We started our day with coffee, eggs & Beans and anticipation of entry into Canada. We packed up camp fairly quickly and set out to locate the local dog park so we can tire out the dogs before the border.
We found the Thurston County Off-Leash Dog Area easily this time. The county had turned their former landfill into a dog park, so it was huge. The entrance had a huge bone made of brick at the entrance laid out to walk on into the main gate. Too cute...
Luther & BuddyJack played ball. Over and over again. Enough to tire them out and stay quiet as we started today's car ride. Up I-5 until we reached Mt. Vernon were there was a detour. This was our first for the trip, but certainly not our last.
It was recommended to take Route 9 for a few miles. The road was winding and slow, but offered a very scenic route through the backroads of WA state. We passed some beautiful lakes and followed a river to the Canadian Border Crossing at Sumas, WA.
I am a Native American from the Mi'gmaq Tribe in Listuguj. I possess a Certificate of Indian Status card which allows me entry into and out of Canada and the States without issue. I have always used my passport upon entry into Canada and back into the States, but my passport had recently expired and I wanted to verify that I could go through with just the archaic card.
Tom had his passport and the dogs had their papers. Nothing major for the dogs, only verification of rabies shots. All of these papers, as well as checkbook and expired passports were held in an old blue bank bag that I have used since owning Contrast Restaurant in Dennis, MA. Tom knows that if there is ever a major problem or fire, "Just grab the blue bag!" and he knows what to do. The joys of a ten year relationship.
We approached the border with great anticipation of what the road ahead would bring. Neither of us have ever traveled the Trans-Canada Highway. We've done traveling in the states back and forth a number of times. We've done it often enough that we are running out of routes.
A nice woman took our papers. I must admit I was nervous about my "Indian Card", but all went well. Reason for Visit? How Long? Asking were we work was a new one. At least for me. A nice Welcome to Canada and we were in.
First order of business? Head to the Highway, straight ahead. When we get there, take a right. Detour. Wrong turn! We land up on the Frontage RoadNo 3G. Saw a sign for information. It's basically an "i". "Look for the i!" Traveled down the road to our first information stop along Highway 1.
Flags of Canada
We picked up the necessary items entering into a new area. A local province map, camping information, special or unique things to do along the way were all freely given by the woman attendant. She also offered more maps for further provinces as well as guides for the few ahead. We headed East toward Quebec, and as if welcoming us, a Bald Eagle flew overhead. We were both very excited to see it, which would be one of the many wild animals we were to see along the way.
Our first planned stop was the Tetle Yet Campground in Hope, British Columbia. Prior to leaving, I looked up First Nation Campgrounds. I read that a number of tribes are opening their lands up to tourists but Tetle Yet was the only one I found on the web.
We arrived in early evening which gave us some time to set up camp and explore the District of Hope. I went into register at the office and asked about an indian price. The young man asked for my card, wrote down my band number and gave me a discount. YeeHaw!
We set up camp along the Fraser River. There were very few people there and the campground was fenced in so we had an opportunity to play with the dogs with a Chuckit and balls. The wind was strong and constant. Not a bad thing. No bugs!
We headed out to downtown Hope, the "wood carving capital of the world." We headed South to the Rotary Centennial Park were we saw some examples of the wood carving.
Participatory Art in Downton Hope
We had a great night. We bought some wood, played some cribbage and watched the campsite fill up with people from all walks of life. The rush of the wind and water always there. This was our first night in Canada and we felt at peace and slept.