Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Days 261 and 262 Princeton to Hope to Agassiz, B.C.

Day 261, time to leave this little bit of paradise at the Rockridge Resort in Princeton.

But not before I went down to the basketball court and shot some hoops for awhile!

This cartoon was in the lobby, a little late but makes the point.

heading off on the Hope-Princeton highway, a road I am very familiar with. (vancouver is getting ever closer!)
cruisin through Manning Park.

With an elevation of 1342 metres, Allison Pass still had a little snow.  

The Cascade Mountains.

The Hope slide, the largest landslide ever recorded in Canada. It came down in 1965.
heading down into Hope, it's starting to set in that this journey is getting closer to completion

Our end of day celebration was in Hope (population around 6,000), and is the self-proclaimed chain-saw carving capital of Canada

Kayla and I had a meeting point at the  Hope town hall, and the end of day celebration was in behind at the city centre park.

I love the banner, I have only seen one even close to the scale of this one, and that was back in Nova Scotia!
We had our medal bearer briefing in the town council chambers. We have used city halls numerous times along the relay across Canada.

this convex mirror shot is becoming my favorite, I am driving and I do not get to see the excitement, anticipation, and the smiles of the day 261 difference makers.

Kayla snuck up on me as we parked the  bus to go to the end of day celebration!

it was really cool to see the medal bearers walking along the route that we had just dropped them off at.
There's Shannon at her insertion point with her supporters.

As I went back to the shuttle to get something I saw the convoy out of the back window.

and there's Ty escorting our end of day medal bearer, Barbara. Here is her story:

Barbara is reluctant about being in the spotlight and wonders why she has been singled out for this honour. She modestly protests the recognition claiming that she really hasn’t done much to deserve the honour. This speaks volumes as to why she was chosen and why she is long overdue for this recognition.
She came to Hope with her husband Dan in the fall of 1968 from Jamaica. They raised two boys, Jay and Matthew, and Dan became well known in the community as the coach and Director of the Hope Otters Swim Club that began in 1969; and as the Recreation Director for Hope & District for 18 years before his retirement in 1990. During all of these years it was Barbara in the back ground that did all of the paperwork and office tasks that kept the Otters Swim Club going – in fact she was usually too busy filling in time sheets during the swim meets to see her own sons competing. Barbara also spent time helping out at the school and volunteering at the library.
After Barbara’s family was grown and she retired from her work at the Hope Health Unit she increased her commitment to the community by joining the Fraser Canyon Hospice Society, volunteering at the local Flu and Baby Clinics and becoming an active member of the Friends of the Hope Library.
Her husband Dan passed away in 1995 and it was in 2000 that she became a Board member of the Hospice Society, where she has now served almost 9 years as their devoted Secretary. She is most proud of the work she has done with Camp Skylark – the annual bereavement camp held at Camp Squeah for children that are coping with the loss of a loved one. She also spearheads Hospice’s annual Candlelight Memorial Service held each November; the yearly Celebrate Life program over the Christmas season and assists with the Hike for Hospice fundraiser each May.
You don’t always see Barbara Sharrers at all of these events or see her quoted in the newspaper coverage but she is there – writing the letters to sponsors, sending thank you cards, attending the meetings and recording minutes.
Barbara is a true “difference maker”. When asked about her participation in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, she said “ I am very honoured to be part o this historic journey, and I do remember so well Rick’s amazing trip. (His) remarkable spirit is one for all to emulate.”

the other difference makers and our endurance athlete Doug were close behind.
Barabara has a lot of fans today, including the man in motion himself, Rick Hansen.

This is probably the best back-drop we have ever had at an end of day. 

and what celebration would be complete without of the other man of the relay, Ronald McDonald!

Rick ackonwledges the people of Hope.
and then the moment they all came for, Rick, speaks from the heart and encourages and inspires us all!

the city of Hope had just prior given Rick a wood carving picture of his likeness. (just behind him)

the group picture, these difference makers are part of the spirit that have carried the honour of the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal across the country.

home for one whole night, the Heritage Inn
Day 262, on the way out of town, we stopped by the city centre park.

another example of why Hope should be the chain-saw carving capital of Canada.

the downtown square

they had these banners celebrating the 25th anniversary relay all thoughout the town

crossing the mighty Fraser.
32 km to Aggasiz, sight of the day 262 end of celebrations

apparently, ( i cannot find the info online) there is a pipeline (gas?) crossing highway 7

this old church was on the Chawathil first nations reserve. (there were 2 medal bearers there today)

 Highway 7, this may be the last stretch uncongested stretch of road we will be on as we head ever closer to Vancouver.
Kayla and I had a couple of minutes to kill before our medal bearer meeting point at the Seabird Island first nations, so I took a couple of pics of the surrounding scenery.

apparently the canals around Seabird Island are a habitat for the Oregon spotted frog
I didn't spot any today, though

On the ways to our meeting point at the Seabird Island community school, I spyed this ivy covered house,

and this old barn.
The school really showed evidence of preserving their native heritage

there were a lot of sayings in the first nations language

the  community school had two buildings, our meeting point was in the elementary section

Kayla and I with our two medal bearers from Seabird Island, Evelyn, (one of the first nation elders (with a traditional hat)), and Shannon, who is in Grade 8
the community was very engaged with the relay coming to visit.

a traditional native drum blessing for the medal bearers and the relay crew.

the community also provided the relay crew a salmon lunch, many thanks! It was an honour to visit Seabird Island a learn a little bit about their proud heritage.

heading into Agassiz, (population 6,000) a farming community in the Fraser Valley. I fell in love with this place, it was lush, and the weather was great! (although I hear it rains a lot)

just for fun I plugged in Cape Spear, Newfounland on the G.P.S. where we starteded the relay on Aug.24, 2011 Hard to believe that we are 7,460 kilometres away! (the actual relay will cover about 13,500 kilometres by the time it is done in Vancouver on day 273)
In Pioneer Park I saw the biggest Elm tree I have ever seen!


ahhh, springtime, with the trees in bloom.
Barn and Kayla catching some rays.

The convoy pulls in to the end of day site .

and here comes the Agassiz end of day medal bearer, Lorne, a former mayor and current town councillor

followed by his entourage
Jordan asks Lorne how heavy (almost a pound of silver), the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal is around his neck.

It was a picnic like setting, people scattered all around the park

The end of day medal bearer shot is done, now it is time for them to show the crowd what they have learned, the warm-up dance!

end of day is done, time to take a 20 minute drive to our home for two nights, the Coast hotel in Chilliwack. (here we are crossing the mighty Fraser river.
as we head into Chilliwack on Highway 1, the Trans-Canada, it really started sinking in that this journey is rapidly coming to a close!

outside of our hotel window was a pond that included these turtles! who doesn't like turtles?

it may be man made, but it still had a calming and relaxing feel to it!

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