I had a late start Friday morning for Castlegar in the Kootenay's. The previous evening i was up until 2:00 AM in the morning, on a darkened hilltop east of Vernon, to view the Perseid meteor shower with the music of Susan Lewis-Wright playing in the background. A weaker showing this year, but nevertheless some very good meteors in a good sky.
On the Crowsnest, highway #3, i picked up Nate who was heading for the Shambhala Music Festival at Salmo. Originally from Arizona, Nate and his companions from Victoria suffered a vehicle breakdown and were each individually making their way to the Shambhala. I have not seen many hitchhikers on my travels -- a rare event these days compared to the early 1970's when Pierre Trudeau was our prime minister and encouraged young people to stick out their thumbs and see the country. Nate reminded me of those days and my younger self.
Nate, Shambhala or Bust!
My two days in Castlegar were spent with my dear friend Katya Soloveoff, a Doukhobor Baha'i, and her family. I was privileged to first meet Katya on a teaching trip to the Soviet Union in the late summer of 1990. My Kootenay visit was a busy time. One of my favourite memories will always be picking plums near the Mir Centre for Peace, with Katya noisily announcing our presence to any bears who might be feasting by calling out Mishka (the Russian equivalent of Teddy Bear). We also visited a local Doukhobor bookshop / museum; her father in Grand Forks; and a Doukhobor cemetery; and Verigin's Tomb, the tomb of Peter "The Lordly" Verigin, an early Doukhobor leader.
As a grand finale, on Saturday night we headed to a viewpoint overlooking Castlegar and spent a few hours observing the night sky with telescope and binoculars. Gobular clusters, star clusters, binary stars, Mars, galaxies, nebulae and asterisms all came together for an astonishing protrait of the heavens.
Katya, with her daughters Rachael and Sarah