27 July 2018

Just got back from a short road trip.  I need to hit the road again soon before the summer is completely gone.

On Day 1 we drove from Tacoma to Bellingham, near the Canadian border.  We stopped for the night at the Holiday Inn.  It was the start of a heat wave with temperatures going up to the low 90s so it was nice to move from an air condition vehicle to an air conditioned hotel room.

After resting a bit, we wandered about Bellingham and visited a nearby shopping mall.  Soon we called it quits for the night and went back to the hotel.

On Day 2, we left Bellingham and drove to Sumas.  It's a bit farther than I thought it was.  There is a border crossing there that is supposed to be much less busy than the one at Blaine.  There have been times in the past we have spent over an hour trying to cross the border at Blaine.  At Sumas, we got there and there were 3 cars in front of us.  We were thru in about 10 minutes.

We drove north a few minutes before turning east on the highway.  We were soon doing 100 kph (about 60 mph) and making good time.  After about an hour of driving, we encountered Bridal Veils Falls.  It was a good time to take a rest break so we pulled over and visited.



The 300 yard walk thru the woods was very pleasant as the air was still cool.  The falls were a pleasant stop but it was time to hit the road again.

We got back on the highway and soon passed thru Chilliwack.  We soon saw a sign urging us to check our fuel status as the next gas station was 120 km away (about 74 miles).  We still had 3/4 tank so we were good to go!

The speed limit soon went up from 100 kph to 120 kph (about 74 mph).  There were many really pretty spots on the Trans Canada Highway but no where to stop.

What was funny was that we stopped at two rest stops along the way.    One was a simple building with two toilets and a room with benches.  The other was a pull off with two pit toilets.  After stopping at each, we hit the road again and not 5 minutes down the highway encountered a new and modern rest stop complete with WiFi.  I wish they had put out signs mentioning the newer rest stops!

We eventually stopped for the day at the Kelowna Holiday Inn.   After dropping our bags off, we had time to drive into town.  We parked near the City Hall and visited a small park nearby.  That area was full of restaurants and bars. It looked like the tourist zone.  We also saw this tour bus:


The customers are sitting at a bar while pedaling their way around town.  The tour guide is sober and he's steering.  Still, not something I would want to do in that heat.

We grabbed dinner and then headed back to the hotel.  As the sun was setting, we sat out on the back deck and watched a distant fire on a mountain across the lake.



On Day 3, we left Kelowna and headed for the border crossing at Midway.  That is a very small border crossing there and the border agent said it was a very low traffic crossing point.  We chatted about mundane things for a bit before moving on.

Just down the road, we stopped at the Ranald MacDonald gravesite. 

MacDonald was the first to teach English to the Japanese and helped Perry negotiate a trade agreement.  After wandering the world, he returned to the Pacific Northwest and passed away nearby while visiting a niece.  His burial site is also the smallest state park in Washington State.

Another half hour down the road, we encountered the ghost town of Bodie.



Another small check mark on the bucket list of life.

Got to go for now but will pick it up later.  I have to say that I love driving thru remote areas.  There is practically no traffic and a decent speed limit.

No comments: