We are blessed by the thoughtfulness of our predecessors who have since the early 1900’s developed a network of roads linking one community with another. Since the middle of the last century the highway network has developed with more pavement, interchanges and roadside amenities. We can zip from one community to another at speeds over 100 km per hour and seek help and assistance along the way as needed from service centres or trucks dispatched by the AAA.
In BC, where the road ends there is a ferry waiting to transport us and our vehicle to the further shore. It is only when we seek a remote winery or agricultural producer that we have to venture onto a gravel road or rural track.
While the choice of destinations is endless, the methods of access are often limited. To get to Powell River from Gibsons Landing, you have to follow the only road as it twists and winds through the seasides and forests of the coast. Don’t get me wrong, the view is fantastic but the choice is limited. You see whatever is present that day with no options for detours or choice of route. Maggie, the lady inside the GPS is silent as she waits to advise us to turn left in 186.3 km.
The early settlers had much limited choices and slower routes of access. The followers of Captain Vancouver and the indigenous people before him, travelled up and down the coast pulling into the shore only when beaches and inlets provided access. There might have been a village or a cabin to visit but on-shore travel was limited to paths and trails.
The horseback explorers of the plains preceded the settlers in wagons but they had no guideposts to direct them and no assistance or accommodation choices along the way. And that was only 150 years ago. We’ve come a long way in these few short years.
That’s what’s on my mind today.