Mazda Adventure Rally: The Conclusion

On the morning of the third and final day of the Mazda Adventure Rally, our morale was pretty low. From a purely mathematical perspective, the Car Guide’s team was out of the game. The silver lining, of course, was that we still had a gorgeous drive ahead of us!

Whereas we had previously made a point of getting everywhere early, this time we decided to be the last group to leave the base camp in the beautiful town of Kamloops.

The challenges planned for the third and final day were relatively simple: We were to drive to Ashcroft, a city that’s split down the middle by the Thompson River. Along the way, we were supposed to spot the remains of old cars, but we didn’t see any.

Then we headed to Merritt, an oasis of civilization in the middle of a sea of mountains covered in the strangest vegetation. We were supposed to identify ranches along the way and then take photos recreating scenes from movies that had been shot in the area.

We stopped for lunch in an amazing inn in Quilchena. The other teams were already leaving as we got there, meaning we had fallen significantly behind.

And yet, we had an awesome day and the drive back to Kamloops along Highway 5A was a breeze. Our only task was to identify the lakes, which as easy enough.

In the end, we finished 7th (out of 9). Hats off to the Autofocus team for their win. They’ll be donating the $10,000 prize to Kids Help Phone.

In retrospect, we should have been the last to leave for each of the steps and given ourselves the time to do each of the challenges with care, instead of hustling to get there first.

We did, however, earn the “Tortoise and Hare” prize in recognition of our erratic time results.

Beautiful British Columbia
I’ll conclude with a few words on the province that touts itself as “Beautiful British Columbia.” I’d been there before, but always visiting Vancouver and Whistler. This was my first time in the province’s interior, and the landscapes were absolutely stunning.

There’s no describing that kind of natural wonder. On several occasions, I stopped what I was doing to contemplate the endless mountains on the horizon and the tiny towns lying in the shadows of the majestic peaks.

If you’re ever lucky enough to go to B.C., seize the opportunity to go off the beaten track. The roads are breathtaking—and at times terrifying.