Wilderness and solitude near Osprey Lake
A winding road near Osprey Lake, British Columbia follows the dismantled tracks of the Kettle Valley Railroad, now a recreational trail. It mirrors the semi-arid terrain near Okanagan Lake, 25 kilometres to the east.
Vegetation here is sparse and dry. When spring arrives, the melting snow offers an opportunity for plants, shrubs and trees to drink from the moisture that is so rare here. The heat of summer quickly wilts any tiny flowers that dare show themselves. Ponderosa pine trees thrive, evoking images of Arizona.
Local authorities struggle to reduce dusty roadways by sprinkling them with oil, which permeates the air. Combined with the scorching heat of early May, the view from a car window suggests an inhospitable environment.
Unexpectedly, a lake emerges, and with it signs of life. Tiny cottages appear and boats cling to the banks of the water, where there is easy access to the lake.
But still no sign of those who live here.
Crossing a main intersection, many roads and properties are nameless, numberless. A few cars, laundry hung up to dry, and a dog’s bark are all that betray the residents of this town.
A peek into the backyard reveals a carpenter’s table, an electric saw and layers of fresh saw dust. But where are the people?
My friend, who lives in Richmond and has a cabin here, only visits in summertime. He doesn't worry about the coffee, tea, and sugar that he's left in the wilderness. This is dry country.
On the way back to the main road, a sign calls out “all you need is love.” Everywhere else is silent. The echo of a barking dog is all that recalls the existence of life.