We left the Belltown Inn in Seattle at about 7:30am and at the recommendation of the front desk staff went down the street to a little cafe for some coffee and a breakfast to hit the road with.
The map below explains everything. The weather had gotten significantly worse in the 2 days we had been in Seattle. Before there was dry ground, clear roads and bright sunshine. Now this had all be replaced with the desolate snow that we had thought we had left behind (although to be fair we haven’t seen much this year). Snoqualmie Pass was worse than before and we saw numerous vehicles (small cars in fact) putting on chains. Again we drove it line normal sane people and had no problems.
The Canada boarder crossing at Eastport / Kingsgate (just north of Boners Ferry or south of Fernie) is under construction dn we went single file thought the maze of ATCO trailers.
The rest of the drive from about 1 hour before Fernie until highway 2 was mostly a whiteout blizzard that involved us following snowplows at about 65 KM/h.
All together it took us 13 hours to get home and see our cats who were very excited to see us and got showered with petting and love.
What other passenger vehicle has sold to more than six million people and elicits these sorts of descriptions from owners? Heaven on wheels. A Swiss Army knife. Freedom. Human qualities. Cultural icon. Imprint on cortex of brain. Open road. Adventure. Romantic. A song. Big movie screen.
These are but a few nouns and adjectives used to describe the iconic Volkswagen bus. This documentary film premieres Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilma 1 Theatre.
We debated bringing Ziggy, but with the distance, (we are planning on going all the way to Seattle and back) the short time-frame and the fact that Ziggy has been parked since November, we decided the car was the better vehicle for this trip. It will make us sad to see all the other VW busses converging on Missoula. Apparently, there will be a caravan of VWs heading over from the Seattle area on Weds the 22nd!.
For our trip, we managed to leave work a bit earlier than normal, around 4; washed the car, got some food for the road (Coco Brooks pizza), and hit the road heading for Fernie. We have updated our map page to have our real-time satellite tracker map. (It uploads our position every 10 minutes and has an emergency SOS assist button if we run into trouble. We got it as a safety net for our Ziggy travels where we are out of cell range.)
The roads were good, clear and dry until we hit highway 3 (Crowsnest highway) and found out where all the snow has been hiding. A few active snow plows, sanders and a slower 20–30 km below the posted limit. We got through the storm and arrived into Fernie looking for a place to sleep for the night.
We tried the Best Western Plus which looked nice, but was totally full! On a Wednesday night! (Yes, we know — ski town, ski season). We wound up at the Travelodge. The Aussie girl at the front counter was sweet, but other than that, I’m afraid we will avoid this stop in the future. Our room was dirty (like stained face cloths, a small pile of garbage in one corner and grimy bathroom floors — we did our best not to look too closely at our bed, short of the bedbug check) and there was NOHOTWATER this morning! We even tried a couple of times, but no luck.
We are now heading off to find some breakfast, and then on to Missoula!
Admittedly, in the past 6 months or so since our wedding, the frequency of our adventures has ebbed to a relative low. We have temporarily shifted our gazes inward, to our home, and each other. Not a bad thing, unless you have your hearts set on lots of new blog posts…
On the September long weekend, we headed out west. We spent the first night in Yoho National Park, at a provincial campground. To our great surprise, we ran into some friends of ours at the same campground in the morning. It was great to have breakfast with them around their awesome morning campfire, and they invited us to go hiking with them that day. It was a beautiful hike, up to a perfect blue-green lake, where we had a picnic lunch, and found lots of frogs (or toads, I’m not really sure which). After the hike, our friends had to head back home, and we aimed south, towards the Purcell Mountain Range. We found the beautiful, peaceful campground by Mitten Lake (thanks to our Camp Free in BC book) for Saturday night. It was postcard perfect, complete with calling loons. We will certainly seek it out again sometime. On Sunday morning we got up and headed further south, then back east a little — down to the Crowsnest Pass, to visit my Aunt & Uncle at their cabin in Coleman. We chit-chatted around the fire, then had a dip in the hot tub. On Monday we had a lazy day — Worked on crossword puzzles together, and Cora took us each on a quick Rzr (basically an all-terain golf cart) ride. In the early afternoon, we wandered back home.
In early November, we flew out to White Rock BC to visit Brian’s mom and aunt for their birthdays. Technically we were there on his mom’s birthday, but his aunt’s being only a week prior, we took them both out for birthday dinner celebrations. We went to Seasons in the Park, at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park (the highest land point in Vancouver), then back to Auntie Lee’s place for Wacky Chocolate Birthday Cake. As usual on our trips to the GVA, we did lots of walking around, breathing in the wonderful sea air. We even got to visit our buddy Chris who lives in North Van. We were just out for the weekend, which felt far too short — but it was all the time Brian could afford with work at the moment.
We’ve stayed in Calgary this Christmas season, working around the house, and relaxing a bit — which has been nice. In a couple weeks, we’ll be heading back down to The Crowsnest to Cora’s & Tom’s cabin again, with my sisters as well. We will have good food, good company, good times.
Beyond that, we are planning to go on a Mediterranean Cruise in the spring — Sort-of a Honeymoon part 2, and a trip to Hawaii in January 2013 with sisters, bro-in-law, aunt, uncle and cousin! Lots to look forward to, the next year promises to be an exciting one!
We arrived back in Calgary in the middle of the Calgary Stampede with Brian having asthma/allergy breathing issues (likely due to all the hay in town for Stampede) and trying to get back in the swing of the working world and not having a new hot spring soak every day. We have been able to take a few mini-trips by doing some caving out in Canmore (blog post here: http://www.twobsinablog.ca/2011/09/canmore-caving/), day trips to Banff, and enjoying the company of friends from out of town. On the September long weekend we were also able to get out to the mountains and do some hiking and visiting Brandi’s aunt & uncle in the Crowsnest Pass.
Now our long range plans are focusing our sights on the next big adventure by planning a Honeymoon 2.0 for next year — we’re currently thinking The Mediterranean in the spring.
Friday brought us another beautiful day and more hot springs! After the traditional pancakes with blueberries (and a bit of scrambled eggs on the side), we drove from Goat River to Cranbrook where we restocked some supplies (Tim Hortons coffee, bbq lighter, s’more fixin’s).
We drove up through Kimberly and Invermere, before winding our way up to Lussier hot springs.
The hot springs were PACKED: A couple families with small kids, a big group of rowdy drinking teenage boys, and a few quieter older couples. With the river run-off still so high, only one pool was accessible, and it was ‘warm’ at best. Everyone was crowding into the one available pool, but fortunately we were able to find a small nook, a bathtub-sized section, just meant for the two of us, where we huddled in and soaked up the minerals. My silver rings turned this weird reddish-brown colour (which hadn’t happened in any of the other springs we’ve visited recently). I intended to get some photos of the effect, but they buffed back up to silver before I remembered to do so.
Once we’d had enough of the splashing, shrieking kids, and the loud obnoxious drunk boys, we headed back up to the van, and drove further up White Swan forestry road to find another Camp Free BC camp site some 50 Km from the highway.
We found a really beautiful spot right next to the river. There were some older couples camping just down the way from us, and when we pulled in, one of them and all 3 of their dogs came over to welcome us and ask where we’d been, and where we were headed. We chit-chatted a bit, but when he heard we were just married, he left us alone — but not before cracking jokes about if the van’s a-rockin, he won’t come a-knockin. Haha.
We noticed it was getting cold, and thought it must be a chill off the water, so we started to bundle up. The wind picked up more and more — before long, it was incredibly windy! Cooking and keeping things from flying away was a huge challenge. We decided to make an early night of it and hid in the van, playing crib and drinking warmed red wine (a trick we learned from that Swiss couple we met in Golden a few months back).
Saturday morning we hit Radium Hot Springs, and then were on the road back home. We thought about also stopping at Banff Hot Springs, but by the time we were 1.5 hours from home, we decided we would rather just get back home to our cats, get some laundry on, start the transition back to real life.
By now, we’ve been home for almost a week — and the transition’s been a little rough. Our fun little adventures are always tough to leave behind. Plus, Brian is having some asthma/allergy issues (likely due to all the hay in town for Stampede). We’re back to work (though allowed to wear jeans all week, thanks to Stampede!), and we’re now focusing our sites on future adventures!
On the large scale, we are planning a Honeymoon 2.0 for next year — we’re currently thinking The Mediterranean in the spring. On a smaller scale, we’re only halfway through the summer and are sure to have many more Ziggy adventures in the next couple of months.