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Ice Hiking in British Columbia 2

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This is me in 1952, on the little island steamer, Cardena, feeling quite rejected.

My young husband and I were traveling north by ship in British Columbia, as deck passengers, meaning that at night we just rolled our sleeping bags out in the fog.

We decided we could afford to buy one meal, the first night's extravagant banquet in Cardena’s "dining salon."

As we entered, a steward stepped out and barred my way. My husband in his worn but clean climbing pants and windbreaker would be allowed to enter; I would not. I was not suitably attired.

It wasn't entirely a surprise. 1950s travel books warned that ladies were expected to dress to a high standard on any ship, no matter how small the boat or how remote its route.

I had watched other women boarding in Vancouver. I judged their outfits: tight little suits with a bit too much frill around the face, pillbox hats, 3 inch heels. Walking up a steep gangway in those heels appeared to be very easy, but they’d need a man on each side to walk back down again.

We were headed to the bush and ice, with heavy packs. I had no room for inefficient clothes. So we dined not in the salon but on the deck.

It turned out OK because we ended up sharing our canned sardines and laughing with two of the Kwakiutl Indian deck passengers.

More tomorrow.

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MeadowMom MeadowMom's picture

This Story is part of a Series...

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