During my most recent trip to Canada, a friend and I decided to camp in the wilds of British Columbia. Sadly, the further out you get from Vancouver in the summer time, the more apt those wilds are to be on fire. So we really only went halfway to the back of beyond.
Still, that was good enough for me. It’s a beautiful province. I was thrilled just taking a break from big cities. We camped in Pemberton, Lillooet, and Boston Bar. We saw stars. We stuck our feet in the cold green of the Frasier River. We communed with chipmunks. We met some really nice people. We stopped at some funky cafes. I bought fridge magnets and fudge.
The nicest part was that, other than campsite reservations, we really didn’t have any firm schedule or expectations of any kind. If something sparked our interest, we would stop. As each destination was only about 2 hours away from the last, we weren’t in any hurry.
That’s how we found ourselves, on day three, riding the Hell’s Gate Airtram, not far from Boston Bar. This is a gondola that crosses the Frasier River at its narrowest point. I have a fraught relationship with gondolas, because I have a fear of heights. But they always afford such amazing views, so how can you resist?
And this place has some amazing history. When I imagine Frasier and his expedition actually portaging their canoes up these sheer cliffs, it makes me dizzy. And that’s how Hell’s Gate got its name.
So, I’ve been to Hell’s Gate. Now I should be able to do anything, right? Heck yeah!
And then just down the road from there is the delightfully artsy town of Hope on the edge of the Cascade Mountains, population 6,181. I could totally live there, even though it gets more rain than any other place in Canada. (It was sunny during my visit.)
In less than an hour, I went from Hell’s Gate to Hope. What a positive experience that was! I’m just glad I wasn’t driving in the opposite direction. That would be bad.