Is this the right time? I planned to go to a hot spring before Christmas, and I planned to go for New Years but both trips got canceled by Jeep troubles. By now it was mid-Feb and I was getting desperate. Snowy cold weather hit Vancouver and I couldn’t even get out of my garage without using 4WD. So I wondered if we’d be stopped by bad roads past Pemberton. Pemberton is a long way to drive just to go to the McDonalds. To find out if our trip was likely to succeed, I checked the T’sek web site, but it was down. I sent an email but their server was down. I tried phoning and the number didn’t work. I tried Directory Assistance “what city, please?” and they gave me a new phone number, but nobody answered the phone. Did this mean the place was closed? Probably not. The hot spring is in the middle of nowhere, pretty much, so maybe these modern things don’t work there.
Personnel : Pegah was keen, James and Izzy were keen. Finally the last seat was taken by Tereza. People assume that because it’s a car camping trip they should bring lots of stuff, so the Jeep was full to bursting. We got somewhat delayed because Tereza was sick. She looked sick, and she gets carsick. We had to stop near Burrard and Georgia and supply a plastic bag for Tereza to throw up into. We had to stop maybe two more times before Squamish, and in Squamish she bought Gravol. We arrived at Pemberton McDonalds and lunch was served.
We found the road to be initially very free of snow and rather good. It was suggested that the moderating effect of Lillooet Lake was responsible. Towards the outlet of Lillooet Lake we started seeing large ice flows across the road. I got complacent but all this was canceled out when we hit a large piece of very icy road and the Jeep decided to do a U-turn on the road and slid into a small ditch. Tereza went from sound asleep to wide awake in a fraction of a second. We continued, but way slower, and with 4WD.
At T’sek it was well below freezing and there were small patches of snow all around. We put up our tents and found that somebody had left a nice bundle of dry firewood at our site. The pools were mostly full of day trippers, who drove back to Pemberton or Whistler after it got dark. The pools were not quite as warm as we liked, so we managed to get the warmest and occupy it. We heard that the cold water supply had been frozen for a week, but as we had hauled water from Vancouver, and we had beer and cider, we were OK. Eventually we went to bed. Night was cold and clear with a full moon and clouds of steam rising from the pools. I guessed it was -10C but we had no thermometer. By morning our swim suits were frozen solid, as was my towel, and the bananas left in the Jeep. Getting into the pools to warm up was good, but getting out to stand on the ice-covered boards around the pools was not so good. And the frozen towel wasn’t nice either.
What did we accomplish? We got out of the city and the roads were OK, but not great. Did our soaking thing. Enjoyed each others company. We did a bit of hypothermia research which consists of getting cold enough to shiver and then getting warm in the hot spring. Contrary to the suggestion by Ms Manners, no thermometers were required. We never did get the bath robe picture that we were planning to supply for the VOCENE; we just didn’t feel like standing around in bath robes. We got back to Vancouver just ahead of the Whistler traffic.