Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vancouver, British Columbia, by Margaret Ullrich, part 23, Transplanting

A teenaged boy drowned in our neighborhood.
The police recovered his body almost a day after the boy had raced into the pond.
He was running from two people trying to help after he had been assaulted.
The Albina Park retention pond is full of seaweed, so he probably got tangled.

The area around the pond is popular with walkers.
After our walk, we chatted with neighbors while the diver searched for the boy.
We were surprised to see over a dozen policemen at the pond.
The body wouldn't fight them.

The pond is between two elementary schools.
I wonder if parents are going to want it fenced.

Back to gardening...
I finally pulled out the yellow daisies that had settled in my yard.
As they had been free, no loss.
The flowers' color was fine.
They matched the zucchini flowers growing right next to them.
The problem was the daisies were covered with red bugs.
Really, they were so infested, the stems looked red.
They weren't red lily beetles; they totally ignored my lilies.

I tried a few bug killers.  
The zucchini by the daisies wasn't doing as well as the zucchini by the garage.
We can eat zucchini.
We can't eat daisies.
Out the daisies went, packed in a garbage bag, with the trash today.

About our trip across Canada...
We should have rested in Hope on July 16, 1972.
It was certainly nicer than Kamloops.
The scenery, with mountains on three sides, was gorgeous.

We were just so tired of driving.
Finishing the drive to Vancouver seemed like a good idea at the time.

We drove across the Fraser Valley flatlands.
The walled-in Fraser River was in the Fraser Canyon.
Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we were on the yellow brick road.
Vancouver, like Oz, was straight ahead.

We passed Abbotsford and Surrey with their farms and orchards.
We drove to Vancouver on the King George Highway.

Then we got picky.
Our original choice, Cariboo Park, wasn't good enough.
We were by the Pacific and wanted to camp by the coast.

Somehow we ended up in Stanley Park.
We  were on a road with a typical Sunday evening, after dinner, crowd of people.
We had to keep driving past the totem poles. 
There wasn't any place to park.
Paul tried and, within seconds, a tow truck appeared.
We found ourselves heading towards the Lions Gate Bridge.

I don't know what it was about the bridge that made Paul snap.
I didn't think the other side could've been any worse than where we were.
I mean, okay, it looked like we were going back into the mountains.
Paul didn't care.
Clutching the steering wheel, he said very softly, 
"Can't you see I'm in a panic."
Oh...  Okay, then...
Somehow Paul swung a U turn and we were back in the park.

We saw an elderly man walking his dog.
Slowing to a crawl, Paul asked how we could get out of the park.
The man gave us directions and we ended up back on the docks. 

We had lost all track of time.
We were three time zones away from Ma.
She was expecting our usual 'on the road' call home.

We stopped at a gas station.
I apologized for calling so late and told her my usual lie: 
The campground was great.  We were settled for the night.
I got off the phone.
Where were we going to park for the night?

Paul called the scenic campground on the coast.
It was full.
We retraced our route to Cariboo Park.
It was full.
We went to the next campground.
It was full.

The fellow at the desk offered to make a few calls.
Finally he found a space.
As we left he said it was too bad we had arrived so late.
The trailer park right across the Lions Gate Bridge was quite nice but also full.

We picked up some burgers at A & W.
We drove to Blue Haven Trailer Park.
It was a dump without any facilities.
We paid for two nights.
We were just happy to know we had a spot.
As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Without dragging our trailer, we were going to explore Vancouver.
And find a decent trailer park.


  1. Sorry to hear about the boy drowning in the pond... so sad.

    I had a client move from SF Bay Area to Vancouver three years ago. He paid to have me come up and assist with the unpack... I had some time to visit the City and really enjoyed the food. Stayed in a nice little hotel on the West End... it was fun.

  2. Very strange case. No one is looking for the boy.

    Glad you had a good time! Yes, Vancouver is a fine city. It was our own youthful ignorance that caused the problems. Live and learn : )


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