon endless mile of boreal forest that surrounds us. The only place that has trees that come close to inspiring that much awe in me is the giant old cottonwoods found out at Gwillim Lake. (If anyone knows of anymore patches of impressive forest around here, do, let me know.)
And the Lower Mainland has an ocean to its name, too.
But I’m willing to call it a draw, because we have Kinuseo and the rest of the waterfalls, and all the accessible alpine.
What the Lower Mainland has that Tumbler Ridge doesn’t is people.
And yes, that’s one of Tumbler Ridge’s strengths. But when you put a whole bunch of people together in an area, some interesting things start to happen.
You start to have art on a grander scale, for instance.
You have the Royal Winnipeg ballet come to town to perform the Nutcracker.
You have professional theatre troupes performing all manner of plays, from classic Shakespeare, to the most radical post-modern shows. You have comedy clubs and street performers and festivals and pantos and pageants…
And the music. Oh, the music. Tumbler Ridge is proud of Grizfest, and rightfully so. But in one night you have more bands performing throughout the Vancouver area than show up to Grizfest. And that happens every single night of the year. And it’s not just rock and roll, but jazz and opera and Tuvan Throat singing. It’s awesome.
But for the first time, I was unmoved by it. I didn’t start whispering to my wife that it would be fun to live here again.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time visiting, but I’ve come to the conclusion that, for now, I am more than happy to live here.
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