August 27, 2007

Kootenay Trails

On Saturday we got back from our "big" trip through the Kootenays and to Nelson. We figured it would be a nice place to spend our anniversary; we've heard so many enticing things about it over the years. Maybe too many enticing things because it ended up disappointing. We went looking for some sense of artistic spirit and inspiration, hoping to find little galleries with original work created by people who aren't clones of others.

But we only found one art gallery and one or two stores selling things hand-crafted by local artists. Otherwise, lots of pubs and coffee places, two expensive outdoor clothing stores, a few fancy dress shops, and an otherwise typical array of small town shops. And lots of young people trying to look artistic but seeming a bit fake and, sadly, clone-like. Even the metaphysical store seemed like a clone of so many others like it elsewhere. "You're all wearing a uniform, don't kid yourselves" said Frank Zappa to a crowd of hippies at one of his concerts and that's what we though of as we walked up and down the streets of Nelson. Dreadlocks, VW buses, and multiple piercings are status symbols too yet they do not automatically guarantee real depth of soul.

With the exception of the couple who entertained us while we ate out dinner, he on a Dobro and she on an accordion, what we found in Nelson was mostly a town with a culture that was maybe an alternate one, but not specifically an artistic one. Or maybe the artists were there, but in hiding, creating their unique visions away from the tourist hub of downtown. Maybe we just didn't have enough time to find them. Worse thought yet, maybe there used to be more galleries there in the past but they were replaced by the trendy clothing shops because art does not sell.

Anyway, the country up to, and from, Nelson was BC at its spectacular best and was really the star of the trip. We took lots of pictures: some that didn't turn out and a few that kind of did:

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