Highlights of Summer 2015

On a Mountain High and then the Accident

Peter on Top of the Power Line Road
Peter on Top of the Power Line Road

On my Yamaha scooter I made several exploratory trips on the nearby forestry roads. The one that grabbed my attention was the Power Line Road so named because it provides access of the BC Hydro crews to the transmission line that carries 500,000 V electricity across the border to the highest bidder in the United States. It is a steep and winding road leading to a ridge from which one can view the Valkyr Range. I heard that the hydro tower on that route has at 2000m the highest altitude in the entire province of BC.

Start of the Power Line Road
Start of the Power Line Road

My aim was to ride my scooter to a viewpoint, from which I could look down onto the lake and see the mountains to the south. When I checked later on a map with contour lines, I found out that I had climbed a total of 1000 m to reach my destination.

Low Shot of one of the Majestic Power Structures
Low Shot of one of the Majestic BC Hydro Towers

The magnificent scenery can hardly be put into words, and the photos on my post can offer only a glimpse of the beauty that I experienced with all five senses, the amazing colors of the valley and the Arrow Lake below, the rustling of dry grasses in the wind, the scent of the wild flowers, the cool mountain air gently stroking my face, and the bitter-sweet taste of wild black currants growing on the sun bathed slopes.

View from Halfway up the Power Line Road
View from Halfway up the Power Line Road

One can imagine how excited I was coming down from the Valkyr range frequently stopping to take pictures, happily whistling and, yes, even singing a few German scout songs that unexpectedly popped into my head, until quite suddenly at the very bottom of the road two giant trailers blocked the access to the campground.

Peter Making a Self-portrait with View onto the Arrow Lake
Peter in a Self-portrait with View onto the Arrow Lake

Anxious to tell Gertrud about my adventure I attempted to maneuver my scooter past these two monstrous recreational vehicles. Everyone knows that when you are riding on two wheels and bring your speed down to zero, you lose your balance. So to make a long story short, I fell off onto the rocky ground with the foot guard of the scooter falling on my right leg. Without really knowing at first I had broken my fibula bone slightly above the ankle.

One could hike to this fantastic viewpoint in abt. 2 hours.
One could hike to this fantastic viewpoint in about. 2 hours.

The consequences were altogether unpleasant to say the least: Gertrud’s anger with my stupidity of going into the mountains without wearing more protective clothing, the physical pain I suffered, my frustration over being severely curtailed to a life of inactivity for more than six weeks, and a lot of regret. Fortunately, my spirits were rising in step with the gradual easing of the pain in my right ankle.

Peter on Crutches at the Arrow Lakes Hospital
Peter on Crutches in front the Arrow Lakes Hospital

While I had to spend many hours on the couch with a so-called aircast on my right foot, the thought occurred to me that the accident may have prevented something much worse. Perhaps I would have become too bold, taken greater risks with my scooter on the following days, and driven even farther away from help on some remote mountain road. Then there were these devastating forest fires in the Southern Okanagan with smoke so dense that air quality alert were being issued at the time we had planned for our vacation at Hedley. So while I was languishing on the couch, I had at least the time to reflect, ponder, meditate and pray. And in itself that was a good thing.

Kootenays Photography The Family Tree Project Writing

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