Sunday, July 31
Trip Start Jun 12, 2005
41Trip End Aug 2005
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Another travel day! I am really getting tired of these travel days. I was awakened by Pat going into the shower at 6am. What is she doing going to the shower ahead of me? Well, maybe it isn't so bad, I sure do not want to get up. Finally, I began to get up, about the time Pat came out of the shower. I had not set the coffee pot last night so I had to do that and turn it on before I was allowed in the shower.
Well, all that out of the way, we got our acts together and a little after 8am we were rolling down Canada Highway # 1 toward the Ashcroft turnout. We made the turn and immediately our world changed before our eyes. We had been in a high desert area, complete with sage brush, sand and warm temperatures. As we turned toward Ashcroft the highway began a rapid descent and signs of extensive irrigation showed up. We saw extensive fields, green with irrigation out in the desert area. I thought we were in California! We saw corn fields and something under a black cover, acres and acres of whatever it was, maybe it was an illicit crop, who knows. After a few, about six, miles we were crossing the Fraser River and we were in beautiful downtown Ashcroft. We hung a right, as directed, and soon we were at Saint Gerard Church, some 40 minutes early for 9am Mass.
We drove around for a few minutes, just to capture the flavor of this small BC town. I don't think we did (capture anything), but what we saw was most interesting. Quaint it was, but it was a whole lot more including gingerbread and Victorian. You can't help but wonder why people live where they do. Mass was another interesting adventure. It was good to see several dozen good souls worshiping together, and allowing two strangers from Missouri to join them. Once again we enjoyed the similarities of our Sunday Mass as well as the differences.
As we continued south, the desert country became quite green and we began a significant desent down - what else, Thompson Canyon! Are there canyons, other than Grand, that are not named Thompson? What a wonderful experience - we saw mountains (what else), a raging river, lots and lots of trees, and some of the prettiest country we have seen to date. We even saw a small forest fire and stopped to photograph it and then saw the firefighters getting organized to go fight the fire. The canyon was nearly a hundred miles long and the descent was over 2,000 feet, so we had ample opportunities to see the beautiful scenery. Tim, we saw power lines as we came down the canyon that could have only been put in place by mountain goats using helicopters. These were massive lines carrying billions of volts or amps, or whatever power lines carry. There were huge steel towers, planted on sheer rock walls. Wish I could have taken a picture or two to show you, it was awesome, but there were no turnouts for photographing power lines.
At the bottom of the canyon we came to the small, very attractive, town of Hope, British Columbia. We pulled off the highway and parked near the city park and had lunch. Pat checked in with her mother (Cingular Extended cell phone service was once again available) and all was well so we then called a RV Park in Bellingham and got their last available site for this evening. We then got on a nice divided highway (the first sine we left I-29 in North Dakota) and traveled about an hour before we headed for the US Boarder. The boarder crossing went well and we only waited in line about 30 minutes before we were briefly interrogated by a friendly agent and sent on out way.
We then headed down several secondary roads before we arrived in Billingham, Washington and soon found our RV Park that was saving a spot for us.
As we were pulling in to our site, who did appear but Mike and Tina Lee, our friends from the caravan! We had parted company back in Whitehorse because they traveled a completely different route south, backtracking all of the Alaska Highway. After we settled in we went over to their motor home and enjoyed a mini reunion, even showing each other the photos taken since we were last together.
When we go back to our trailer, Pat and I readily agreed that tomorrow would be a day of recuperation - we will take care of some of the things we had not had time to do while traveling and just chill out. Tuesday, if we still wish to, we will do some big time sightseeing and hopefully take a ferry to Victoria.
Check back for the details.