We entered Beautiful British Columbia (as the licence plate indicates) and enjoyed our drive through Rogers Pass. I cannot imagine what winter travel must be like but the snow sheds through the mountain tunnels gave me a little idea.
We headed to Revelstoke and decided to take a few days to simply relax. It turned out to be the ideal location for running, biking and swimming so Don decided to do a mini mini triathlon. We ran our 28km training run and he proceeded to swim and bike later that day while I played lifeguard from the shore.
We knew we were in the forest fire area as there was a small fire the night before our arrival and hints of the smoke filled the air. It was good to have some downtime after the hiking in the Rockies. As suggested by Alicia, we visited Revelstoke Dam to see where BC gets a large portion of their hydro power.
The scent of wine country; the Okanagan Valley, was not too far away so why not sample some spirits. We paid a visit to Larch Hills Winery, the highest elevation winery in Canada. The winery was tucked into some pretty steep mountains and Moho whined upon reaching the top. Rest time for our vehicle/home!
The Okanagan Valley has to be one of the most unique areas of Canada. The road is lined with fruit stands and wineries. The hills almost appear to be misplaced and belong on the Mediterranean coast. We reached our destination of Kellowna where our friends Tom & Shirl opened their home and pampered us with their hospitality. Tom has not lost his ability to whip up a good steak and next time Shirl & I will not talk so much that we forget the potatoes. We reminisced about Grand Falls, NL and how the girls considered Tom & Shirl as family and would run back and forth from house to house. Again we had to say good-bye to Kellowna and move on.
Our route took us south toward Osoyoos, Canada's desert. We found a very young winery, Cassini Cellars which opened in May of this year. A quick sampling and purchase to share with Alicia and Chris. The next valley, Similkameen, Don's favourite, is a hidden treasure. The fruit stands are even more abundant than the Okanagan.
We found a quiet RV park where the owners said people camp there to pan for gold in the surrounding hills. Note to selves: we must return and seek our fortune. The next day we hiked around Lightning Lake in Manning Provincial Park. Our last stop before Coquitlam was in Othello (the man who named this area of the Fraser Valley liked Shakespeare) where we ran through the Othello tunnels and Don tried his hand unsuccessfully to catch Rainbow Trout even though the pond was stocked.
Finally Coquitlam, our last Canadian stopover, Alicia and Chris' old residence for a few days. Time to move into "moving mode" and get ready to flex the muscles and help the couple move into their new residence. An early start and a well organized daughter got us moving in all the right directions. It was a smooth transition and to celebrate we enjoyed the delicacies of the East Indian restaurant in their new neighbourhood.
Next onto the West Coast Trail..........