The Final Stretch

Final stretch back into Canada, Hermiston Or. to Grand Forks BC,  a 285 mile stretch of grassland and highway.   From Hermiston we continued to follow hwy 395 for 103 km, and then turned north onto hwy 21 at Lind, which took us right into Grand Forks.  This drive today reminded me of driving across Saskatchewan!  Straight for miles and miles, then what appears to be for no reason, a turn in the road,  then straight again.  Several miles from the Columbia River the road woke us up again as we went up over the hills and down into the valley to the Columbia River, where we crossed the river on the Keller River Ferry.  We could have continued up the road, and crossed at Grand Coulee, but we’ll save that for our next trip.

A very quick and convenient way to get across, and as its part of hwy 21, its free!   The drive was pretty uneventful, and I all but fell asleep a couple times!  We arrived at Gary’s Brother and Sister-in-laws in GF late afternoon and spent a couple nights with them catching up on the events since Christmas.  Then we were off again for the next leg of the trip North to Blue River BC for the night, making a stop in Kelowna for lunch with my brother.  With piles of snow everywhere and below zero temperatures there were no RV sites to be found open, so we elected to stay at the Glacier Mountain Lodge in Blue River, it was a 592 km day.   The hotel was full of snowmobilers and the next morning we woke to the sound of them getting their machines fueled up, and geared up to hit the mountains…but it wasn’t too early, it was time to get moving ourselves.  It was a beautiful cloudless day, I’m sure they would have a blast sledding in the spring like weather.  Back in BC we were rewarded with the beautiful mountains, the rushing rivers and fortunately still NO snow on the roads!  It was fantastic driving.  Then we crossed into Alberta, arriving at our daughters place in Teepee creek early evening, close to 500 km behind us for the day.  The Grandchildren were just about as excited to see us as what we were to see them!

We spent Saturday night, and Easter Sunday with our family and friends at Teepee Creek, and then headed home Easter Monday,  it was time to go home…and get back into the real world.

Since our first road trip (4 states in 2 weeks) I’ve really enjoyed the concept of just flying by the seat of our pants. We did what we wanted when we came across things, and when we were done for the night we got a motel room. But traveling with our accommodations on our back was a little different. First of all, when we first left Canada, it was not nice, it was freezing hard at night, and so packing of food was not a good idea…found that out the hard way.  Secondly, we left too early for many of the RV sites to be open in Canada, and some were closed in the Northern States as well.  Although we were only in two hotels on the way down and one on the way back, it would have been nice to just stay in the camper the whole time.  Packing up and going into a hotel was a pain.  Many of the things we wanted to see and do were not open  at all at this time of year, so WHEN we do it again, I think we’ll wait that extra month, or plan to go further south for longer.  Also I think making reservations at specific spots, at least a couple days in advance would be a smart idea.  Takes the worry out of “where to stay” especially if there is no Walmart in the area.  Was never a huge problem, but would have been easier with reservations.  Which of course means, having some type of 2 – 3 day itinerary on the go,  which wouldn’t be bad either.  The last several days of the trip were a bit boring, with little to be seen, or done.  We hauled the barbeque down and back, without ever staying in one place long enough to sit back and enjoy, which is no ones fault but our own.   We survived a month together in an 8 foot camper, and our marriage is still intact, life is good.  I vow to learn and explore from start to finish next trip, and eager to keep learning as we go, we’ll make new blunders because that’s part of the adventure, but for now, we’ll just make sure there will be a next time!

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