Thursday, June 25, 2009
We left home June 5, headed for Merritt for a couple of days on our own before joining our friends. While there we did the Walk of Stars, made famous by the Merritt Mountain Music Festival that will be held this year on July 11-12.
We also did some geocaching (searching for a hidden ‘treasure’ using a GPs). This was our first attempt and we were so happy to find it. All other attempts on our trip failed, not sure why.
From Merritt we headed to Clinton to join our friends S & P, B & V and their young cousin E. Clinton is a town with a sense of humor.
On our way north, we stopped at Rainbow Chasm Provincial Park – can you see the colors on the side of the cliff …
Our next stop was Puntzi Lake, a couple of hours west of Williams Lake. The guys got in a little fishing in our 2-night stay there:
Then the adventure started. We got to Anahim Lake and decided to take the plunge and do The Hill into Bella Coola. All of our research and talking and reading did not prepare us for what we faced. Even the warning sign wasn’t enough to stop us – we decided it just plain lied:
The result: we decide there was no way we could face going back up again. The reasons for not returning that way: our truck is 2-wheel drive and if we had to stop we’d not get going again, and then there was concern about blowing up transmissions, even in the 4WD trucks. So, we looked into the ferry. Having arrived on Thursday, the next morning ferry was a 25-hour milk run with several stops, after that Monday’s run was 13 hours. So we had 3 lovely days in Bella Coola to really explore the area, knowing we’d probably never get back that way again. It was also a chance to unwind after that harrowing drive.
The drive into Bella Coola was gorgeous – the mountains are every bit as majestic as the Rockies:
We stayed at Gnome’s Home RV park, which had a lovely nature conservancy attached to it – perfect for walking the dogs:
Walker Island Regional Park was another great walk. Waterfalls in the area included Clayton Falls.
At both Walker Island and Clayton Falls was supposed to be another geocache, but our compass seemed to be off and we couldn’t find either of them.
Alexander MacKenzie apparently came to Bella Coola on his cross-country exploration:
What we thought was a cannery across the inlet, turned out to have originally been a customs house, now a B&B:
Getting on and off the ferry was an adventure in itself. We were parked touching the unit next to us, eventually they moved us a few inches apart, but then we ‘rubbed shoulders’ again trying to get off. But the ferry trip to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island was a relaxing day, movies were shown, and there was commentary on some of the villages and lighthouses we saw on the way. There were also whale and porpoise sightings.
From Port Hardy we made our way down-island, stopping at Telegraph Cove: I think this is one of the most picturesque towns I’ve ever seen.
We stayed that night at Campbell River, and spent the following day visiting Quadra Island.
In case you can’t read it , the sign says ‘Trespassers will be invited for tea’. We were very tempted. Cape Mudge Lighthouse is on this island.
And the view of Campbell River from here is spectacular, but the pictures don’t do it justice.
We celebrated DH’s 60th birthday here:
The hat says ‘Don’t forget my Senior Discount’.
The night skies promised beautiful weather coming up the next day (in fact we had perfect weather almost the entire trip).
From Campbell River we made our way to the west coast of the Island to explore Long Beach, Ucluelet, and Tofino. At Long Beach, I took my shoes and socks off and took the dog for a run in the surf – she wasn’t impressed:
Then back to the east coast of the Island at Comox, to prepare to head for the Sunshine Coast. Comox is a lovely little town with some unique buildings.
And we visited the Heritage Air Park as well while we were there. They also have a memorial for Canadian Forces Personnel.
From Comox to Powell River – another ferry adventure. It was extreme low tide when we were trying to load and unload, and the deck crew had to almost lay on their bellies to watch underneath trailers and RVs to be sure they weren’t going to bottom out and suffer damage. But we made it. From Powell River, we took a drive up to Lund to see some local artists’ work at a gallery. Wandering through the general store there, I met a doctor from Chilliwack who was on vacation, had been out on his boat travelling the coast. Sure was a reminder of what a small world this really is! While driving through a residential district, we came across these unique sculptures:
Powell River townsite was established in 1910, and the Heritage Townsite predates 1940. I decided this was my favorite community on this trip.
From Powell River to Sechelt – another ferry, easy on, easy off, no adventures. We were most amazed at the growth at Gibson’s Landing since we were here last. What a lovely little town, but very, very busy!! It was here that I found the dress I’ll wear to our daughter’s wedding.
We arrived home safely on Tuesday, after one last ferry ride (6 in all, 4 with the trailer). It was a wonderful vacation, we saw much that we’d never seen before, some that we’ve not seen in many years. S & P started planning for next year already!!! Wonder what adventures await us on that trip?
So, back to work this afternoon, and life is back to normal.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Just dashing off a quick blog before I start the day – dashing into the kitchen for some breakfast, dashing around getting the trailer packed, dashing over to the bank to get some cash, dashing out to take the cat to her sitter, dashing up to the mailbox for a last check – and then leisurely making our way to the first stop on our camping trip. After all this ‘dashing’ the next 2 weeks will be spent leisurely making our way to various destinations with the ultimate being into Bella Coola. Apparently there won’t be any dashing into Bella Coola itself, according to reports we’ve heard about that road. There will be pictures to share when we get back. If I get a chance, I’ll let you all in on the holiday while we’re away – otherwise we’ll see you in a couple of weeks.
God bless you all - Peg