Ahhh! The adventure begins - and what a beginning! After an easy border crossing into Canada (it helps to know your regulations – and a pleasant officer doesn’t hurt either), we stopped just 50 kilometers north at Vedder River Campground in Chilliwack, BC. The soothing sounds of the Vedder River and wind in the trees replaced traffic and freeway noise. We decided to stay an extra day to visit two local sites – Minter Gardens and the Othello Tunnels. It was well worth it! Even though it was early in the season, the grounds of the gardens were awash with color. Water walls, vegetation sculptured into shapes, and vibrantly colored flowers greeted your every turn. We almost lost Bill, who wanted to stay on as a volunteer.
Then it was on to Hope, BC (filming site in 1982 of Rambo: First Blood, for you movie buffs) where unique wood sculptures adorn many street corners. The Othello Tunnels are just out of town. This series of 5 abandoned train tunnels, connected by bridges, allowed passage of the silver trains through a rugged gorge of the Frasier River, and was an engineering marvel of the early 1900s. A short walk takes you through the tunnels and over the gorge, for incredible views of the rushing, snow-melt swollen Frasier River below. The awesome power of the water, crashing into the cliffs far below, actually vibrated the bridge beneath our feet. Further up the Frasier is Hell’s Gate Airtram, a very popular tourist destination. Othello Tunnels are a little more remote and fewer visitors, but they definitely rival Hell’s Gate in beauty. A jacket and flashlight are helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
If you’d like to see more pictures of the area and our trip, go to our Alaska Travelers Picasa web album at https://picasaweb.google.com/105922292795547562533.