Day 12 – Thursday, July 12, 2018
FVRDA campsite, Hope, New Westminster
We awoke to it already being about 30c. Summer has truly arrived now that our vacation is over and we can begin the annual Lower Mainland tradition of complaining that it’s too hot.
After breakfast we packed up the trailer, not just doing the usual pack up, but also battening down the proverbial hatches in preparation for parking the trailer at the quaint hobby farm where it lives when it’s not out camping. The hobby farm is in a place called Dogwood Valley, which is even more quaint.
With the trailer secured, we began the hairy 5 km descent from the FVDRA campsite, hairy because much of it is an 18% grade. At the 3.5 km mark we were delayed while a convoy of construction trucks trundled up past us. The alternative would have been them smushing our truck and trailer off the road, which would have been a bummer way to end the vacation.
I also learned the difference between a rock truck and a dump truck and it’s not that one carries rocks, smarty pants. Rock trucks apparently have twice the load capacity, which is handy when carrying rocks or rock-like things. The trucks were very big, like the ones you see in monster truck shows, except without the belching fire and ramps to jump over.
We finally got off the mountain, unhitched the trailer at the farm (I forgot to get the contents from the fridge—I knew I’d forget something. But at least I remembered my pants, even though I wasn’t even wearing them at the time), then went to Home in Hope to have a late lunch before what would turn out to be a 159 hour commute into Vancouver. I am exaggerating, but only by a little.
Here is a picture of our lunch. Jeff had Champignon Schnitzel, which is the most foreign-sounding thing on the menu. It came covered in gravy and mushrooms, so much so that you could not see what was underneath. It could have been called Mystery in the Gravy. I ordered a club sandwich on rye bread and every time I have a club sandwich I am reminded of how silly they are. You do not need three slices of bread (or toast) for a sandwich. That’s like 1200 calories alone. Also, you almost need a reticulated jaw to actually bite into a club house.
It was still delicious. I could not finish the nicely crisp French fries, though. The order size is based on your weight, judging from how many I got. I was originally going to order pie for dessert (I’m trying to make dessert after lunch a thing) but we were too stuffed and passed.
After lunch, we gassed up (Jeff eerily predicted the exact dollar amount the tank would take), then began the last leg of our journey, leaving Hope behind (again, never tiring of Hope jokes). Things went smoothly until we reached Abbotsford, which is the unofficial entryway into the Lower Mainland. Suddenly the left lane, which is only supposed to be used for passing, became the other lane to use in order to clog up the whole system. Which it did. We went from 110 km/h to 80 km/h to 30 km/h to sometimes just plain stopping. It turns out there was an accident—on the other side of the highway, which is separated by a large median strip, thus having zero impact on traffic on our side of the highway.
People are weird.
Things finally improved when the two lanes changed to three and we finally got into New West around 5 p.m., in time to agree on a quickie pizza dinner—a few hours later. This would give Jeff a chance to recover from the driving in a nice hot bath and me a chance to clean the dirty clothes in a nice hot washer.
After that I unpacked everything, tidied up a few things around the condo (our veggies sadly expired in our absence. Good thing we don’t have pets) and now I’m wrapping up the whole thing here at my familiar computer desk, but I’m being kooky and consistent by typing this final day’s update on the same iPad with its Smart Cover keyboard, after which I will use the magic of home internet to hopefully upload this all to my blog.
And with that, the official travel part of Summer Vacation 2018 comes to an end. There may be more, but it will involve walking around the neighborhood or possibly riding the SkyTrain, which is less exotic than driving a thousand km to a remote northern mining town.