Wednesday 29 May 2024

May 28, 2024 - Day 29

 Although I'm a day late on this one I have to wrap up a fabulous trip. And now it's time to say goodbye...

It was a miserable day for just about everything. I suppose if we had to leave this beautiful province this would make it easier to do so. As it turned out we landed in the same thing. 

I'm not a big selfie fan but had to commemorate the final leg of the trip in some fashion, so here we are in our seats and ready to go.

The flight home was its own travelogue...and the weather was better everywhere other than where we started and where we finished. The collage below goes clockwise starting at the upper left and finishes in the centre.

It seems we usually fly in over the warehouses in Mississauga to land so today, despite the lousy weather, was a real treat. Thanks to the aforementioned weather, this photo might as well be in black and white.

It has been a truly joyous month and once again I thank you all for following along. 


Monday 27 May 2024

May 27, 2024 - Day 28

Well, sadly this is  our last hurrah - tomorrow we fly home leaving this amazing province with our wonderful memories. We had a bit of time to see a bit of Merritt before leaving for Vancouver. The town is known for Canadian Country Music and has hosted the best as well as their American counterparts.

The Coquihalla Highway from Merritt to Hope is in the top 3 of BC's most dangerous highways registering 32 fatal crashes in the 10 year period from 2004 to 2013. What the official reason was I do not know. It should come as no surprise to you I do have some thoughts on the issue. It is a high mountain highway tracing a winding, curvy path surrounded by breathtaking scenery as it changes over a kilometre of elevation in 50 kilometres distance. 

The highway is 3 lanes wide in many spots, especially the passing lane sections. Numerous concrete barriers follow the many curves in the road. Add to that the presence of bicycles in some areas and, I've got an idea, let's make the speed limit 120 kph! What could possibly go wrong?

A quick (and I do mean quick) lunch stop at a rest area east of Vancouver introduced us to an ongoing controversy. People in RVs and campers use the spot as a campground some actually squatting there long term. The BC government is well aware of it and is attempting to remove them all permanently. Funny, we seem to experience local news a lot when we travel.

Our final hotel stay is at an airport hotel. It's pretty average but they certainly seem to have a good sense of humour. Apparently they leave a rubber duck in your room for you. 

Sadly, as our luck would have it, they are out of I guess they don't give a duck!  😎

I want to thank you all for coming along for the ride with us. I hope you enjoyed it. More to come in the fall.

Sunday 26 May 2024

May 26, 2024 - Day 27

Well, we're down to the last two days then we fly home on Tuesday. With that realization comes a level of mild depression knowing this amazing trip will soon end. We're in Merritt for the night. It was a much shorter drive than I thought it would be. Just as well because it wasn't the nicest day for weather. A bit of rain, very windy and somewhat cold with the wind chill, which was significant.

We very obviously transitioned from the mountains in Kelowna to the foothills in Merritt. It was a pleasant drive yielding some nice views like this one as we approached Merritt.

Merritt is referred to by some as the Country Music Capital of Canada - every town has to have some claim to fame. Provincial Parks and natural scenery is also evident quite readily. Nicola Lake is a glacially formed narrow, deep lake about 30 kilometres out of town. It even LOOKED cold.

Our refuge for the night is the Merritt Lodge Motel. It's a very subdued looking place from the outside but major cozy (like an old time cottage) on the inside. The photo inside is a bit of an illusion. That is not a mirror image there are two separate sides to the room.

On days like this when I'm feeling low as things wind down this was a true pick-me-up!  😎

Saturday 25 May 2024

May 25, 2024 - Day 26

We had a very nice day spoiled only by the fact that it is getting very close to our last. One more stop tomorrow then on to Vancouver to fly home on Tuesday. The Okanagan Valley is gorgeous. We're a little early for the wine. Harvest is still a few months away. Nevertheless, it's an awesome view.

The Myra Canyon trestles occupy a restored railway area on the current rails to trails network It was pretty windy and cool but the views were rather nice. The whole trail is way too long (somewhere around 30 km) so we walked about two hours which was somewhere around 8 km. 

The trestles are the main attraction but there's a tunnel as well. Why does everyone yell in a tunnel? Must be the echo. None are immune. I shouted very loudly, "Train!"

Despite the cold it was a gorgeous day...

...however, we left just in time as the rains came.

Friday 24 May 2024

May 24, 2024 - Day 25

Once we passed Cache Creek we were back into unexplored territory for us. It was also the beginning of more and more traffic - not in this particular photo but the further south we went, the worse the traffic became.

I still find it fascinating that there is an actual desert in BC. It's a couple hundred kilometres from Cache Creek before you're truly out of it.

It's so depressing to see the evidence of the major wildfire(s) of 2017. There is some new growth but it will take a long time (perhaps a generation) to regenerate.  😞

Once we reached Kelowna we were ready to get into our new digs. The traffic here is absolutely insane and never ending. We are fortunate to have booked a nice two bedroom suite with a full kitchen so were so very happy not to have to drive any more today. After settling in we met with another person I went to Africa with. Once again, haven't seen here in 50 years. Life is strange but oh so good.

May 22 & 23, 2024 - Day 23 & 24

We have just completed the third and fourth day of backtracking. Tomorrow I promise you new stuff! I'm trying not to think about the reality that this amazing month is drawing to a close.

The Quesnel Footbridge over the Fraser River in Quesnel is the longest wooden truss walking bridge in the world at 831 feet. Construction began in August 1928 and the bridge opened in May 1929. It was used by pedestrians, horse-drawn rigs and the occasional motor vehicle. The bridge stimulated the growth of West Quesnel and greatly aided the fall cattle drive; previously cattle and the accompanying cowboys swam the river.

The bridge is the centrepiece of the Quesnel Riverfront Trail system. We had walked from our hotel (which we had just checked out of) so only had time to do part of the Riverwalk. I was fascinated at how strong the current was being easily visible from the banks and the bridge. Even more amazing was that the current changed direction. I suppose being at the convergence of two large rivers will do that.

Although the bridge was restored in 2010 there are still vestiges of days gone the sign on top of the bridge at the centre - zoom in if you need to.

Green Lake is just east of 70 Mile House. Normally we would keep going but I have a friend we wanted to visit. I went to Africa with John and have not seen him in 50 years. At first I thought that would be awkward beyond belief but it's amazing how fast those 50 years disappeared. It took a while but we did actually get caught up. Time well spent. His wife Diane is wonderful so I'm so happy we were able to spend time with them both.

As we turned onto their road I saw this and thought, wow, that certainly is overkill isn't it? Are people meant to read this as they drive by? 

John took us for a spin around the neighbourhood to look at the devastation caused by the 2017 wildfire that evacuated many in BC. It's a sad scene even 7 years later. Not much has regenerated. 

We're off to Kelowna tomorrow.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

May 21, 2024 - Day 22

Another day backtracking our way to Vancouver. Prince George is a city on the Fraser River. The centre of healthcare in the surrounding region of 320,000, it is situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako rivers. PG stands to welcome all to the city holding accessories to promote various events and causes. That could have been the highlight of our day. Oh, so sad.

We are staying at the Billy Barker Casino Hotel in Quesnel. On a previous trip (2018) we learned all about prospector Barker so look forward to our stay in yet another Gold Rush Trail icon. The town and hotel are interesting and yet another trip back in time.

Quesnel is known for a lot of things but one is a propensity of "little people" fire hydrants. We walked around and saw several of them not recognizing any. Nevertheless, it's a cute idea.

As I suspected it was a rather light day as the blog goes. I'll combine the next two days so you'll hear from us on Thursday night or Friday morning. Stay tuned. We're winding down but not giving up!