Our dermatologist is going to be really pleased at our next visit because for the first time since I don’t know when, we won’t be tan at all! We’re enjoying BC but when the sun does peek out for a minute we feel like we have to stop and take notice. Not much rain, just lots of clouds and not particularly warm. We know we’re early, such is the shortness of the season for Alaska and so we expected to be chasing winter out.
After lots of conversations with Ivan about what we thought may or may not be confiscated from us at the border, we were greeted by a professional & friendly agent who questioned us but never left his booth to inspect or detain us, much less take our huge stash of incredibly delicious cheese that Sandie & Karsten brought to us. We crossed at Osoyoos from Washington state which is a particularly dry area of Canada complete with cactus and Canada’s warmest lake. We parked up alongside the Burrowing Owl Winery and went in for a tasting & a walk among the rows of vines. Because of the relative warm temps in the area, they can produce red grapes whereas further north it’s only white. We’re still partial to our old favorite Baja wine but it was nice to experience it and the scenery was pretty. The next morning Jon & I took a bike ride on the riverside path in Osoyoos.
We moved northward together to visit Cynthia, a friend Jon & I met sailing in the Indonesia Rally several years ago. We hiked a volcano together in the Banda Islands and shared some rally stops. We both have a traveling lifestyle so we’ve stayed in touch and it was great to catch up again. She led us around the fruit orchard where she’s living and showed us how the fruit trees are thinned so that there aren’t too many blossoms that set too much fruit. If you don’t thin them there could be too much crop one year and none the next, not good for business. The air smelled of a combination of blossoms and also of a recent application of organic pest deterrent. Its a mixture of sulphur, lyme and fish oil. Interesting. Even though it was a rainy day, it was great to be outside and visiting with Cynthia for a bit.
We felt pressured to move onward so we started moving toward Vancouver, stopping for little hikes along the way to waterfalls or in thickly mossed woods where the sun doesn’t penetrate. We visited a couple of little towns too. Lots of chainsaw statues. Even one of Rambo. In the town of Hope, they recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of Rambo First Blood which was filmed there. BC is full of friendly locals, good roads, lots of parks, plenty of pretty scenery and peaceful campspots.
We had been wanting to visit Vancouver for a long time so it was a milestone of sorts to get there and we actually have friends Ian & Josie, that we met in Arizona a couple of years ago who live there. But unfortunately, they weren’t going to be there when we were. But, we did get to meet Ian’s dad who helped us settle in to their driveway so that we’d have a good place to keep the trucks whike we toured around for a couple days. He took us for a little tour that first evening to Deep Creek and up to Mt Seymour which still had snow. We’d also visited Lynn Canyon earlier that day which had pretty woods, an emerald green stream and lots of bridges.
The three of us spent 2 days touring around downtown by taking the ferry across from N. Vancouver into the city. We lucked out with the weather in that we had the sunniest days we’ve had while there. We walked about 50km in those 2 days so got our exerise which we made up for by having a nice lunch outside in the sun one day and then fantastic Indian food ata place called Indian Fusion the second day which Ivan treated us to. I haven’t gotten over how good that dinner was yet. We really liked the huge Stanley Park and came across this seagull eating a purple starfish. He couldn’t make a sound with his mouth that full.
We made our way up toward Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway which hugs the coast with great views. Brandywine Falls had plenty of water, actually every river, stream or waterfall is swollen this time of year. Since Whistler is pretty much between seasons right now it didn’t have much appeal so we drove up & over the mountains to cover the best scenery we’d seen yet. Along the way, we stopped at a lake to take some pics and stretch our legs and I looked across and said why can’t we just see a bear over on that shoreline? And then Jon said, well there actually IS a bear over there! Haha, there was. We drove to a little town called Lillooet and we camped next to the dam there.
Some things aren’t open yet because its too early in the season. I keep struggling with that but Jon keeps reminding me that BC’s high season is the same as Alaska’s high season really and its a lot easier to drive to BC in the future than it is to drive all the way to Alaska. I agree. I can’t picture making this trek again anytime soon. We feel like there’s so much left on this planet that we’d like to see. If we knew we would live to over 100 years old like my great Aunt is, we would sure feel more relaxed about it!!
We’ve been driving most days now and the population is thinning out, of people that is. Meanwhile, we’re seeing more & more bears, yesterday 4 of them, today 3. The smallest cub we’ve ever seen and a big grizzly too. And Ivan saw a moose. Mountain lions still elude us. Someday….
Because so many things have been closed and we’re anxious to get to the knock your socks off scenery that we’ve heard & read about, we picked up the pace and actually caught up with friends Michaela & Peter. So now we’re all together to celebrate Ivan’s birthday in the town of Hudson’s Hope! We’re nearly at the start of the Al Can highway too. Hopefully summer will catch up with us before too long.