In his usual manner (saying he felt great) Fred put in a long, hard day travelling through the mountains.
I remember a time when he drove a straight 24 hours before he stopped and another time we drove all night to get to Wyoming for the weekend and then back for work. But he is getting older – this time we did manage to stop at Salmon Arm, just before it got dark.
Nothing can compare with a trip through the Rocky Mountains especially in the winter.
From a distance, the mountains don’t seem like much but as you get closer and closer, you realize how massive and majestic they really are.
We took the Trans Canada Highway right through Banff National Park. Banff hosts about 3.5 million visitors every year and an additional 4.5 million that drive the Trans Canada and never stop in the Park. All this traffic takes it’s toll on the abundant wildlife that populates the Park so when they decided to expand the road from two to four lanes, they decided that something must be done to protect the animals.
Since 1996, they’ve opened six wildlife overpasses and 38 underpasses, which has allowed for more than 140,000 documented wildlife crossings. You don’t see the underpasses but the overpasses are fascinating.
Rather than take the Trans Canada through the Fraser Canyon, we took Highway 5 over the Coquilalla (el. 1,244 m or 4,081 ft) and dropped into the green, green fields of Hope. It’s amazing to see green fields this time of year. We stopped in to a grocery store and they were selling petunia bedding out plants. I couldn’t believe it – the first of February!!
Ferry to Vancouver Island
We left Langley early in the morning (we accidentally left our pillows there, too) and caught the ferry with no wait time.
I don’t think we have ever taken the ferry when it was sunny and warm. This was no exception but I still feel a sense of warmth and excitement each time we cross the straits from the Mainland to Vancouver Island.
When we drove up the ramp, the counter told us we were the 80th vehicle in that line to go up the ramp. There was another ramp beside us and two more on the other side of the ship.
I couldn’t find out how many vehicles or passengers each ferry holds but it runs into the hundreds. They can load a ferry within 15 minutes. It is quite a process.
We spent about an hour and a half wandering in and out amongst about a dozen small island as we wend our way from Vancouver to Victoria.
I’m not sure about spending so much time in the city but we will do our best!!