The routine has worked itself out, the bikes are feeling more comfortable by the day and the load is getting lighter… why didn’t we set off on this trip ages ago! It’s finally setting in what we have gotten ourselves into and the sky is the limit. Every day amazes us with the rewarding feeling of accomplishment and humbles us with the simplicity of what our lifestyle has now become.
The ability to travel by bike is a marvel and we think this is something everyone should do! We’ve been delving into the mantra “go with the flow”. As a recent storm blew through the west coast of Canada we found ourselves in the town of Princeton, BC. The storm allowed us to regroup and to explore a place that we likely would not had stopped at otherwise. We are finding the most unexpected stops are filled with charm.
In addition, we’ve made a point to stop at the places that we have driven by many times before but never stopped. These have been some of our favourites. This past week we spent three nights in stunning Manning Park which boasts over 70,844 hectares of rugged forest-clad mountains, deep valleys, alpine meadows, lakes and rivers. There was hardly a sole in the Lightning Lake campground except for a few foreign off-season tourists in the “Explore Canada” rental motor homes besides us and the chipmunks, squirrels and Stellar’s Jays.
Chipmunk trying to get into our breakfast
Surrounded by dense forest and crisp mountain air we set off to explore our new surroundings. Bird watching along the Lightning Lakes chain followed by a 20 km hike of the Skyline trial the next. By which we must add… we didn’t even spot another person on our hike on the blue bird day. We were mystified by panoramic views of the valley below us and the mountains that surrounded. We were even lucky enough to be graced by a Golden Eagle that soared right above Mike’s head.
Mike Bird Watching on the Skyline Trail
Stunning View from the Skyline Trail
We are also quickly learning that our trip is about the experiences we have and the people we meet. After spending a few days in Manning Park we cruised down to Hope, BC. That’s right the location where the original Rambo was filmed as we learned. We had met a couple at a rest area in Edson who we got talking to and they had extended an invitation to come stay with them what we reached Hope. We had called them that morning to take them up on their offer.
Our new friends, Erika and John have now set the bar so high for hosts we are surely never to be spoiled like this again. Not only were we graced by the most amazing company, enriching conversation but also by the BEST cooking by Erika (do I need to mention plum pancakes, cookies, apple cake and chocolate cream pie) and freshly baked bread courtesy of John, that we just couldn’t spend only one night. We were able to spend a day with them taking in the local charm of Hope and their attractions. Highlights were catching part of the salmon run on the Coquihalla and Fraser Rivers where thousands of Pink, Coho and Chum make their way to their original spawning grounds to complete their life-cycle. Something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
Mike and I are still so humbled by their generosity, spirit and lust for life, Erika and John have now been dubbed our adopted parents.
Mike with John and Erika
Despite hard good-byes we are looking forward to hitting the road again as we now head for Vancouver and then the Olympic Peninsula. For those following from Avalon School, thanks for your responses to our questions. Your itinerary along the Olympic Peninsula looks amazing and we’ll be sure to look into the history behind the town named “Humptulips”. In addition, well also post on what we’ve been doing for food storage and how we’ve been creative in keeping our furred and feathered friends out of our food. Any advice for warding off Vampires in Forks, WA? ; )