Today, July 10th, we headed out with a plan. It wasn’t a set in stone kind of plan, but it was a sketch. Before we left Hope, B.C. we stopped for Noel to take a few pictures of the Rambo Bridge. For those of you who are Rambo fans, this is the bridge that was in True Blood. This bridge is being taken down soon, and this was a festival to celebrate the movie and the bridge. Several minor actors from that movie where in town and there were several origional movie props. Revelers were also encouraged to dress up as Rambo. This town is surrounded by natural wonders and has a fascinating history entertwined with the railroads and the Hudson Bay Company, but Rambo is what they hang their hat on.
We headed out on Trans Canada 1 going west, when Noel spotted the sign for a town called Harrison Hot Springs. Noel remembered the name of the town from a travel book he’s read a billion times in the bathroom at home. He asked, “Do you want to get off and see it, the picture of it is beautful”. I had maybe a second to say yes or no so he could make the exit. We rarely go back once we’ve passed something so I had to decide. I shouted yes, not really knowing how far off the highway we were going to have to venture. The mountain range to the north seemed to put a limit on how far we could venture off our path and I said yes. We found oursleves in farm land of the Fraiser Valley. This was a valley nestled between mountains flanked on both it’s sides and seemed instantly different from anywhere we’ve been on this trip. That diversity always amazes me- Waterton is different from Banff and Lake Superior is different than Lake Huron. We noticed a sign in front of a house that read Canadian Hazel Nut Farm and decided to pull in for a look see. Inside was a little nondescript store selling, of course, hazel nut products made on this farm. The very nice woman behind the counter gave us many samples and descriptions of the surrounding area. Our favorite was their version of Nuttella, which was a million times tastier than the over processed version. My problem will be how will I ever go back to that without living near this farm? We then explored the farm. They have 8,000 hazell nut trees which drop their nuts in the fall. They were like soliders standing at attention, so straight and uniform. Henna stopped to play with their three black labs while we talked with a nice woman sweeping out back. When told we were headed toward Vancouver, she replied we couldn’t pay her to go there. Country people living outside a big city always seem to have disdain for their big city neighbors. We headed off with some new ideas of places to explore nearby. We also found out that Harrison Lake, our origional side trip, was having an art fair. The city was crowded, but we foud a parking spot and then found the beach. Henna caught three little fish in her hands while we watched her from the beach. We just sat their watching Henna lost in her own game, looking at the beautiful mountain views and aqua colored lake. We thought how nice it would be to drop some kayaks in the lake like our Waterton friends could do, and dreamed of future days when we can do that. Our next rendevous was with a neighboring cheese farm. The gouda was gooda enough (Noel’s joke). An added bonus was our free access to the farm which allowed us to approach sheep (who cowered in terror) and pet the goats and dairy cows. All the extras (gelato too) helped to pad our picnic taken out of Subie’s fridge (the cooler). Freedom at it’s best. We then headed toward Vancouver on route 7, which paralled the bigger highway 1. We didn’t make it into Vancouver as planned, but stopped about twenty miles east in Surrey. We enjoyed the pool at the Holiday Inn Express, played a new water game of “treasure hunt” and enjoyed a delicious greek meal from a local restaurant. The decision to exit when we did was a good lucky choice.