It rained all night again. We got up and thought about where to go next. When we looked at the weather, it looked better to the north, so we headed to Rossland, British Columbia. I’d always wanted to go there, so this was a perfect opportunity. It’s pretty much straight north to Rossland. Alexander was excited and nervous, as he’d never left the country, and didn’t know what to expect. Having grown up in Michigan, both skating, Shelby and I had been to Canada many times. However, things have changed a bit in the years since our youth. The last time I went to Canada I had to rush to get my passport renewed. When we were kids, a passport was not necessary for travel to Canada. Now it is.

Fortunately, we had already gotten a passport for Alexander, and renewed Shelby’s before the trip. So, we were all set. The trip to Rossland was about 115 miles, and took us a few hours. We went first stopped at the Rossland Museum and Discovery Center. From there, it’s a short drive to downtown. We went straight to the most hipster coffee shop we could find, Seven Summits. We asked about camping nearby, but the barista said, “I don’t really know, I don’t have time to camp since I have to work all the time”. The coffee was good though. From the looks of the town, near RED Mountain, I’d imagine life as a barista is paycheck to paycheck, at best.

As we headed out the door, the sky started to cloud over. We walked around, and stopped in the bike shop, Revolution Cycles. After getting some camping recommendations, we walked outside and the rain started. When we checked the weather, it looked like it was going to rain all through the night. We were quite sick of the rain, and after checking the radar and forecasts for other areas, we decided to head to Kelowna, British Columbia. The weather looked good, and I like Kelowna, and Shelby and Alexander had never been there, so we got back on the road and drove another 200 winding miles to Kelowna. The drive not at all direct, but is really remote and scenic most of the way.

As we approached Kelowna, the sky began to darken, and just as we pulled into town the rain began to pour down again. We quickly researched hotels online. With no campground lined up and a torrential downpour underway, we were ready for a hotel. We settled on the Hotel Zed, and were able to make a reservation online shortly before we got to it. It’s right downtown near Okanagan Lake, across from the City Park. The hotel is cool retro restyle of a, probably, cheap motor lodge. The room comes with comic books, and ear plugs (apparently it can be noisy). There’s a game room with ping pong, games, a turntable and a bunch of records. There are bikes, inline skates, and skateboards, available for guests to use. There’s also a hot tub, and a small pool.

After checking in we walked over to Bernard Ave for some dinner. Shelby and Alexander picked up some mediocre pizza, while I tried some Poutine from Smoke’s Poutinerie. I didn’t know what the heck I was getting, but it wasn’t too bad. The real highlight, though, was Okanagan Spirits, where I picked up some Hopped Whisky. Even Shelby liked the whisky.

After eating, Alexander and I played a few games of ping pong before going to bed. With the rain still heavy, we were happy to have some space to spread out, and access to a hot shower.

Distance: 312 miles

Time: All day

Vanlife reality: Of course, it’s rain. We can’t seem to escape it.

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