Dear Adventerous Reader,
Hells Gate is a 150 metre descent from the top house to the bottom. A gondola ride that would be hell on a windy day. The cliffs are steep, sharp angles of stone separating the large clusters of tall trees. And it goes up and up, until the clouds obscure the view, twirling against the craggy peaks.
The water down below is murky and brown. Twisting and turning in huge circles, a vortex where the rocks force the water against itself. There are Fish Gates along the side of the river, built into the rock walls, where a landslide had made it difficult for salmon to move upstream.
The river is rushing fast past the rocks and there is no snow melt. After winter the river is much deeper, and runs faster. The sound, from the bridge above the water, is deafening.
The boys have gone off to pan for gold, and Adeline follows (of course), to return wet. She runs back to meet her boys, only to slip on the wooden pathway - all is fine, and she stands and runs over to the water to play with her boys.
I have never taste-tested bad fudge, ever. The companies making fudge and selling it know how much of a percentage game they play. At the bottom of Hells Gate there is a fudge-store, I do not know the percentage of tourists that ascend the gondolas with a red bag holding fudge, but we were certainly one of them. “Been to the fudge shop?” The attendant asked. We nodded, we couldn’t deny it, we had a red bag. “I love it.” He said.
It was great fudge. But, I have never had bad fudge.
A tent is such a nice place to be, after a long day, crawling into a sleeping bag, zipping the side up and settling into a warm ball for a nice sleep. Until you hear one of the little ones stir, and give a whimper and ask for a bucket.
Zeke was feeling ill the day we left Chilliwack, something-like gastro had twisted his stomach into knots. We didn’t make it to Hope when he threw up.
That night, in the chill night air of a small camp ground, Joash found himself ill. He threw up seven times through the night, each time making the bucket and I had to make a trip to the bathrooms to ensure we were set for the following time. After Joash had finished Elijah woke with an ill tummy and missed the bucket.
A disgusting sleeping bag was the result. Tent Vomit is my least favourite kind of vomit, although all are bad, that is the worst.
The next day we drove onwards through to Kamloops. This small town will be remembered as The Town We Snuck Children Into Our Hotel Room. Long days drive over tedious hills and into small towns, as we wound around the back roads from Hope to Kamloops. Everyone was tired, and no motels had enough room for us to fit in.
Allow me this place to speak for a little while about why we felt like we had to play sneaky games with a motel.
I am fine with businesses making money. I understand that with a large family, we have to accommodate ourselves to the way they have chosen to make money. A Family Ticket being two adults and two children doesn’t work for us. The word Family is flexible in the real world, but not in ways that most businesses structure payments.
Most motels allows a set number of people in one room. The more people you want, to more you have to pay. I understand this would apply to University students, or a bus load of people arriving late one night. But, surely, a family travelling through a town, for a single night, could sleep a few extra bodies on the floor? You would think…
Instead, they say “We don’t allow this.” Which translates to “The Rules do not allow for it.” or “We are not willing to make changes to accommodate your family.”, or some other variation that makes sense when you live and die by the rules. Or there is some kind of legal rules that the motel has to follow - I would be sure there are government regulations that “rate” a room to a set number of tenants.
The landslide of huge families coming to one motel to sleep all their children must way heavily on their minds.
So, we adjusted the room count by ourselves, filing our baffling number of children into our room. Choosing not to tell the hotel that the $130 a night would sleep our whole family, not the three children we were paying for. The only people who had a problem with it were our children, who couldn’t fathom the lie we were living.
Driving isn’t fun with vomit and lies. We have ventured into the mountains with difficulty. Hopefully we can get to Banff with less problems.