The climb began immediately outside of Penticton as we made our way toward the highway 3 turnoff. The slow pace of the Westfalia was a welcome addition to our progress since it meant we had plenty of time to enjoy the long vista of Skaha Lake and the Okanagan hills.
Once past Princeton we began the long and sometimes winding road to Sunday summit (1282 metres). While the elevation changed, so did the vegetation as pine was gradually replaced by fir and spruce and grass by scrub brush and ferns.
This time we were greeted by a raven and his mate - checking us out for snacks. He had to rely on others, however, since we were busy with our own.
One more major summit to go. As we began the climb to Alison Pass, the weather turned wet - just like the rain shadow textbook predicted. The trees were larger, fir and hemlock began to dominate the hills, and moss appeared as a green coating on the rocks and olive beards on the trees. We descended the west side of the mountains into full rain.
Once past Hope, the road leveled out and followed the cliffs on the left and the Fraser River on the right.
Farms reappear as the land flattens - and this time they show the rich diversity of fertile land: raspberries, cranberries, vegetables, alfalfa, and beans. The hills recede, the delta widens, and the highway fills up with commuters and commercial transports.
After 12 days on the road, we finally pull up to JP & Lies' house in Langley - tired of the long days of driving but full of the new memories, discoveries, and satisfaction of an adventure well spent. What could be better than a greeting from our children and grandchildren!