Posts Tagged ‘travel’


Saturday, May 15th, 2010

near Aggasiz

More photos from the valley.

While we were in the pool at the hot springs Mye had her iphone on hand to keep us updated about the Habs game. I’m not that into hockey but she was really giddy about it since against all odds they were winning.

praying for the Habs

We listened to the game in the car all the way to Hope. It was a bad way for them to find out that the vast majority of BC doesn’t have cell phone reception. The sound kept cutting in and out.

There were only a few minutes left of the game by the time we made it to Hope so we skipped sightseeing and continued on to the Othello Tunnels so they could listen to the end of the game. Habs won. Arm waving ensued.

the Habs win!

Othello Tunnels

The Kettle Valley Railway was insanely expensive and difficult to build because the route passes through two separate mountain ranges. When engineers first encountered the Coquihalla Canyon they decided that it would be impossible to build a railway thorugh it because the rock on either side of the river forms huge vertical cliffs.

They were completely nuts though so they built it anyways, blasting holes through the cliffs so that they could punch the railway through. Underneath, the water races past.

Coquihalla River

For me it was challenging in another way, because my camera doesn’t always deal well with high contrast and I tend to forget to change the settings. I ended up throwing half my pictures out.

Othello Tunnels

Fraser Valley

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

near Hope

We had the day off so we headed out into the valley.

It always amazes me how many people confine themselves to Highway 1. The stretch from Vancouver to Hope is one of the most boring stretches of road you will encounter. It’s up there with the I5 to Seattle and most of the Prairies as places I loathe to drive.

Sure, it’s direct. It’s easy. It’s the way that Google Maps and GPS units will tell you to go, but if you’re going to spend a few hours driving then you may as well have something interesting to look at.

Good thing I know the backroutes. I’m not very good at paying attention though so we ended up taking some wrong turns, after which point I’d just amend our plans and go that route instead. No big deal. I’m never really lost. I navigate by feel anyways.

We had a good time. I’ve got more photos to post tomorrow.




Fulford Harbour

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Fulford Harbour

Fulford Harbour

Mary-Lee’s improvised charades game revealed Wesley’s nearly complete lack of knowledge of Disney movies and pop culture. Steph was trying to get him to guess “Jane Fonda.” She said “Tarzan and…”

“Penelope!” he shouted.

Shortly after this, Steph confused Pinnochio with Ron Jeremy, so she’s not without fault.

Fulford Harbour

Fulford Harbour

Fulford Harbour post office

Our last day on Salt Spring wasn’t very eventful. I suggested that we leave from Fulford Harbour because there is a lot more to do around there than there is at Long Harbour, so that’s where we ended up.

I like Fulford Harbour. It has a real small village atmosphere, with a couple streets of brightly painted buildings. We wandered around the village, looking into shops while hippies followed us around and stared.

I don’t really have much to say about it. I just have pictures.

Fulford Harbour

Fulford Harbour

Fulford Harbour

The lake

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Beddis Beach

At the spa the massage table that Steph was laying on collapsed, pitching her naked onto the floor and the table landed on top of her. The staff were mortified and all crowded in to help at once, which is maybe not the most relaxing thing to have happen to you when you’re feeling kind of naked, vulnerable and stunned.

We laughed about it in the hot tub afterward. She has a big bruise on her leg. She expressed surprise that they insisted that she not pay for her spa treatment, which I found weird.

There was confusion as to whether it was a hot tub or a jacuzzi.

While we were in the hot tub we all decided that we would run and jump in the lake and then run screaming back to the hot tub. We ran down to the dock and tried to mentally prepare ourselves for jumping in. Everyone called out “One… Two…” but before we could say three, Mye had already jumped in.

Cusheon Lake

Immediately she began flailing about. “You forgot to take off your glasses,” Mary-Lee shouted, but the look on her face was unmistakably the one you see on small children who are drowning in public pools. Shit, she doesn’t know how to swim. Luckily she wasn’t very far away from the dock and got herself out.

She was a little annoyed that we hadn’t jumped in with her. “Well, if you’d stayed in there any longer I probably would have jumped in to save you,” I said.

The experience had reawakened her fear of water so she decided to cook dinner while the rest of us went canoeing on Cusheon Lake. In boats I have a habit of going into coaching mode where I boss people around with enthusiastic constructive feedback. Luckily Steph isn’t the sort of person who gets annoyed by all this so our canoe was doing really awesome. The other canoe was experiencing control issues. The sun set so Steph and I canoed back in but we couldn’t find the other boat anywhere. It was pitch black out so we were a little concerned.

They made it in finally for dinner, which was excellent. We had pasta with garlic goat cheese, zucchini, mushrooms and bacon sauce. I love traveling with foodies.

Ganges and Beddis Beach

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Centennial Park, Ganges

Ganges Market

really good cheese at Ganges Market

Saturday morning we headed down to the infamous market at Ganges, which I would imagine would be a pretty happening place in the summer.

It’s a bit early for a lot of local produce to be available yet but we picked up lots of cheese, some bean sprouts, mushrooms and a big loaf of grainy bread.

Mye obsessed over a really cool mug that she found and eventually bought, but it was torture getting to that point. I had hoped to find some interesting wool there because there are several farms, spinners and dyers on the island but no such luck.

No one consented to being dragged to the yarn store so I didn’t go. We were running out of time anyways. The girls had booked spa treatments for the afternoon so we headed back to our cabin.

Beddis Beach

While the girls were away, Wesley and I walked down to Beddis Beach. It seems to be the place where the locals walk their dogs. While I was looking for shells a lady approached me with a daschund and asked me what I was looking for. She said that sometimes she found agates on the beach. I told her that I’d found a bunch of jaspers. She gave me a handful of stones and we parted ways.

Beddis Beach

Onward, to Salt Spring!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Swartz Bay

clouds breaking

The beginning of our trip was plagued with logistical problems as plans changed intentionally and unintentionally, no one really seemed to know what was going on.

Wesley and I ended up leaving early. We wanted to take a different route to the island and then walk to where we were staying. That was the plan. I made a mistake with the bus schedule that cost us valuable time. We missed our ferry and consequently spent a lot of time hanging out in ferry terminals.

Fulford Harbour

By the time we got there it was pitch black. “You really want to walk?” I asked, “there are no streetlights.” Turns out we didn’t have to walk though. Shortly after we started walking up the street a nice couple wearing Norwegian sweaters stopped and offered us a ride.

They were really nice. The lady told us all the horror stories about wild animals on the island. Apparently someone was trying to raise giant frogs for frog legs at some point but gave up on the venture and released them into the wild where now they roam free and terrorize small children who have to take the compost out.

Some of the deer are also pretty aggressive. One rammed a guy on a scooter one day and he really hurt his knee.

From where they dropped us off, it was a short walk through the dark to find where we were staying. The owners were asleep so they’d left us a handwritten note on the door telling us how to find our cabin.

And now we get to the real reason why I wanted to get there early: I love hiding in places so that I can jump out at people and startle them. Wesley and I hung out in the cabin for a few hours before everyone else was supposed to arrive then stashed all our stuff in a bedroom and carefully put all the furniture back the way it had been when we arrived.

We speculated as to where they could be and how long it would take for them to get there. Our phones got zero reception so we could only hope that they’d gotten on a ferry. We began to calculate the time they would arrive down to the second, thinking up variables… revising… revising… We were bored and we didn’t have a TV.

Finally I heard a car door slam and we hid in a bedroom. A couple minutes later they entered the cabin, sounding very confused that we weren’t there. We jumped out of the room and they shrieked in a way I found most satisfying.