The End of the Trip, And a 20th Anniversary

Friday morning was my last chance to have a ride before heading home, so I grabbed a quick bite and headed out for a loop through Metchosin and East Sooke. It was a 50 km ride, and the first part was a fight. I went up and down and up and down so much I swear my ears were popping. Worth it for the photo, though:

Sooke Harbour, glimpsed from Gillespie Road

We had a brunch with Colin, Carol, Stephanie and the kids and Dad at Jasmine’s before making a quick trip to Bolen Books. Miranda never passes up an opportunity to visit a bookstore. 🙂 Dinner was a barbecue at Stephanie’s place, with Tristan charring some burgers for us. Twinkie was back in good form, and attacked a wasp… Poor thing.

Queen Twinkie

The kids stayed for a sleepover. Tammy and I went back “home” to the suite at Dad’s condo, but then went out for a walk to McDonald’s for a coffee and to Walmart for supplies for the trip home. It was a nice, quiet evening. A moment of peace.

I had an early morning the next day, because Stephanie and Tristan were going to take the kids fishing. I was a chauffeur, chaperone and shooter of photos. It was a beautiful morning at Spectacle Lake. I wasn’t sure what to expect: on one hand, as a teenager I had gone fishing tons of time with Jay, but only ever caught one fish. On the other hand, I knew that Tristan was an effective fisherman and likely to succeed where I failed.

The second option was right. I learned a lot by observing, and to my surprise, ten fish were hauled in. Ian caught one, and Miranda caught two. Brianna also caught two and the last fish caught was by Zach. Stephanie was the only one blanked on the morning.

Miranda, Ready to Leap into Action

Ian, Rainbow Trout in Hand

The day ended with Dad treating everyone to dinner at Romeo’s. By that time, Ian was tired and sad that our trip was over. He took a while to console, but recovered. We packed up, and were ready for a 4:30 alarm the next morning.

We were off, bright and early with Dad helping to pack the car up. We were concerned that the seven o’clock ferry would be full, but it was only 34% full when we passed under the sign on the Pat Bay Highway near Sidney.

Onward!

Of course, the Sunday wasn’t just any other day: it was our 20th anniversary. This day in 1997, Tammy and I said “I do” at Aunty Button and Uncle Vern’s house.

Wedding Day

What better way to spend your anniversary than spending sixteen hours with your loved ones in a confined space, speeding through BC’s highways? Anyhow, we stopped for lunch at Red Robin in Kamloops. Tammy was adamant that she would have a chocolate milkshake.

The Happy Couple, 20 Years On

Perfectly clear and dry weather, which was fine for us, if not for those who wanted rain. Like the forest fire fighters. There was a fire in Glacier National Park when we headed west, but apparently it had spread in the week in between. It was very close to the highway in places. We saw a helicopter with a bucket fighting it.

Fires Near the Highway

It didn’t slow us down. That was reserved for the construction on the BC/Alberta border. We crawled along for kilometers. Then the sun went down and traffic appeared out of nowhere, travelling at breakneck speeds between Canmore and Calgary. It got dramatic when there was a van and trailer in the ditch, which caused a backup and we came across standstill traffic over a hillcrest when travelling at 110 km/h. I was very thankful to get home just after 10 pm.

And very thankful to sleep in my own bed. It was a great trip by any measure but it’s nice to be home. Miranda and I spent time at Rona and Home Depot this morning. Flooring in her room happens tomorrow.

 

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