AR:T ROUTE CANADA

SISTERS OF THE MOTHER ROAD

A SALUTE TO EXPLORE GOLD COUNTRY TO HONOR OUR LINEAR COMMUNITIES

Penned by Lorrie Fleming April 27, 2020

            As the world struggles with climate change, economic adversity and the silent enemy of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity awaits to reconnect, as social distancing becomes a distant point in time.

            Recently, I shared a surprising & joyful conversation with Cathryn Wilson, of the BC Achievement Foundation, to relay news of my nomination for a Community Award; and it still seems surreal!    In that regard, I am equally humbled, honored and overcome by a feeling that I have reached a juncture along this epic journey to unite the ‘Mother Road’ with BC’s ‘Gold Rush Road’.  An International Art Gateway Project envisioned & created by Master Muralist Michael Loughery is being considered to connect Rural BC along a borderless & cultural journey.  This would include portions of the TCH #1 and [Route 66, 97 & 99] adjoined as one linear community.  

            I remain speechless!  “Sometimes historic paths aren’t discovered until they’re lost”!   Such meaningful words of wisdom notated by a fellow Route 66 aficionado (Anthony Arno).  In my viewpoint of traveling on a road for so long, daylight fades into sunset; and you find yourself following headlights into the unknown.  Somewhere along the way dawns new light cast by living angels to guide us back on track.  I’m referring to my “Sisters of the Mother Road” (Michelle & Stacey creators of ‘Art Route Blue’ and Marcie & her team at ‘Explore Gold Country’).  Special acknowledgement is directed to folks like Steve & Paulette Rice, proprietors of the Historic Packinghouse Eatery, who meet & greet hungry travelers embarking on a scenic journey along an original portion of TCH roadway in Spences Bridge!

            A renown writer quoted “Not all those who wander are lost”; and I believe that we’re all just searching for a new path worth traveling!   Perhaps it’s passion that drives us to find a special place on the road.  Speaking of myself, I can neither sing, dance nor draw, but somehow the people that crossed my path (namely Michelle & Her Creatives) collectively transfer passion into energy driven by the perpetual Power of Art!  Therein lies a permanent bond to greet travelers by painted walls and voice over techniques hearing storytellers that awaken our spirits along a linear community linked by a connective corridor of neighborhoods, families and friendships.    

            Together, we’re traveling in the same direction guided by the power of passion, people & planet.  In an uplifting transformation, the ‘Mother Road meets the Mother Lode’ and we become a family.  Travel the road slowly, stop or stay to live & learn and cross the bridge of knowledge that connects the urban & rural.  Our Ancestors shall rise and show us the way… “Wisdom is the Sunlight of the Soul”! 

A lost road will remember your footsteps, for someday you may wish to return to trace the way

{Quote by Munia Khan}

ROAD QUEEN of the Highway

Dear Michelle & Stacey:

Sending heartfelt appreciation for your steadfast “Pioneering” of Art Rural Route Blue!

As a mother of the road, my heart feels your testament-of-endurance in determination to forge beyond this mega road building process!  Thank you, Stacey for your phone call last evening to reassure me that I’m not forgotten along this (seemingly lost highway); and to you, Michelle for sending me the joys of motherhood that we mutually share on this journey of life.

You two “Sisters of The Road” remain bonded in Gold and sparkle brilliantly as “Golden Pioneers”, leaving a legacy enshrined in blue for Canada’s Mother Road!

Looking back in my rear view mirror, I am drawn to one of your “pioneering” presentation submissions (of 2014 Re. Heritage Highways & Byways for Open Road Learning) that states: “British Columbia & Canada becomes the [Bridge] from the USA {Route 66 to Alaska} by telling the stories of the historic First Nations trails of the past. 

Working with governance (Federal, Provincial, Local & International) is an endless undertaking, constantly holding you at the mercy of the “changing of the guards” for the powers that be who are on duty to oversee our economic & political well being.  This political obstacle course is difficult to navigate; and only the strong willed can survive the tempest of its decree.

Michelle & Stacey, Kudos to you two brave ‘way-finders’ for being such “Servant Leaders” (in the highest degree) to drive “Route Blue” into the soul of our society.

I’ve been touched by you!

Lorrie

“Everything will come to pass, victory or failure because life is just a moment in time” (Excerpt from the One Crystal Book)

ROUTE BLUE OVERVEW

Beyond our Braided Trails

Written by L. Fleming – February 2, 2018

Prologue:  

‘Route Blue’ speaks boldly to our rural communities, reinventing a sustainable society with a renewed sense of place, deeply rooted in Arts & Eco-Culture.

         Our Beautiful BC is poised to follow the lead of “The Mother Road” as a conduit for historic, cultural & conventional travelers to embark on the journey and perhaps ‘stay a while’ to savor the spell of the ‘North’!  There truly is ‘life’ beyond the city limits and the borders that divide us, waiting to be rediscovered.  Steeped in history, our social studies & geography lessons are learned through engagement in the experience of ‘being there’!  This gateway to discovery lies directly ahead (beyond all borders) . . . 

         The Route Blue Vision generates a unique subset etched into the landscape introducing a health & wellness life-style component into a tangible tourism & spinoff services that will drive small towns along the ‘97 Corridor’ into the core of economic growth.

         Through the lens of a seasoned traveler, a descriptive imprint of Route Blue is reflective of “an altruistic moral compass”, manifesting a socially, culturally, environmentally & ecologically viable linear community that supports a new age of consciousness to infuse a sense of permanence and well being into rural living.  This land of opportunity is sourced via an international “Cultural Highway”, an intrinsic connective conduit primed to showcase the merits of each townsite as a reciprocal & tangible entity.  Shall I say, “Route Blue puts us in the saddle”, moving travelers & homesteaders on a joyful journey, cultivating new relationships & cultural experiences by means of the Arts.

Goals that we set are ever changing, whereas, visible Art adorned in public view throughout each community leaves a permanent mark in the landscape of humanity.  A sense of place in perfect balance for every rural stakeholder is a priceless, viable and natural fit to stimulate local economies in the breadth of the ‘Route Blue’ initiative.

Braided Trail System:

  1. The Great Osage Trail:  The Osage first people and other tribes traveled among a variety of routes later named “Osage Trails” by white settlers.  The famous Route 66 through southern Missouri Ozarks follows the route of one such “Osage Trail”, which in 1825 became known as the first phase of the Santa Fe Trail.
  • Santa Fe Trail:  A transportation & trading route opened by the Spaniards at the end of the 18thcentury.  Used afterwards in the 19th century by Americans as a transportation & trade route through central North America that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, NM (the 2ndoldest city in North America).  It served as a vital commercial conduit until the introduction of the railroad in 1880.  Special Interest:  Susan Shelby Magoffin (1827-1855) was the wife of a US trader and her spirit of adventure made her one of the first American white women to travel on the Santa Fe Trail in the late 1840’s.  The diary in which she recorded her experiences has been used extensively as a source for historical tracks of the time; and remains a valuable record on the development of the “West”.  
  • Oregon Trail:  A part of westward expansion during the mid-1800’s, the 2,200 mile east-west trail served as a critical transportation route for emigrants traveling from Missouri to Oregon and other points west.  Travelers were inspired by dreams of gold riches and fertile farmlands.  (From about 1811-1840) the trail was laid down by traders & fur trappers who traveled by horseback or foot.  By 1836, the first of the migrant wagons were put together, starting in Independence, Missouri and traveled a cleared trail that reached Fort Hall Idaho.  Work was done to clear more of the trail bed stretching farther west and eventually reached Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Improvements on the trail in the form of better roads, ferries & bridges made the trip faster & safer.  Settler traffic increased during the 1830’s through 1869; and when the first railroad was completed, allowing faster and more convenient travel, use of the trail quickly declined.
  • The Old Spanish Trail (Trade & Auto):   A historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe with Los Angeles & southern California.  Explored by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and extensively used by pack trains between 1830 to mid 1850’s.  The Trail is a combination of known navigation routes used by Spanish explorers, trappers & traders with Ute and other tribes.  In early 20th century, the trail connected St. Augustine Florida with San Diego and crisscrossed & overlapped multiple trails to develop the southernmost national highway and the National Old Trails Road.
  • National Old Trails Road (Predecessor of Route 66):    Also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway est. 1912, became part of the National Auto Trail System in the USA covering 3,096 miles (4,983 km) stretching from New York to California.  Much of the route follows the National Road & the Santa Fe Trail; and in 1926 portions of the road certified as US Route 66 by the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials).  
  • Yellowstone (Auto) Trail:  Established May,1912 as the first transcontinental automobile highway through the upper tier of the USA.  It was an auto trail that ran from the Atlantic Ocean in Plymouth MA through Montana to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming out to the Pacific Ocean in Seattle WA.    
  • Semiahmoo Trail:  Began in 1858 as a series of pioneer trails between the Fraser River in the north and the USA border at Blaine, Washington in the south.  A wagon road established in 1873 to open settlement in Surrey (previously accessible from the waterways) provided an overland link between New Westminster and the USA.  

Historical Significance & Monuments:  

US Boundary Commission:  In 1856, the USA formed a ‘boundary commission’ to mark the border; and Great Britain soon followed.  The two countries then arranged to work together in what became known as the International Boundary Commission to establish & mark what is now Washington State’s northern border with British Columbia.

The Oregon Treaty:  In June 1846, the US & Britain signed the Oregon Treaty, ending the Oregon boundary dispute, which made the 49th parallel the official boundary between the USA & British North America (it would not become known as Canada until 1867; and BC would not join the new country until 1871).  The treaty granted the Hudson’s Bay Company navigation rights on the Columbia River for supplying their fur posts; and left the British with good anchorages at Vancouver and Victoria.

The International Boundary Commission:  In June 1857, American & British commissioners met in Esquimalt Harbor to discuss commencing the work necessary to mark the boundary between the USA and what is then know as British North America along the 49th parallel (about 410 miles from the Strait of Georgia to the summit of the Rocky Mountains).

Peach Arch Monument:  Built by Sam Hill & dedicated in 1921, is situated near the westernmost point of the Canada-US border, between Blaine, WA and Surrey, BC.  Commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 and stands on the exact US-Canada boundary between I-5 & Highway 99 in the grass median between the northbound & southbound lanes.  The Arch has the flags of both countries mounted on its crown; and two inscriptions on both sides of its frieze.  The words on the US side reads: “Children of a common mother”; and the words on the Canadian side reads: “Brethren dwelling together in unity”.  Within the arch, each side has an iron gate mounted on either side of the border with inscriptions above each gate that reads: “May these gates never be closed” … 

“Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living”

Entrance to Weed, California with Mount Shasta in the background.  “Weed like to Welcome you” is their motto!  Situated at the Junction of Route 99 & 97 and touted as the Beginning of the Al-Can Highway… 

AR:T RURAL ROUTE BLUE

BUILDING CROSSROADS IN 2020

AR:T RURAL

An All-Inclusive Greenway Enriched in Blue & Gold

Written By:  Lorrie Fleming, Member of ‘The Blue Team’ 

            Going Back to Our Roots … “Where were you in 1962”?  Our revered Trans Canada Highway was officially opened on September 3, 1962, building a Nation to link Victoria, BC to St. John’s Newfoundland.  Spanning Coast-to-Coast and Rural-to-Town, the introduction of a nation-wide transportation corridor woven into the tapestry of a ‘National Dream’ laced the stories together in the true spirit of our Confederation Founding Fathers.  At the time of its completion in 1971, this 7,821-kilometre epic journey was “the longest (uninterrupted) highway on earth”!  

            Michelle, A Pioneering Visionary, has brilliantly sculpted a futuristic, eco-cultural and all-inclusive movement that extends far beyond our ‘Canadian National Dream’.  In her adept wisdom, creative thinking and articulate language in the expression of Art, Michelle, by way of the Rural Route Blue initiative, transforms far outreaching spaces of our national highway into a vast multi-cultured platform of connectivity.

            Keeping in mind the vast lineage shaped by the legendary “Mother Road” with bloodlines that launched in 1926, she held the heart of America for nearly a century and changed the course of a nation by a powerful force in moving humanity.    Today, 2020 is approaching in our near vision and Michelle has set her sights on Rural Route Blue as an extension of the Mother Road, to move with the times in perfect harmony.  Driven by Michelle, Canada’s Mother Road is turning a corner toward a cultural rebirth with her deep-rooted sense of story telling via outdoor galleries encompassing a revolutionary evolving enhanced system of sight, sound & voice over technology. 

            Walls Will Talk… History has a brand-new lens to the future by way of a dimensional eco-force that extends into the transportation tapestry of humankind along a timeless and connective corridor that’s alive within our “cross-by-car” lifestyle.  Retrace an epic journey to rediscover and traverse our footpaths through the windshield to explore vehicular experiences that carved two nations in a cross-boundary trajectory of friendship.  

Through the vivid eyes of a gifted Artist, Michelle injects color into this new dimension using a dynamic mix of blue ‘n green with a dusting of Gold freshly picked from nature’s toolbox.  She has created a ubiquitous guideway for generations to learn & grow.  A new E-Highway paved with the aggregate of people, place & purpose awaits along ‘Rural Route Blue’ with arteries that connect a multi-directional, cultural and “art-in-motion & destination-mural-town” journey. 

See you soon “down the road” in 2020.  Meantime may the spirit of our ‘Mother Roads’ carry you to amazing places full of awe inspiring and multi-colored faces.  Now you can hear their voices!  

 Writer’s Footnote:

In my viewpoint, the patriarch link that connects Canada & USA is Great Britain’s Hudson’s Bay Company.  It cannot be understated the value of the footpaths that these brigades forged, alongside Aboriginal Americans who guided the expeditions to discover and delve deeper into the heart & soul of this vast new land called North America.  “Trapping Furs & Turning Gold” …Our history speaks through a land of braided trails with a renewed “Rush to Riches”!  Lorrie

HIGHWAY QUEEN LORRIE FLEMMING

BUILDING CROSSROADS IN 2020

ART RURAL ROUTE BLUE

An All-Inclusive Greenway Enriched in Blue & Gold

Created by Master Muralist & Visionary, Michelle Loughery

Written By:  Lorrie Fleming, Member of ‘The Blue Team’ 

            Going Back to Our Roots … “Where were you in 1962”?  Our revered Trans Canada Highway was officially opened on September 3, 1962, building a Nation to link Victoria, BC to St. John’s Newfoundland.  Spanning Coast-to-Coast and Rural-to-Town, the introduction of a nation-wide transportation corridor woven into the tapestry of a ‘National Dream’ laced the stories together in the true spirit of our Confederation Founding Fathers.  At the time of its completion in 1971, this 7,821-kilometre epic journey was “the longest (uninterrupted) highway on earth”!  

            Michelle, A Pioneering Visionary, has brilliantly sculpted a futuristic, eco-cultural and all-inclusive movement that extends far beyond our ‘Canadian National Dream’.  In her adept wisdom, creative thinking and articulate language in the expression of Art, Michelle, by way of the Rural Route Blue initiative, transforms far outreaching spaces of our national highway into a vast multi-cultured platform of connectivity.

            Keeping in mind the vast lineage shaped by the legendary “Mother Road” with bloodlines that launched in 1926, she held the heart of America for nearly a century and changed the course of a nation by a powerful force in moving humanity.    Today, 2020 is approaching in our near vision and Michelle has set her sights on Rural Route Blue as an extension of the Mother Road, to move with the times in perfect harmony.  Driven by Michelle, Canada’s Mother Road is turning a corner toward a cultural rebirth with her deep-rooted sense of story telling via outdoor galleries encompassing a revolutionary evolving enhanced system of sight, sound & voice over technology. 

            Walls Will Talk… History has a brand-new lens to the future by way of a dimensional eco-force that extends into the transportation tapestry of humankind along a timeless and connective corridor that’s alive within our “cross-by-car” lifestyle.  Retrace an epic journey to rediscover and traverse our footpaths through the windshield to explore vehicular experiences that carved two nations in a cross-boundary trajectory of friendship.  

Through the vivid eyes of a gifted Artist, Michelle injects color into this new dimension using a dynamic mix of blue ‘n green with a dusting of Gold freshly picked from nature’s toolbox.  She has created a ubiquitous guideway for generations to learn & grow.  A new E-Highway paved with the aggregate of people, place & purpose awaits along ‘Rural Route Blue’ with arteries that connect a multi-directional, cultural and “art-in-motion & destination-mural-town” journey. 

See you soon “down the road” in 2020.  Meantime may the spirit of our ‘Mother Roads’ carry you to amazing places full of awe inspiring and multi-colored faces.  Now you can hear their voices!  

 Writer’s Footnote:

In my viewpoint, the patriarch link that connects Canada & USA is Great Britain’s Hudson’s Bay Company.  It cannot be understated the value of the footpaths that these brigades forged, alongside Aboriginal Americans who guided the expeditions to discover and delve deeper into the heart & soul of this vast new land called North America.  “Trapping Furs & Turning Gold” …Our history speaks through a land of braided trails with a renewed “Rush to Riches”!  Lorrie

AR:T ROUTE CANADA

Art and beauty comes in many forms, including the natural and the handmade , and there’s no reason why, when admiring one, you cannot enjoy the other. And there is no reason that our modern cave masterpieces should not be showcased as invitations for the globe to visit and meander along our highways. The bonus is that travellers can fill the art stops in with small business and community events along the way. Connecting our communities makes sense. Like a giant story book. And it makes more sense if a highway art project like ART ROUTE BLUE is launched with artists and grassroots communities. To keep the jobs, make connections and bring the creative economy to the rural communities and keep our young people talking to the elders. This is a people up road trip. The Canadian Version of ROUTE 66. This art trip is long standing in its vision. Held dear by many and led by Queen of the Road Lorrie Flemming. I am just the conductor and the painter who got to paint way before murals became the explosion of trend that are now. Or maybe these modern cave drawings have always been a huge part of the education and history making of the stories of the people and of nature as we all ride the highway of life. Our Destination Mural Town Art Route is a global grid. It has many more layers to unravel and we are excited as many are using the model to bring Destination ART Routes to their regions. There is blue on those walls though! And the blue beings to the hands of the artists, the visionaries and the first people that have shared fire stories since time began. AR:T ROUTE BLUE details great work across the globe. Some of these artworks are showcased in outdoor settings, others however, are set amidst the most beautiful scenery. Take a look and see community social economics through a new lens. With a content building economy made strong by keeping the people in that system. Our stories are our art and our towns the fires that warm the rural earth. We have made ground at AR:T Route Blue. Destination Mural Town has many tourism organizations and communities abuzz. Destination Routes have been growing in rail and nature trails. Art walks have been around forever and people love to stroll through the streets seeking local treasures. But this AR:T Route is unique as the team of Blue are also trainers, educators, creators, builders, healers, connectors, first responders, homeless, nature protectors, storytellers, painters, sculptors, carvers, singers, youth, elders and all first people from the globe. This is community building from a place of renewal to reimagining. A new form of muraltourism. A content creating system that keeps the content with the creators and the power of all horses in front of one cart. The blue is the stories of many, in a place of global connection, to a system that keeps people and nature connected. Now that is reachable tourism and community economics.

Route Blue on the GOLD

The Road speaks in many languages, it has heart ❤️ soul & a succinct voice.  Complimented with depth perception in a kaleidoscope of colors that unify people & place in a directional spiral.  Like the wheel, Route Blue is a human moral compass that drives us on an endless path in the circle of life!
This is why we’re so connected to The Mother Road, to carry us home on destiny’s journey.
Let’s rediscover this bloodline before we find that it is lost🌈…

There are rural champions all around us…Lorrie our Queen of the highway is the best ambassador of the blue line… collecting the people…the stories and the spirit of the blue..

the road awaits

Bob & I met Marcie of Explore Gold and Steve Rice at the Packinghouse in Spences Bridge in late summer.  Here’s to a smooth ride ahead!