Papa writes, “The Ems is a fascinating little river from a landscape point of view but not like one would envision from reading the river and camping guide. Our trip resembled a rather strenuous exploratory expedition through sparsely populated jungle territories. Numerous weirs – some were not even mentioned in the tour guide – forced us to portage our heavy gear for a 700-metre distance and longer. We were the only long-distance paddlers on the river. That was partly due to the bad weather. At least, we had picked the most tolerable three weeks of this rained-out summer.
We launched our canoe in Warendorf east of Münster, and broke off the journey at Meppen near the Dutch border. I wanted to move on, but I allowed myself to be guided by the basic principle: Ce que la femme veut, Dieu veut aussi. (What the wife wants, God wants also.) And it was the right decision. The weather, by now, had deteriorated such that stubbornly going on would have ended in disaster.
For Biene, not yet sixteen years old, holding a different notion of a romantic vacation, the River Ems had been a highway of tears. On top of spending a lot of time in the rain, she suffered through unpleasant experiences that her parents strangely found delightful and very nutritious. She painfully recalls one incident when her mother returned from a nearby farm with a pail of milk so recently milked that it was still steaming. For Mama and Papa, it was the ultimate earthly pleasure and a gift from hell for the children.
My wife and I decided to cross the lake for a photo and video session. We launched our canoe conveniently equipped with an electric motor at the Fauquier boat dock. Our first destination was the mouth of the Whatshan River. It was very turbulent because of the recent heavy rainfalls and the meltwaters feeding the river. So we kept a safe distance. Then we circumnavigated ‘our’ tiny island that I have written about many times on this blog before. We landed at a sandy beach and watched the Needles ferry travelling between Fauquier and Needles. Coaxed by the hot sun, we spontaneously jumped into the lake for a quick refreshing swim. It is not an exercise for timid people. The lake, being part of the Columbia River, is cold even during the hottest part of the summer. I measured 14 degrees C (47 F). We felt great. What a pleasant way to live through the Covid-19 pandemic! Enjoy the video.
Let your eyes roam over a beautiful landscape and you will discover nature’s artwork in a stunning mountain scenery, in a cascading waterfall, in the undulating waves of the ocean, or in the small world of flowers and insects visiting them. Today, my focus is on the driftwood sculptures shaped by the natural forces like wind, sun and frost. These photos were all taken on a recent excursion to ‘our’ island. Enjoy.
Across the Lake from Fauquier BC lies an island that used to be connected with the west side of the land south of the Needles ferry terminal. In the late 1960s BC Hydro built a dam near the American border to regulate the lake level and of course to generate power. As a result of this action many small communities were flooded and people were forced off their land. This is how this tiny island was created. I call this abandoned former farmstead our island, because very few people go there and we like to spend some time there all alone, explore its ancient apple orchards, relax and go swimming in the crystal-clear and refreshing waters in the heat of the summer. Recently I recorded such a canoe trip to this amazing little island on my movie camera. Enjoy.