Friday, Aug 9 – we are in Upper Michigan, on the Michigan shores.  Tomorrow, we plan to take a ferry to Mackinac Island for a tour and a bike ride.  At this point, lake Michigan and lake Huron meet.  After our touring tomorrow, we will drive south again, through much of Michigan, but on the lake Huron side, to cross over into Canada and make our way home.  It is about a 12 hour drive, according to our GPS Bruce.

The drive today started at the end of Minnesota, just at the tip of lake Superior shores (Duluth).  We have followed the lake on the south shore until we crossed a narrow bit of land to get to Upper Lake Michigan.  You might say we have done the lakeshore tour at this point.  The land around here is very much like Ontario, flatish, green, lots of trees and lakes and wet areas.  Perfect for moose!  But we haven’t seen any of them, nor bears.  A few deer, some brown cranes or herons, but nothing very exotic.  The weather is notably different from our trip so far.  It’s a bit cloudy at times, between 15 and 19C – a big change from the 103C we had in Montana.

We left White Rock on Sunday morning, stopping for a visit with my friend Loran in Chilliwack.  It was hot.  Then we drove into the mountains, following the US border for the most part, on highway 3.  It is full of mountain passes and winding roads and great scenery.  Mostly, it gives you a real idea of just how many mountains there are in BC.  We drove past many creeks or rivers that seemed shallow, filled with people on inner tubes, floating along.  You’d think the water would be too cold, but the rocks do warm it, so people have made a real sport of it. It turned out we were following the Similkameen river.  The valley is one of the many wine regions of BC.  We didn’t stop to try any, but we did stay the night at a campground and went to check the temperature of the river.  It was a bit cold for my liking, especially after a hot day in Hanne’s pool the day before.  We did stop and buy fruit and veggies along the way, as we made our way to the Osoyoos area.  Lake Osoyoos is similar to lake Okanogan to the north.  It sits below some high peaks in an area that is considered a desert region of Canada.  It’s also a noted wine region.  We moved from that area to Trail.

A friend of Leon’s, Bill and his wife Bonita were our hosts as we stayed in Trail for the night and went to dinner at the famed Colander Restaurant.  The restaurant serves all you can eat spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken, and potatoes!!  A big, delicious meal. At the campground in Trail, there were a lot of river flies – what some might call shad flies in Ontario.  They have a very short life span but there were thousands of them around the lights near the bathroom.  The next morning, I went in the ladies’ room to find a scene that looked like a mass suicide or murder.  Thousands of river flies lying on the floor, dead.

As we drove out the next morning towards Fruitvale, we expected a beautiful fruit growing regions.  In fact, it had very little except a cute village.  It seems that Fruitvale was settled many years ago by hopeful farmers, but they soon found that the growing season in the valley was too short for any kind of fruit to do well.

During that whole part of BC, and all the way here, we looked for the elusive bears.  No luck.  But I’ll have to tell you the middle part of this story on a next post.  We kept driving along the south part of BC until we crossed over the border into Alberta, at the Crow’s Nest Pass.  Our next destination was to be Waterton Lakes National Park where we hoped to see all manner of wildlife.

Similkameen river – one of the few nights we had to use the air conditioner in our camper to cool the air enough to sleep.