What we drove
We are driving a 1988 5.7L V8 Chevy Vanguard Class “C” motor home. This 10,000 lbs monster comes fully loaded with fridge, stove/oven, toilet, kitchen and bathroom sinks. We usually sleep downstairs, but there is a huge bed upstairs which we mainly used for storage for this trip.
We still have the original documentation for all the vehicle systems.
As with all our driving trips, we shared driving duties sixty-sixty, two hours on, two off.
What we ate
We have been quietly vegan since 2014, after watching one too many docs about how horrible meat production is for the planet. We discovered to our initial disappointment that most restaurants have a veggie burger option, if you’re lucky.
We had to let our veganism go for the couple of months the trip took; when in Rome, and all that…
Usually our go-to breakfast at home is a fruit smoothie with protein shoved in there. Because of the basic reality of we were camping now, we had to switch over to bowls of fruit, a banana, and peanut butter sandwiches. This worked just fine.
For lunch we typically made cold cut/cheese sandwiches. If we could get the vegan versions so much the better, but it didn’t really matter anymore.
We loved to load up our fridge with nutritious salads: broccoli, cauliflower, and even seafood salads. Good value for the money.
At dinnertime we loved to walk to a restaurant/bar and have whatever the local favorite was. In the Maritimes that was lots of seafood.
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British Columbia is the westernmost province in Canada, with a population of 5.1 million (2020). Although Victoria is the capital, Vancouver is the largest metro area in Western Canada. The University of British Columbia (UBC), where I do my annual Huntington’s Disease check ins, is at Vancouver.
We live three hours east of Vancouver along the #3 Crowsnest Hwy, at Princeton (originally Vermillion Forks).
Princeton is a lovely town of about 2800 (2016 census) that sits right on the convergence of the Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers. We actually live about 22 kms east of Princeton, at the Bromley Rock subdivision.
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We begin our journey July 03 in Princeton BC. The night before we did my annual HD appointment with my team of doctors at UBC, three hours west in Vancouver.
We knew that the #1 (Trans Canada) highway from Vancouver BC to St John’s NFLD was 8030 kms, but how many would we actually manage in such an old vehicle? I had my doubts.
From Cheryl’s journal: “Finally we were ready. 9 AM we left home for parts unknown. It was a beautiful day. Everything packed we were full of excitement and adventure. First leg of the journey was to go to Edmonton to visit with Aunt Irene. It was only fitting since she sold the motor home to us. We thought we’d only get to Revelstoke/Golden but the kms ticked away. We found ourselves in Lake Louise with rain and nowhere to stay. We thought we’d be able to stop on the side of the road or rest stop, but apparently in National Parks that’s not allowed. So on we went hoping we would find something else inside the (Banff) Park; if we didn’t we’d have to drive another 360 kms just to exit the Park. We finally found Mosquito Creek Campground. Although the campground was full we were able to park in the overflow area. Best seats in the house for the view. At 1800 m altitude the mountaintops were still in the clouds. What a majestic sight! Settling in at 9 PM. A long day with beautiful sights. Going to be hard to beat.”
The below image was taken in Revelstoke BC on the way out to the Rockies.
Images above: July 04 Mosquito Creek. The Mosquito Creek Campground is 24 km north of Lake Louise, along the Icefields Parkway.
We are leaving Princeton behind, heading east into a seemingly vast Canada. First stop, Mosquito Creek Campground.