Thursday, July 19, 2007

"The Best Trip Ever" - British Columbia Road Trip 2007 Part One

During the first week of July, I took some time off, flew home to Edmonton from Kansas, then drove on my own to Vancouver in 12 hours exactly. For my fellow Western Canadians, we all know that the Alberta and BC Rocky Mountains are just awe-inspiring, so this post is mainly for my dear American friends to show you how beautiful Canada is, in case you didn't know. The total trip for me was 3000km (1800 miles) and spent $300 on gas. (It would have been about $200 in the U.S. for those keeping track.)

The drive was a perfect day the whole way with a little rain in Mt. Robson Park (see pic). As some of you know, I have a music ritual which I play. Thankfully, when I mentioned to a friend of mine in Topeka that I was missing Simon and Garkfunkel, unbeknowest to me, went and bought it for me just before I left. How thoughtful.

Okay, so when you're driving from Edmonton to Jasper, when you pass under the iron bridge near Sanguido to pop in a CD -- "Five Days In July" from Blue Rodeo. You see, not only did my trip include five days in July (you see, you see!) but when you're driving by Chip Lake and the highway splits, you should pass a road sign on the right that says "Cynthia 34" right when the chorus for, he song yep you guessed it, "Cynthia" comes on. After that I usually put on more Blue Rodeo, "The Days In Between" album released in 2000. The song "This Road" is perfect for highway driving. "This road, this road. Well it goes on like a dream..." Awesome.

And when travelling through Jasper National Park, I usually put on U2's Joshua Tree, so when the valley opens up, "In God's Country" comes on, 'cause well, basically you are in God's country. But for me this time, the park gate was backed up a half-hour, so it was a bit of a wait.

After that, I'll put on Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits because "Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water" comes on while going over a bridge or driving next to rocky rivers when leaving Jasper.

One of the most fun and scenic drives in the world is from Jasper to Kamloops, BC. Big mountains, lakes, valleys, farms, orchards ... however, when you reach Barriere, you'll note the devastating effect of the pine beetle has had on the forests. This continues on through Kamloops and in parts of the Okanagan Valley. It was a bit devastating for me as I hadn't been through here in over 10 years.

Okay, for all you drivers out there, if you're looking for fuel in Kamloops, don't go into town. You'll get lost. There's a PetroCanada gas station just outside Kamloops. It's the only one right on your drive through. Then you hit the Coquihalla Highway (#5 not #5a folks). It's a $10 toll road for a car, with really steep hills, but it's two lane divided the whole way into Vancouver. Basically, I could go straight to Whistler without hitting and intersection.

I first spent Canada Day n Horseshoe Bay golfing and going for beers at the marina with my two former Edmontonians and bestest buds Brian and Mat. Horseshoe Bay is where the ferry terminal is which is part of West Vancouver and the beginning of the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, where the 2010 Winter Olympics are being held. Needless to say, the scenery with the marina, the mountains and the water is so very Zen. I'd love to live there.

Later we hopped on a big boat, toured the Vancouver bay area on a perfect night and watched and celebrated the Canada Day fireworks. I had to take a few photos of Brandy's friend Andrea with the sunset. Then we ended up taking a limo from the boat to The Yale bar where a band called "Brickhouse" was playing. If you're in Vancouver, you gotta go there because they're the house band, start at midnight and play until about 2:30am. You can get drinks up until 3:00am too!

The next day, after going back to The Yale to pick up my credit card (oops), I got on the ferry in Horseshoe Bay and floated to Nanaimo and drove to Bowser to visit my buddy and former drummer Dave and his wife Tara, which they moved to from Edmonton last year.

So if your a friend of mine on Facebook, you can see the photos there. And instead of loading a tonne of photos, instead here's a multimedia slideshow of the first part of my trip!

Click here to see the cool slideshow!
(Song is "The Days In Between" by Blue Rodeo)


HOLY said...

Had a great Canada Day here - friends were in from Kelowna so we saw the Blue Jays get their asses kicked on the Fridya nt, then we had a bbq and booze the Sat nt prior to C-Day, and then shot off some fireworks on the front street - the cops came (illegal in B town and especially frowned upon prior to the 4th) - luckily the smoke and died and the remnants had all been picked up and we were all just standing innocently on the front street.

And then a week and a bit later, we went to go see the Hip play at an outdoor concert venue here - they.were.f'ing.awesome. I held JR up high at the front of the stage and she waved her Canada bear at Gord Downie and he gave her the big thumbs-up kinda smile. About 2K people saw them here which is about the entire Cdn ex-pat community plus a handful of their American buddies who got roped into tagging along (compared to 25K the next night in YVR) about a best kept Cdn secret.

Your nephew got their concert t-shirt - mostly cuz it lists obscure places like Fort McM and Grande Prairie and Saskatoon and Trois Rivierre.

'twas a good night off from packing - plus it was 100 degrees in the shade that day so perfect for outdoor tunage in the park.

Anonymous said...

we enjoyed our school tour only because of this Alpine Peaks restaurant wow really wonderful,we prefer our seniors too to stay there