Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.
|Saturday, July 16, 2016 07:54:59|
BC Interior 2016: 1. A Rolls Trip
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Marilynn and I caught the 7 AM BC Ferry from Victoria to Tsawwassen, near Vancouver BC Canada, driving our 1957 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. We arrived in Revelstoke in time to have a late lunch at the Big Eddie Pub with friends John & Lee Campbell. That night we stayed in the town of Golden at the quite good Swiss Village Inn.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
We made an early start to cross the mountains so we would arrive in Banff by 9 AM to pick up Lifeng Liu and her son Hongyi. Hongyi had been in school in Ottawa, and had just graduated. It was Lifeng who got the Rolls into China in 2007 when everyone said it was impossible, and subsequently became a good friend. She had mentioned that she would like to see the Rocky Mountains, so the meeting in Banff was arranged.
Our first stop was at the beautiful Morain Lake, and later at Lake Louise. Lunch was at The Crossing Restaurant, interesting as the customer needed to cook their own meat, even if it was only a hamburger or hot dog. The weather was clear and warm when we stopped at the Columbia Ice Fields, where Lifeng and Hongyi hiked up to the edge of the glacier. In the evening we had a good meal in Jasper before settling for the night at the Chateau Jasper.
Monday, June 27, 2016
We went up the Sky Tram for a spectacular view of Jasper and the surrounding area, including various mountain ranges. Mount Robson, the highest in Canada, was visible in the distance, but we later saw it close up after some hours of driving. At Mud Lake we stopped to take a ride in a jet boat with River Safari. We hadn't had much luck in spotting wildlife so far, but in the boat we were able to get close to four different bears, 3 black and one grizzly. The night was spent at the Ace Motel in the small town of Clearwater where another good dinner was enjoyed on the shores of a small lake.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Marilynn needed to get back to Victoria, so we drove her to the Kamloops airport where she could fly on Westjet to Victoria via Calgary. Unfortunately, I had made a small error in purchasing the tickets - they were dated for September. After some drama and the payment of additional funds Marilynn was able to get on the flight for which we thought she was scheduled.
Lifeng, Honyi and I visited a ginseng facility, and a historic stream train, where the engineer was just locking up. He was kind enough to open up for us and give us a good private tour. We spent the night in Vernon at the Schell Motel. Hongyi and I went for a swim in a very cold lake, followed by a superb meal at the Grill House.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
We started with a tour of the city, which is famous for murals painted on the side of many buildings. At Planet BEE we learned a great deal about honey bees, and were able to taste a variety of meads before going to a Cidery where we sampled a number of ciders after learning what is involved in producing it. At Armstrong we sampled cheeses and had lunch, before having a long talk with the owner who was admiring the Rolls in the parking lot.
We then drove hwy 6, which crosses Arrow Lake on a free ferry. On the ferry I was talking with a fellow whose grandparents own a motel on the other side of the crossing. We went there, and found even though it was not scheduled to open until the following day, they would fix up rooms for us for the night, however we declined when we found there was nowhere in the area to eat. A short drive took us to Nakusp where we arranged rooms and dinner at the Rotor Lodge. Sleeping was difficult, as the temperature was up in the 40s C and the room was not air conditioned. We all went for a walk along the lake before bed.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Our first stop was in the ghost town of Sandon, a few kilometers up a gravel road. At the height of the silver boom in the area the population was 6,000. It had 5 silver smelters and 8 power plants for electricity. Only one power plant is still operating - it is the oldest continuously operating power plant in Canada and still sells electricity to BC Hydro. The town was one of the first to have all buildings with electricity and electric street lights. It was interesting to talk to the couple who are the remaining residents and run a small store there, and to their son who was educated through home schooling, as there are no schools anywhere near.
In Kelso we walked over what we were told is the oldest fully restored paddle wheeler in the world, the SS Moyie, before driving to the City of Nelson where we stayed at the Alpine Inn. After dinner in town Lifeng went to walk part of the Trans Canada Trail and Hongyi went to a gym to work out. I spent a long time on the computer trying to find lodging ahead, having forgotten it is the Canadian Canada Day on July 1 and US Independence Day on July 4. The two long weekends sent people flocking to the area, booking up everything in site. I finally found a place in Princeton on Expedia, past where we would have ideally stayed, but when I phoned they said they were full and Expedia should not have taken the booking. After some discussion they said they would find something for us, but we'd have to change rooms for the second night.
Friday, July 1, 2016
We started on a long drive early, stopping in Grand Forks to stretch and have an A & W breakfast. In Osoyoos we stopped at a visitor information centre after fighting through stop and go traffic on the main street. Lifeng wanted to see a recommended winery, so we fought back through traffic again to get there in intense heat. It turn out we had just missed the wine tour, so we carried on to Princeton and check into the Villager Inn, run by a delightful couple Bruce & Gina. As promised, they had rooms ready for us. We toured the small town in the evening, eating at the excellent Little Creek Grill.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
In the morning we drove to Penticton, on the south end of Okanagan Lake, finding parking at the Radisson Hotel which is right on the lake. Here Hongyi had a couple of new experiences, starting when we both rented jet skis or seadoos, and spent half an hour crashing through the waves at up to 85 kph. He then tried his hand a para-sailing, thoroughly enjoying both experiences. We drove the the small Pentage Winery for a tour conducted by the owners, then stopped in the small town of Keremeos for dinner on the way back to Princeton.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
We drove the Hope-Princeton Highway in the first rain showers of the trip. At Hope we turned north to visit Hell's Gate on the Fraser River, riding the tram over the rapids. Traffic heading into Vancouver was very heavy, the freeway was often at a standstill, so I took to the back roads to avoid the congestion. We met up with Marilynn at the Accent Inn - she had arrived by ferry and bus from Victoria. We all met up with friends Chi Pham, her husband and her sister for a big Chinese dinner. Chi manages Bestway Tours in Vancouver.
Monday, July 4, 2016
Lifeng left the hotel at 4 AM for her flight to Beijing, China. I drove Hongyi to the airport for his noon flight, then Marilynn to the ferry for her return trip to Victoria, after which I embarked upon my normal week in Vancouver seeing business associates and friends.
On July 20 Marilynn and I will be off to Japan, so more stories will follow shortly.