Once upon a time on a trip to Alaska, day 4

 Spence’s Bridge, British Columbia

Monday, June 18, 1973

We crossed the border into Canada on day four of our trip.  It was the first of six border crossings we made on that trip, back and forth between Canada and the U.S.  It wasn’t the first time I’d been to Canada — a few years before we’d spent several weeks exploring the Canadian Rockies, Banff and Jasper and all, and then gone down through Vancouver and across to Victoria, where we went to Butchart Gardens and saw dahlias as big as my head.  I’ve been back to Victoria several times as an adult, and even took my mother there once on one of her visits to me, but in the nineteen years I’ve lived three hours from Vancouver, I’ve not been back there.  I ought to get my passport renewed and do something about that one of these days.

 The ironic part of the whole thing is that in the twelve years we lived in suburban Los Angeles, we visited Canada twice and Alaska once, and never did get to Mexico.  I still haven’t been to Mexico.  It’s another thing I ought to do someday.

 Anyway.  The highlights of the day according to my diary appear to have been going through customs and visiting a large grocery store where you had to write the price on your items yourself with a grease pencil.   Between the two stops we only made 340 miles that day.  Daddy was slacking :-).  But at least Canada would let us fill the entire gas tank at a time, even if it was even more expensive — and sold by the liter.

 We drove past where I live now, near Tacoma, and on up through the traffic of Seattle, which appears to have been pretty bad even back then, and Everett, then we cut across from south of Bellingham to the border crossing at Abbotsford, then up along the Trans-Canada Highway through Chilliwack and Hope.  All of a sudden things seemed much further apart, because they were measured in kilometers rather than miles. 

 That night’s campground was next to a river, I remember, and my father and I walked down to it after supper to see what we could see, which wasn’t much but a lot of cottonwoods and a nice riffle.  But for the first time, we were off of multi-lane highways.  The next freeway we drove would be I-5 again, five weeks later.

 True Gold, a novel about the Klondike Gold Rush, is now available through Amazon and Smashwords