well I reached the apex of my travels when I reched Port Hardy. In case you have no idea where this is, it's about as far north as you can go on Vancouver Island.
Penticton is the lower end of the Okanagan Valley. Really nothing special. Especially since they don't even allow dogs to walk on a sidewalk about 40 feet from the beach. This nazi lady runs over and told me I couldn't walk Calvin in this area. I'm sure it was the high-lite of her day.
I then drove to Manning Park. This is between Princeton and Hope. It is a real mountain drive. Very hilly and windy. A friend of mine worked there for a summer and told me I should visit. Very cool place. It was a real mountain experience. I camped and almost froze to death. I couldn't believe how cold it got. There was frost on the car windows in August. WOW. I then drove up to the top of the mountain right across from the resort. Very high up. Saw 2 wolves and many deer on the way up.
Then drove into Vancouver. Nothing to spectacular. Went to Kitsilano Beach. Very Nice. Awsome area and also very pricey.
Took the ferry the next day to Nanaimo. OMG. It now costs $59.65 for a car and one person. Calvin was gratis. That's just one way. Apparently, according to a local i was speaking with in Comox, BC Ferries makes money on the Nanaimo and Victoria crossing but loses money on all the other smaller island crossings. Not sure about this but she tried to convince me. Dogs are not allowed on the main decks of these ferries so Stinky and I stayed on the 4th level car deck. We were the 2nd last car on the ferry. Very lucky, would have had to wait almost another 3 hours in line.
Stayed the night in Nanaimo. This is the "Habour City". Now I know why it's called that. There is nothing else to see but the harbour. There's one main street and the harbour. That's it.
Next day went up to the Comox Valley. This is just a fancy name for Courtney, Comox and Cumberland. We went to some place near the waterfront called Goose Spit - gross name. Very nice beach. A local lady filled me in on what I should be seeing while in the area. So I follwed her advice and went to Mount Washington - the local ski area. Holy cow is it ever a steep climb to the top. I couldn't imagine doing this in the winter everytime I wanted to go skiing. My poor van made it but I felt sorry for it when we got to the top. If anyone ever tells you that there isn't any big mountains on Vancouver Island, don't believe them. Then we went to some place near the ski hilled in Strathcona Provincial Park and Paradise Meadows. It was a nice hike but hardly lived up to the name.
Next day made the drive to Port Hardy. It's about 4 hours or something from Comox to Port Hardy. Stopped in Campbell River - the home of Salmon fishing in BC. Apparently there is this channel that the salmon have to swim thru while swimming up the Georgia Strait. The locals think it's a great thing but looking at the big picture, if you can't catch salmon in this area you should probably "hang up" your fishing pole for life. Campbell River has the longest salt water fishing peir in the world. The locals must be so proud!
Port Hardy has a very desolate feel to it. It feels like you are in the north pole without the freezing cold. Another thing is that it has a fresh smell when you get out of your car. I've never seen anything like it. When the tide goes out all the salmon start jumping in the harbour. Dozens of salmon are jumping by the second. It's very tempting to grab a net.
On to Tofino and then Victoria.