It's Hope The Chainsaw Carving Capital of the World! and Kamloops

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July 27th 2012
Published: August 14th 2012
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27th July ’12 Seattle to Hope, British Columbia, Canada

I woke to a dull throbbing in my feet which was an improvement on yesterday and we made it with our rucksacks down to the bus stop. The car rental place was about 8 miles out of the city where we were collecting our ride (God I am turning American – we have been away too long!) for the next couple of weeks. Hiring a car in the states is much cheaper than hiring one in Canada.

We were going to cross the border at Sumas this time but Howard announced that first we were going to do a short side trip. Soon we were bombing along winding country lanes, with high mist covered mountains. We eventually reached the Mount Baker area and were even able to glimpse the summit once or twice.

The road switch backed up higher and higher into the mists and at the top we parked in a car park which had been cleared of snow, everywhere else wasn’t. The loo was under about 4 foot of it with a narrow path cleared to the door so you could get in!

On the way back to Sumas we stopped at the Noonsack Falls – an impressive waterfall complete with a warning notice listing the details of all the people who had died at the spot, so the warning not to go past the fencing wasn’t really necessary!

After our short side trip, to look at yet more mountains and mist, which added 3 hours onto our driving time (I will say no more), we got to the border. Again this crossing was very straight forward and we didn’t even have to get out of the car and we were back in Canada.

We stopped for supplies in Walmart and then arrived in Hope at about 8pm. It looks like a nice little town and is apparently the Chainsaw Carving Capital of the World! There were lots of giant wooden carvings of bears and things dotted around all over the town.

The town is dominated by forest covered mountains which were impressive even with the mist.

Howard was pleased to be here as Rambo First Blood was filmed here, I was just pleased we had finally got here!

That night we discovered or rather Howard confessed that he had left
Mt. BakerMt. BakerMt. Baker

Need a wee anyone?
the charger for the net book plugged into the wall of our hotel room in Seattle! Aaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh, we have emailed them and just hope they keep it for us as we are staying there again when we take the car back. So now I am having to write my blogs in a notebook for now and no I didn’t bite his head off…….. although I seriously wanted to!!!!!

28th July ’12 Hope to Kamloops, B.C.

A dull grey start to the day (we were lulled into thinking it was summer in Seattle, we now know better) and we set off to see the sights around Hope. Our first stop was at Hell’s Canyon, a boiling torrent of water going through the steep forested mountain range.

We squinted through the trees to catch a glimpse of it as the area was fenced off and you had to pay £30 to go on the cable car! We did however walk along the ‘old road’ down to the Alexander bridge across the river. This was the original road built in 1926 to go along the valley. The ‘old bridge’ had a metal criss cross grid that we walked across and if you looked down it was very un nerving as you could see the water racing along beneath you.

Backtracking into Hope for lunch we then continued up through the town and into the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park and the Othello Tunnels. This was quite an amazing feat of engineering, the area had been declared impassable until Andrew McCullogh decided to forge a way through. It was a series of 3 long, high tunnels blasted through the mountains connected by 2 bridges built out over the raging river. We walked right the way through to the end and it was very dark in those tunnels! (I now know how the Railway Children must have felt).

Apparently long cliff ladders were used to climb down the mountain sides, the blasters then set the charges and ‘scampered’ back up them, out of the way – that must have been such a dangerous job. The railway was used to carry freight and passengers up until 1961 when it was abandoned. It now seems to be a very popular place to walk.

Back on the road and Howard regaled me with the plot of Rambo First Blood as I couldn’t remember it, although it did sound very familiar. We then joined the highway which would eventually lead to Kamloops our stop for the night.

Kamloops seems very big and spreads high up into the valley on both sides, with the older historic part along the river in the valley bottom. The centre is a really nice area with very wide streets and lots of pubs, restaurants and shops.

To celebrate surviving and hitting the one year travelling mark we had an Indian for tea and got our washing done! Rock and Roll!!

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