Monday, March 26, 2012

West along the Crowsnest Highway

Friday and Saturday promised to be two more good travel days .....

sun sun sun

That was all the incentive we needed to get back on the road to continue our trek west through southern BC along the Crowsnest Highway.  

THE plan - Castlegar to Chilliwack in two days! Here's how it turned out!

A final picture of 3 generations - a goodbye to Derek's dad and step mom.

It was a good thing that the weather was better since heading west out of Castlegar means climbing up and over the Bonanza Pass through the Monashee Mountains. The elevation of 5,036 ft means SNOW..... lots of snow. A surprising amount of snow for this time of year. Thank goodness the roads were dry and the sky was blue.

Exactly WHAT was I thinking when I grumbled during our drive from Nampa to the border about going up and down, up and down! They have NOTHING on BC along this stretch of highway and these are mountain roads - up and down - and CURVY! say no more!

up ......

and down!

Not to far along the way we stopped at a rest area, since Canada doesn't have too many it is best to grab the opportunity when you can. Of course Roofous was the happiest with this since it gave him a chance to play and roll in the snow. 

Toddler meets Parent - 'No I don't want my shoes on!' 

Gotta love the mountain streams - love love love the red dogwood.

A picture of Christian Lake - one of the warmest lakes in Canada. The town of Christina Lake is a popular summer place. Kool Treat is our favourite stop there but alas it is too early for this great burger and shake joint. We HIGHLY recommend if you go by in the summer!

By the time we were between Christina Lake and Grand Forks there was no longer snow on the ground - it looks quite spring like here compared to the higher elevation we just came from.

We took a quick tour around Grand Forks to see what was new AND to take a look at the historic Grand Forks Hotel. Sadly we had heard from Derek's dad that it had just burned down. I couldn't find on the internet how old it was, Derek and I had lunch there with a friend back in 2003.

We then carried on to Greenwood to visit a boyhood friend of Derek's that he grew up with in Mackenzie BC. Greenwood is a neat little town with one main street lined with historic buildings. A bit of trivia for you - the 1999 movie Snow Falling on Cedars with Ethan Hawke was filmed there.

Downtown Greenwood is very picturesque with lots of little shops and a few restaurants. Stop in at the Ruffled Raven Boutique if you go.

We stopped in Greenwood to visit Will. Derek and Will have been friends since they were eight but haven't seen each other in 19 years - WoW - time sure flies doesn't it! This was my first time meeting Will whom I have heard about for the last 10 years. 

Cassia enjoyed the rocking chair on the front porch.

We couldn't stay too long and visit since we had a schedule to keep. A actual schedule if you can believe that! We had to be at the Storage place in Osoyoos to pick up our u haul cargo trailer - no time to dawdle. 

The one blip in the day's travel was the hill down into Osoyoos - not a problem really but it is very steep - towing a trailer meant taking out time. A beautiful view though!

A somewhat ariel view of Osoyoos. Osoyoos is also a popular summer town because it gets very hot but has the lake and beaches for recreation.

This is the last picture of our first travel day. From Osoyoos we drove to Keremeos - 48 kms (30miles), dropped of our travel trailer at the storage place, then drove BACK to Osoyoos - 48 kms (30 miles), picked up the u haul trailer and then drove BACK to Keremeos - 48 kms (30 miles). 

a whole lotta fun there!

We have been looking up against this for months now but it HAS to get done. We have had our stuff in storage since we left Keremeos in the fall of 2010. We should have moved it out last spring but we procrastinated and then started working and it couldn't be done. We promised ourselves this winter that we would get it done this year.

So - here we are.

Getting Cassia set up in the trailer with a movie and some toys, Derek and I spent the evening - about 3 hours - filling the trailer. Boy what a job! All of our stuff + some of Derek's mom's stuff fits in a space of 6 'x12' and we STILL have too much stuff!

The next morning we were up early and on our way - again. Travel day number two - Keremeos to Chilliwack. 

Keremeos, Keremeos, Keremeos how we love thee!

Ahhhh Keremeos! This IS Derek and my favourite place to live. We first tried to move here back in 2006 when we moved off of Vancouver Island. By the time our house sold, there was nothing there that we could afford because the market was hot then. When we moved back from Saskatchewan in 2009 we were determined to live there, so we rented. The year we spent living in Keremeos, in a great house with a garden, was the best year of my adult life! no joke!

Being here again only convinced Derek and I that this is where we belong - we are intent to again settle in Keremeos and STAY! How we are going to accomplish this is still a mystery but we are two determined people so it will happen some how, some way.

Keremeos definitely seems to be struggling in some areas (in these hard economic times who isn't?) but it has everything we want in the place we live - small town, great temperatures for gardening, and all the amenities we need. We both love all the fruit stands and I HAVE to live near a library.

So - we are going to move back to Keremeos - we'll keep you updated on our progress through our blog.

Alas, this day it was time to hit the road.

Just west of Keremeos stands this little white church. It was in  The Pledge with Jack Nicholson. A great movie if you haven't seen it yet. Scenes were also filmed in Lytton, the town closest to the provincial park that we work at. 

The trip from Keremeos to Hope continues on the Crowsnest Highway. It is very winding and up and down and not a favourite road of ours. It is also a pretty bad road surface wise. Sheesh - Derek and I couldn't think of a road that we were on the whole five months in the States that was this bad. Potholes! Lots of them! 

AND another PASS! 

So it was back into snow as we went through Alllison Pass - elevation 4,403 ft and Manning Provinical Park.  Manning Park is a popular recreational destination year around - there is a lot to do there from skiing to camping - we prefer the summer time!

LOTS of snow - this wall of snow measured about 15 feet!

At Hope the Crowsnest Highway meets the Trans Canada Highway which we took west to take us to the Fraser Valley and the city of Chilliwack. Much different from where we had come - green grass! The Fraser Valley is an large agricultural area west of Vancouver.

The only picture of the u haul trailer. I guess I was too busy packing to take any pictures.

Almost there!

Derek's sister and family lives in Chilliwack as does his mom. This is the end of the line for us and a place to store out stuff. We are going to visit here for a while and get some good family time in before we head to our final destination - north to the Provincial Park where we live and work for the summer. 

Although this is close to the end of our travels it is far from the end of our blog. I hope you continue to check in on our life - I have lots of things to write about and some big news about our plans for next winter and the BIG plans I have for our blog 'a life made simple'.

Thanks for sticking with us!


Today's Interesting Link: The area encompassing Osoyoos and to a certain extent Keremeos is called the Okanagan. After the Fraser Valley it is BC's main fruit/veg growing area - it is also filled with vineyards and wineries. We love the Okanagan region - especially around the city of Penticton - because it is hot and dry with lots to see and do - if you plan on traveling through BC in the summer it is a must stop!


  1. I had a map out while I was following your progress along the Crowsnest Hwy .. LOL.

    Hey, just whisper to us, but what are your big plans for next winter and your blog ??

    You know for a fact that we will be following your journey, because your family is just so darn cute !!

    Sending a prayer that one day ( soon ) you end up with your goal of living in Keremeos !!

    Stay safe ... Trent and Teresa

    1. I hope you can make it BC one day and travel along the #3 highway - it is a nice way to see BC. Hopefully one day you can come visit us in Keremeos!

      This would be a VERY loud whisper LOL - not to worry my friends I'll get to those 2 posts soon!

      Hope you are feeling better!

  2. Isn't it great to get back HOME!!! You've had a great trip the last 5 months, seen a lot, done a lot, took a lot of photos....THANK YOU for sharing it all!! I had a great time checking in every day to see what you were up to!! Not going to stop now!!


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