Whistler, Lytton, Crawston

Saturday 1 to Tuesday 4 August

We left Vancouver, refreshed after a luxurious 5 night stay and a big catch up on bookkeeping and photos.

First stop was brunch at Whistler, an easy 1.5 hour drive north on highway 99 from Vancouver. As a winter ski resort, it was full to overflowing with summer time visitors. It is an easy ride for the cyclists and a stunning ride for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Apart from numerous people enjoying the cooler summer air, there was a large mountain bike rally on the ski slopes.

The aboriginal people in Canada are known as the First People, which is a nice way to refer to these earlier inhabitants, and there are a number of sites and monuments dedicated to them. At Whistler a welcome totem has been erected by the Squamish people.

Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, which they proudly remember with the huge Olympic Rings overlooking the valley.

We continued north on highway 99, stopping at Duffy Lake for the stunning scenery. We looped back south to join the Trans Canada Highway 1 south along the Fraser River at Lytton, where we spent a very interesting night at the local pub. It even offered a Chinese menu for dinner.

Lytton hosts a pair of Osprey who return each year to raise a new family of chicks. They have a special residence built on top of a pole beside the railway track and overlooking the river – prime real estate.

We hit the road early again, travelling south through the Fraser River gorges to Hope, where the river takes a sharp bend west. It was here that loggers and trappers loaded their goods on to barges to be towed down to Vancouver. Hope’s claim to fame is its chainsaw wood carvings, and the main street is decorated with intricate carvings that won past year’s competitions.

We drove east on Highway 3, past huge open cut mines that produce much of Canada’s copper, finally reaching Cawston late in the day.  We had found accommodation at the Crow’s Nest vineyard for a 2 night stay. The vineyard is set in the South Similkameen Valley, and is run by a German family.  The restaurant was wonderful and they had a delightful selection of dry wines which aren’t typically popular with the North Americans.

It was a great opportunity to share stories of travel and adventure with other guests.