Senior Happenings: Let’s rediscover how to ‘bumber’

Word rooted in German language and Oscar Wilde play

We all should rediscover the fun of bumbering and now is a good time to do it. Spring has arrived and we already had a number of beautiful days, but first of all, I should explain what bumbering is all about!

Quite a number of years ago I was standing in line at the cash register of a Superstore and spotted a tiny little booklet on a rack titled Bumbering.

It was published by a group of people in Vancouver who, bumbered once a week, every week. If I remember it right, they also talked about their bumbering outdoor adventures on the Vancouver radio station.

The word bumbering they explained, originated partly from the German word, “bummeln” (strolling, taking it easy), but has also something to do with the fictional cousin in the play, The Importance of Being Ernest. This cousin, you might remember, was never around but was often talked about. His continued absence was explained by Ernest as “being always away, bumbering through the countryside!”

In any event, the word bumbering means to take it easy, take your time, look at things and do not hesitate to take a detour if you wish.

My daughter, Yvonne, knows all about it because, she explains, she too likes to “smell the roses”.  And Phil, her husband, who actually likes to walk fast, is a good sport! And so when they asked me to come along to rediscover the Rotary Trail along the Vedder River, I eagerly accepted. This is an all purpose trail I had been walking with the Harrison Hikers quite often though of a much faster speed. Since then, quite a few changes took place. The parking lot at the north side of the Vedder River Bridge in Sardis is now much larger and so is the next one at Peach Road. Also, the trail used to end at the railroad crossing up the river but has now been extended to and even past the Rotary Blue Heron Sanctuary.

On that particular day we walked the stretch from the bridge to Peach Road, about 1.7 km, where Yvonne and I had a nice rest at one of the most scenic spots along the river, while Phil walked back to the parking lot to bring the car up to Peach Road. We ended the outing with a leisurely drive through the Garrison Village — which I had never seen — and a visit to Starbucks.

Garrison Village is a new and pleasing development built on land which used to be part of the Chilliwack Army Base, hence the name. The Chilliwack Rotary Trail, along the Vedder River, offers many choices.  It is, of course, a multipurpose trail which means that you not only find walkers and parents with babies in strollers, but also the occasional cyclist or horseback rider. It is Chilliwack’s answer to Vancouver’s Sea Wall or the False Creek Passage Way. They are flat and, therefore, ideal for seniors, as long as we are careful. They are well marked and distances are indicated.

On another day, we drove up Keith Wilson Road to the Rotary Blue Heron Sanctuary on Sumas Prairie Road. This is a beautiful destination place which offers much information, coffee, washrooms and some picnic tables outside. A peaceful walk around the pond and through the wetlands must be a nature lover’s paradise, especially in spring and summer.  This time, however, we decided for the connector trail to and from the Rotary River Trail, about 2.5 km return.

It was a beautiful day and we were glad we came. We decided on the spot that bumbering it will be for us spring and summer and as we discover more places suitable for seniors, we will let you know about them!

Ruth Altendorf

P.S.  What’s in a name? The Rotary Vedder River Trail and the Rotary Blue Heron Sanctuary are just two examples of the work this organization, the Rotary, is doing.

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