Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Vacation!

We are pleased to report that we had a most excellent summer vacation to Canada! We left our respective jobs around lunchtime on the 14th and began the drive to Bonners Ferry. This drive was uneventful except for us listening to some Spanish language CDs in a futile attempt to learn a new tongue. I think "embajada Americana" is about all either of us remember! After a quick dinner at Subway in the outskirts of Spokane, we arrived about 10pm at the Kootenai River Inn and after briefly surveying the casino we decided to retire for the night. I think our expectations were set too high in Las Vegas!

After a nice sleep at the hotel, we were intrigued to discover a farmer's market going on just across the highway near downtown. We checked it out and ended up with some delicious bagels, doughnuts, and kettle corn! It was a small farmer's market, but very well done. We didn't buy any of the excellent-looking produce since we couldn't take it across the border.

Our drive from Bonners Ferry to McDonald Creek Park was uneventful. The border lineup (Porthill, ID) consisted of about 2 cars and the questioning was similarly brief. We did get some rain along the way, which is always discouraging on a camping trip. Fortunately it had moved through the campground by the time we got there. We must've brought some good weather since we didn't get rained on once during our stay! The first night at the campground was pretty crazy as we had approximately 19 people at the site for dinner that night. From there, things slowly quieted down over the course of our stay.

Monday featured a memorial service for Ian, in which some of Ian's ashes were placed at the park and balloons were cast to the sky. It was of course a very sad ceremony but also one I found to be very appropriate given his love for camping at McDonald Creek. You are missed Ian!

On Tuesday, Auntie Margaret, Megan, Dave, and I went on a hike to Idaho Peak. The drive over to Sandon was a little bit long and the final stretch of Forest Service road was kind of wild on the steep, one lane road that leads to the trailhead. However once we were hiking we were rewarded with epic views and easily the best wildflower display I've seen anywhere. I was actually astonished with how many people were up on the peak... probably 25 other people at least, maybe more. The register had names from all over BC, the US, and especially Europe. I must say I do understand the appeal!

The rest of the trip was defined by relaxation, swimming, kayaking, checking out places in Nakusp, and my reading of one of Bill's favorite books, Expert F#. We also had two meals at the Mushroom Addition in Fauquier, which is the only restaurant I've encountered which serves a wild mushroom mix with their burgers. Highly recommended!

On Thursday (the 20th) we returned to Vancouver and on the way stopped at Helmut's in Vernon for some excellent bison pepperoni. I think I need to find a supply for that stuff closer to home because it's really good!

In Vancouver Katie visited with her friends and I went hiking to Mount Seymour, a popular local hiking destination. The hike was enjoyable but the views were sadly marred by clouds. At least I got to experience the views while snowshoeing up there in February 2006! Our dining experiences in town were pretty limited, consisting only of Panago Pizza (yum) and wings (not so great; the URL is false advertising).

The evening before we left, I noticed a tire on the Escape was looking pretty low. Sure enough, it was down to 15psi. I hit some kind of debris on the way up to Mt Seymour and that apparently damaged the tire. Fortunately with more air it was good to drive home. After getting back home, it turned out we needed to replace the tire (and thus the other three too). Annoying, but at least it didn't mar our otherwise excellent vacation!

Summer Vacation Pictures!
Idaho Peak Pictures!
Mount Seymour Pictures!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

As ever, Zach, great pictures. Wish I could have been there.... next year for sure!