Beautiful British Columbia, and what God shows me through her

This past weekend found me once again traveling that ribbon known as Highway 1. We had one last night at Green Lake before having to winterized the trailer and say good-bye for another season. It had a slightly bittersweet flavor to it. It’s never easy to say good-bye to the summer idyll.

I love this beautiful, vast province I live in and it’s splendor speaks to the deep places within me. The mountains in particular speak the loudest to me. I could live anywhere in this country but please let me see mountains, they truly are my happy place on this earth. Oh, and trees, lots and lots of trees. Love, love, love.

We left Saturday afternoon and sure enough as soon as we left Chilliwack behind us, I could see the foothills clearly, my heart seemed to pound and then settle into a rhythm that causes me to be quiet. Quiet in awe. Quiet in anticipation of what is to come. Quiet in appreciation for how big and majestic our God is that He could speak the coming wonders into being.

The foothills; they rise quite suddenly, their faces gently rounded, folding in on each other. They are covered in a thick layer of evergreens and from a distance look like furry green mounds. It is only as you get up close that you can see the rock face peaking through in places. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is the site of trees growing, for all intents and purposes, straight out of the rock, clinging stubbornly and thriving. I’ve never understood how they can grow there, but the fact that they do shows me that God is faithful and even in the hardest of places something beautiful and magnificent can grow if given the opportunity.

Once we got to Hope we stopped for an ice cream and I settle once again into wonder. We will be following in the footsteps of history from here on. The highway now begins to follow the gold rush trail. My mind tries valiantly to picture what it might have looked like then, what the journey might have entailed, the shear doggedness of those men and women who forged the path in an effort to strike it rich. It boggles me as I sit in my modern day comfort. A trip that takes me only hours, took them weeks with their horses, pack mules, and the odd camel. Yes, I said camel. The towns that we encounter now are quite distant from each other and were birthed from the gold rush;places that marked a spot to get fresh supplies and horses and to avail yourself of some rest on the way to the Yukon. Some of these places still look like little homesteads, while others have flourished and grown into Villages & towns. So much history here. So much that speaks to the tenacity of spirit mankind has.

Once the highway gets past Yale it starts to climb and follows the mighty Fraser River. The Fraser winds through the mountain passes with an indolence that is only belied by the strong currents that can be seen roiling beneath its surface. In the Fraser Canyon rockface is more prevalent, and the highway seems to cling to the very edge of the mountain. It makes for a fun ride as you twist and turn along the path set by the river. If you look out, you will be able to see a waterfalls cataracting out the sides of the mountain. The environment is harsh and yet awe inspiring.

The Fraser is the highway’s companion until Lytton where it meets up with the Thompson River and verrs off on its own path. The highway now follows the Thompson and the water is rougher. You will see some brave souls taking on its challenge in rubber rafts if you dare to look over the edge. Hell’s Gate is along this stretch and it is here that you can take a gondola ride across the river in order to experience it. A much safer option, in my opinion, than the rubber dinghy used by the rafters.

Somewhere along the way the lushness of the rainforest gives way to a semi-arid environment. The landscape at times looks almost alien now. You can pick out areas where there have been rockslides. Trees, give way to sage and scrub. The trees never quite disappear but they are fewer now. Almost as if to say that they will never be pushed out completely. Stubborn. Roots going deep. A lesson in hiding God’s word in our hearts, building roots into His house, His heart, His love, His identity.

This arid place has a wild beauty all it’s own of you care to look for it. It is a place that seems, to me, almost timeless. It rolls along its hills and valleys, and is stunning in its simplicity. Spences Bridge nestles here and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see big horn sheep walking alongside or crossing the highway in and around the town limits. A truly awesome site. It is also here that you begin to see vast lush carpets of green incongruously growing among the hills. These carpets are hayfields and they provide a somewhat welcome contrast to this area. Proof that life can flourish here when given purposed attention. Made me wonder what am I giving purposed attention to? Is it life giving or not?

Climbing out of Spences Bridge the highway starts to veer away from the river’s path and forges one of its own. Slowly, the trees make a comeback as the primary landscape. Little lakes and slews can be seen. Some are fit for swimming others not so much. Some are bottomless, some start to dry up in the heat. Some feed life while others are too stagnant to be much use to anything.

There is much to be seen and to experience in this corner of the world. So many different landscapes. Much like our hearts. What does your’s look like? Arid? Stagnant water? Bottomless? Does it have a river running through it? No matter where we are life can and will flourish if we but purpose it. Tend it.

Every time I travel through this province I call home I come away with a sense of awe. A sense that God is trying to say something to me. I love it and Him.


  1. Vicky escobedo says:

    Indescribable, amazing, oh great and mighty God
    I stand, I stand in awe of you!

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