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After diner I was really craving a soda of any sort so I walked over to the RVthat had just recently pulled up and asked if I could trade them some energy bars  but the German accented guy told me unfortunately they didn’t have more than a half finished bottle of flat soda, which would have worked just the same but I didnt push the issue.

I noticed his fire was, well not a fire, but a smoky ball of news paper covered in saw dust. It looked like he was struggling to get it going so I splintered off a few pieces of wood from a log and pulled out the smallest pieces of fire wood I could find in their bundle and got it going for them before heading off to a camp site a few down where an old couple sat on a picnic table chatting as a smoldering weak fire cast a flickering pair of black forms up against their motor home. I talked with the guy about how most people just sit their motor homes someplace not too far from home and use them as a weekend escape like my parents but applauded them for making the drive all the way from Pennsylvania. It was nice after not doing the hitchhiking trip to still meet interesting people who were so kind. The woman retreated into the RV and came back out with a room temperature 6 oz. bottle of cola and  said I was in luck that they had just gone to the grocery store earlier that day to restock. after 5 more minutes of stories about their 40 years of travel her husband said why dont you go in there and get them another bottle im sure this young man can handle a bottle by him self. Mine was gone before our fire burned itself out Cynthias however rode half full with us mack through vancouver and all the way back down to Portland before finally being thrown out with maybe a sip or two still left in it.

After packing up camp in the morning we drove all afternoon and got into Seattle around 9 2 hours behind my friend Frank who lives up there and who was friving straight through from San Francisco after a road trip he and his wife did. basically we just had dinner, went to sleep, woke up and hit the road again but with the promise we would stop by to spend some time on our way back down.

Cynthia and I took turns managing our respective Ipods and I discovered a cool Musical she played called In the Heights.  we would bounce between conversation and long stretches of saying nothing as both of us stared out the window maybe half in awe and half already ehxuasted after more than 15 hours of driving. The traffic began to slow up and soon the reed toll plaza looking Abbotsford Canadian border control checkpoint came into sight. Cynthia talked about how as a kid she would pretend to be sleeping when her family went down to mexico to visit so she wasnt asked any questions but now that doesnt work because some crazy traffickers have used hollowed out babies “sleeping” on their mothers chest as a way to bring in drugs.

We handed teh woman our passports and were asked a ton of questions about how we knew one another, what de did for a living, where in Canada we were going and the last one stumped us, how long we would be in canada because we really didnt know. It could have been 2 days or a week if we really liked it. The woman claimed that anyone entering Canada for teh first time was required to enter the “visitors center” and check in. When we were called to the desk we were again baraged with repetitious questions in an attempt to trip us up. Then the police asked, “may I see your car keys”. I dont know Canadian legal rights but it sounded like Cynthia forfieted her own rights. He never said he was legally abligated to search our car. I wanted to be there while he searched teh car but again I dont know if I have the right to be present during the search so I couldnt assert my self. Some cops Law enforcement agents are honest people others are not and I dont want anything coming up missing or being planted.

His sillouette could be seen from across the parking lot moving around in the car but after about 10 minutes he walked in and took off his black leather gloves and prodded with a few more questions before finally handing over teh keys and sending us on our way. When we reentered the car Cynthia and I both had a laugh thinking about what he thought when he saw her tiny KKK-esque Semana Santa figurine but the laughter stopped short when cynthia tried to put in the code to check the time on her phone. The phone displayed a message saying the wrong code had been entered too many times and that she would have to wait a while to try again. What did he want with the phone? Arent theysuposed to be looking for drugs or bombs? That set us both off besides that he left the car a disaster, well, worse than it was.

A few more hours of cynthia babying the car up some pretty steep, sweeping  mountain roads and guiding us back down and we pulled into a Info center. When we opened the car doors there was a strong fresh smell of Christmas, a crisp pine smell. After getting a map and our bearings we rolled intoKelowna, Canada where we were to meet with her friend Ran who Cynthia met during her first year in Spain after running away from an aweful au pair gig with a family that wouldnt let her use the kitchen and who had two demon children.

As we pulled up to  their house a girl was screaming with excitement while being lifted off of her feet by a boy who just stepped out of a white car. once back on the ground and somewhat calmed down she turns to see Cynthia and started shreiking again as she ran out to give her a big hug. The boy was Ran’s brother who had just returned from a long trip to try out for a hockey team.

We sat around on the porch enjoying the fresh air and cool temperature talking for a whule before walking to down town Kelowna. Western Canada isnt known for Poutine, it comes from the East but still you find it where we were. In its most basic form it is french fries covered in gravy and melted cheese curds and it was delicious. Besides that we had some Canadian craft brews and wings then moved to a different Poutine joint called Smokes to try their version.

At night the park along the river is pretty quiet but buskers try to earn money there in the day playing music or selling hand crafts. A huge sculpture called “The Sails” was iluminated along the sea wall at the end of the main commercial street and to its side was a secondary sculpture of a big  serpent named Ogopolo who suposedly lives in the Okanagan Lake. IMG_0251 (640x427)IMG_0270 (640x427)IMG_0263 (640x427)IMG_0273 (640x427) IMG_0275 (640x427)1239966_10200823154643470_866917873_n 7666_10200823154443465_1269628048_n