Town Time

5 October 2016 – We spend time in town, of course we do. Fernie — pop some 7,000 or so, altitude 1,010 m. (3,300 ft) — was & still is a logging/mining town. Now it is also a huge magnet for backcountry sports enthusiasts, year-round. For example, skiing, biking, hiking and (news to me) fly-fishing, big time.

The Elk River, which runs through town, is one of the best fly-fishing rivers in Canada, offering nearly 150 km of fishable waters, & home to the Rocky Mountain Whitefish, Bull Trout & Westslope Cutthroat Trout (“cutties”).

Which is why, this misty drizzly day, boats loiter at every bend.

fly-fishing in the Elk R., Gillbilly Festival

Which is also why this fall the town’s Old Type Music Society threw the first-but-annual Gillbilly Festival. Oh come on, you can work it out: fly fishing (gills) + hillbilly music.

poster, 1st annual Gillbilly Fest

An unlikely combo, I thought, until I learned that four dedicated banjo players discovered they were equally dedicated fly-fishermen. Which made the whole project stunningly obvious. Slam-dunk time. They booked the Art Station (former CPR passenger train station, still with the town name on its roof), and made plans.

partial view Fernie, with Art Station on right

DJ & I do not attend any of the workshops or jam sessions — or go fishing, for that matter — but we pile in with the rest of the town for the Saturday evening concert.

concert about to start!

Wowzers, it is darn good pickin’, and darn good fun.

Over the days, we also discover the best locally-made chocolate & hot chocolate shop (Beanpod), the best locally-roasted coffee (in Valley Social), and — well, you were waiting for it — local street art.

Not Bell boxes, not utility boxes, but all the bear-proof recycling bins.

Different artists, different themes, from Buddha next to hot-air balloons …

e.g. Fernie recycling bins

to a panorama of the town, with the usual urgent reminder:

e.g. Fernie recycling bin

Which undoubtedly inspired this bear to don Fake-Elk Headgear.

the bear that isn't...

We visit the local library for its free internet & its terrific range of used books on sale (I pick up three) …

1 of 2 decorated benches outside the library

and for the story-related fibre art on benches outside the doors.

In almost every yard, we see axes & chopping blocks & neatly stacked cords of wood …

the stack at DJ's chalet

because …

on a down-town wall

The writing is on the wall.

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  1. Beautiful!! 😉

  2. Oh, the way you shape your posts! And the way you winkle out such diversity wherever you go. I love the shot of the empty Gillbilly stage and the bear-proof bins. Even the very hungry caterpillar features. And it’s a wonderful setting for a town.

  3. I am amazed at the street art – you see so much and it must surely brighten the place

  4. Smiles from snowy E town! ☺️

  5. I appreciate the fabric art’s story reference. It is my grandson’s favourite story at the moment, which means I have read it many, many times. 🙂

    Lovely post! I am enjoying getting out the city, at least virtually, with you!


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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