I've lived in northern British Columbia for nine years(!!!!) but I'm still often flabbergasted by the scale of things here. Back in California I thought nothing of throwing the kids in the car and heading off on an adventure by myself. When my boys were 5, 3, and 1, I took a daytrip from Santa Cruz to Yosemite with little more than a tank of gas and a pack of sandwiches.
Since I've lived here I've been cowed into carefulness. The woods are too big, the bears too ferocious, and too many people--careful people, capable people--die in accidents when they're enjoying the great outdoors.
So I was thrilled when friends asked my daughter and me to accompany them to Exstew Falls the other day. I'd heard about the falls for years, although no one seemed to know quite where they were, and I wanted to finally get to see them. I went online, found a YouTube video someone else made about their trip, took note of landmarks and directions, and set out happily in my Honda Fit on the appointed morning. I don't know how many times during the next few hours I was thankful I hadn't gone alone.
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