|Bella Coola Loop
After "the Hill" and Hechtman Pass, we returned to paved roads and our way back home. We missed most of the sights of Highway 20, because we spent too long on side-road adventures (see below). We missed most of the stops on Highway 97, because it was (finally) raining. And we missed most of the possibilities on Highway 99 and I-5, because we were running out of time (had to be back in the US for a B'nei Mitzvah).
What we did not miss, however, were some incredible opportunities and views by air and by road. I would divide this part of the trip into three sections: Nimpo Lake, Tatlayoko Lake, and Lillooet/Pemberton.
On the other side of Hechtman Pass is the float plane capitol of Canada (or so say some ads; I have a feeling that there is more than one). This beautiful lake is surrounded by mountains and inhabited by loons. There are several fishing and adventure resorts situated around the lake. Most are bustling during the summer months (and some in the winter, as well), but the area was quiet when we arrived in October.
|Mats over loose gravel
Wilderness Retreat Inn
|Building a ramp for me
|Tatlayoko Lake Community Park accessible trail
After a rainy day of driving from Williams Lake, we arrived in Lillooet, where we stayed in an accessible room at Canada's Best Value Inn. Across from the hotel was a mountain vista, as was prevalent everywhere in that area. After the Bella Coola unpaved roads, we exerted caution and decided not to attempt the unpaved scenic drive from Lillooet to Pemberton through Gold Bridge (although that caution may not have been warranted), but the drive from Lillooet to Pemberton on the main highway (99) was itself incredibly scenic. We stopped in at Pemberton (the old train station has an accessible washroom), and then we drove to the Pemberton Meadows to access the unpaved road from the south end in order to catch the vistas -- which were, of course, stunning. Next time we would do the loop from Lillooet to Pemberton on the unpaved road through Gold Bridge, especially because I read that both the Highland Cream Resort and the Tyax Lodge there are wheelchair accessible.
Eventually, we drove into Seattle. The trusty Prius was dirty, but alive. Another successful Canadian adventure