About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lake Country, BC: Home of Ogopogo

After our driving adventures through the mountains and a brief stop at Lake Louise, we made it to Lake Country B.C. home of Jamies mothers bridesmaids brother, Andy. Umm, yep, that is about as random as it gets. Our time with the Weathersons, who less than a week ago were complete strangers, was a huge blessing. They live in a cozy home in full view of Okonagan Lake (Home of Canada's favourite and most elusive sea monster Ogopogo. Also, we swear we saw him with those nice binoculars, it couldn't have just been a tin boat...)
Between all the wonderful food, laundry, showers and refreshing pool, it was very hard to leave the place. We got there on Wednesday night and enjoyed a nice dinner, met some of their kids (Luke and Lisa) and played some extreme boccee ball. Now as we all know, at all of our stops we like to get involved with the community. This time around, we were helping out with a VBS day camp that the Weathersons run at their church. Between the five of us we were running bouncy castles, making cement stepping stones to decorate, running group games and just hanging out with the kids. We had a great couple of days doing so and it was easy work for how much hospitality we were shown. We loved chatting with Andy. He's an interesting guy, who was a computer scientist right on the brink of our technological era (he invented some of the technology you are using right now!).
Since day camp only went until lunch, on Thursday we had an afternoon free. So, we replaced the beach balls, parachutes and screaming children with work gloves, tree trunks and a roaring log splitter. Andy's kind neighbout, Mr. Brian, needed some wood split as he heats his house with a wood furnace all winter. So we spent the afternoon helping him out. One thing we have learned is that it is hard to do a nice thing for someone without getting blessed in return. Mr. Brian ended up filling our tank with gas, and for that we are super thankful. We are also super thankful for Andy's mechanical abilities as he helped us fix the minor problems we were having with the RV. (minor problems Jer??...)Our stop in Lake Country would not have been complete without a brief stop at Jarome Iginlas place, to give him a card.

As we were leaving, we learned or at least remembered a great lesson. Some of the best encounters of a trip aren't planned, but rather fall right in your lap. After departing the Weatherson’s we were met by a particular section of the highway through the mountains that climbs for over 30 km. We love our RV, and we hate working her too hard, so as we climbed this stretch of highway, we found a rest stop to pull her over to giver her a break. Amidst the 18-wheelers at the "brake check" station we noticed two very full vehicles that were pulled off the highway. Watching from our mirror, we determined from the 10 litre jerry can that the first vehicle had run out of gas, and the second was just returning from town with some petrol. We watched as the friends from the car took out the tiny can and added it to the van. With a much larger jerry can of our own, and having literally just been given gas earlier that day, the opportunity was almost too obvious. We strolled over to determine that they did in fact run out of gas and then introduced ourselves and offered what we could. They were more than grateful! Big hugs were received from each and every one of them as we talked, and got to know somewhat of their tragic story. This group of friends from Vancouver were in Kelowna on rather unfortunate circumstances, only made worse by running out of gas on a long stretch of the highway. We were glad to help! After we told them about our trip and blog, we sent them off with a few bags of the chips. These spontaneous encounters are some of the most fulfilling, and we are thankful for them.

Now it is off to Vancouver. Thanks for reading!
(how did all those people fit into two cars?!)

Cheers, The Boys
Written By: JG & JE

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