Today we wake up in a ghost town. Sandon was a town with almost 6000 inhabitants between 1890 and 1900. It was a mining town in the valley east of New Denver. At that time it was still called Eldorado. In Sandon the famous Galena Ore was mined (silver). After the fire in 1900, there was not much left, afterwards most of the buildings were rebuilt, and were eventually destroyed in 1955 by a flood during a warm spring. A handful of buildings still reminds us of the days of the Silver and Gold Rush of the 19th century in the Wild West.
Our first day as museum attendant in the ghost town Sandon
It’s our first day as an attendant at the museum. The job turns out to be nothing more than receiving guests and register any sales. It is fairly busy, Mike is behind “the desk” and the boys play in and around the museum. For lunch we make pancakes in the Pauwi. We eat together, in front of the museum, cozy. The basement of the museum is decorated with mining tools and equipment. There is a small corner that looks just like a mine and a small miner’s cabin too. A number of dolls can be seen in the basement as well. One of the dolls, seems to scare the crap out of little Jim!
Deep insights in the ghost town
When the kids sleep we have – without distractions – the deepest insights about the reality in which we live. How fake it is (to many people), an illusion. It is becoming more clear to me and I can conclude that this is because of the following:
– Going through life without judging;
– Desiring the truth, that is our number one;
– Consciously choose our diet
– Being aware of all the inputs — what do we watch? what do we listen to?
– No energy leaks by acts
– We freed ourselves from the so-called ‘mandatory’ activities and ‘how it all
should be’ within the matrix.
– Forcing ourselves into a position where no distractions are possible;
The second day at the museum we do not expect a lot of visitors. It’s cold outside and it’s raining (it feels like a real pyjama day). We listen to some music in the museum, we read and we write. Because the job at the museum is only 2 days a week, we decide to drive back to town tonight and make use of Dan’s offer. He likes it that we showed up and shows us the “Trailer spot” in their garden.
As described in “the big question“, we are, at this moment, done with a lot of things and issues . We didn’t experience when we were in the Canadian dessert. We have decided to go back and to not complete the six weeks as a museum attendant. Because in a way we feel we put our precious time and energy into something we do not want to support. In addition, we make so little money that we are losing money staying here at the moment. Something we have to learn is to say no. With a shameful feeling we tell our friend Dan the next day, about our decision. He regrets it deeply but seems to understand, and he supports our choice.
We make contact with the host of almighty mountain summit estate and agree that we come back next weekend. After we finish the week at the museum.
On the days that we are not working in Sandon we visit friends and we do a hike to the Wilson Falls. To reach the falls we had to drive a 20 kilometer backroad into the woods. From here it is a 2km hike to the falls. I carry Jim in the sling and we all find a cool ‘Walking Stick’. The trail is in many places very narrow with steep drops, the bottom is covered with roots and moss. Sometimes it is difficult to see the path with Jim in front of me. Eventually we get the falls in sight. What a beautiful creation of nature – definitely worth the hike. We spend the afternoon at the falls, in between the rocks looking for gold and see some other hikers passing by.
We have been wearing long pants and vests for a couple of days now. The sun shows itself less often, the days are getting shorter, some leaves are already changing color, autumn seems to start slowly.
On September 5th, its Labor Day, a national holiday in Canada. When we met one of our colleagues at the Sandon museum last week, she didn’t hesitate to ask if we would be able to work her shift today. We said yes before we realized that it would be this Holiday. It turns out to be a very quiet day at the museum. I sit behind the desk and during the time I do not have to receive money I can write quietly. At 5 pm we drive back to town to do some shopping. It’s like in the Netherlands, at the time we are done working: rain.
When we get back to Roseberry, and see Pauwi parked in the grass we have a big laugh. Sometimes it feels like a (too) crazy dream that we are living.
Canoeing or rather not..
Mike and I have been talking about how we feel sorry that we haven’t found a canoe and did not have the chance to get on the Slocan Lake. We have heard from a friend that there are ancient murals on the walls of the mountain a few miles down stream, only accessible from the lake. It would be great to see them before we leave the valley. On Dan and Jan’s deck, we noticed a canoe and we talk to Cobi (a teenager Dan and his wife Jan have taken into their home because his parents aren’t able to handle him) about canoeing on the lake.
When we were on vacation in the valley last year, we heard this story about four teenagers who drowned in the lake. Cobi told us that these teens also lived with Dan and Jan and that the tragic accident happened with the canoe we where looking at.
A rainy day
Today is a rainy day, I feel a bit cold and we spend most of our time relaxing in the nice Pauwi. Mike and Jimmy sleep and Chris is reading, I spent several hours updating my stories about our experiences here. I enjoy the stillness and having to do nothing on this overcast day, finally I feel really relaxed and above all free!
In the evening we cook for our friend Dan and his roommate Andrew, a Scottish giant, and Cobi. Provided that he will be going to school. The schools have started again today and apparently this school year has began for Cobi.
Our last ‘day off’
Today is our last ‘free’ day in the Valley. Our intention is to leave Friday evening and head east. Since there are no laundry facilities at our next destination, we go for one more wash to the coin laundry in New Denver. We run into our friend Trevor and say goodbye to him, although he indicated that he perhaps might be coming to Sandon with the quads.
Chris goes – as he did every day for the last week – to the post office, to see if the package from Grandma arrived from The Netherlands. Nothing yet, to bad.
We drive past the house on the lake – the one we might have rented if we would stay here – but unfortunately there is nobody home.
Our last day as museum attendants and a broken water tank
Today and tomorrow are the last days as an attendant at the museum. We make the caravan ready to go and pull away. I was still busy removing one of the jacks on one side. Apparently there was still another one on the other side. We hear a lot of strange noises as Mike pulls the trailer out of the grass. The jack on the other side, is lying on the ground, as is the drain and piping of the gray and black water. The black water tank is broken. A blessing in disguise that we emptied the tank and did not use the toilet in the Pauwi. We have a little quarrel about the how and why and after that we drive in absolute silence towards Sandon. Before we leave town, I use the wifi – in the garden – of our old rented house, to find the number of the post office.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much time before we are laughing again. All tough Mike is still a bit pissed of that he has to spent time on this to fix it again – and we are good again.
Chris has been given sunflowers to dry. We had them laid out in front off Pauwi, on top of our firewood. Two smart little chipmunks found out about it and paid us frequent visits while eating all the seeds. So we decided to store them in the car.
In the afternoon, I make a phone call from the museum to the post office and explain our story, unfortunately, still on package. I make arrangements with the lady from the post office that if there is still no package tomorrow, I will leave money and the package will be forwarded to our new address by her. Problem solved!
Another rainy day
It’s another rainy day, but still busier than expected in the museum. There is even a lady inside who happens to be born in Sandon. She has many questions but unfortunately we can not tell her much, she leaves a bit disappointed. There was also a man inside who likes the t-shirt “Sandon Beer ‘. He wanted to buy it last time he was in Sandon, but then his size was not available. There is only one “Sandon Beer” T-shirt left and unfortunately not in the gentlemen’s size. Again a disappointed customer.
It is striking how many people come in and ‘do not know’ that there is an Admission requested (clearly stated on the entrance door). Or people who turn around when they see the prices. While on a vacation last year and being a tourist ourselves, we too turned around because of the admission fee. The admission for an adult is $5 and a senior $3, children are free and teens pay $3. In itself, the museum is nicely decorated, with a bunch of pictures of how Sandon used to look and a lot of old stuff. But it remains just a collection of stuff you look at. Given the museum tells the history of mining for silver, is also something we feel slightly uncomfortable withe. This is not something we want to give our energy to. We are therefore pleased that we have made the decision to leave on Friday.
Today is really the last day in Sandon. We wake up and all the windows in the Pauwi have moisture on the insides. On top of one of the higher mountains we see a small white layer of snow, First snow of the season (not yet happened but 2 PM to 4 PM most snow has disappeared).
A dead mouse
I decide to do the dishes and i find a dead mouse in the wash bucket, AAII. The bucket was standing next to the firewood. It probably fell of into the bucket and drowned, poor creature. His legs are stiff. I put him underneath the trees and boil the sponge and rinse the bucket out.
In the afternoon i give the ‘post office’ another call. Unfortunately the package hasn’t arrived and there will be no more mail coming in until after the weekend.
Quiet in the museum (again)
It is very quiet in the museum and we start of early counting the float and turning all OPEN signs to CLOSED. Mike has received Gordi’s telephone number from a colleague. Gordy is the man who should be taking care of the checks. He tried to call him several times but without success. At the time we are done and ready to close the museum I tell Mike to try one more time while I give Jim a clean diaper in Pauwi.
Moments later, Mike comes back, he had spoken to Gordi, but he refers Mike to Dan, because Dan is the one that has hired Mike (and also the president of the historical society). We decide that we will take care of it tomorrow. Chris was still out for a walk and after he returned to the car, we leave – down to Boundary County.