Friday, May 11, 2012

Going South


I have gone South of 49 for a few days to spend Mother's Day with my mom in Spokane. It is nice to be here and see her settled into her new place. But oh my do I dread the drive down. It takes anywhere from 7 1/2 to 9 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions. I decided that this time I would turn the trip into a blog post. Stopping to take the photos along the way added about an hour onto the drive, but it was worth it. It turned something that I normally dread into a fun project. It felt a bit like all of you were on the journey with me.

6:40 AM: I packed a lunch and headed out the door.

7:30 AM: A few miles outside the small community of Falkland.

8:15 AM: This is Kalamalka Lake, just south of Vernon. I would have gotten a closer picture of the flowers, but there are rattlesnakes in those hills.

8:45: The apple orchards just outside of Kelowna were in full bloom.


9:30 AM: As I drove south from Kelowna I spent the next two hours driving through the mountains. The Kettle River followed me most of the way down.

10:15 AM: As I came out of the mountains and into open pastures there were 2 cowboys herding their cattle. Sorry for the poor picture quality, but I didn't have time to stop the car and get out to take this picture. (In hindsight I have to admit rolling down my passenger side window and taking the photo while driving down the highway might not have been in the best judgment, but I really wanted to be able to put this on my blog.)



10:30 AM: Rock Creek has one redeeming feature. A PetroCan station with a clean bathroom.

11:15 AM: Welcome to Greenwood, BC! This is my favourite part of the trip. Greenwood is a small town with a big personality. The buildings along the main street look much as they would have 100 years ago.

As nice as it is, it isn't the heritage character of the town that I look forward to. I'm focused on the Deadwood Junction, purveyor of locally made salted caramels. Without a doubt The Best I have ever eaten. I rounded out the box of chocolates with a piece of flourless Hungarian Hazelnut Cake. After all, I needed to keep my strength up for the long drive!

12:15 PM: Just a few kilometers north of the border I stopped at Cascade Falls. There were no other cars, which made me a bit nervous since I was by myself. But I bravely headed out on the trail in search of the falls. The roar of the falls could be heard long before it became visible. The gently flowing Kettle River that I followed south had changed into a raging torrent. I am not very fond of heights, and looking over the edge made me feel icky. So did the thought that the bushes I was walking through were most likely thick with wood ticks.

12:45 PM: I am finally at the Canada - US border. I took this picture even though I knew it probably wasn't allowed. I was right. When I pulled up to the window the officer asked if I had taken a picture. I said yes and he asked to see it. Then I got a short lecture on how it was a security risk.

1:10 PM: I follow the Kettle River, which has returned to normal, for a few more kilometers.

2:00 PM: As I head farther south the sky and land expand.

2:22 PM: My final bathroom stop is on the Spokane Indian Reservation. It wins the award for the most colorful sign.

3:30 PM: I made it!

The trip was just under 600 kilometers long. It helped a lot to stay focused on blog photos instead of how many more kilometers I had to go before I could finally have a cup of tea (it's always the first thing I do when I arrive). Thanks for enduring this travelogue, and if anyone has an idea for making the trip home go faster I would love to hear it!

42 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the trip! The hazelnut cake sounded delicious, but my heart did stop when you mentioned rattlesnakes. Yikes! I wouldn't have stopped the car. When I used to hike in northern CA, those suckers were everywhere ... used to scare the bejezus out of me.

    What a smart thing to do (stop and take pictures). When I have a long driving trip, I try to break it up with visits to yarn and fabric shops. Not economical, but fun.

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    1. I really like your idea of breaking up a long drive with stops at yarn shops! Unfortunately you can see from the pictures there aren't too many of those on the drive. I do usually order something from The Loopy Ewe and have it waiting for me at my mom's though. This time it was a skein of Wollmeise sock yarn. :-)

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  2. Field trip! Thanks for taking us along! Great pictures. I thought the border guard would make you delete the photo :)

    Now I want a box of chocolates, though.....

    By the way, fellow Mac'er, what photo program are you using to get the nice borders on your lovely photos?

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    1. I was sure he was going to make me delete the picture too! I am using an app on my iPad called Photogene to do my pictures. I transfer them to my computer and use them on my blog if I am at home. When I am away I blog straight from my iPad using an app called Blogsy. I am still on the search for an app that is for the Mac that will do a similar thing.

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  3. what a beautiful drive! I have fond memories of Greenwood, but ugh, those woodticks...enjoy mother's day weekend with your mom!

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    1. Wasn't Greenwood where you got all those ticks? I am serious when I say I would rather encounter a bear than a tick!

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  4. Thanks for taking us with you, what gorgeous views and scenery along the way. Enjoy the time with your Mum, and travel safe!

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    1. It was a lot of fun thinking about what to put in my blog post as I drove along all those kilometers! Thanks for "going along" with me!

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  5. Next time we are so voing to hit Paradise Fibers!

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    1. I love Paradise Fibers! How about next time I am down we do a yarn crawl? We can hit both Paradise Fibers and A Grand Yarn.

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  6. Gorgeous photos and lovely post, i really enjoyed your trip, it put pictures of Canada in my head, lovely to have 'been' there with you! Enjoy your stay at your mother's!

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    1. Thanks! I love seeing pictures from bloggers like you who live in other countries, and that is what gave me the idea to do it. I am glad it helped you picture Canada in your mind. :-)

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  7. Thank you for sharing your trip. You travelled through some very beautiful scenery.

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    1. I hope you enjoyed the journey! I tend to take the scenery for granted, and slowing down to really look at it this time helped me appreciate it more than I usually do.

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  8. I LOVED THIS POST! What fun, seeing the whole trip like that. I'm not supposed to take a pic of the George Washington Bridge, either, but I do it and feel like a bad girl. :) No ideas for how to make the trip home as distracting as the trip down, but I hope you enjoy spending time with your mom --

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    1. Thanks Lori! I laughed when you said you took that forbidden picture of the George Washington Bridge. It reminded me of the picture I took at the North/South Korean border of the building on the North's side that we were absolutely forbidden to take a photo of. I just couldn't help myself. :-)

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  9. Listen to books on CDs to make the time go faster...

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    1. I am hoping you are right. I checked out several books on CD from the library before I left and plan to listen on they way home. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  10. What a wonderful post! The pictures are lovely. I work at the library and many commuters with long drives swear by books on CD! I bet you'll find it a good distraction. Safe travels!

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    1. Thanks! It is a long drive, but also a very beautiful one. I tend to take the natural beauty for granted and this helped me look at it with fresh eyes. I think the CDs will help the journey home go faster, but it is still going to be a very long day.

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  11. Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom! Thank you for sharing the pictures, you passed through some beautiful and interesting areas. I used to make a 9 hour round-trip drive semi-regularly and remember how nice it was to know where the clean bathrooms could be found. =)

    PS - I'm glad none of your Deadwood Junction purchases were confiscated at the border.

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    1. Clean bathrooms are a must. That PetroCan stop in my photos is well-known as the cleanest bathroom for many miles and there are always lots of vehicles stopped there.

      Never, ever would they have confiscated my Deadwood Junction salted caramels. I would have stuffed every single one into my mouth rather than hand them over. :-)

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  12. I thoroughly enjoyed your travelogue (or is it travelblog?), Kristie! What beautiful scenery; I enjoyed the whole trip, and I wasn't even tired when you arrived at your mom's home, LOL!

    Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom!


    Mary G. in Texas (where we don't have that lovely scenery, but we have a lot of lovely people!)

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures! And that you weren't tired upon arrival!

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  13. Thanks for the beautiful photo trip and taking us along with you! My husband and I are about to take one to Michigan (we live in NY and I think I will be doing the same thing you did. The one good thing I have is the fact that my husband does most of the driving..... so I get to knit. But I want to take photos and blog as well!!!

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    1. I hope you do the travel blog thing too. I would love to see the pictures! You are lucky to have your husband along. I do the drive to my mom's by myself and it gets pretty tiring towards the end.

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  14. I grew up in a family that loves to drive, so I don't mind trips like yours. String several (as in 3 or more) of those days together & THEN I'm tired of it ...

    I second the idea of listening to audiobooks -- that & a music selection is a must if I'm off car tripping by myself.

    Thanks much for the beautiful photos. And even though it's only 8:30a here, I've a craving for salted caramels.

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    1. I couldn't handle the thought of 3 days in a row of that much driving. One is the best I can do!

      It is never too early for salted caramels. :-)

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  15. great scenery and photos, makes me want to come back to US/Canada

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    1. It is beautiful, and sometimes I take it for granted. Taking these pictures on the way down helped me appreciate it more than I usually do. You should definitely come back for a visit!

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  16. That was fun! It's so different seeing hills covered with pine trees. My husband and I desperately want to visit Canada one day.

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    1. I think you would love visiting here! What are the hills where you live covered with?

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    2. The hills around where I live are mostly covered with eucalypt trees (gum trees) of all types (depending on soil, elevation, how wet/dry the ground is). In amongst these will usually be plants like wattles, banksias, native cherries, and shrubs like heath. Tasmanian bush is quite "shrubby" and often hard to walk through unless you're following a path.

      This is another of my blogs (link below), and has pics of the area I live in it - I don't update it much (as you'll see from my latest post), but I think you'll enjoy looking at it. The post I'm linking too probably has the best photos for you to see what the bush here is usually like. But not all of Tasmania is like this! We also have lots of rainforest, old-growth forests and plains and grass covered hills (due to the Aboriginal methods of caring for the land through the use of fire).

      http://thelandilivein.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/walk-with-me-mount-nelson-bush-reserve.html

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    3. Your third last photo reminds me a lot of central Tasmania after a lot of rain! We get similar views of a big flat/plateau and then hills and mountains in the background.

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    4. Thanks for the link to your other blog. I am heading over there right now to look at the pictures!

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    5. I hope you enjoy it! Subscribe if you want to, I plan on going back to it at some stage. Maybe. haha

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  17. Great pics! I was just traveling down Hwy 33 the other day with my girlfriend, picking up her dog from the breeder. I'm guessing that's the same road you were driving on. We didn't get as far as Rock Creek or Greenwood. One day, I hope.

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    1. Yes, it was Hwy 33. I find that stretch from Kelowna to Rock Creek to be the longest, most monotonous part of the drive. And if you get stuck behind a slow truck there are very few places to pass.

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  18. These pictures are beautiful! I've never been to that part of the country, but now I want to go. :)

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    1. Kelowna - the place with the picture of the orchards - is a huge tourist destination. There is swimming, hiking, wine tours, and many other things to do. You should come check it out!

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  19. Your pictures are gorgeous! I have to admit, the pictures make my longing to move out west worse, but something to look forward to.

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    1. I am almost afraid to say anything for fear of offending those who live in Ontario. :-) It is a very beautiful place to live. But Ontario is nice too!

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