Mark Tanner - Adventurer, Writer and Amateur Beatboxer



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Leaving City Limits

12 October 1998


While most New Zealanders are basking in the sun, working on their sock lines as summer approaches, winter is squeezing its way into the meteorological conditions over here in British Columbia. I have noticed a decline in temperature and sunlight hours since I first arrived, but of more importance, the rain has kicked in. It's no monsoon season, but word has it that it rains a lot over here in the winter, as it is situated in the heart of a luscious, green rain forest. Forecasters are picking a harsh winter, so hopefully snow should find its way to the city pavements, although it is only meant to come every couple of years and bring the city to standstill.


Last weekend I left the city limits, for the first time since I arrived, and ventured into the heart of the rural Canada. The touring party consisted of myself, a Russian (KGB) and my flatmates the Aussie, Turk and the German who rented a wagon (vagon in German) and schofered us as we meandered our way through the heartland (he was later named Schumaker after the formula-1 driving, fellow country man, due to his erratic performance on the open road, of which McCracken, the Aussie, gave running commentary for a good part of the journey). Canadian rocker Bryan Adams unplugged and a megamix of 6 songs was the only music we had to numb our ears once we left the frequency range for the local radio stations, so nearing the end of the trip, we were listening to a Dutch stand-up comedian on the AM frequency, just to have relief from the soppy love songs that had haunted the air for so long before. 


Our destination was Kelowna, a very pretty town set on a lake in the mountains, like a big Taupo. The expedition there and back took 2 fun filled days, leaving on Friday night after work, and arriving back in Vancouver on Sunday night. We spent our first night in Hope, a hick, little, one-pub town nestled amongst pine covered peaks. We ventured into the local hotel, a fairly crowded red-neck establishment, in which the cowgirl-suit-wearing ladies were as about as beautiful as a dead moose. The live band provided entertainment to the line dancers, but were just winding up when we arrived. At the end of a good night befriending the local rural-folk, we were challenged one-by-one, to an arm wrestle with the town tough guy. After seeing my traveling companions get ruthlessly beaten, I tried a new tactic involving a quick nose pick (similar to that of Booger, on Revenge of the Nerds) which distracted my not-so-bright opposition, allowing me to take the first round. An immediate rematch, unfortunately didn't produce the same result, and we both left that night happy with a 1-1 draw. 


We left the town pretty early the next morning after a nutritious breakfast of pancakes, delicately coated with the locally brewed maple syrup. The reason for our somewhat premature departure of the lovely, friendly, little town, was the large, glass dunny door of our single motel room, which we squeezed five into, ended up in pieces, due to a unsound maneuver from the Russian after relieving himself after the night on the booze.


The day entailed driving through some very beautiful mountainous terrain, stopping at the little towns along the way, trying on halloween costumes (Batman and Robin were the pick of the selection, but unfortunately didn't fit) and meeting the generally friendly locals. 


Upon reaching our desired town, Kelowna, we refreshed ourselves with the local ale and the finest steaks at one of the many bustling restaurants that Kelowna had on offer. Had a most enjoyable evening at the town's nightclubs (which were much less hick than the previous night).


We had a bit more of a sleep-in the following day, and after having a look around the lake front, we headed back to where we had come from.

Kelowna, British Columbia






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