What does Therese Mah do in her spare time? Watch the heartwrenching season 2 finale of Veronica Mars, among other things. Oh wow, so emotional. They have such cliffhanger endings each episode that it is impossibe not to get sucked in. Antonia and anyone else looking for a new favorite TV show should check it out.
I feel like I rushed through my retelling of my time in Hope, but I also wrote a blog post here on the BCUOMA Blog about the walking challenge and plethora of wooden statues we saw in Hope. Susan likes to think about how and why people migrated to certain cities and areas, and this idea lead to a Wikipedia revelation of a piece of Canada’s dark past in the business of racial discrimination and Japanese internment. It turns out that just a short distance from Hope a Japanese internment camp, Tashme, was in operation during WWII. Today a large and beautifully landscaped park in the middle of hope, the Tashme Friendship Garden has been built in recognition. There was also a sign there marking Hope as the Sister City to Izu, Shizuoka in Japan; an interesting concept.
From Hope we continued on to Merritt on the Coquihalla Hwy, one of my less-favorite highways in BC so far because people just drive too darn fast on that thing! Even worse, on our way back to Hope via Lytton it was pouring rain and there was some scary hydroplaning. Luckily Susan was driving, or else I would have been tempted to drive cautiously 20km under the speed limit.
The one thing that struck us about Merritt was the naked hills! At first we thought they were cool, like something out of the sound of music even, but the longer we stayed in Merritt the more creeped out we were. They looked barren and craigy. Why were they so bare?! We began asking some of the locals we encountered, and in the end I spoke to 3 different groups and got 3 different answers. There is lots of logged timber around Merritt, and I mean lots, so we sort of assumed de-forestation, but none of the locals gave us this answer. We did recieve the answers: A Pine Beetle Infestation, A Fire, A Farm. In the end I think it may be a combination of all four. I think there might be a cattle ranch in one direction and tourist hikers told us they definitely saw signs of fire in another. The other striking thing about Merritt is its strong effort to brand itself with a country theme, most likely for tourism the annual Country music festival draws. Even their bus stops have little wagon wheel decorations.
Other things about Merritt: Its windy there, and we felt much better on the drive back to Hope, after the hills started getting trees back on them. The naked-ness was making us uncomfortable. Here are some pictures from our short stop in Lytton, a beautiful little town. We were fortunate enough to talk to a man the day before, who approached us interested in finding a recycler of parafin wax, and who taught us to pronounce Lytton “Lit-On” rather than “Light-in”.
The drive from Lytton to Hope is filled with these beautiful tunnels!
On our way back to the lower mainland for gas we stopped in Chilliwack (it appears that the super cheap gas before was just chance, because it was as expensive as anywhere else our second time through), and yes, we did go back to Decades! This time I got my soup and salad and Susan got chili and a bun.
Check out the event we participated in this saturday, the Coastal Swap Meet. I wrote another BCUOMA post about it HERE