"From Here I Stray"
I was raised in the little mountain town of Castlegar, BC. It is in the Southeastern corner of British Columbia. Castlegar is on the Columbia river and in a valley between the Monashee and Selkirk mountain ranges. It is in a region called the West Kootenays. Castlegar is the only airport in the West Kootenays with regular flight from Vancouver and Calgary. It is close to the Washington/Idaho border. The area has been a haven for those who wish to escape. Escape from religious prosecution as the Doukabors ( a religous communal group from Russia who believe in vegetarianism and non-violence) Escape from military draft as did the solidiers during the Vietnam War. Many of them are still here and live up some of the more isloated valleys. The main economy in the town is the pulp and paper mill. Tree lined mountains help line the pockets and stomachs of the locals. Anti-logging blockades and the soft wood lumber dispute with the US has greatly hurt the region and many buisnesses have shut down, causing many people to move away. There is no longer a hospital located in the town due to a restructuring of the provincial health care. You must drive the windy road to the next town 20 minutes away. This can be more than a little dangerous with the wild life and the large amounts of snow in winter. Like many small town girls I had a dream and the determination to leave for bigger and better things. I miss the beauty and tranquility of the area, the clean air, and water. There are some good things and I will write about them soon.