Ok, so here it is, the morning where Markus heads back to Calgary to restock and prepare for Alaska. We shake hands, wish each other farewell and off we go. On the road, looking for a ride towards Nelson, BC. Quickly picked up by a nameless couple from BC that drops us a few 10 kilometres further at a junction. Quickly re-picked up by a Russian couple, now residing in Montreal, on a road trip in BC. We happily discuss in French until they drop us in Lake Louise. We walk a bit only to be picked up by a nameless guy in a jeep which tells us he’s dropping us at a better hitching spot cause ours suck but unfortunately can’t go our way, he’s heading north and we are going south.
After walking from that ”better” spot for close to two-three hours, a truck stops, in the middle of the highway to check something mechanical, as we walk by, the cars hurling next to us like they were bullets shots from a rifle, he waves at us. Apparently we looked so depressed, and dying of a heat stroke , that this tall kind trucker from India invited us over. We drove over 5 hours all through the south of BC as he was headed to Vancouver and could drop us in Salmon Arm, a good chunk of the way done. Listening ton hindi punjabi music and eating herb cookies while conversing in broken English so he could understand us. Baldev, as we learned to know him, was from India yes, but currently living in Winnipeg and supporting his family by working long hours away from home as a trucker. He left us at the junction entering Salmon Arm, a county called Grinrod or something like that.
Quickly dashing by, a true black jacked redneck half broken pickup screams by us with his obviously not so legal amount of engine noise and sawed off exhaust pipes. After about 100 meters away from us he goes into reverse mode. Two teenagers look at us while sipping energy drinks. They invite us in the screaming death machine and we are dragged along 10 km or so before they tell us they can’t go further down, we can stay hang out and drink a few beers with em if we feel so inclined. 5 minutes out of the truck, a ton more kids appear. Turns out our two friendly drivers were called Jacob and Curtis, but soon later joined by; Tye, Zack and one only introduced as moonshine bear, with big thick-framed Ray-Ban Wayfarer reading glasses.
They invite us to ”party” on the mountain with them and stay in their ”inhabited” trailer next door (more like inhabitable trailer). The place is dark, crooked, the doors don’t shut and the furniture is dirty. Dirty cloths & clothes everywhere, broken glass and cat excrements in the corner of the living room tell us that it’s not exactly the best living space, but it’s a roof and couch under our asses (admitting we do not die of pox induced by thousand year old rodents). We end up going on the mountain driving way too fast in the broken pickup and partying up to quite late with them. Introduced later to Connie, Del, Alexia and Destiny.
People come and go, they burn used warehouse pallets, next to broken cars like they were found all over their property, like a junkyard. Always driving fast, smoking weed and drinking alcohol. Party over, some never came back, including our lift in the pickup, so we hop in with Connie driving which seems not so intoxicated for a 17 or some years old girl, and fitting 7 in a car of 5. Including Zack, which threw up all over his bright orange shirt and stopped being a functional human being a few hours ago already. The drive down is bad, Connie is very drunk and very high and she can’t drive for shit. Car in front of us nearly crashes but drifts second before a fatal front crash with a tree. Connie drifts too much, in the dark, and we stop a few inches in front of a row composed of trees and a ditch. We decide to opt out and walk a bit (as despite the party environment I had already attained my death wish quota for the month. In the end, following a modified big oldsmobile like looking car, with no wind shield and broken lights modified for illegal offroad derbies that just crashed 3 times… We arrive ”home” later on to highly intoxicated friends and decide to hit the hay.
The next day, we just leave, as we said our goodbyes the day earlier. Simply hitch a ride from Paul and Carol, a couple from BC. They are just smoking weed and driving around. End up inviting us for food, after a moment of hesitation we accept and we end up at their place being offered sandwiches, alcohol, drugs and delicious soup. After eating and spending a few hours talking and laughing we are gifted straw hats, a cowboy one and a mariachi one and sent on our way at the next junction.
We get a lift from Randy and his wife, two not so talkative software developers from BC that kindly drop us in Vernon, a town a little better than average (by better, read less crappy). They drive us through the town to leave us at the best junction and we hitch after quite some time with Heather and Luke, a father\daughter combo that ends up driving us to West Kelowna and gifting us 20$ to eat at a restaurant in the near future. Faith in humanity restored.
After more than two hours of walking around we get to hitch a ride from Leanne and Chris, again, smoking dope and driving offering us beer while on the highway. They get us through to a small town right before Oliver. Nelson, our first choice, being too hard to hitch hike to. Quickly picked up by an exiled fellow Quebecer that gave us tips and tricks regarding our stay as cherry pickers. He proceeded to dropping us in one of the hotels known for having people from Quebec…”The Maple Leaf” hostel and camp ground…