I like digging holes. It is very satisfying to see the concrete results of my actions. And the hard physical labour of it feels good in my body. I remember thinking I could dig a hole to China when I was a kid. I was inspired by a comic book called Journey to the Center of the Earth, and thought, maybe my parents said I can’t do it, but I really can. Now I feel wistful about that magical thinking that I was special, and didn’t have the limitations that other people do. It was a long journey, into my 40s, before I started to admit to myself that I might have limitations!
A couple years ago the province of BC had a program called E-911, to provide street addresses to all rural homes, to help emergency service providers locate remote properties. This was a wonderful help for Monkey Valley, as it would take about five minutes to explain to the 911 operator how to get here if there ever was an emergency.
I applied for an address through the E-911 program, and even got to name my road, which is how it got the name Starshine Way. I wanted to convey that magical things might happen to someone who comes to Monkey Valley. And it was here that I first perceived the luminous starshine of white light that pervades everything and that everything is made out of on a fundamental level. So Starshine Way was the name that I chose. I even got to pick the hundred-block!
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Merritt office of the BC Ministry of Transportation worked together with me on this, to make sure that emergency vehicles would be able to find Monkey Valley. They provided signage for the Dillard Forestry Road, under the condition that I was to provide the sign for Starshine Way. So in the summer of 2007, after months of back and forth with Fun-Key Enterprises in Merritt, (which originally provided a sign that said Sunshine Way!), I finally had the sign for Starshine Way.
In July of 2007 my friend Eric Guidry and I picked up the sign and rented a post-hole digger from Nicola Chainsaw and Equipment Rentals in Merritt, and headed out to Monkey Valley to install the sign. The post-hole digger was not that great. It wasn’t able to handle the hard rocky soil very well, and needed a lot of help from shovels. But finally we had a hole about 3 feet deep, and put the sign in, and pushed rock and dirt back in all around it. The post-hole digger was somewhat dented from the effort!
We went back to the house, about 1.5 KM from the sign, and had a fun couple of days on the land. Then we headed back to Merritt, and lo and behold, the sign was gone! Someone stole it, less than two days after it was installed! Unbelievable! Who would do such a thing?
I’ve had time to give this matter some thought and speculation. I have come up with two possibilities: someone who knows the back roads and likes the feeling of being away from it all, and doesn’t want a street sign showing evidence of a human presence. That is, someone who hated the sign. The other possibility I’ve imagined is someone who saw the sign and thought it was a cool name, and since they were out on a joyride in the middle of nowhere, for no one to see, they stole the sign. In other words, someone who loved the sign!
Anyway, with travel and various other occupations, I didn’t get around to replacing the sign that summer, so I set my mind to the task again in the summer of 2008. To be continued…
This entry was first published December 13, 2008. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.