Friday 4th July 3:00 p.m. Vancouver Sunday 6th July ?:00 a.m. somewhere near Darcy, near Liloet, British Columbia
What an unbelievable start to a trip. After such a long delay in getting started, sometimes it almost seemed like it'd never happen. But here I am on the road to Alaska. My first few days in Vancouver were just amazing. Gail was the perfect first host, making me feel completely at home. Friday night, Gail and Christa took me out to a couple of bars, but because we didn't leave the house until after midnight, we seemed to arrive at each place just in time for last call. We eventually called it a night just as the sun was coming up, so it's not surprising that I didn't get off to an early start yesterday. In fact by the time Gail helped me sort out a few computer problems, it was 4:00p.m. Bugger! It didn't look like I'd get much closer to Alaska that day. Gail was kind enough to drive me right out to Squamish, where hitching would be easier.
Back on the road. My return to hitchhiking after six years, and it was off to a flying start. To begin with, the scenery was just spectacular. I wouldn't have even minded getting stuck there for a while. There was another hitcher a few hundred metres ahead of me, so I figured I wouldn't have a chance until he got picked up. Not so. After what seemed like about a fifteen minute wait- I don't have a watch- I had my first lift. Chastity, a waitress from Vancouver, was headed to the resort town of Whistler for a party weekend with her friends. From where she dropped me off, it was another short wait before a young ironworker picked me up and took me a little bit further. He'd been at the local lake drinking beers all day, and he looked like he could use a nap! After just enough time to enjoy the surrounds, a lady in an old Volvo pulled over and I squeezed into the back. The car was full of timber and boxes of stuff, and there was just enough room for me and my backpack.
As we talk it turns out that Jean, the driver, has a little bed and breakfast place along the way. She runs it during the summer, and teaches Spanish in Mexico during the winter. There's a couple of things that need doing around the Bed and Breakfast, and having just been to the chiropractor, she's a bit concerned about attempting them herself. She has a whole fresh salmon in the fridge at home, and of course it's not a tough decision for me. It was after seven o'clock already and although there was probably still a few hours of sunlight left, it came down to a simple choice: a belly full of salmon and a big soft bed to sleep in, or trying to get a little further and risking a night outdoors in the cold and damp. Not much of a choice, if you ask me. There was even a bottle of local cider to sweeten the deal!
I'm not sure what time it is, but it seems to have been daylight for at least a few hours. I had a glorious sleep, but still tend to wake with the first light, which at this time of year, is very early. Jean said she'd be up at around nine, so I'm just waiting till I see some sign of life down in the main house, then I'll head down for breakfast, and see what my assignment is for the day. Yesterday evening before dinner, I stripped all the fat, ripe cherries off Jean's four small cherry trees *before the racoons and the bears could get them* and today I think she wants me to finish a section of fence she's been building to block out the neighbours. It's a beautiful spot here, secluded amongst the tall Douglas Firs and Ponderosa Pines, with snow streaked peaks towering all around us. However I'm not getting any closer to Alaska so I wouldn't mind moving on later today. Depends on Jean's plans a bit, since we're quite a long way off the highway and I wouldn't attempt to walk there. After she told me that the bison farmer down the road had recently lost a young calf to a grizzly, I'm even happier with my decision to stay here in a warm dry cabin!