Area resident Wanda Nystoruk says that adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite the experience, but adjustments are made to keep everyone safe and life goes on, although not quite the same as it was before.
“We continue to keep our circle small,” said Nystoruk, “Only close contact with close family.”
One of her main pastimes is walking, however her regular walking area in Chu Chua near the North Thompson River became unsuitable recently when the river flooded the road and the banks near the river were starting to cave away.
“I was concerned that one of my two canine walking companions might get too close as she loves water and is drawn to it like a magnet,” said Nystoruk.
Looking for another suitable spot she has settled on walking around Barriere; sometimes with, or without her dogs Tikka and Maezi.
“We are lucky to live in a nice rural town where we can do a loop around downtown, the main drag, through the Bandshell and ballpark trails, and also behind the elementary school trail along the Barriere River,” tells Nystoruk. “I meet up with many people who are also making use of the trails. We stop, and have friendly social distancing hellos and smiles.
“Since we started walking in Barriere I have noticed the many nice planters in full bloom, and especially the painted rocks and plaques that are showing up more and more along the pathways, at the base of trees, and in the planters. They come with hearts, flowers, encouraging words, a smile, a wish – they brighten the day and bring hope to those who move along the paths. I found one on a bench today that says “Be the Light.”
She tells that on one occasion her two dogs were intrigued when they spotted a painted rock on a bench with “..the green eyeball guy ‘Mike’ from the Monsters, Inc. movie.”
Wanting to share her excursions with family, Nystoruk says she recently took her grandson Declan along the Barriere River trail. Declan was quick to spot the painted rocks and especially “some nice painted squares that he had his picture taken with.”
Nystoruk says she knows the First Nations Support worker at the elementary school takes a group of kids on walks through that same trail during lunch breaks.
“It is really a beautiful trail, and it is awesome to see all the pretty art and inspirational words popping up all along the pathways.”