We did get the bus back, although too late for wine country. After getting the bus home we loaded up, stopped on the way out of town for a spare jerry can (this one was been on the list for a while since our gas gauge doesn't read anything below half tank), the camp chairs we've been wishing we bought for the past year and a spinning rod (thinking we'd be camping at a lake but still kicking ourselves for leaving our fly rods in storage back in portland. Gear equipped, we continued driving a few hours east of VAN hoping that we would outrun the rain that was pouring down in the city and all along our drive. We didn't really want to camp in the rain but more importantly, the bus in rainy weather is currently no walk in the park. We don’t have any wipers (which isn't a huge deal because the rain-x almost outperforms them), but we desperately need to figure out how to slow down the flow of water from the safari windows. It almost seems like there’s more water running inside the windshields and down the dash than running off the outside of them.
While still gray and looming, we got a bit of a break in the rain near Hope, BC so we stopped to grab Jen a hot cup of coffee, investigate options for a pub to watch the Canucks game tomorrow (of which there was 1, which made it easy to choose) and headed south looking for Silver Lake park. We found the park and got about two campsites in before realizing this place wasn't for us. RVs, 4x4s and kids riding bikes were packed in like sardines and every spot had tents filling every square inch. We should have known it was a bad sign when we saw couple families had setup camp chairs on the paved road outside the park.
Quickly turned tail and headed back out of the park and tried the forest road just beside the entrance. This thing gained alot of elevation quickly and we began to wonder what our luck would be like when the only vehicle we passed (heading the other way) and was a bigfoot rigged buggy with tires taller than he bus. We kept going anyway until we hit the crux of the drive at a pretty severely washed out and rocky section. Didn't stop us from deliberating for a bit before deciding that we should wait on our suspension and brake upgrades before attempting this one. We backtracked and then followed the raging river several miles up the road hoping to find an open spot out of the way of fisherman traffic but not so close we might get carried away in the middle of the night.
Being a long weekend, this drive took a while as every acceptable spot was filled. You have to love family outings in the pacific northwest. Everybody in the family still shows up despite the dreary forecast, its just that everyone knows how to construct the tent village with tarps strung between them to try and get some enjoyment from nature despite the pissing rain. We saw several architectural marvels along this stretch of forest road. We finally found a good spot right next to the river and pulled over to make camp, test our lighting setup and see if we could figure out how to use the fishing rod. Seems spinning rods have way too many moving parts to allow the zen-like peacefulness that comes with fly fishing. We settled for a delicious camp pizza instead.
]Headed out early in the morning as we decided the rain was going to continue and watching the game at home sounded more appealing than the one bar in Hope. We “raced” the 4.5 hours home along with everyone else who decided to fold up the tent city and watch the game dry in VAN. Pulled in, wrung out the towels from the dash, and ran upstairs just in time for puck drop.