Bowron Lake Provincial Park is located in the Cariboo Mountains of northern British Columbia. The park is known for its rugged glaciated mountains, cold deep lakes, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. The park’s main attraction is a 72 mile canoe circuit, which follows lakes, rivers, with short portages between waterways. This trip takes about a week to complete. In June of 2000, when he was 15, Dan accompanied his relatives, Robin, who was also 15, Aimeé, Robin’s mother and Anne’s cousin and Betty, Aimeé’s mother and Anne’s aunt. They had graciously invited Dan on this their great adventure.

This is really Danny’s story, but I’ll tell it anyway. I had another post in mind for tonight, a rant, but the bombings in Boston made that post seem irrelevant. I first thought of writing about the bombings and began pawing through our photo archive for some relevant photograph of Boston. Instead I found these pictures that Dan had taken while at Bowron. The world will not miss nor long remember what I might have written about today’s bombings. Think of this retrospective as a much needed diversion from the 24/7 babble that is on all the other media outlets, besides it dovetails with this morning’s post.

Dan’s adventure began before he ever left Saint Louis. Fog had socked in the airport the night before, so chaos ruled at Lambert the morning of his departure. TWA had already rescheduled his departure on a later direct flight to Seattle, but this change wouldn’t work for us. Dan had to land early enough so that Aimeé and company could catch the last ferry back to Lopez Island for the night. While we were waiting in line, I called the airline’s 800 phone number. I explained our situation and they were willing to book a flight on another airline. The problem now was that instead of a direct flight, Dan had a connecting flight through O’Hare. I’ve done plenty of OJ runs through O’Hare, so with some trepidation we bade him farewell. As it turned out, his connection was at the adjoining gate.

The Google map shows the Bowron waterways as a near perfect parallelogram. The tour was well guided and outfitted and Dan had a great time. A couple of stories came out of this trip. The first one was Dan’s; there was a tailwind down a long lake. Robin and Dan rigged a sail with their paddles as twin masts and a tarp as their sail. They glided effortlessly past their party with the wind at their back. The other story was about Dan. He had the habit of leaving things behind. Robin and Dan had to more than once retrace their course, always accompanied by guides. The tour guides decided to teach him a lesson. In the end, Dan found his luggage sealed with duct tape.

Our Friendly Neighbor to the North

1936 LaSalle Model 50 with Telltale Scotch-Plaid Hat

Dan was right all along. The following was taken from the pages of “The Legionary”, “The Fighting Man’s Magazine”. Published from Montreal, in June of 1943. Printed at the height of WW II, it was as true then as it is today. The magazine poses the following question: Is Canada’s excessive politeness a cover for something truly sinister?

Reasons to Fear Canada

  • Ninety percent of Canada’s population is massed within a 100 miles of the US border
  • Infiltration of the entertainment industry with comedians
  • Consistently staying just below the cultural radar
  • Seemingly endless supply of Tim Horton donuts and Scotch-plaid hats
  • Keeps insisting it “has no designs on America” and “only wants peace”

This is of course just a joke. The joke is made funnier, because it is the Canadians making fun of themselves. The joke is told in a magazine dedicated to the Canadian Army, at the height of WW II. A placard quoting the “Legionary”, was taped to the window of the above pictured LaSalle. This LaSalle was built-in Ontario and was painted Army Green. Placing the Scotch-plaid hat in the car’s front seat is just icing on the cake. Another visitor of the Easter car show asked the owner if some general had used the car. He just laughed, said no, but did not elaborate any further.

After years of vacationing at the family cabin, on the shores of Lake Superior, about a mile from Ontario, Dan began to develop a distrust of Canada, or as he liked to refer to it as, Canadia. It was probably the reaction that he got from his parents that caused him to play up this mispronunciation, but he ran with it and began to embellish conspiracy theories. It now appears that he was not the first to do this.