I don't know where to begin this story... there was just so much leading up to it! So let's just say that I cannot believe that I'm literally on the road and am all in for this new adventurous path... and what a journey it has been so far.
After a very full day of visiting, packing, cleaning and a few happy/sad teary moments Harold and I departed Calgary just before 9 am on Sunday morning. The skies were grey as we made our way to the Trans-Canada highway in the 10' UHaul truck I rented to move to Nanaimo. As we neared Canmore, Harold was getting needed a break so we stopped at the visitor centre for a quick walk. Timing was perfect as we were able to get out of there just as two tourists buses arrived and their occupants started to scatter randomly around the parking lot taking pictures of everything.
Next stop was the Kicking Horse Rest Area for a longer walk for Harold and some photos. I talked to a Japanese fellow I saw on a touring bike before the big bridge and found out he was riding from Alaska to Vancouver. I also needed to use the washroom facilities and was disappointed in how gross they were. Could just a bit more funding be used to maintain these kinds of rest areas...?
After Golden the construction progress to twin the highway from Kamloops to Alberta is well underway. Lots of road work and reduced speed zones but traffic was relatively light and it was overall good for the gas mileage too. As we entered the Mount Revelstoke National Park there were lots of signs for trail hikes along the highway. We ended up stopping at the Giant Cedar Nature Trail/Boardwalk and it was awesome! Only 0.5 km in length and the whole trail is on boardwalks through an old growth forest. Harold loving all the smells and some lovely German tourists offered to take our photo in front of one too!
Back on the highway I checked the fuel and decided to wait until Sicamous before refueling. Not long after Revelstoke the clouds really started to come in close and rain was certainly on its way. After filling up in Sicamous the rain really started to come down. It was raining so hard that the cab of the truck was really loud and Harold really did not like the sounds completely ruining his usual all-day nap routine ;)
We drove straight through to Kamloops in the downpour and stopped at the first turnout/rest area on the east side of the city so I could get online and find a motel for the night. Considering I had originally thought it would be fun to camp along the way I am so happy to have budgeted for a room instead!
The first place I called had a decent deal so made my way there but as soon as I pulled in to the parking lot something in my gut said I should not stay there. So I immediately drove out and found a quiet street to reassess the situation and call a few more motel/hotels. I finally found a place on the west side of town and had a really good feeling about it - I could not have expected what happened next.
As I was checking in, a man and woman couple walk in with a mid-sized dog. I comment on how cute and calm their dog is compared to mine (whom I left in the truck while I was sorting out the check-in process). We start chatting and they say they had just driven from Calgary in which I reply that I had too and I'm on my way to Nanaimo. They both look shocked and say they were also on the way to Nanaimo! We all laugh and I joke that obviously we're going to be new friends. I finish checking in, bring Harold inside, and get ourselves sorted out in our room for the night. I have to go back out to the truck and the couple is coming out of the very next room heading to the pool and I joke that we're now neighbours for the night too!
This morning, after an amazing 10 hour sleep (!), Harold and I go for a walk before I go grab some complimentary breakfast items. The fellow from next door was grabbing coffees and we start chatting. Turns out that they are moving to Nanaimo, are staying with some family in a town nearby while they find a place to stay and are starting a new life adventure after being in Alberta for a bunch of years. We both are laughing at the similarities and exchange contact information. My circle of friends is growing in the most surprising ways!!
Well I gotta get this posted and get back on the highway - it's only a few hours to Vancouver from Kamloops but the Coquihalla highway can be tricky so am now well rested and caffeinated for another day's adventure :)