I was quite surprised to find last week ten young adults already camped out on the river flats east of Keremeos, in the vicinity of the former Farmworkers Campground site.
From what I was able to gather, it seems as though this year’s initial influx of farm labourers and young travellers are behaving themselves at the same time they are enjoying a cross Canada adventure. (I guess they are also escaping some late winter weather still maintaining its grip in other parts of the country.)
I had a short conversation with several of the transients, and I came away with the impression that these people aren’t looking for trouble, just enjoying an adventure with friends before settling down to a more regimented lifestyle.
I thought these young adults were exhibiting a youthful spirit that is in scarce supply these days. They are living under pretty basic living conditions, exposed to the elements most of the time, and a long way from many familiar things. They seem to be enjoying the experience.
I remember similar circumstances when I was roughly their age, but my experience didn’t involve a cross Canada adventure.
Myself and two of my buddies planned to take a week off together one year, and decided to spend the week “roughing” it on a lake near Parry Sound, Ontario. My two buddies had camped in this paritcular loacation the previous year, and they had a great time, they assured me.
“There’s nobody for miles,” I was told.
We arrived at the public launch area on the shore of a lake on a rainy Saturday morning. I had more of a rural upbringing than my city-bred friends, and could already see some cracks in the wilderness concept they had impressed upon me.
For one thing, the lake was ringed with cottages.
We proceeded to canoe oursleves and our gear across the lake to the far shoreline, where we set up camp. The weather was pretty miserable, keeping me close to our tent and campfire.
Otherwise, I would have noticed we were on a narrow peninsuala, and the cottage that was located in the little bay next to us.
Anyway, we were rudely awakened the next morning by an irate cottager who told us, with the aid of some choice four letter words, that we were trespassing, and had better high- tail it out of there.
“That’s weird,” said one of my buddies as we hastily threw everything back into the canoe, “there was nobody in that cottage last year.”
There are few ways young kids can embark on a travelling experience these days without ending up in someone’s back yard. As long as they are respectful and look after the environment (two all- encompassing conditions that are seldom met to satisfaction, I know) I don’t see any reason not to welcome them, if for no other reason than to salute their intrepid spirit, which seems to me is a rare trait to find these days.