Sunday, July 22, 2007

Into Canada!

Location, Hope, BC

I started packing this morning. Fortunately it wasn’t raining, just overcast. By the time I had the truck packed; Candi came by to pick us up for breakfast. We went to a restaurant called “The Rusty Nail”; it sounds more like a bar than a restaurant, and had a very nice simple breakfast.

We came back to the RV and finished packing, dumping tanks, pumping up the tires and air bags, and checking the slide outs for water puddles. There was no water only a few leaves on the slides but I wanted to make sure.

We left Hidden Village RV Park about 11:15 AM and drove north on the “Guide” to E. Badger Road and to Sumas, WA. The line was fairly long waiting to cross but eventually they opened another lane so about ½ hour later we were through. They asked

“Where are you from”?

“Where are you going”?

“Have you been to Canada before”?

“Do you have any firearms”?

“Do you have any pets”?

“Are you bringing in any fresh fruit or vegetables”?

That was it. No questions about liquor or meat. We were through in a few minutes. One suggestion for anyone crossing the border either way with a diesel pickup, pull up to the booth and turn your engine off. The agents really appreciate that.

Within a few miles we turned east onto Trans-Canada Hwy 1 and headed for Hope, BC our intended stop for the day. Canada 1 is a very good highway. Those of us from Californian can really appreciate a nice road after the kinds of roads we are driving on in California.

Hwy 1 goes northeast up the Fraser Valley. There are pine covered mountains on both sides with waterfalls coming down the steep slopes. It really is very pretty. The low clouds stayed on the mountains all day and really added to the scenery.

We checked into the “Wild Rose RV Park west of Hope. There were a lot of empty sites but filled up later in the day. We did not have reservations but if you arrive early there is always room.

We drove into Hope which is known as the “chainsaw art capitol of Canada”. There are statues everywhere in town carved with chainsaws. We parked on the street across from the city park where a concert was being held from 2-4 PM. We walked the streets looking at the art work and eventually stopped at Dairy Queen for a Blizzard. Sinful I know, but oh so good.

We drove up Hwy 1 to the little town of Yale, an old gold rush town. There isn’t much there but an old church with a museum. In 1858, Yale was the largest town west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. Yale was once the provincial capitol of British Columbia and eventually asked to join with the rest of Canada.

On our way back to the campground, we stopped in Hope for groceries. Prices are somewhat higher in Canada but the difference between the US dollar and Canadian dollar is minimal. I changed $29.96 US dollars at the Bank in Lynden for $30 dollars Canadian. For the most part, we us our credit card for major purchases. I did call the credit card company and let them know what dates we would be in Canada. We once tried to us our credit card outside the US and found that it wouldn’t work. So call before you go. Also, you can register with the US State Department on-line to let them know when you will be traveling outside the US. They are better able to help you if you get in trouble. We also got a “yellow” card for Canada from our auto insurance company before we left home. It is best to be prepared.

After we finished at the grocery store, we found a road to Silver Lake south of Hope. It is about 6 km on a partial paved road to the lake and campground. The best reason to take this road is the spectacular waterfall about 1 km from the lake. It drops straight down the steep hillside to the Silverhope River. A good way to finish our site seeing.

The Silverhope River.

If you build a cabin with a wood roof in this wet country, here is what it looks like after 50 years.