On the Road in Southern BC

I’m in southern BC visiting family and friends for a week. Most of my time is being spent in Kelowna where it’s still summer – though the skies are hazy (smoky, smoggy?) so it’s nowhere near as pretty as it should be.

I was hoping for clear skies and good views on the way down last Tuesday, but haze and Jazz’s stupid seat configuration that gives nobody a real window seat combined to allow only a couple of photos. I believe this is Mount Waddington below.

Looking down on Vancouver just put a knot in my stomach and made me very glad that I had opted to fly right to Kelowna. I find it hard to believe now that 24 years ago I lived on the 27th floor of one of the towers on the left side of this photo (which shows Burnaby and New Westminster). In the spring of 1975 Denny and I moved from that apartment to the northern village of Stewart, where I went to work underground at the Granduc copper mine.

I spent a couple of days at my parents’ home in Westbank, then rented a car and headed for Abbotsford to visit a couple who have been friends since high school. The drive from Kelowna to Abbotsford provides great variety, starting with the dry-belt views along the Coquihalla Connector and ending in the lush upper Fraser Valley.

I’d love to be able to spend a couple of days in the Coquihalla Valley. My Dad used to take my brother and I exploring in the valley starting back in the late 1950s, then in the ’60s and ’70s I spent many, many days and nights there on motorbikes and 4×4s – this was long before the Coquihalla Highway was built. It’s certainly a different place now, and I’d like to see if any of the rough trails we used to bounce along still exist, and if any of the old Kettle Valley Railway trestles and buildings are still standing.

It was great seeing Dave and Jan again. Hot cars were one of the things that we used to have in common. For me that peaked with a wild modified ‘69 Camaro, but Dave has a real drag car to play with now 🙂

My daughter drove out from Calgary with her twins on Friday night – I miss being Grampa.

Two and a half days to go before heading North again. This trip, following on the heels of the Telegraph Creek trip, is too long – but it’s also much too short. Oh well, I’ll be driving down again in March.

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