Doing select bits of the North American continent travel blog

We flew out to Vancouver on Alaska Airlines in a pretty pain free flight following a super fast early morning taxi trip. I did enjoy watching the reaction of the bloke behind me when his wife said as she looked at her tickets, "Oh I don't believe it, they have us booked as flying out of San Fernandez and I am sure I told them San Francisco". His stony face showed that he didn't think her laughing at it was appropriate at 0650!She then said something particularly stupid like "oh don't worry, we will just call them, it won't be a problem" . Pigs arse lady! Finally Alaska airlines opened up their check in and we deposited our bags and headed off to the check in gate, past the still stony faced man and his wife madly on the phone. Not that I am one to laugh at other misfortunes but I have to say I know that stony face look where you can't do anything about the situation and you KNOW having a shot right now, whatever the provocation, just ain't worth it!!

We hit Vancouver BC running and grabbed the car from the Alamo car rental company quite efficiently. Their GPS even had a sand bag type fitting on the base so you could just plonk it on the dash and not have it land in your lap every few seconds. A real treat is not having to attach and detach the stupid suction cup too!

We had to hit Vancouver running as we had a heap of country I wanted to cover through some of the areas I visited in BC on my work trip. I had plans of catching up for tea with one of the people I worked with on that visit, Carol, who was based a long way away so we needed to cover ground quickly. The drive was pretty much as I remembered it from last trip - initially flat country with lots of corn growing in but quickly giving way to mountainous country that was way out of our league. This time however the ice / compressed snow wasn't only on the tops of the mountains that we were driving through but also still down at the level of the passes we were driving through. Amazing! This supposed to be summer (summer officially starting on the day of the solstice, or equinox, whatever is the longest day) and still there is cold stuff right at the road level! I know these passes are pretty high (I was the one driving and trying not to be freaked by the drop offs) but it seems absurd to have ice next to the road. So on the way we saw some bloody big, bloody deep lakes and some hills to put them into stark relief and some very different country from what we started off in. We dragged ourselves into Vernon at about 1800 and by 1900 we were at a nice pub next to the lake having beers and a meal with Carol. Well I was drinking beers and Rochelle was drinking something alcoholic and Carol was being good and drinking water so that she could ride some hideous distance the next day. It was a pleasant meal where I was finally able to turn the tables and mock some poor Canadian guy for his inability to light the gas heater (remember this is summer). Well I did mock some others (quietly) for their pronunciation problems too, at least they couldn't do that to me could they! Oot and aboot is such a good phrase spoken in canadese. I really enjoyed the evening, one of those nights where the discussion is wide ranging and very laid back and unpretentious. Mind you it didn't finish until nearly midnight which was not what i had thought we could get to given the long days and wrong time zones we were working in.

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