By: Korie Marshall

Once again I am astounded by the amazing people and experiences we have in our local communities.

It seems like May and June are always busy, and there are only so many weekends in the spring, so I always miss something. The idea that “there is never anything to do around here” just doesn’t wash, because it seems there are always plenty of things to do – you just have to be on the look-out. There have been work-bees, barbeques, yard sales and auctions all over the valley in recent weeks, as well as ball tournaments, rodeo events, fashion shows, silent auctions, plays and gymnastics performances – so much to do I’ve lost track.

And if it is not events, there are some amazing places to go and hidden gems to find in our valley. Last week, while traveling back from McBride, I got introduced to a beautiful store that is nearly visible from the highway but I didn’t even know was there. I was thrilled to be introduced to a lady who runs the store from her home whenever she happens to be around.

“If the door is open, come on in, look around, and take what you want. You can leave the money on the back desk, or send it to me later,” she told us. She says she buys what she likes, and she doesn’t run the business to make money, she just likes sharing the things she finds, and I suspect she doesn’t have set hours because that would make it seem like work. I bought a couple tiny items, and was prepared to just drop them in my purse, but she wrapped them up with style, and added what I am sure is a hand-crafted tag to my bag. When I told her she didn’t have to do all that, she said “Why not?”

And I hear she is not the only place like that. When I shared my enthusiasm for this hidden treasure I’d just found with friends and neighbours, they told me about more of these unique stores, throughout the valley.

Of course it is not just stores. It is just about time for local farmers markets to start up, which always seem to be an interesting mix of people and outdoors, and getting outdoors is a whole other field of treasures. I bet there are trails you haven’t been on yet, and views you haven’t stopped to notice. Maybe you haven’t even stopping to smell the cherry blossoms and the lilacs on a local street corner.

And the talent show that the Valemount Pageant ladies put on last week was one more window into some of the gems we have – this time in the talents of our students. I know it takes a lot to stand on a stage in front of an audience, and to pour out your soul in a dance, or a song or a poem, especially when you know you are being judged – that takes guts.

My hat is off to so many of the talented and giving people we have in the Robson Valley, and I hope to keep discovering more of these hidden gems for myself.