It all started with a car switch. There were five girls trying to cram sleeping bags, mats, pillows, food and gear for 3 days into one little car. We made it all fit somehow, but then as we got on the road and rounded the first corner, “Screech!” The car made a horrendous scraping noise. Around the next curve it came again. This time it was more of a scraping sound. It was determined that we should return to the house and switch to a larger car. In the end, my 2-door car ended up having more space than the others’ 4-door vehicles. Score 2 points for the trusty Buick! So we were off again to our destination – the town of Squamish, north of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Canada Institute of Linguistics made camp for the night in eight neighboring camp sites in Paradise Valley Camp ground. I was at the “single ladies” camp site which had two tents and 10 women, but we all had plenty of room.
The evening turned into a sort of progressive dinner, as everyone had been told they were responsible for their own dinner. But there was so much food at all the camp sites that you could move from mac&cheese to my pizza pockets to some who had gourmet dinners, then there was of course hot chocolate and various kinds of teas. It was similar in the morning, with everyone whipping out french presses and cast-iron skillets.
The choices for the day were many: the hard-core group, the medium-core, the light-core, and the light. All of the “core” groups were hiking straight-up something, so I opted for the light-core hike that would end up at the lake where I could swim. (It still took us over two hours). But everyone was very patient and we met up with the “light” group at the lake. The water was warmer than I expected, so I actually went swimming several times. I also had a chance to canoe down the river to where there were three different rope swings. The final rope swing was attached to a tree that went far out over the deep water so you could really get out there. Sadly, on my first attempt I hit my foot pretty hard on the rock, so it was bleeding and I’m fairly certain I actually broke the middle toe. (Why just the middle toe? So strange.) Anyway, we spent another evening at the campground, relaxing, playing games, and making s’mores around the campfire. Sunday morning after a communal breakfast we had an amazing time of worship and prayer together.
There were still a few who wanted to do another hike, so after some seat-swapping I took this crew up to clean the Chief (mountain). I headed back to Squamish to get gas and then I spent a lovely 3 hours by Shannon Falls. There was perfect shallow water for creek-walking and exploring. Thanks for everyone who encouraged me to come up to Canada and study linguistics this summer. It’s been a challenge and very busy – but this weekend I’m reminded what good preparation it all is for the work that lies before me.