Since John inked that contract our lives have been a whirlwind! I spent most of last week in a car, driving around our fair province to the Nelson, Castlegar and Trail area to find us a perfect little pad. I drove a highway that I never have before, the 23 Mica Creek Trail. Apart from the road being titled with my lucky number, it was a gorgeous winding trail that cut through trees below the mountains and ended at the beautiful Kootenay River, which you cross via ferry. In Nelson I stayed with John’s cousin’s lovely family of 5, and although I thoroughly enjoyed their company, I must say that I was secretly super stressed out the entire time about the big and important project I had come into town to accomplish. Luckily, I found us the most amazing, bright and newly renovated basement suite with a very kind landlord. It has lots more square footage than our last place, an upgrade to even nicer wood flooring and the perfect space for my studio! We decided to settle in Castlegar, a short 25 minutes from Nelson, as the news room where John is working (although it covers the full West Kootenay area) is based out of Castlegar. This means we will be able to bike far more often to our jobs and around town. I am super excited to share photos of it with you come the start of the month when it is ours. After handling the rental agreement, while leaving town, two majestic animals crossed my path within about 15 minutes of each other, while no one else was around. These weren’t coincidences to me, although some might believe they are; I genuinely felt that these animals had a message for me. I wanted to share the symbology of these creatures with you (found via this website): “Shoshoni believed the Coyote as an indication of an ending. The sighting of the Coyote was said to bring natural shifts in balance, causing an end (which, of course, simply makes way for new beginnings, and so on). Essentially, the Coyote is like a “way-maker” of new direction as it went about its symbolic role of representing the cycle of life/death in nature.” “When we cross paths with the Bear, we should envelope ourselves temporarily in solitude and silence with a goal for rebirth and self-understanding. The Bear showing up in our lives is also a symbol for play, and that we need to relax and allow for some creativity into our lives. The more we allow ourselves to loosen up and have fun, the more our lives begin to take on a more light and lively perspective.” On the way back to 100 Mile, I took a different route, so that I could drop off a car load of boxes in storage with my cartography drawers in Invermere. The lovely Kristine of the Pynelogs Cafe cooked me an after hours flatbread and even bought me a delicious Jones Soda root beer! For those who don’t know, this specialty soft drink company places individual fortunes underneath their lids. Much like the coyote and bear, this seemingly simple thing was full of some serious wisdom. I was starting to feel happy and calmer on my way home to 100 Mile House. I even hit a milestone in my little Nissan Versa when I rolled past the 100,000 km mark. I had to pull over to catch the 99,999 turning to 6 digits. It was impossible not to smile while getting closer to home. And now, having inked the lease, and breathing a big sigh of relief, I have been smiling even bigger. I can not wait to make the Kootenays my home again. It has been a long 20 months away from them, and now just one week separates us from its beautiful landscape and the continuation of our grand adventure. This sign says it all… It’s true, I’ve wanted to come back for a long, long time.