Saturday, June 7, 2014

A "ferry" tale road trip day four, June 5 2014

Awoke to another beautiful day with hardly a cloud in the sky. Our travels on this day would take us westward along Highway 3 through Cawston, Keremeos, Princeton and Hope on our way to the Vancouver area.

First stop along after fuelling up the car was only a short distance up the road at Spotted Lake. This site is held sacred by the local First Nations people. Although you are not permitted to go down to the lake itself there is a place to pull off the road and take a few photos.

Me at Spotted Lake.

 We only stopped for a few minutes then continued on our way through vineyards, orchards and vegetable farms along more winding, rolling two lane blacktop. Much of this stretch of Highway 3 follows the Similkameen River which flows from its headwaters in Manning Park, across the US border and into the Okanagan River.

Following the Similkameen River upstream.

Still the Similkameen. We crossed it many times as we headed up the valley.

Our route took us through E C Manning Provincial Park. We decided to stop and stretch our legs at the Wild Rhododendron Grove, about 9km east of the west portal to the park. There is a short ten minute stroll through the grove and we enjoyed some early blooms. I can only imagine what the grove will look like in a couple of weeks when things are in full bloom.

East entrance to Manning Park.

Stopped at the Wild Rhododendron Grove

The grove's namesake....

and some more...

After the refreshing stroll it was back in the car and off to our next stop... the Othello Tunnels. Located in Coquihalla Provincial Park this engineering marvel is well worth the short drive off the highway to find them. The signage isn't that great but if we can find it you can. It's a 1.4km walk from the picnic area to the end of the last of four tunnels so allow about an hour and a half for the walk. The tunnels themselves are a small portion of southern BC's Kettle Valley Railway. The walk itself is easy as it's along the old rail bed which means there's very little slope. I'd recommend having a flashlight along for the tunnels as their floors are a little uneven in spots. We managed without but it was a bright sunny day.

The road up to the parking lot.

Through the tunnels

Sharon enjoying the view.

Some damage caused by rockfall from the cliffs above.

Looking back through the first couple of tunnels.

Me and Sharon on our way back to the parking lot.

When we left we followed the GPS even though we were sure the we should have gone the opposite direction and we're glad we did. It directed us past Kawkawa Lake which is just outsid of Hope. It looked inviting so we stopped by just to have a quick look and we're glad we did...

Kawkawa Lake... a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy the water.

The rest of the drive into Vancouver was uneventful and is almost seeming to be routine as we've done it quite a bit since our son and daughter-in-law moved out here. They joined us for supper on the patio at the Keg in Burnaby. We had a great meal together then made our way to our Langley hotel for a fairly early night.

Tomorrow will bring a conference and a drive to Kelowna BC. Thanks for joining us on our little journey.

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