With three large suitcases, a snowboard and a pair of hiking boots in tow I was bound for the West. It was just three days ago that I was kept wide eyed and sleepless with excitement (and due to copious amounts of Tim Hortons coffee) on my two day and 14 hour bus ride from Toronto, Ontario to my new, more mountainous destination: Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia.
During the summer holidays, the normally quiet Columbia Valley host tens of thousands of guests; people drawn to the region for the sunshine, boating, hiking, shopping and of course world-famous natural-mineral pools at Fairmont Hot Springs. Despite heavy traffic on the roads, packed campgrounds, full hotels and long-lines at the supermarket; this remains a place where you can get away from it all. Just moments from the highway and townships, you can stand on lofty peaks and survey some of the most spectacular landscapes Canada has to offer. Mt.
Earlier in the week snow dusted the tops and for a moment or two we wondered if summer was done... Thankfully those were wasted thoughts and the long-weekend ahead looks like a Columbia Valley classic. According to Environment Canada we'll enjoy wall to wall sunshine and perfect summer temperatures. Check the forecast and make the most of your escape from the flat land (if that's where you are escaping from).
At 3:00pm on Tuesday the 19th one of the most intense storms in recent years pounded the area. Rain came down in torrents and marble-sized hail shattered the usual peace of the mountains. Streams flooded, lakes formed, and the hot springs complex closed early for the first time since 1998.
A recent road trip in the USA showed that we Canadians could do more to celebrate "our" history. Early American pioneers, Lewis and Clark, are immortalized in many states and although their travels were remarkable, a British-Canadian explorer by the name of David Thompson is easily their equal.