Across Continents

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Lakes Country

October 17th, 2011

Lakes Country from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken stops for a short break in Lakes Country…

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Through Lakes Country

October 17th, 2011

Fort Fraser, she explained, had a population of over three thousand in the early 1900s. Railroad you see. But today, just a few hundred. I’d reached Fraser Lake late in the afternoon, making a short stop at the information centre to see what I could glean about the road ahead. I was sure the lady was trying to be helpful, but her knowledge seemed mostly historic.

Burns Lake had been uninspiring and I’d been glad to leave. Continuing east towards Prince George, a couple of days away. A few lakes along the highway, as might befit the Lakes Country. Pleasant woodlands. In the morning I’d met Russell and his fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses at a rest stop.

Then, as I’d pulled away, Simon and Clint. I’d done some filming with them for Tourism British Columbia a few days earlier. Heading back east as floods had taken out bridges and thwarted their plans.

There’d been little on the road between Burns Lake and Fraser Lake, bar a small pub at Endako. Inside a couple of women enjoying a late lunch. An elderly man wandered in. Regular I thought. Bar maid served him without asking what he wanted.

I’d been greeted into Fraser Lake by a wedding procession. Cars and trucks, led by the newlyweds, heading out of town, cacophony of horns. Two women wandering towards me along the shoulder, oblivious to my approach until I’d almost reached them. One smiled.

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Thin veneer

October 16th, 2011

No, she explained, they’d no rooms. Lost their license. I nodded, shrugged my shoulders, and left. Fifteen precious minutes of daylight wasted. Outside, across the car park, lights on in a few of the cabins. Frustrating. I’d queued patiently, trapped between two bickering women. Stuff of soap operas. One accusing the other of raking up an old affair with her brother five years earlier.

I’d reached Burns Lake close to sunset. On the face of it respectable enough. Smart elementary school, similarly the by now closed information centre. But a brief ride around and it was soon clear there were issues. Drugs. Foetal alcohol syndrome. Quick foray into the Municipal campground. Skateboard park close by. Too many people taking too much interest in me. And too late to head out of town.

I’d remembered a small motel on the way in. Sign proclaimed it was First Nations owned. And the Rainbow symbol suggested inclusiveness. And cheap. Decided to see if I could get a room for the night. Secure. Away from prying eyes. But no. I’d half a suspicion they’d lost their room license through plain apathy. Making enough with a brisk trade in cigarettes and alcohol.

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Off to Burns Lake

October 16th, 2011

Off to Burns Lake from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken prepares to head off towards Burns Lake, in British Columbia

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