Live life to the fullest. A realization again after meeting these two amazing young travelers. They are fresh graduate from a secondary school in Germany, travelling for a month here in Canada with their camper van, exploring, meeting new people, and just enjoying.
It was a whole rainy week I remember. It is a long weekend where Monday is a holiday (Thanksgiving). Come Sunday, perfect day to have a hiking. An original plan was to hike the Scenic Canyon, a 22 minute drive from our house. However, with the good help of the GPS, we ended up not knowing how to start the hike there. A change of plan was a good idea. We headed to Myra Canyon, a 19 minute drive from our position. We made our way thru McCulloch Road and Myra Forest Service Road to Myra.
After traversing some 8km of narrow winding roads, we arrived at the Myra Canyon Provincial Park at 1pm. Weather is perfect. A little cold, we decided to wear some hoodies. Camera checked; backpack checked; everything’s good.
Sun’s up and we are ready to go.
Few meters then as I was capturing some awesome photos, I heard a Russian-sounding language from two mountaineers. I asked them if they are Russian. And my bad, they are Germans. Nevertheless, they smiled and we exchanged names. I even introduced them to my Italian-Canadian friend and we headed hiking.
Myra Canyon Trestles are originally built by hand at the turn of the last century (between 1912 and 1914). It was part of a “Coast to Kootenay” railway line linking Midway, in British Columbia’s Boundary District, with the Canadian Pacific Railway main line at Hope (Source: Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society). However, the Okanagan Mountain Fire in September 2003 destroyed 12 of the 16 wooden structures and damaged the two steel bridges of the railway. It was in 2004 when the restoration was started and in early of 2008 when the final trestle was completed.
Knowing the history makes me grateful to see in my own eyes these handcrafted spectacular creations. The young pine trees are so beautiful, aging 13 years old, burnt ones also noticeable.
Myra Canyon Trestles spanning 24 kilometers
Meanwhile, on our hike, conversations range from guten morgen to why we are all here in Canada, to the weather and winter here, how was it in Germany, the free university tuition fees there and how costly it is studying college here, to my Starbucks barista working experience, coffees, the other wonderful places to visit in this beautiful country, our age for sure, our hobbies, our own winning jokes, what do chipmunks eat, Rambo and where the movie was shoot (Hope in BC), Leonardo De Caprio, Ola, future plans, how good everyone’s English skills are (lol), the moose and how it can kill you, rock climbing and Into The Wild, how amazing the restoration project was, how awesome the sceneries we are witnessing, and how it would be easy for us to return faster in our base haha. We were able to complete the middle distance (12 km) and we decided to go back.
Just going back is so amazing too. It is just like re-noticing the places, the people and the moments. Just amazing.
We finished the hike for almost 4 hours. We followed Florian and Ferry to see their camper van. So nice to see these guys with their “house” for a while. They said they will return home July next year. We sent contacts and exchanged goodbyes.
It was really a humbling hiking experience with Vito for sure (the youngest in the group haha), and these two young German explorers. They taught some good lessons to these older gents: that it is awesome to go out of your comfort zone, take risks, and just live life to its fullest.
Someday we will finish hiking those 18 trestles and the idea of hold-upping the bikers will not be entertained haha. ;-D
Florian and Ferry in this one of the two tunnels in the trestle line.
*For trail information, history and how you can help in the preservation/ restoration of the trestles, kindly visit Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society’s website at http://www.myra-trestles.com/. vielen Dank! 🙂
**Florian and Ferry are real adventurers. They even have their own journey blog. Hope you can visit their site at http://project-backpack.com/. Prost!