How did we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday? We decided to go outdoors and embrace what BC had to offer: we went on a 3-day trip out to Syringa Provincial Park!
A group of my friends and I decided to rent a car and head out on Friday before July 1st after work on our long road trip. Given how we all basically got off work at around 4-5PM, we weren’t able to actually leave Vancouver till 6:30 PM. This also meant that the drive we had ahead of us was killer. Driving all the way to Syringa would take around 7 hours, but we decided we’d camp out in the car during the night so we can take a break.
The “van” we rented was a Chevrolet Orlando. It was the nearest rental we could get from Modo that was a van. I feel so scammed because it was TINY. We ended up barely fitting everything into the van and all the passengers had to deal with 2-3 bags in their face/legs during the drive. You can kind of imagine how well the whole “sleeping in the car” went that night!
I ended up pulling an all-nighter with 2 other people in the van at Osoyoos. Luckily, this meant at least 2 of us would be able to get sleep as they took over the rest of the space in the van for the night. I have probably never been more acquainted (nor will I ever in the future, hopefully) with a Buy-Low Foods’ parking lot as I was that night. There was also a 7-11 nearby which we kind of frequented throughout the night trying to stay awake. Oh thank heaven for 7-11 I guess.
One good thing about stopping overnight at Osoyoos was that they had a pancake breakfast for Canada Day on July 1st! The breakfast started at 7:30 AM and that’s when we arrived. The buttermilk pancakes were delicious—especially after no sleep and questionable 7-11 snacks. Big thumbs up to the Rotary Club of Osoyoos who organized this!
There were more festivities in Osoyoos planned for Canada Day, but we had to head over to our campsite in Syringa so we could start up camp. Along the way, we bought some cherries and corn at a fruit stand in Castlegar called “The Apple Guy”. Funnily enough, we didn’t get any apples.
Arriving at Syringa Provincial Park and our campsite was pretty brutal. We booked the site late and by then it was the only lot left. It had zero shade. For a weekend that was supposed to reach the mid-30s in temperature, we were basically dying inside as we set up the tent. We had prepped for the lack of shade and brought a large tarp to set up as a canopy. By the time we were done and had lunch cooked, I felt overheated and my brain was barely functioning. We all changed into swimsuits and hit the beach.
Thank goodness for the water. The water was cold, but after getting used to it, it really helped to lower our body temperatures. At least for me, I felt I could finally think again. We’d spend many more hours by the beach and in the water during our camping trip. We also did some hiking in between all that.
One of our hikes brought us to a waterfall. The water was super cold here, but it felt so nice as the day got hotter and hotter. We also wanted to hike down to the natural water slide, but unfortunately, the water level was too high for us to safely slide down it. The park ranger actually warned us against it and when we got there, we could see why. The water was pretty vicious.
That didn’t stop us from getting some sweet pictures in front of the slide’s swimming hole though!
What camping trip doesn’t have good food? We definitely overpacked on food. I wish we had more variety though because by the end of the trip we were all getting pretty sick of zucchini and potatoes.
On Monday, we woke up nice and early and made breakfast. We had to pack up and aimed to leave the campsite by 10 AM. There was a 7-hour drive ahead of us, but we also had to factor in some time for lunch and pitstops. Plus, we knew there’d be traffic from everyone heading back into Vancouver after the long weekend. Everything went relatively to plan other than a traffic jam between Chilliwack and Abbotsford and we rounded off the trip with a BBQ at one of our houses to finish off the food we had bought for the trip!
Happy birthday Canada!