August 6-12, 2013 – Agassiz, BC

We left Revelstoke on Tuesday morning and followed the TransCanada Highway through Kamloops and Cache Creek.  The highway turns south at Cache Creek and follows the Thompson River to the Fraser River and then follows the Fraser River all the way into Vancouver.  The drive was beautiful and the scenery changed a lot as the climate was a lot drier around Kamloops and Cache Creek and then started getting greener again as we headed south.   We stopped at Boston Bar along the Fraser River and spent the night at Canyon Alpine RV – a very nice campground across the highway from the river.

Wednesday morning we headed down the Fraser River and stopped at Hell’s Gate and rode the airtram.  The Hell’s Gate Airtram is the steepest non-supported tram in North America that descends across the Fraser Canyon. 

The view from the tram was gorgeous. Hell’s Gate is the deepest and narrowest section on the Fraser River.  It is 110 ft wide with over 200 million gallons of water flowing through every minute.  A massive land slide destroyed the salmon run in 1914 during the construction of the Canadian National Railway.  The International Fishways were constructed on either side of the canyon to enable the spawning salmon to navigate through Hell’s Gate.

On the far side of the canyon was a museum, gift shop, café and a fudge and ice cream shop.  We watched a very good film about the life cycle of the spawning salmon.  We also walked across a suspension bridge before we took the tram back up to the other side.

We then drove down the Fraser Canyon into the Fraser River Valley to Agassiz where our friends, Barry and Lynn, live.  We were able to camp in their yard beside their house – a nice, quiet and beautiful place to park.  Barry and Lynn live in the country on an small acreage next door to Lynn’s brother Monty and his wife Carol.  This is a very agricultural area with corn and blueberries the main crops.  There are also a lot of dairy farms – there is one just across the road.

Thursday morning, Barry, Rex, Nancy, Camille and Cody went for a hike to the Othello Tunnels.  The trail was on the abandoned Kettle Valley Railroad line.  The Kettle Valley Railroad provided freight and passenger service between the Kootenays and the west coast. This section of the  trail ran along the Coquihalla River. 

The trail was level but the terrain around it was very rugged.  We stopped for a rest on some rocks next to the trail.

We walked through a series of four tunnels that were connected by bridges.


The bridges between the tunnels gave us some beautiful views of the Coquihalla River.

We really enjoyed this beautiful hike – especially the fact the there were no steep climb. 

 Friday we drove to Vancouver and visited Stanley Park which is Canada’s largest urban park.  We had to drive through the heart of downtown Vancouver to get to the park.  Vancouver is a beautiful city but we do not like the crowds and especially all the traffic.  Stanley Park has a 5.5 mile long seawall around the park that you can walk or bike.  Our first stop was the Vancouver Aquarium where we were especially impressed with the many varieties of jellyfish on display.

We have never seen this kind of jellyfish before – white with purple spots.  

After viewing all the displays of fish, sharks, frogs, snakes, etc. inside we headed to the outdoor displays where we saw dolphins, seals, sea lions, penguins, otters, and Beluga Whales.  We watched a very impressive training session for the two Beluga Whales.  This was Mariah’s first time seeing a whale and she was very excited.

We really enjoyed the aquarium but it was so crowded that it was hard to get to see some of the displays.  We drove around the park to Ferguson Point and stopped at the Tea House for lunch.  This is the great view we got from the parking lot – this was also Mariah’s first time seeing the ocean.

After a great lunch at the Tea House we walked a short distance to Third Beach so Mariah could go swimming.  She was so excited to get to swim in the Pacific Ocean.

After spending about 3 hours swimming and collecting sea shells we finally got Mariah out of the water so we could head back to Agassiz.  We all had a great time here, especially Mariah as she loved the beach and the ocean – except she said the water tasted awful and soon learned to keep her mouth closed!

Barry and Lynn’s son Stewart, his girlfriend, Kathryn, and his 7 month old Husky, Otis, came for a visit over the weekend.  Otis went to the vet on Friday and got neutered so was banging around and running into everyone with his Elizabethan Collar.  He kept us all entertained for the weekend. 

Sunday we drove back to Vancouver to take Mariah to the airport for her flight back to Colorado.  We helped her get checked in and to check her suitcase but then had to leave her at the security area.  She was a little nervous about flying out of such a big airport by herself but she did fine.  We really enjoyed having Mariah with us for 7½ weeks.  She had a great time and got to see a lot of new areas but she was ready to go home.  She has to register for her college classes on Tuesday and for her high school classes on Wednesday.  She also has a job interview at Denny’s Restaurant lined up so she will be busy when she gets home. 

Barry and Lynn took us on a couple of drives to see this part of British Columbia.  We enjoyed seeing all the farms, especially the blueberry farms.  The sweet corn was ready so we enjoyed some really good corn a couple of times.  Before we left we got some sweet corn and blueberries to take with us.  We had a great time visiting with Barry and Lynn and seeing this part of Canada.  We thank them for their hospitality during our visit.


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