Alaska & Canada: Land, Sea and RV travel blog

First barrier blasted through

Tunnel Through Granite

Canyon Walls

Hanging by a Thread

River with Fish Ladders

Bridge Across River

Rushing Water Under Bridge

Peaking at Water Below

Fraser River Valley

After spending two days in Washington restocking the RV and doing laundry, we cranked her up and drove across the border. We passed field after field of berries: raspberries, blueberries, and black berries. Yum, yum!. All these freshly picked berries being sold at farm stands with no room for an RV plus tow car. That was a real bummer.

Our first stop was at Hope. Hope is surrounded by the towering Cascade mountains and more lush rain forests. It sits at the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers.

It is also known as the town where Rambo was filmed. All around town were signs saying this part of the movie was filmed here. Since I really have no memories of particular parts of the film, I just thought it was funny to advertise these fact about a long forgotten bad movie..

We took a hike to the Othello Tunnels that were built around 1911. There are five tunnels and a series of bridges that were cut through solid granite in the Coquihalla River Canyon. This canyon, or gorge, was chosen as the Canadian Pacific RR's route between the Kootenays and BC. After seeing the tunnels I think they could have picked an easier route. The architect of the tunnels was a fan of Shakespeare so he named his stations after the Bard's characters. These tunnels had to have been an engineering challenge due to the sheer rock cliffs and the violently rushing river below.

One of my reasons for coming this direction was what I read about the Fraser River Valley and a place called Hell's Gate. It received this name from an explorer named Simon Fraser. Fraser was trying to find a route down the river. When he reached this section of the river, he said it is a place "where no human should venture, for surely we have encountered the gates of hell." Well, they made a tourist attraction at the site so passing tourists could experience hell! There is an Airtram that decends 950 feet on a single cable to the rushing waters of the Fraser river. This section of the river is only 108 feet wide with 200 million gallons of watering thundering through the gap every minute. Sounds like hell to me. Unbelievably, it is also a major salmon spawning area. They built fish ladders in the water that give the salmin a chance at making it up the river. It was well worth the trip to hell and back.

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