If any of you have been following me for a while, you may have noticed that I had covered my BC road-trip extensively in four posts during my very early blogging days. However, this blog has grown and I have grown with it. Those posts were no longer up to my standard and no one wants to read four posts about one trip! So I wanted to condense and improve upon that. So, feel free to join me in revisiting this journey.
A Road Trip in British Columbia
There’s a bit of a backstory to this road trip. I have one friend who lives out on Vancouver Island that I try to see him once a year if possible. This is the same friend who joined me on my adventure to New Zealand and whenever we’re close together we get into all sorts of fun trouble.
Anyways, I had planned to go out and visit him earlier this year, and I was able to convince another friend of mine who has never left Ontario before to join me. It was absolutely a boy’s road trip, and the series of events that followed, could only have occurred with a group of three immature men like us.
Day 1: From The Airport Through Mountain Passes To Kamloops
The trip began like any other, arriving bleary eyed at the airport with a mix of excitement and desperation for caffeine. My friend, Deven, had just survived his first ever airplane flight and my other friend, Gerrit, was sitting at the airport in his behemoth of a four wheel drive van to pick us up! Hugs were shared, etc. Awe.
The road trip began in Abbotsford, BC, and we headed North towards the small town of Hope, which was near the beginning of our tour through mountains and valleys. In Hope, we stopped for coffee and some breakfast, because I couldn’t shut up about coffee. Honestly guys, I have a problem! The walls of the restaurant we stopped at were entirely covered in decorations of owls. I hadn’t seen this many hooters since my friends took me to a strip club for my 19th birthday. (Terrible joke -.-)
Anyways, the food was fantastic and so was the hospitality. We left feeling full and less like zombies than when we’d arrived. We took a few photos to start the trip and then began our journey into the mountains.
The guys that I were with wanted to stop at a store to pick up some beverages and snacks for the road. Gerrit was our designated driver, but Deven and I had a few cans of beer in the back. We passed through mountains in dimly lit tunnels, and trailed the edges of deep valleys and rivers. As a person who lives for the mountains, this was my dream road trip and I couldn’t have been happier! Anything that makes me feel as insignificant as a giant mountain, is capable of filling me with both deep humility and great pride, as contradictory as that statement sounds. I suppose they just make me love life a little more than usual.
We drove for hours taking photos all along the way. Cracking jokes at one another’s expense, listening to great music and stopping to skip some rocks across a river for a while. Eventually we made it to Kamloops for our stay at an AirBnB along the river, where we cooked food, played with the owners pets and fell asleep.
Day 2: From Kamloops To Lillooet
Dawn had arrived and I was the only one to rise with the morning sun. Early on is when I like to do most of my writing and reflecting, so that’s just how I spent my morning. Besides, as much as I love being around other people sometimes, I need some space for myself or I can become extremely irritable. I need time to just be alone with my thoughts and I will always be this way, because I enjoy being this way.
Eventually, my friends woke up, we packed our belonging and we left. Destination – coffee, of course. Then back to the highway across sandy wastelands reminiscent of old Westerns and then through the valleys of massive green mountains all the way to Lillooet. Along the way, my friend Deven and I were again toasting the trip with a bottle of Jack. (I know, I have a problem)
Along the way, we stopped many more times for photos and eventually made it to Lillooet where we spent the majority of our day in a wonderful AirBnB located on the side steep hill. We enjoyed some food at a local restaurant and then more beer. Gerrit played music for us with a guitar that was left in our accomodation, and we basically just spent the night socializing, before taking a night walk along the train tracks, star-gazing and feeling insignificant.
Day 3: From Lillooet to Whistler to Squamish
Day three began as every other. I was up early and I wrote as I usually do. My companions had been up until very early in to the morning, so I wasn’t counting on them to wake up any time soon. I went for solo hike to grab coffee, listen to music and to take more photos. When I arrived back at our accommodation, we packed and cleaned and set off on our journey once more.
This time we climbed the mountains to higher altitudes. Mountaintops began to dawn crowns of snow and ice, even in the warm spring weather. We’d visited a glorious blue/green lake at the beginning of our journey and an hour or two later, a lake that was frozen solid enough to walk on with snow around that was two feet deep. It was cold up there, but that made sense as we headed in the direction of the famous ski village of Whistler, BC. We had no intention of skiing.
Things got a little weird on the drive to Whistler, because Gerrit decided to put Howard Stern on the satellite radio and unfortunately for us, he was doing a lengthy special about an event called “Fist Fest” which had to do with butt stuff and fists. Use your imagination, I’m not going to explain it to you. It was disturbing. I learned too much that day.
Again, we took more photos. Wandered the village and bought souvenirs like good little tourists, and then we departed once more to our third accommodation of the trip. This time we were sleeping in a tiny little trailer in some guy’s backyard in Squamish. The rain was also beginning to pour and turned the evening into something dismal where we all just laid in bed and spoke. Yet it ended up being an alright night.
Day 4: From Squamish to Vancouver and then to Mission, BC
Now dawned the beginning of our last full day in British Columbia, for Deven and I anyways. By this point, I think we were each becoming a little grumpy being in such close proximity to one another for so long. I know that I was and I could feel it in my friends too. Yet, we did our best to preserve our grand finale.
In Squamish we stopped for – can you guess? More coffee! Although, not before being halted on the sidewalk while a TV movie wrapped up production. There were some amazing murals painted on the back of a drug store in town that I had to photograph.
Afterwards, we were back on the road. Cruising along cliff side roads that offered views of the ocean and islands that lay off the coast. Vancouver Island lay a ways in the distance, and at one point we were able to spot some sneaky seals bobbing out of the ocean for a glimpse of their surroundings.
In Vancouver, we made our way to the downtown core. We ate a bowl of Indian curry to satiate our hunger, then proceeded to tour the city by foot. We toured the harbor and the business district. I, for one, am not a huge fan of big cities but I wanted to be able to say that I had visited Vancouver, so I was glad to be there. Big cities are just too busy for me. We stopped at another pub for a pint before getting back into our van and finishing up our journey with a drive to Mission. There we would stay at our last Airbnb before flying out again early in the morning.
It wasn’t a long trip nor a trip that bards will soon sing songs about in re-telling, but it was a bucket list trip for me for two reasons. The first was, I had always wanted to push my one friend, Deven, out of his comfort zone, which I did by bringing him out West. The second, was that I had always wanted to get up close and personal with the mountains of British Columbia.
I was somewhat self-destructive with the amount of booze that I drank with my companions but at the time I was quite stressed out. I was a new Dad in a relationship that didn’t last, trying to co-parent effectively while being on disability and dealing with the effects of a spine and nerve injury. So, I went a little more wild then usual on this one.
Maybe you’ve enjoyed it. Maybe you closed this page in disgust at our immaturity, but if you did that then you haven’t made it this far, so… *shrugs* 🙂
Have you ever been to British Columbia, Canada or would you like to go?
What was your experience like?