Hot Springs - A Day Trip
Ordinarily we would have scrapped the idea of going to the corn mazes in
the drizzling rain, but afterall it was the last Wednesday before school
started and we wanted to make the most of it. It didn’t take more
than an hour before we pulled into the empty parking lot.
“This doesn’t look good,” I remarked, “we’re the only ones here.”
“You can say that again,” Nathan added; “have a look at the sign.” It said, Open Daily Thursday to Saturday. So much for the corn mazes. I was really looking forward to beating the pants off Nathan too.
Dad came to the rescue, “have no fear kids, I’ve got a plan B.”
“Uh oh, you guys, Dad has a plan,” I warned. This could be trouble. But then we had nothing to lose; although I did get a little nervous when Dad kept our destination a “secret.” Another bad sign. Actually it didn’t take long before we arrived at our “secret destination.”
Within half-an-hour we were staring at the sign, "Welcome to Harrison Hot Springs.”
“Here we are,” announced Dad. Coleman’s reply was, “where is it?” Actually Harrison Hot Springs is a small resort town, but for a small town there’s lots to do there. To begin with Harrison Lake is huge--60 km long—the biggest in southwestern B.C. There’s a sandy beach with plenty of room for swimming. Nathan and I brought our bathing-suits, but at the last minute he chickened out, and I didn’t want to be the only person in the water. We ended up riding our scooters over to the hot springs. I can’t believe people pay money to sit in boiling hot water that smells like rotten eggs. Mom says the springs at Harrison are known as the “Spa of Canada.” Apparently the Coast Salish natives used to think the hot springs could make you feel better. They’d travel for miles by canoe to soak in the hot water.
Speaking of being famous, Harrison Hot Springs is also known for something else: the World Champion Sand Sculpture Classic. Can you believe people from all over the world go there to make sand castles? It usually takes place in the beginning of September. We were there a week early. You should have seen the amazing sand sculpture we saw. It was the size of a real castle, and it had a fantasy land inside. We didn’t get to go inside (Mom and Dad were too cheap to pay the entrance fee), but from the outside I could see Zeus, Rapunzel, and the three little pigs. Dad said they brought in a team of experts from Toronto who worked on the project for two weeks! Maybe I should become a professional sand castle builder when I get older…
Believe it or not, Harrison Hot Springs is famous for one more thing—sasquatches. Dad said sasquatches have been spotted there. I even saw a picture of a sasquatch. We didn’t see any—just Dad making funny noises to impersonate one.
I’ll tell you something we did see though—a beaver. It was waddling along a dirt road leading to Deer Lake. Nobody in our family had ever seen a beaver in the wild. I was the first one to spot him. Nathe got a few pictures for us—thank goodness—otherwise nobody would ever believe us. That made my day.
The other highlight of our trip was Tugboat Junction, a place where you play mini golf. It has an old-fashioned theme. All the buildings look like they were built in the late 1800’s. I got my chance for fame and glory afterall by beating Nathe in mini-golf. That made my day for the second time. And then, to top it off, the cashier made a mistake on our candy bill. You should’ve seen all the candies I got for 50 cents.
I suppose in the end it was good the corn mazes were closed—otherwise we’d never have gone to Harrison Hot Springs. Next time we go, we’ll make sure the weather is better, then we can go swimming and maybe try the paddle boats or canoes. I know Nathan wants to try some mountain biking and Dad mentioned fishing. And we can’t forget Mom, she’ll probably want to go hiking, and Coleman wants to find a sasquatch like the one in Harry and the Hendersons. We’ll have lots to do.
Age group: Harrison Hot Springs is good place for the whole family - kids and adults.
Expense rating: Harrison Hot Springs didn't seem that expensive, but I wasn't paying. Dad says you need to bring at least enough money for an ice-cream cone, and for the mini-golf.
: You know what’s cool about Harrison Hot Springs is you feel like you’re going on a holiday because you can do all this neat stuff: swimming, canoeing, kayaking... But then you don’t have to stay over night, because it only takes an hour-and-a-half to get there. Plus, where else would you see a beaver in the wild and maybe even a sasquatch?
: The town’s called Harrison Hot Springs but where are the Hot Springs? I thought I’d see bubbles coming out of the lake. The only way you can experience the Hot Springs is by staying at the hotel or going to the public swimming pool.
Details: Getting to Harrison Hot Springs is real easy. All you do is get on the freeway and turn off at the same exit as Minter Gardens and Dinotown. From there you’re only 15 minutes away. For more information, call 604-796-5581. Website: www.harrison.ca
Season: Speaking from personal experience, there’s definitely more to do at Harrison Hot Springs when the weather is nice.
Educational highlights: Did you know Harrison Hot Springs was one of the routes people took when they were looking for gold in the old days? I wish I could find some gold.
Fun for the adult?: Do you ever feel guilty because you know your parents are taking you to a place they can’t stand, but you love. Well I didn’t get that feeling at Harrison Hot Springs, because there’s just as much fun for adults there as kids. Everybody leaves happy.
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