The Story of My Trip to Beaupr, Montana
When my husband and I took a short trip to Beaupr last weekend, there were a few things that immediately struck us as not being right about Canada. This is no small thing considering that this is the most northern region of the country, and yet somehow it had somehow managed to be considered the most southern. I’d say that somewhere around here there are plenty of people who consider themselves “in between,” if you really get down to it. So let’s start at the beginning: how did we get from Toronto to Beaupr?
I’d always considered this to be one of those strange little towns tucked out in the far north of Canada. A little town where, because it was so remote, the only people who really seemed to visit were the handful who happened to be passing through on the way to a very different place. But that was before I ever even considered that this place might actually be a destination.
The road is a classic Canadian expressway-a wide ribbon of asphalt that winds around the edges of most of the larger cities, providing a quick escape to the relatively safe middle class suburbs. Beaupr is nothing like that at all-its a long narrow strip of road, lined on either side by rows of housing complexes. As the car made its way along, it wasn’t long before I noticed something a little off: the houses were all white and tidy, the streets were paved with what looked like fine white sand, and the cars that passed went by was nothing like the trucks that I’d seen going by before.
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Of course, not every single thing was perfectly copacetic. One of the first things that I noticed as we drove was that the road was in pretty bad shape overall. It wasn’t that we were passing through on the way to Beaupr, but rather that it was just a stretch of road. There were no lights, and no sign whatsoever that indicated that we were passing through some sort of administrative gate. But I guess if you’re traveling North, you have to deal with whatever nature can throw up.
Eventually we got off the highway and into town. The first place that I’d stop was the local bookstore, which was owned by the parents of the family who’d brought me to Beaupr in the first place. They told me a bit about the place, including the fact that it wasn’t a very nice place to be, but that it was a great getaway for when I was there for a few days. As I talked more with the couple, I learned a lot more about them, including their youngest son, whose family was hauling woodcar. He and his two brothers, ages eight and nine, were terrified of the thought of moving their woodcut from here to there for the three week trip down the mountain.
So, after much convincing, I purchased a map of the area and a coat on my way there, because I knew that I’d be doing a lot of walking and hiking. I’d bring a folding chair, a sleeping bag, and a waterproof blanket, because I didn’t know what I’d be doing down at the cabin. I also brought my hiking shoes, since I knew that I’d need them in the mornings. I’d packed my sleeping bag, my rain gear, my hiking shoes, and my rain clothes in anticipation of a long day of walking to reach the house.
Once I reached the cabin, I met the family and spent a lovely afternoon visiting. After supper, I packed up my sleeping bag and headed up the trail towards the house. As I climbed the trail, I was struck by how much more beautiful it looked as I started heading home, compared to what I saw when I first set out.