This fall I completed a two year road trip through-out British Columbia. I have over 60, 000 images on my laptop and as many stories in my head. I’m even writing a book which I will most likely never finish. Like double-stranded DNA I have so many words wrapped ’round my tongue they fly off like little alphabetical children unable to hang on to a fast spinning merry-go-round. My fingers can’t type as fast as my mind can think but they are coming, and slowly finding their place in a concrete world.
Have you ever eaten a B.C rattlesnake? Me either, though it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I was in Grand Forks which is in the Kootenays, taking a summer tour in the out-back. It’s Doukhobor and Borscht country, not far from the B.C. desert and has a fabulous history I may get to writing about one day. Anyway, as I rounded a corner I saw a rattler struggling on the side of the road. He had been hit but was still alive. As I approached it reared up-right. It’s head was completely flattened by a vehicle and the poor thing was still trying to hiss and defend itself. I had my machete in my car which I use to chop brush if I’m playing in the bush and put it out of it’s misery. I was sad, but a realist.
Ok, wait! This was a freakin’ rattlesnake! They don’t frequent Northern B.C. where I’m from, so into a bag it went and I plunked it in my back seat. Can you say heeby-jeebies!? Even though I knew it was dead it still weird-ed me out and I kept peering over my shoulder to make sure! I intended to eat it and see if it compared to python. It was lying on my picnic table, all four feet of it, half skinned out when a man came and asked what I intended to do with it? “I’m gonna eat it,” I smiled to his frown. He went on to explain that the meat was definitely a delicacy – but not when it was road-kill. The venom would have contaminated the meat! Phewf, he saved the day! But it wasn’t a total loss, the dried skin and rattle became quite a story when I headed to Vancouver Island, whose rain forests only have slugs as big as snakes; I’m kidding, but pretty darn close!
British Columbia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. From desert in the Okanagan to Rain-forests on the Coast it is a playground for us gypsies and explorers. (I could go in to depth on this topic but I will let BC Forest Diversity do that for me.) If you’ve never been, maybe it’s about time.
I have uncovered so many secrets in this world, met strangers who weren’t friends yet both here and abroad; and I was comfortable. I have slept in caves, in trees and on beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for a thing. For me, it is the places I find in the middle of nowhere that feel like home.