When I was a kid, we used to camp at Radium Hot Springs every summer. Most years we coordinated with our extended family and booked campsites all together so there were approximately one hundred Weiss cousins running around in the forest every July. My Mom’s family has been going there every year since before she was born. My parents and brothers still go back every year, but I’ve only made the trek out there once since I moved to the West Coast.
About five years ago, Douze and a few of my close Edmonton girlfriends started camping in Radium every May long weekend as a kick off to the summer. I’ve only been able to join them once—two years ago when I was between job contracts and had all the time in the world to drive for ten hours out to the Columbia Valley. This year, I started planning to make the trip by early January.
To my extreme disappointment and frustration, the weather forecast did not ask me about my plans and was entirely uncooperative. The trip teetered on the edge of cancelling. Douze and I talked on the phone for three nights in a row all, “Should we go? Should we cancel?” Back and forth. You will probably be shocked that I was the one pushing the trip to go ahead. “1-5mm of rain? Pffffft! That’s nothing!” I’ve become so hardcore this year. See?
In the end, after the faint of heart dropped out, me Douze, Erin, Diane and Lori were the ones left standing. And it seemed fitting. Erin and D were my first ever church friends, way way back in grade 7 when I had weird curly bangs. Douze my youth leader turned best friend, who has since been adopted into my family. The originals.
Ok so it did rain. But not too badly. Mostly when we were in the hot springs, or driving somewhere, or overnight. The only time it was truly inconvenient was when it started raining right in the middle of us cooking pancakes on Sunday morning. But we managed.
It was a time capsule weekend, spending time with the girls I grew up with in the place I came every summer as a kid. Not much in Radium has changed. The ice cream place we always went after swimming is still there, the campground is the exact same, the weird woodcarver guy with all his crazy signs is still there. And those friendships are still there. A little weather worn, but ready to be picked up right where they left off.