More WWOOFing in the Slocan Valley

Trip Start Apr 10, 2005
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Trip End Dec 20, 2005


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Where I stayed
Indian Creek

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, July 31, 2005

(this entry courtesy of Karin)

It has been so long since we've been able to update our progress! Rest assured, we haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We've just been enjoying ourselves in some areas where it is more difficult to hook up to the 'net.

After leaving Nelson, we decided to take a weekend to ourselves and to camp in the Slocan Valley, in Valhalla Provincial Park. We rented a canoe and paddled up the lake to a gorgeous spot (boat access only) at Indian Creek Campground. The site was amazingly picturesque, and the weather was perfect. I don't know what it is about canoe trips that really make you feel like you're on vacation, but this one did it...and we've been on vacation for months already! Take a glance at the photos and you may see why. Sandy beach, clear blue water, solitude, green valley and mountain views. The canoeing took us about 3 hours each way, just long enough to tire us out.

Sunday night we met our newest WWOOF hosts in Winlaw. When we arrived we realized we weren't the only helpers at the farm...there were already 3 other guys there. Our first impression was that we wouldn't be comfortable here and Traic was already regretting that I had verbally commited to a 2 week stay. I can't say I was comfortable at first either, but I was willing to suspend judgement for a day or two until we got into the swing of things. Funny how things change. The other WWOOFers turned out to be great folks, and our hosts were wonderful people too. We got to feeling quite at home after just a few days. Sam too started to think that this was "his farm". He hung out with the other three farm dogs and just had the time of his life (especially when one of them went into heat).

Our daily chores included feeding the pigs slop three times a day, gathering hen eggs a couple times a day, feeding the hens once a day, and picking rasperries (every 2 days). Traic and I decided early that pigs aren't our thing. They are pretty agressive and they smell rancid, although we became slightly more accustomed to the smell after a couple weeks. Chickens on the other hand seem to be more useful. We've been told that the "money" in chickens is in their excrement...fantastic fertilizer. To boot, they lay eggs, and fresh organic eggs don't taste much like the eggs we usually buy at the grocery store. They are fabulous. Aside from the daily chores, we watered and boxed some baby trees for a local tree planting company, built a stone pathway, drywalled and painted their new guesthouse, baked bread and Traic and I looked after the place for a few days when the owners went to Vancouver. This meant cooking and cleaning.

The side benefits of WWOOFing are plenty, and we didn't expect them. The social aspect was very welcome after so many weeks of travelling together and talking mostly to one another. We learned a bit about Qi gong, we celebrated our host Julie's 50th Birthday with her in town (small town, small restuarant, everyone showed up). We enjoyed a turkey roasted on a spit over an open fire, we learned how to play Texas Hold em Poker, and we read some of Bryce's books by Bert Hellinger...it turns out we don't totally dig Hellinger after reading them, but they were interesting nonetheless. I won't say more here. If you're interested you can Google him. We visited a local hippie comune where 11 co-inhabitants do yoga together every day and eat only raw food. They looked healthy, but that wasn't our scene either. We were there mostly to see the architecture/art. They built their village using strawbales. There's a bunch of photos to give you a feel for the place. Definitely artsy. The forty something proprietor/owner calls himself "Raw"...that is his name...and his head is shaved with a detailed swirl of tatoos.

After two weeks at the farm, we decided to take our leave and head out once again, as tourists. This time we're on our way to Alaska. We'll update you as frequently as we possibly can!! Please drop us a line - we'd love to hear from you.
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