A few days ago, we went for a bike ride out to the lake Dease Lake, BC, is named after. While we were biking, two large ravens swooped down close to us.
Inspired, Matt recited Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven in its entirety. He memorized it a few years ago for our annual “Poe Party”. It was a gothic-themed fall party where we would lay lots of poetry books around, and then eat, drink – and read poetry! Bonus applause for any Poe recitations.
It was wonderful to listen to him while coasting through the otherwise quiet and pristine Canadian wilderness. That got me thinking about a few of the other amazing moments we’ve had so far on this trip:
· Flying kites & seeing a fawn. This was the very first stop of our trip. We visited our close friend Bridgett and her family at their historic farm in the middle of Kansas. It was a beautiful, breezy summer day and we decided to fly kites in an open field. We all loved it, but Wolf had never flown a kite before and did not stop smiling the entire time. As we walked back after flying kites, we found a very young fawn nestled in the grass.
· Singing “American Music” while buffalo spotting. While driving, we listen to a lot of podcasts and stories. But sometimes, we just play music. I was exploring Matt’s music library and found that he had the song “American Music” by the Violent Femmes, which I’d always liked. I put it on and started singing along. Wolf picked up on the chorus, and joined in: “Do you like American music? I like American music…” And then Matt. We were at top volume when we saw our first buffalo of the trip.
· Wolf finding the universal language of bugs at Crater Lake. Wolf likes bugs and so do a lot of other kids. At Crater Lake, he saw two Chinese children inspecting a colorful bug on the ground. He immediately joined them, and they all started talking excitedly in their own languages while examining this bug. There was no barrier at all.
· Matt’s evening banjo practice. Matt requested a banjo for Christmas last year and has started teaching himself how to play on this trip. He practices almost every night and is catching on quickly. He works a lot on an old bluegrass song with the lines, “whistle up your dog, shoulder up your gun, off to the woods to catch a groundhog.” I often find myself humming along.
· Watching Wolf and Ruby exploring Cannon Beach. We had an impromptu visit at Cannon Beach, Oregon with our good friend Stephanie and her two daughters, Cora and Ruby. Wolf adores Stephanie’s girls, and particularly Ruby who is closest in age. The two of them spent hours combing the beach together, holding hands while deep in discussion.
· Wolf playing his first chord on the ukulele. I walked into the Buffalo, and Matt and Wolf were sitting together on the bed. As soon as I walked in the door, Wolf shouted that he had something to show me. He then proudly played and sang “Three Blind Mice” to me on his rainbow ukulele. Every time he was supposed to pause, he shouted “REST!”. It was adorable.
· Kayaking on the Yukon River. We have been waiting in Dease Lake, BC for our truck parts to arrive. Since the post office was closed Monday for British Columbia Day, we rented a car and drove to Whitehorse for a long weekend. We kayaked sixteen miles through the pristine Yukon River, where we saw a coyote and at least twenty bald eagles. Wolf chatted cheerfully with everyone who floated past us, asking if they were having “a good paddle” and what animals they had seen.
When this trip eventually ends it will be this incredible mix of moments I’ll remember, all accompanied in my mind by the gentle picking of Matt’s banjo.