Into the Wilds
Bellingham to 100-Mile House
May 29, 2017
Miles Driven: 325
Sunrise (Bellingham): 5:13am / Sunset (100-Mile House): 9:11pm
Latitude: 48.75N to 51.64N
National Parks Visited: 0
Wacky Roadside Attractions: 2
To calm any worriers out there, tonight’s hotel is quite nice. It has the standard run-of-the-mill amenities. The roads here are well paved. And Nicole and I ate a nice meal tonight at a perfectly respectable restaurant. In all, it was practically a boring day… well, unless you consider we just passed into Canada… and the kilometers (those darn Canucks and their metric system) of gorgeous scenery dotted only by small towns and kitschy roadside attractions. That’s right, we’ve gone into the wilds. Well, the wilds with amenities.
The Sea-To-Sky highway took us from Vancouver through Whistler on a back route amidst alpine mountains, turquoise lakes, and green fields. To some extent I think it may be more beautiful to take that route in reverse – north to south – emerging from the crags with views of the Pacific. Nevertheless, we wound our way north and enjoyed the unfolding scenery.
Clinton (originally 47-Mile House). Queen Victoria named this crossroads of goldrush trails. Today it’s a cute spot filled with lots of odd-ball antique shops and historical markers. splendor sine occasu read the sign. I quickly put my Classics MA to good use, “Splendor without death or without fall.” For the most part that is correct; though I needed to use a bit more nuance. It means splendor without end. Clearly my Latin degree would continue to prove useful, if all of these small towns were to have dead-language mottos! Victorian sensibilities indeed! Then disappointment set in – splendor sine occasu is the B.C. motto.
100-Mile House. The trek up 97 follows along the main route the klondikers took in pursuit of fortune. Various towns sprung up at conveniently spaced locations, called Mile Houses, which I find ironic considering Canada is now metric. Anyway, and perhaps it was the earlier Latin, I was reminded of Roman travel. Those famous roads the Romans paved required rest-stops evenly spaced apart (also see: The Peutinger Map). They were places for weary travelers to rest their heads, eat a good meal, and purchase supplies, just like these roads deep into Canada. As I get ready to rest my head for the night, it feels like life has not changed all that much, except for the added kitsch of 39-foot skies.
Until tomorrow from Dawson Creek, BC…