Luck Is Like the Weather (Part1)

by bart on July 8, 2013

20130707-190039.jpgToday marks exactly three weeks since I left Hope BC on my 1100 km fundraising walk to Calgary. Yesterday I crossed the 500 km mark on my journey (between Fruitvale and Salmo).

For a long time I’ve been pretty lucky, with the weather, as well as other things. Until yesterday.

When I arrived in Salmo I found that I could access the public library’s wifi, even though it was closed. I just had to sit on the front steps. The grocery store was open late and had reasonable prices, and I could charge my video camera batteries since I found an outdoor power outlet.

I was so thrilled with my luck! I sat down by the small building with the power outlet, plugged in my charger, laid out my small solar panel to charge in the sun a couple of meters away from me, and began writing a new blog post.

After I finished writing the post, I packed my stuff and headed to the library a couple of blocks away to upload it to my website using the wifi.

I didn’t realize I had forgotten my solar panel until I returned to the place I wrote the blog, an hour later. By then it was gone. Someone had taken it.

I was devastated. Not only was it one of the more useful pieces of equipment I had with me, it was also a birthday present from my brother, and had the power cord to my cell phone. Without it, once my cell battery died, I had no way of charging it again, and so no way to communicate with the outside world.

I walked around Salmo asking anyone I saw if they had seen it. I even put up signs on the public notice boards. Nothing.

I felt that the people I spoke with were very sympathetic and honest. Yet I know that some people are not so well off, and if one of them found it, they wouldn’t return it. Human nature. I have no one to blame but myself. From now on I keep everything close to me.

But there was still the problem of charging my phone. I brought an external battery with me that holds 5-6 charges for my phone, but I had no way to connect to it. So I decided to hitchhike back to Trail the next morning as I saw a Wal Mart there.

This morning at eight I left my backpack cart at the local grocery store, made a sign saying ‘Trail’ and went to stand on the road.

About 15 minutes later a man from Washington state stopped for me. We chatted about his camping vacation, and arrived at the store less than an hour later, which took me two days to walk! I’m really beginning to miss the civilized way of traveling.

Not only did he drive me there, he also drove me back to Salmo! I could’t believe it, the whole trip took about two and a half hours, and I thought it would take the better part of the day.

When I returned to Salmo I went to the grocery store to retrieve my cart, and while there bought some groceries. I then went to the river to wash my socks, underwear and a couple of shirts, while eating. I was running out of clean clothes, and I have three days of walking in the wilderness ahead of me.

I can now charge my phone, but have to find power outlets as I don’t have a solar panel any more.

As I look up at the sky, it seems that the several days of sunny weather my be taking a break for some rain. I just hope the weather forecast is correct in that it will be sporadic and shouldn’t last more than a night and a day.

Photo is of a street corner in Salmo.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie Kingdon July 16, 2013 at 12:20 am

Do you remember the name of the grocery store in Salmo? I could make a call on your behalf asking them to put up a sign…



bart July 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Thanks Laurie. Take a look at Part 2 of this post


dale July 10, 2013 at 2:27 am

good to see you are still ok to bad about your charger did you tell the store owner a lot of times the towns store owner hear and know a lot of stuff that happens in there town so you should have left a number with him that way if it shows up he could contact you oh well Friday is the end of another month yuta is going back japan on sunday so you won’t see him again l have one more month left so won’t have any more corases from you but will drop -in and say hi once in awhile goodluck on your next few days of walking now you are on the down hill part of your trip only 500 more to go Dale


bart July 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Thanks Dale. You’re always welcome to come by. I think I’ll be starting a new course on Aug. 12 if all goes well, which it should.


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