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!