We now have wheels, although I must say that the transit system in Vancouver is incredibly efficient and affordable. It allows for any combination of transportation including buses, ferries and trains in any direction for $2.20 as long as travelled within 90min. It allowed me to do all kinds of combinations with great connections. Apart from that it is really geared for people with disabilities with a great ramp system in every bus, this of course means independence and mobility for people that are in motorized wheelchairs.
Our first destination is Hope named after the Hudson Bay Company made it a small Fort and outpost of its push through the Rockies to connect the west coast and the interior of Canada for its trade route. Utilizing the knowledge of the Native community guides a route was forged which became the Kettle Valley Railway. Engineering feats were required to lay tracks through impossible terrain, steep canyons and huge elevations, blasting tunnels through cliffs and building tressled rail passes in mid air.
It was the most expensive rail laying per mile built for the time but was motivated by a national sense of pride to complete and own this route to the coast. Once built it had ongoing issues of maintenance as landslides and avalanches kept the line intermittently closed. When it was a passenger train going trough, they preferred to run through the night so that the passengers would not see how extreme the passages were!
It has now been converted to an amazing hiking and mountain biking route with lots of people and families taking advantage of its amazing location. It was lovingly restored and has suffered at times significant damage due to forest fires.
Hope is also where Rambo was filmed and the 35th anniversary is coming in October with great celebrations. It hosts amazing wildlife wood carvings and makes a great breakfast at the ” Blue Moose”.
This year the west side of the Rockies and the Okanagan Valley which is the fruit bowl of BC has been undergoing relentless bush/forest fires which have been impossible to control.
We witness with what lightning speed a forest fire erupts as we are sitting having lunch by a lake in Manning Provincial Park. Literally from nothing we see an explosion of smoke a few kilometers away which turns into a billowing smoke mushroom in seconds. It would be impossible to get away from if happened next to you and the whole area is in extreme fire danger.
We stop in Summerland a beautiful small town on the west side of Lake Okanagan and sample the local traditional grains, organic bakery with great cinnamon swirls.