By March 17, we were starting to get a bit paranoid that with all the closures, we may have trouble picking up our car on the morning of the 18th. Off to Avis we went to try and ease our concerns. The counter person assured us that he would be there, even if nobody else was and took our cell number in case things changed.
March 18 came early as neither of us slept too well. We were up, showered and breakfasted almost before the kids got up. Breakfast and luggage packed, we were ready to roll the cases the 15 minutes to the rental firm. We said our goodbyes, again without any hugs, but plenty of tears and we were off.
At Avis, our man was indeed on duty and we soon had the keys to a shiny new Elantra. With all the paperwork, key handling and elevator button pushing, we were paranoid about contamination, so prepared for the car sanitation detail. We were worried we might look a bit weird doing this, but a couple ahead of us were already busy doing the same to their rental.
20 minutes later, we were finally underway from downtown Vancouver to our evening destination of Valemount. City streets were strangely quiet and before we knew it, we were crossing the Port Mann Bridge.
Along the way, we heard about the closure of both Provincial and National park facilities, but thought nothing of it, until we tried to take a rest break at Bridal Falls Park. The gates were closed and locked. Back to the nearest service station (any pot in a storm, ha ha), with wet wipe in hand as a barrier to door handles and the like. Back safe at the car, I took a few photos, before we gelled up and drove away.
The drive went smoothly to Hope and our turn onto the Coquihalla Highway # 5 North. The highways were clear and the day was sunny. Yay. Past the Great Bear snowshed, snow blowers were starting to remove some of the Snirt windrows along the guardrails
Around the time we reached Merritt, our tummies were getting growly and we went in search of an A & W. Surely, the take out window would be open. We ordered and paid (the attendant handed me the pin pad – damn—break in the chain—I punched in and tapped and gelled, before driving away from the window to await delivery of the food to the parking lot. We ate our meal standing next to our car, popped in for a pee break, washed up and carefully pushed the doors open with our feet, before driving away.
The rest of the trip was uneventful.
At Kamloops, we headed North on 5 (Yellowhead) and settled in for the drive. We stopped in Clearwater for a short break and continued on. We would not reach Valemount much before 5:00 PM.
Arriving in Valemount, we checked into our hotel with mixed emotions and hand wipes and gel…..
…before going in search of dinner and libations. We managed to find a takeout pizza place and bottle of Merlot, before heading back to our hotel to dine in. Life was as good as could be expected.
My beloved took most of these photos with her phone, as we drove. Didn’t she do a great job?
To be continued…..