from Dunster, with love (where the HECK is that?)

Last week I went to a wonderful little music festival in the interior of BC with the bearded dude and two friends. We packed clothes, food and gear to camp for 4 days in a field with no power and no cell phone reception. No showers either, but there was a river. A mighty cold, very swollen bend of the Fraser River. It was glorious! Nothing to do in between shows but sit and read, sip beer, sketch and enjoy the peaceful loveliness of the Robson Valley. Dunster BC is where it's at. Blink and you'll miss the tiny green sign that marks the Dunster Station Road, a left hand turn which turns into a little hair pin and disappears into the trees of highway 16 if you are headed west. All the festival signs are painted by hand. The box office is an old cheese wagon that's been bleached by the sun and is parked at an awkward angle at the side of the road. It might be in a slight ditch, or it might be leaning on the trees for support. I'm not quite sure. The quiet camping field was filled with sheep when we got there. There were a few trailers and people with tents setting up. The sheep were herded out later Thursday evening....they were just munching the lawn for the campers. Cutest mowers ever, though I'm fairly certain they were removed before anyone got any ideas about sheering them for free wool. (You never know....I have friends who know how to card their own wool!)

Fires were restricted to a large group fire pit in the noisy campground (where we stayed), or the group fire pit on the festival grounds (a 5 minute amble down the same road, which runs alongside the river). There were wooden outhouses, very tidy and well stocked with TP and hand sanitizer, and a potable water truck with a hose so people could fill up containers with water for washing as needed.

It's kind of like visiting another world. Little kids were running around everywhere....some of them clothed, some of them not. One little girl came by our campsite one morning handing out tiny french toast that her mom made out of a sliced baguette. She was literally a mini-me. Same insane hair and same hazel eyes....but only about 2.5 feet tall. At one point during the trip, mini-me was streaking through the campground wearing nothing but river mud. Hilarious!

The music was fantastic; the food vendors, delicious. The days were hot and sunny and the nights were perfect mountain nights. Cool enough to see your breath and make you put on socks and hunker down in a big ol' sweater. I brought one of my new sketchbooks along, and these are some of the things I saw:

(i think this one might be my favorite sketch of the whole trip. last year i went swimming in a gorgeous mountain lake in the southern interior of bc and this year it was river bathing. quintessential canadian summer moments, right there!)

(this guy is really tall.....this was the only good sizing option according to wordpress formatting.)

Since I have no major trips out east planned for this fall, I've decided that myself, the hounds and the bearded dude (as much as he can with school) will get to know the mountains and their autumn glory a bit better....on foot and from the paint box.

Summer, you've been swell....but I'm looking forward to the cooler temps and falling leaves of September. Bring it on! My cardigans and other knitted things are feeling very neglected.