We decided to try and make it to Whistler by lunch. And when i say try, inevitably with Thibault and I we succeed. A combination of forethought and the fact that if we say we should leave by 9am, we will leave no later than five past. Out mutual reliability is one of the reasons we get on so well when we travel.
So we get on the road for the scenic journey to Whistler. The first half felt very much like some of our journeys through inland California last year. Big landscapes.
|Yeah, well I thought I had better get Thibault to take one photo of me to show I was actually here|
However, the real talking point of our short journey was that it was the only leg of our trip in which we picked up a hitchhiker. Now we had discussed picking up hitchhikers, Thibault was keen (probably because he had to put up with just me in the car for company) and I was perfectly happy about it provided we didn't get the inevitable serial killer. However, I very much imagined picking up student backpackers. I didn't imagine we would pick up an ageing Native American. But meet Doug - he is the grey haired guy walking back to the car below with Thibault.
Now Thibault says I curled up in a ball of bourgeoisie horror at us picking up this bloke, That is, of course, a travesty of the truth, and it wasn't me who made us virtually sprint to Joffre Lake and back as he was worried about what Doug might do in the car park!
It was interesting listening to the guy, but while it appealed to Thibault's liberalism to effectively be told he was driving over his people's land without permission, the trouble was I didn't believe a lot of the stuff he was telling us, about his run ins with the Canadian police and how he was jailed for being hard of hearing. For one thing, he seemed to hear ok in the car! Thibault was happy to accept someone was being economical with the truth. I just don't like that.
Anyway, he seemed harmless enough, if a little slow in speech, which wasn't surprising as he said he never made school beyond 6th grade (effectively primary school). Anyway, he just wanted a lift as far as Pemberton, a little town on our way, which was fine. He showed Thibault where he wanted to be set down and so we pulled up.... and accidentally acquired our second hitchhiker of the morning. Just as Doug got out of the right hand door, a younger Native American guy got in the other side. He had been trying to hitch from there and not unnaturally on seeing us stopping assumed it was for him. Now, if it hadn't been for the fact that he was actually getting in, we probably wouldn't have been that keen to take him. It turned out that he was actually a relative of our first hitchhiker, who in turn warned him to behave as he got in, which didn't sound a good sign. But the main point was the guy was already somewhat under the influence of alcohol, and it wasn't midday yet. We asked him at one point what he did for a living and he said he was a landscape gardener and he was going to Whistler to pick up wages. What became clear is that he was an itinerant labourer with a drink problem. Oh dear, the stereotypes...