It has been awhile since I have gone up a mountain, or even a Forestry Road.
My commute to College is about 90km each way and all of the highway driving is starting to get to me…
So, on Saturday evening, I put in an online grocery order and scheduled pickup for Sunday afternoon. Then, I informed my husband that while he enjoyed sleeping in the following morning, I was going to take our fur baby out and go for a solid drive.
The next morning, I woke up early as usual and got dressed and packed up.
My fur baby Zola was so excited! I could not find her bright orange harness, so I suited her up in her pink winter jacket instead. She blends in too easily otherwise!
After I left, I texted my husband that I was heading down Chilliwack Lake Road, most likely to one of my favourite drives up Bench FSR, and let him know I would be back in time to get the groceries for 1pm.
Always tell someone where you are going, when you are leaving, and when you expect to return home.
I turned off on Bench FSR and saw a sign stating they were mowing and doing ditch work. There were some freshly dug ditches along the side of the road, but it was also freshly graded which was a nice surprise! I didn’t even put it in 4WD once the entire drive.
The views along this drive never disappoint, and Fall is one of my favourite times to get out and enjoy the changing colours of the leaves.
My Mom and I had been chatting about the snow line moving down and it had really come down since the previous day!
Such a gorgeous view of Winter on it’s way.
When I first parked I took a picture of the fog hanging over the river valley, almost looking spooky. Within a few minutes, it has lifted and you could see the river below!
I had a feeling in my bones that I should get out for a drive “while I still could” that day.
I have had this post in Draft mode for over a week, trying to find time between homework and assignments to finish it up and post it…
Little did I know, my hometown would be struck by disaster. The City of Chilliwack has declared a State of Emergency, along with our neighbours Hope and Abbotsford.
There is massive flooding, mudslides, roads washed out, and all of the Forest Service Roads are closed.
Homes were lost and people evacuated from Chilliwack Lake Road, which is the road that brings me to this FSR, as well as many others.
We are fortunate to live in an area that has remained dry, my family safe.
My husband’s work announced that they hope to re-open next week, and we are so grateful that they have decided to continue to pay their staff despite being closed down.
Things got a little bit crazy in town as people panicked about all of the roads being closed, and everyone flocked to the stores. Lineups outside, empty shelves inside. I felt so blessed to live in a town with many farms that are still functioning. We have locally grown produce, eggs, milk, cheese, etc. Plus, our crews worked hard and there is now a single lane open on Hwy 7 so trucks ARE getting through.
In times of devastation and loss, I always tell my kids to look for the good, look for the helpers!
One friend of mine in Hope hosted TWENTY FIVE people in her home and she said it was great, everyone was so grateful to have a roof over their heads and they all pooled their resources.
I have seen devastating pictures of people’s flooded homes and vehicles, barns, and cows being slowly towed to safety by boats and jet skis.
I have also seen video of people singing in the rain and dark as they built a sandbag wall around the Barrowtown pump station, essentially saving the town of Yarrow.
They worked in the rain and cold until 3am, and once they put the call out for help sand bagging, they had to rescind it because so many people came to help!
This video on Twitter shows the Barrowtown efforts: https://twitter.com/erikdv/status/1461197627890884608?s=20
This is Chilliwack, this is British Columbia, and I am proud to be a part of this community.