By connecting with my creative energy, I bumped into other artists. My journey into that fellowship opened up an ever expanding network of painters, sculptors, carvers, writers, performers, singers, dancers and the like. One poet, Phoenix, who published her work and the works of others was an inspiration and muse. She encouraged my idea to take a journey to gather stories and witness our world. Venturing about unencumbered intrigued me and I wondered and thought about means and direction of travel. Last fall, I practiced journeying about Ontario, sometimes in my van and sometimes hitching a ride. I was always accompanied by Yolo.
More than once, I was offered a ride during harsh weather and my benefactor would announce, “ I stopped because I felt so sorry for your poor dog out in this weather.” It seemed strange they could acknowledge his plight but seemed to ignore I was out in the same weather. Never the less, I was grateful for the lift and thanked them for a ride. On one occasion, I went into a hotel/restaurant for a bowl of stew and piece bread. While sitting at the counter having my meal, I noticed out the back door Yolo feasting on a large bone from a beef roast. It appeared to have several pounds of meat still on it. The chef told me he felt sorry for the dog, he looked so hungry. I mused I should be following Yolo on a journey instead of the other way round. Before embarking, my van lost a wheel bearing and front wheel spindle. Not having the funds nor desire to repair it, I traded it to pay off a debt and decided to take to the road by thumb. I determined a long term road trip would likely not be a good journey for Yolo, so I left him to a good home with Liz’s folks on a farm in Smith Falls, Ontario.
Fall was approaching and again I was pondering a means and direction of travel. And like last fall, I had a canine companion. Recently while working in Osoyoos, I met Tom, a young man who traveled with a small puppy. He kept a red bandana tied around his pup’s neck as a collar. He would attach a piece of twine to this as a leash. In this manner he could control his dog while hiking down on roadways. His dog, Bear, also was allowed in the fields during harvest and was not a nuisance in camp. He displayed the possibility of accompanying a hitchhiker. With this in mind. I decided to take Kootenay with me. We prepared to head back to Osoyoos to garner some more funds for the next phase of our adventure. Alongside packing, I unpacked my feelings of leaving behind an excellent summer in the southeastern mountain region of British Columbia.