30 November 2009
The RoadTrip finally got underway. After a few loose ends were tied up around home, and a disastrous Grey Cup footall game was out of the way, there was no reason to stay around home.
I had debated heading south through Montana/Idaho/Utah/Nevada, but the weather reports and road reports all looked fairly poor, and I did not relish 3-4 days of hard driving in questionable conditions with below freezing temperatures to camp in.
So once again, I opted for the coastal route where I could fill the tank with water at home and be assured that it would not freeze before I reached the relative warmth of the coast.
So after a quick consultation with the house-sitter (last year my furnace quit, pipes froze, then flooded the basement!), I was on the road at 11AM.
I had not gotten far when the first casualty of the road showed up. This particular corner is a 'regular performer' that seems to catch those drivers perhaps not prepared for winter driving in the mountains.
If I was working, I would likely have been called out to this to monitor any environmental impacts.
The truck cabs have a way of breaking free from the tactor, and hopefully staying intact enough to protect the passengers.
Getting up in Roger's Pass, the weather and conditions began to deteriorate.
And soon it was full-on winter driving.
But not bad if you drive conservatively, slow down, and have good tires and lots of weight.
Snow sheds are designed to keep some of the avalanches off the road.
Once out of the pass, and down near Sicamous the sun even came out for a while.
The coquihalla highway was not too bad, but the first section was hard compact ice and snow. Past Merritt, it was less ice, but that did not prevent a high flyer who raced past me from ending up sideways in the ditch just past the summit. I waved as I went by.
I was not tired and making good time, so I pushed on to the border south of Abbotsford. I was amazed that there were NO cars lined up at customs and thought I would breeze through. Wrong! It appears that when they are bored, they have LOTS of time to poke through every corner of the camper, but they were not able to locate a single terrorist, much to their chagrin.
Bellingham was now as far as I would make it on day 1.
Welcome to the US! I bought a 12 pack of Kokanee (Canadian) beer for $11.49 plus tax. The very same case, purchased in BC (where it is brewed!) would likely set you back about double that. Who is checking into this conspiracy?