White-Knuckles to the West Coast

Trip Start Jan 22, 2012
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Trip End Apr 02, 2012


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On January 22, 2012, I set out on yet another road trip.  This time, the destination was the west coast of Canada; specifically, the city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island.  I left Okotoks on a sunny, clear Sunday morning and stopped in Calgary to pick up Maria.  Soon after, we were headed west through the mountains.

About 10 km before Golden, we hit our first obstacle: a road block that had us wait 3 hours for avalanche blasting to take place.  After a nap and some reading time, the road was clear and we continued along the Trans-Canada highway, stopping for fuel in Golden.

After another fuel stop in Revelstoke the sky grew dark and it began to snow rather heavily (not to mention the 10 foot snow drifts all over the community).  With nothing but a poor forecast of significant snow overnight, we continued on west, driving through white-out-like conditions.  The snow fell fast and hard, and the unplowed roads reduced travel to a 50km/h 4x4 crawl through the dark.  After about an hour of this, my white knuckles, tense back muscles, and strained eyes could take no more.  We pulled into Salmon Arm, found a deal on a room at the Best Western, and quickly drifted off to sleep.

We awoke early the next day, hit the road, and managed a brief reprieve from the poor conditions, until the stretch of highway between Merritt and Hope, where things again went down the toilet.  Once again reduced to a slip-sliding 4x4 adventure of a crawl over unplowed roads, we inched our way along.  

We finally managed to make our way through the mountains, escape the snow and arrive in Vancouver, where Maria's cousin graciously offered to accommodate us for the night.  The following morning, we woke early and made our way through the city's steady rain to the ferry terminal at Tsawwassen.  After 1.5 hours on the ferry, we had crossed the Strait of Georgia and the Salish Sea, and arrived at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island.  

A short 30-minute drive in the afternoon drizzle found us on the corner of Admirals Road and the Trans Canada Highway; a temporary, 2-month upstairs-suite to call home.
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