In the morning we woke up and ate a cheap breakfast at the Samesun hostel. . Staying at the hostel was an interesting experience because everybody had something in common. Everyone was new to the city and nobody wanted to spend any money seeing it. The food was pretty much what you would expect for two dollars. We had soggy hash browns, a few small sausages, and some toast with a glass of watered down orange juice or coffee to drink. It wasn’t like the big country breakfasts that we’d had in Wyoming or Idaho but for a toonie I wasn’t about to complain.
We brought our sheets and keys down to the front desk to check out and we were on our way. The original plan was to stay with my uncle Donald and in Kelowna. A few days before we reached the city my mother informed me that he and his fiancé Connie were not going to be there when we were. I’d have like to stay with them but it wasn’t tragic news. We rerouted to Kamloops: about the same distance as Kelowna but more north. The plan was to take an extra day going up to Jasper National Park and then swing down to Banff the next day.
On the way to Kamloops, one of the brilliant young associates traveling with me managed to break the tape player that allowed us to play music. We had to wait until we reached Kamloops to buy another adapter. It was a frustrating drive and we each took a turn tampering with broken wires to get sound on one side of the car.
When we finally reached the city we replaced the tape and searched for some shops worthy of the TBA boys. Andrew wanted a cowboy hat but decided the store that we went into was much too touristy and expensive. Instead we headed over to Cowboy Coffee. We had talked to a barista in Vancouver the day before and he told us that the coffee was pretty good. I trusted him because he had worked there a year earlier, that, and he rocked some insane art on my cappuccino. The verdict on the java at Cowboy Coffee: mediocre. It was slightly disappointing that they didn’t put their Synesso to good use, but not really a surprise.
After that small outing we thought it’d be best to mosey along. We headed north to find a camping spot and wound up about an hour outside of Kamploops around Clearwater. We got off the highway and onto some smaller roads to get away from any type of passer-by. There weren’t too many options on the road that we picked but eventually we found a path that branched off. We parked the car, packed our bags once again, and started to hike up the trail. At the beginning of the trail we stepped over a dark pile of fecal matter. We were a bit worried, but got over it and continued into the heavy shrubbery. I tried to picture Lewis and Clark or some other early explorers trying to trailblaze through the wilderness. We were having difficulty with branches and logs and were only on an old trail. The trees broke and we found a clearing to set up our hammocks and build a fire. When I was searching for rocks to make a fire pit I came across a second pile of feces. Not good. By this time we already had our spot set up and the sun was going down so we couldn’t very well pack up and move. Andrew and I discussed the situation as David was about to go to sleep. We decided not to tell David about the second pile because he was already about to have a mental lapse about the whole backcountry camping thing. Andrew asked me, “Dude, what if a bear comes?...” I looked at him earnestly for a moment, then cracked a smile and said, “It won’t.”