Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Camping and Othello Tunnels

So this weekend I had the tough decision of heading to seattle for a friends keggar birthday party, or spending some quality time with my brothers camping. I decided to choose the latter and on friday afternoon packed up my brothers Mitsubishi Delica and headed out to Hope for a little bit of nature. First stop was Taco Luis for some lunch. One solid burrito later we were back on the road, although about three hours later than we had anticipated. Second stop was to visit our cousins out in Aldergrove. It was nice to sit on the porch and catch up with my cousin Gabe, wander through their forest and visit the various animals. They have a wide collection of domesticated pets including "Cookie" the pot bellied pig.

After quick visit we made our way to Chilliwack to meet up with Miles' old roommate Steve and do some shopping for the trip. Heading east we decided to give Jones Lake a shot for a campsite and had to switch the vehicles into 4X4 mode to climb the steep snowy road up into the alpine lake region. The higher we got, the more snow we saw and quickly realized that we may be in for a lot more than we bargained for as most of us hasn't brought much winter clothing or any winter boots. We parked the truck and made our way onto the snow where we snapped a few pictures, debated the pros and cons of camping in such a cold and wet area and promptly hopped back in the van to find another spot.

Eventually we found Silver Creek just outside of Hope as the sun started to fall. Needless to say we weren't the only ones with the idea of camping during easter long weekend. We had a really hard time driving the logging road at night, searching for a vacant spot at the side of the creek. Two hours later, a dozen U-turns and a crew of tired disgruntled travelers later, we found a cozy little spot not far from where we had originally been driving.

Steve's friend Brent and Dean shower up just after we had arrived, we started a fire and the festivities began. Due to our late arrival time, we ended up having a few drinks an bullshitting until early in the morning. The next day was fantastic weather and we took our time cooking breakfast before heading out to Silver lake and taking a ride in Brent and Dean's zodiac.

We camped out one more night as the rest of the crew left to return for Sunday dinners in Vancouver. Beautiful weather prevailed and as we left the next day we decided to make a side trip to Othello Tunnels just past Hope on the Coquihalla Highway. Amazing tunnels originally built as part of the Kettle Valley railroad, they are now a provincial park that is well worth checking out. Massive dark tunnels, carved out of the rock that open up onto amazing views of the whitewater of the river flowing underneath, it is certainly a technical marvel considering when it was built. If you're passing through the coquihalla area, I highly recommend checking it out.

After all the adventure, beautiful scenery and random delays, I was really glad I made the effort to spend some more time with my brothers before I leave for Europe. It was nice to reconnect with the majestic British Columbian wilderness one last time before I leave to embrace the european culture. Although I am ready to taste the sweet beers of europe, I know a piece of me will always be here captured by the beauty of the west coast.

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