All too often we follow the path of least resistance. Busy lives, hectic schedules and routine, meet lack of imagination, or silly notions of how we’re supposed to spend free time – precious days off become “to do” lists. Hurry up, catch up, clean up – one day, two if you’re lucky, to convince yourself this is living. “Time off” becomes a hectic scramble. So much to do, so little time –
Today was my first break after 9 unrelenting days of work. The house looks like a bomb dropped – back to work at 7 AM tomorrow morning for another stretch of who knows how long. I should have spent it cleaning, washing and shopping – not a chance, today was the inaugural “Adventure Day”.
Adventure Day wasn’t premeditated – as with all good ideas, it was seized and implemented without the slightest hindrance of discussion or doubt. Chores could wait, adventure day couldn’t. Setting out – not a cloud in the sky, barely a hint of fall chill – it was decided, rain or shine – Adventure Day took precedent over laundry. Adventure Day arrived, and will stay for as long as we’re able to hit the road.
Likely 20 years since driving the canyon to Harrison Hot Springs, we happily pointed the car in that direction. From Vancouver heading east, the Trans Canada highway is preferred by travelers headed for the interior or places beyond – a divided freeway capable of depositing you in Hope, (a small town marking a definitive end to farmland, and first of many mountain climbs) in less than 2 hours. Highway 7 (also known as the “old highway”) eventually lands you in Hope – unlike the freeway , a straight blast through wide open farmland on one side of the Fraser River, Highway 7 is a winding 2 lane road hugging the opposite side. Beyond urban sprawl and bedroom communities, a lazy route for those in no particular hurry. Perfect for our first adventure day.
At Mission it started feeling like an adventure. Mission is named for Westminster Abbey – a Catholic seminary perched at the top of a steep hill. We’d seen the “tower” from below, but never taken time to drive up the hill. In fact, we didn’t even know it was a seminary until parked inside the gates and approached by an 85 year old monk.
We took pictures of his prize flowers, and watched another priest play soccer with students in a field below.
The “mighty Fraser” is a river most locals take for granted – a body of water we’re forced to cross at all too few bottleneck bridges. Highway 7 lends perspective to Fraser as a vibrant, working river. Lumber mills cluster along her banks, log booms rest patiently and every accessible inch in between is taken over by boat launches.
Burnt out shell of a boat in the foreground, with smouldering wood pile at a mill in the background.
Harrison Hot Springs is a sleepy little tourist mecca on the shores of Harrison Lake – just a few miles before Hope. The “hot spring” enclosed in the Harrison Springs hotel complex, best left to tourists, the lake – peaceful, idyllic, and enjoyed by families out for a Sunday picnic.
Round trip, our first Adventure Day covered around 250 Kilometers. Just over 7 hours from start to finish, and well worth every minute. I have no idea where the next one will take us, nor does it matter. Adventure day is about spur of the moment frivolity. It can’t be scheduled or given much thought – there are enough places we have to be during our work lives, we deserve one day a week dedicated to carefree adventure.