Friday, March 16, 2012

The trip north - a fork in the road

We have been at our friends for 16 days now......16 days......even with K and J's overwhelming hospitality and insistence of no imposition - at 16 days visitors are way past their expiration date -


The problem confronting us is the hold that winter still seems to have on the areas north of us and particularly our home province of British Columbia. While most of Canada and USA are enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures much of lower BC is stuck in a low with rain, snow and cool temperatures.

We have been watching the weather anxiously for more then a week now trying to plan our date of departure - we had planned to leave before or on March 12th. Each time we have picked a day, that seems better then the rest, the forecast has changed causing us to second guess our decision and stay put.

Castlegar's weather forecast for the next 6 days - from Environment Canada. YIKES!

We are trying to get to Castlegar BC where Derek's dad and step mom live. The problem of course is that they are situated in the mountains. From here we would head over to Pendleton Or, north to Walla Walla, Wa (excited to be going through Walla Walla - we've never been but used to buy our ornamental grasses from a company there) and then meander along the primary and secondary routes to the 25 taking us to the border just to the southeast of Trail. Our original plan took us through Spokane for a repeat visit to Trader Joe's but we nixed that plan - why go out of our way AND take on a large city just for TJ's.

ALMOST worth it but not quite.

Alternatively, we could forgo Castlegar and instead follow our tried and true route through Washington. From Pendleton we would head to Hermiston to the 730 and 12 around the tri city area of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland to the 395; Follow north past Moses Lake and Soap Lake to the 17 and over to Bridgeport up through Omak bringing us to Osoyoos BC. We went home that route last spring and came down it this last fall. This is a safe route because of it's lower elevation - it is a micro climate that seems to escape harsher weather fluctuations.

What to do, what to do, what to do? 

Who wants to drive in snow? Not us my friends!

If you live in the northwestern part of the USA or the southwestern of Canada it has been hard to miss the wet conditions of the weather these last few weeks. If we had known that March was going to be so wet and snowy we PROBABLY would have stayed south a bit longer.

I know, I know, we were in SUCH a panic to come back we should have known that this could happen. Being Canadians I guess we did but still - doesn't this March just seem so much worse then ALL the others in the past!?

What a crazy weather map from the Weather Channel - such a division between east and west.

We planned on detouring to Castlegar way back when we left Buckeye. Since we were ahead of schedule coming back to Canada and have lots of time to spare, we thought it was a good idea. A chance for Cassia to see her Grandparents - and for them to see her! She is a fast growing little girl!

The last time Cassia was in Castlegar with Grandpa - she was 10 months old. Don't worry - Grandpa did see her last summer!

While in Castlegar we were also really looking forward to visiting two of our favourite places - Ainsworth Hot Springs and the city of Nelson.

Ainsworth Hot Springs is one of our favourite hot springs in BC. It is just north of Nelson and notable for it's cave. We took Cassia there during our trip when the above picture was taken. So as mentioned in a few posts before, Cassia has been hot springing it for a while now.

On the way up or on the return we also look forward to stopping in Nelson. Did you know that one of the best coffee comes from a place in Nelson? 


Oso Negro is the place! One of THE best coffees we have had the good fortune to sample. We have also enjoyed the food at El Taco and the Fisherman's Market and Deli during past visits - and may again this time.

What to do, what to do, what to do?

We just don't want to run into snow mid trip nor do we want to have to battle snow when we travel from Castlegar to Keremeos, our next destination.

A pic taken by Derek here in early March. Snow snow go away - please!

Although you can't find it on the Environment Canada forecast for Castlegar, the Weather Network actually shows sun and no precipitation for that area for Monday. It shows the same for the Spokane area of Washington for Sunday. And so - we MAY choose those two days for travel. Meaning that tomorrow would be our last day here in Nampa.

Just one of the many ways Cassia and I have been filling our days!

Alternatively we were going to wait until the Monday to make a decision........

Well - we'll let you know what we decide!

10 - 4


Today's Interesting Link: Speaking of Lego - I was BIG BIG BIG into Lego as a kid. I am thrilled to see that even now Cassia seems to be enjoying it as well! Ahhh - the perks of parenthood a step back into my childhood. 

I wonder if we are ready to take on Dwell's Lego Modern Home Competition



    1. Thanks Blacksheep - hey I was on your site yesterday but didn't get a chance to comment - looks like all is well - maybe a mrs. blacksheep in the future! :)

  2. I sure wish I could wave a magic wand, and make the weather improve for our favourite little family !!

    Hang in there, and just use your best judgement ...

    Take care ... TnT

    1. How are your legs??! LOL

      Well, there is a break in the weather have been preparing all day and are on the road in the morning - should be a 2 day trip putting us in Castlegar Monday afternoon.

  3. It is March after all, even on the island we had snow flurries all day Wednesday, in like a lion out like a lamb - that's BC. Travel safely you four, you'll be in our thoughts.

    1. ha ha sure David? 5 months we are gone and you comment on the blog right at the end of our trip!!!! LOL

      I know this is March but still!!!! Anyway - it all worked out - thankfully we picked a good 2 days to travel!

  4. I laughed when you commented on how long that stretch of I-84 takes. Believe me, there are plenty of other stretches that drag on equally long - depending on your state of mind, and how often you travel it.

    It's been a crazy weather year for sure. Here in WI we are having summer practically and it's snowing in AZ. The world is upside down it seems.

    But the great part about this time of year is that snow wont last long. Enjoy your ride home.

    Away We Go

    1. Oh so true Peter - right - long long roads. A few posts back I talked about coming through Nevada. There is a list of roads for sure!

      Thanks for visiting our site. I went to yours - it looks interesting - I'll spend more time when I have some. :)

      We figure that we will really enjoy spring now having had some cold weather instead of just warm to warm.


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