OUT ON A LIMB: Highlands and islands and mountain snows

There were some men at the Spirit Square on Wednesday afternoon who were proud to say they wear the skirts in their families

There were some men at the Spirit Square on Wednesday afternoon who were proud to say they wear the skirts in their families.

That’s because they were Scottish and we were shooting the promotional picture for Tartan Day that appears on the cover of today’s Mirror.

The leader of this little clan of civic-minded individuals was Ron Kerr who is behind this idea of celebrating Scottish heritage in Campbell River.

Of course, I had to get on that bandwagon – as a Lowland Scottish representative – and in a blatant display of self-interest I stuck the picture on the front. Somewhere a former owner of this paper is feeling a cold chill down his spine. He once considered a ban on bagpipers’ pictures in the paper. I hadn’t felt there’d been too many.

As Scots, we do tend to be silent in the background…well, okay you might not say that if you were with a bunch of them  in the Legion or something but culturally Campbell River’s Scottish heritage has been so much a part of the mainstream it hasn’t felt the need for overt expression. I mean, is there a civic function where the Legion Pipe Band doesn’t play? And the namesake of this city is the river named after Dr. Samuel Campbell, ship’s surgeon on the HMS Plumper which surveyed this area. And Campbell’s a Scottish name, if you didn’t know.

But, maybe it is time to blow our own horn…or pipes. Swing by the Tartan Day celebration at noon on Wednesday at the Spirit Square and take in some Caledonian spirit.

Still snowbound

Went snowshoeing up on Mount Washington on Sunday and I’d like you to know that it’s still winter up there. Snow was falling and occasionally the wind whipped up enough to make you squint your eyes against the blowing flakes.

But it was a beautiful day none-theless. There’s still a ton of snow up there. If you know the trail into Lake Helen Mackenzie, you might know a part where a small footbridge crosses a creek. The trail is basically at creek level and the bridge is a step above it to cross over.

In the summer, that is.

Last Sunday, we crossed the creek without realizing it until we looked back at the bridge. The creek itself cut through a near-canyon of snow and where it passed under the bridge, there was around five metres of snow between the bridge deck and the top of the snowpack. It was amazing to see. You walk on the snow thinking like you’re at ground level but to see the snow stacked on the bridge – underneath you – really brings it home how much has fallen up there this winter.

And it was still falling. Drove back down to sea level and lo and behold, it was spring again.

But, to tell the truth, I’ve had it with winter so our springy weekend morphing into near-winter temperatures and drizzle during the week was not appreciated.

So stop it.