Thursday, September 24, 2020

Back on the road - to the Left Coast


After our last expedition, we spent about 3 nights at home.  Laundry done, grass mowed, - time to hit the road again!

This time, it was straight west to Revelstoke on day 1.  Noticed that Hailey's poops were getting a bit runny - not a good sign.  Next day we carried on through Kamloops, where I was lucky enough to meet up with Randy & Lorraine, friends from college days.  Randy, a retired Fisheries Officer, is also author of Poachers, Polluters and Politics, an account of his time as an officer in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

 Poachers, Polluters and Politics: A Fishery Officer's Career by [Randy Nelson]

The last time we met up was a few years ago, at a northern Saskatchewan fishing lodge that they were operating at the time.  Here's a link to that blog post!

From Kamloops, our route continued westward through Cache Creek, then onto Highway 99, eventually aiming for Pemberton and Whistler.  Hailey's condition was not improving when we camped in a non-descript spot that night.  Of course, we had picked a spot on a logging road where loaded gravel trucks commenced rolling right by us - around 3AM!  Great!  We were on the road early :-(

 The highway soon joined up and followed the very steep and deep canyons of the Fraser river.  At a roadside pulloff it was possible to get up for some aerial shots.

We made a call to (one of) Hailey's vets back in Calgary, and arranged to pick up a medication at a vet in Lillooet to hopefully control her diarrhea.  We got that and sprinkled some on her food.  Lillooet is on the Fraser river, so we spotted a very historic old bridge to check out.  It is no longer in use, but is maintained for pedestrian use.

I wanted to send up my helicopter for a scenic flight, but unfortunately it is too close to the local airport, therefore it is a NFZ (no fly zone) - even though the runways are hundreds of feet above the river level :-(

Leaving Lillooet, the highway west enters a very scenic and steep canyon.


 Highway 99 leaves the Fraser at Lillooet, but soon begins to follow another small river.  There are a number of small Forest Service campsites along this section, but we managed to find our own spot right by the water to spend the next night.

It was another hot day, so it was nice to have some cold water to cool off in!

Hailey, unfortunately decided that she no longer wanted to eat, and began to vomit up everything she had previously eaten, and still had diarrhea.  With no cell service or towns in the area, there was no choice but to continue westward - through Pemberton and Whistler, and down to the coast at Squamish.  We hung out on the waterfront for a while, watching all the kite boards and wind surfers enjoy the windy conditions.  A friend from the BC Conservation Officer service stopped by for a brief chat.  Phone calls to local vets did not get us an appointment, and they all suggested the big emergency vet clinic in North Vancouver.  So, - we headed up (down?) the Sea to Sky highway towards Vancouver, and found our secret secluded spot near Porteau Cove Provincial Park - which of course was plumb full, and at any rate, was not accepting anyone from Alberta at that time.

Next morning was a beeline to the Mountainside Vet Hospital where of course, full Covid protocols were in place.  After I sedated her enough that she wouldn't scratch their eyes out, we got her into a cage and they took her in.

I drove around that part of the city for a while, waiting to see what the Vancouver vets had to say.  I stumbled onto this view of the Lions Gate bridge - from the bottom.


Lions Gate Bridge is Vancouver's answer to the Golden Gate, though it is green instead of orange!
After a few hours the vets called and andvised that she was being held captive overnight so they could get her on IV and do the appropriate tests, etc.  Having no desire whatever to spend the night in the noise of the city, I headed back out on the Sea to Sky to the previous camp spot.  Only a very short hike provides an ocean view, so that was the happy hour view.

In the morning, the vets called with good news; she was eating again, and was ready to attack anyone who came close!  They still had more tests to do, so she was not yet ready to make her escape.  Back into West Van, I drove up the Cypress Bowl ski area to take in the scenery and kill some time.  They did not let her out till 9:30PM.  She couldn't stop purring or face-butting.  Was she ever glad to be back in the camper!  Since the plan had been to eventually head for Vancouver island, we found a noisy roadside spot, but with a great view of the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, and all the ferries coming and going.


  Next post: Up the Sunshine Coast and over to Vancouver Island!


  1. Anonymous3:31 pm

    Did you get Hailey's test results yet? It's awful that she was so sick . I know how concerning it is to see a loved companion cat go through that. Despite how much trouble it was for you to get her to a vet you did a great job! - Mary

    1. She's still kickin', and catching mice, but she has a variety of issues we're still working on all the time!

  2. I'm one who believes the 'Left' coast is the 'Right' coast. Continued safe travels and the best of health for Hailey!

    1. Thanks Jeff. Perhaps our paths will cross when it's safe to go south again!