This past weekend we didn’t go to Victoria. To be clear, it was Victoria Day, we just didn’t go to Victoria even though Aidan was convinced we had to. Instead we took a day trip and went up the Fraser Valley.
The plan was simple. We’d head towards the Othello Tunnels without any schedule or firm plan. And it started fine — we packed a picnic lunch, the kid-carrier backpack, the all-terrain stroller. I loaded up the GPSs and off we went.
Things started going a bit sideways in Abbotsford. Gwen has some new glasses and didn’t have sunglasses at the time. She wanted to stop by a drug store to pick up some clip-ons so we looked up pharmacies in the GPS and headed to one that wasn’t too far from the TCH.
The GPS, of course, led us to a farmer’s field near the Sumas border crossing.
So, we hit up a nearby Zellers. Gwen went in to check for the clip-ons while I checked for nearby geocaches. And the GPS told me “No geocaches found”. Of course, this is *exactly* what I wanted to see while sitting in a parking lot in Abbotsford at the beginning of a day meant for geocaching.
Zellers, of course, didn’t have the clip-ons. In an amazing stroke of luck, I’d brought my netbook (which has GSAK and up-to-date geocaches on it) and attempted to rectify the problem with the Oregon GPSr. Gwen and the kids went off to the Tim’s that was in the parking lot while I repaired the GSAK database (grr) and reloaded the caches. Disaster averted, I went over the Tims and met the family.
We headed out, but I had to stop by the washroom. I wasn’t in the bathroom more than 30 seconds when I heard Aidan calling out for me in the vestibule outside the washrooms. This was surprising because we’d asked him to stay with his mother. Anyway, we did our business and went back out into the restaurant to find a very unhappy Gwen. Turns out Aidan had come to the bathroom when his mother’s back was turned to Quinlan. As a result she had no idea where he was.
We almost went home there and then.
Instead we drove on to Bridal Falls and had a picnic.
Which is really the point of this post. Quinlan seems to like the outdoors, wouldn’t you say?
So, the picnic was a success. Time was marching on, but we did manage to grab a cache in the park. It should have been a quick grab, but in the shadow of the mountains the GPS wasn’t giving us great accuracy, and there were a number of potential hiding spots. And a rushing stream nearby. And it wasn’t clear which side of the stream the cache was on.
Traversing the stream was not an easy feat.
The cache was, of course, on the easy side.
So, we left Bridal Falls and headed up to Hope. An uneventful drive except that the GPS tried to get us to arbitrarily cross the Coquihalla River where the was no crossing, and Aidan fell asleep in the car. He never falls asleep in the car and this was the second time in as many weeks! He must be coming up to a growth spurt.
Eventually we found our way to the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. The park has a trail that leads to the Othello Tunnels, built back in 1914.
We all enjoyed the tunnels, which were a reasonable walk along the reclaimed railbed. Aidan was thrilled with the tunnels, and the canyon was pretty awesome too.
The big reason for coming to the Tunnels, however, was to get the geocache located there.
It seemed to be up the side of a cliff, near a fallen giant tree.
I say “seemed” because in the end, we DNF’d it. Frustrating, but we’d had an excellent adventure despite how the day started, so it was all good.