Friday, June 7th – Saturday, June 8th, 2013
Our nighttime arrival was going to go from weird to scary to inconvenient. As we approached the town of Pemberton, I was creeped out after seeing on a few different occasions people walking by themselves in the middle of nowhere in the dark with no flashlights. I guess that was the norm in such a small town but to me, it was something out of a slasher film. The night got scarier after we cruised around trying to find a legit place to park for the night.
We stopped temporarily outside of a pub since they were open, and parking there during open hours wouldn’t cause any alarm. Trevor took a power nap. I tried to do the same, but was unable to. I’m a light sleeper and the cover band performing in the pub was loud, as were the drunk people standing out front of the building.
Just as I was about to doze off, I was awoken by the van shaking violently. Some drunken asshole was trying to steal the bikes off of the van! I woke Trevor up, but by the time we managed to get out of the van, they had all retreated back to the front of the pub, and it appeared a police officer was chatting with them. We weren’t sure if he was talking to them regarding what they just tried to do, or if he was just socializing. It was a small town, and given that we haven’t had the best experiences so far in the country, we decided to just leave and not say anything about it. Nothing would be resolved reporting an “attempted” theft and it wasn’t worth our time.
Pissed and extremely exhausted, we tried to strap the bikes back on the van as best as we could and left town. We were at wits end with Canada. I hate to admit it, but that was how we felt at the time. Canada was absolutely gorgeous, but our chances of having an enjoyable experience there were about shot. We drove all night. First we stopped at Whistler, BC in hopes of finding a discreet place to park for the remainder of the night. No luck. We pushed on all the way to Squamish, BC. It was about 4 am when we arrived, and we were grateful to find a Walmart parking lot to crash at.
It was a dreary morning, so we made coffee in the van then drove in the rain around Squamish. Looking around at the locals, it seemed like the ideal place to be if you’re into mountain biking. I assumed there were a lot of trails nearby. We located the downtown area and a farmer’s market was taking place.
After browsing, we walked around the shops then drove to Vancouver, BC.
The city was huge! We strolled along the waterfront admiring the architecture and water planes landing in the distance.
After checking out the convention center, we went to “Freshii” to eat then explored Historic Gas Town.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say Trevor has OCD when it comes to germs, but he freaked out a little after a homeless drunk guy approached him at random and grabbed his hand. Why? I don’t know. It wouldn’t be the first time someone wanted to touch him though. Back in Texas, a woman asked to shake his hand since he looked “like a very spiritual person.” I guess since he looks a little like Jesus. I digress. He was holding his hand in the air frantically searching for a sink to wash his hand in. We went to a shopping center where another homeless guy was holding the door for everyone as he waved his empty cup out at them. People kept walking by, not filling his cup with change as he so hoped. This made him very outraged. He screamed, “CHANGE!!!” at me as I entered the open door. I thanked him and casually walked away. Trevor successfully found a sink at Subway.
We wandered Granville Street, then the Davie Village district, English Bay, and Stanley Park, before driving to the Mount Pleasant area. There were a lot of cute shops, but they were unfortunately all closed. We were also all out of money for the parking meters, so we decided to part ways with Vancouver, and Canada in general. I’m happy our Canadian experience ended at Vancouver. It redeemed a lot of the negativity we had experienced overall. By no means am I bashing Canada, and I plan on giving it all another go someday. Not all travel experiences are pleasant ones, and I’m certain whenever we return, things will be different. We drove through the Punjab Market area, then missed our exit for Hwy 99. We made a U-turn then hightailed it for the border.
We waited in line a while before a smooth crossing back into the United States. I was happy to be back! We had arrived in Washington state and I had to get my picture on the side of the road since there was no Welcome Center there. I would later learn that the west coast doesn’t have many, if any, welcome centers by state borders.
We were surrounded by “the people of Walmart” when we stopped in Bellingham, WA. We were undoubtedly back in the states!
Jump Back to Part 46: Rude Boys, Electric Fences & Metrics
Jump Ahead to Part 48: Space Meow, Taxidermy & Gum
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening