Solo Road-Tripping the ‘Highway Thru Hell’

Photo: Bridge Wisdom

In Canada, we have a relatively popular docu-series TV show called ‘Highway Thru Hell’. The show, chronicling treacherous heavy rescue on wintery British Columbia highways is definitely one that’s struck a cord with people of my dad’s generation. It’s been on the air since 2012, and frequently showcases roads that I travel and have spent my life travelling.

The past few days I’ve driven about 1,500 miles up and down the ‘Highway Thru Hell’ chasing scenery, the feeling of calm and every tourist attraction I could possibly find. (Sounds familiar, right? Once you get a taste of the road trip buzz, you just need more of it)

Most major highways in British Columbia are mountain passes. With the Rocky Mountains, the Coast Mountains and the Cascade Mountains all in one province, it’s safe to say if you’re driving anywhere, it’s going to be through, or over the mountains. In spring, summer and fall, these highways are much easier to travel than what’s showcased on the television show. These roads can showcase some of the most breathtaking scenery you ever did see. Even on a cloudy/rainy day. The ‘Highway Thru Hell’ is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G.

One of the best things about driving a mountain pass is that cell phone reception is sparse. It’s a matter of going for long periods of time, hours on end, without having being able to see any notifications on your phone or have anyone call you. It really is just you, the road and the stunning scenery around you. And I love that feeling.

Nature is amazing. The way the mountains poke up out of the earth like gifts from the heavens. The way that trees grow right out the side of mountains and thrive, on the edge of a cliff, sturdy and comfortable as though nothing can harm it. The way that rivers carve out landscapes from the sky to the sea, flowing with such power it can destroy rock face and anything in its wake. British Columbia is incredible.

Along the way I got a little fed-up with road construction. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘In Canada we have nine months of winter and three months of road repair’? Oh boy, British Columbia for July-September is RIDICULOUS. Tired of sitting in a lineup of traffic due road construction, I stopped on the side of the highway and went for a bit of a hike.

I wound up finding an old, abandoned bridge. The sign on the bridge said it was built in 1927. Which, I thought was pretty cool. Imagine all the history this bridge has scene over the past (nearly) 100 years.

There were locks with initials along the bridge (reminiscent of the love-lock bridge in Paris) and initials and names carved all the way across it. I can’t help but wonder if Abby and Brad ever worked out. If they ever came back to that bridge after carving their names into it. If there was a happy ending… These are just the types of thoughts that can run through my mind when I have no cell service to distract me.

One of my favourite messages carved into the bridge (photo at top of post) was ‘Love is Stronger’. Because I agree. Love is stronger.

The actual highway can be seen in this photo below, it’s that orange bridge up in the distance. There was some construction happening on the bridge and traffic was pretty heavily backed up leading to the bridge, which was why I decided to stop in the first place. And I’m pretty glad that I did.

The abandoned bridge had a lot of ghosts and a lot of history to it. The feeling of walking across it, I couldn’t help but wonder about those who travelled it and how incredible of infrastructure they must’ve found it to be in 1927 when it was first built.

All in all, it was a pretty incredible trip. I love British Columbia. I’m grew up here and I’m still finding new places each and every day that I’ve never seen before. There’s so much to see, so many places to go and so many things to do. Honestly, I think you could spend your lifetime exploring this province and never see it all.

I love solo-road trips because you get to do as you please. It’s peaceful. It’s solitude. It’s anything that you want it to be and you don’t have to deal with, or please, anyone else in the process.

And it doesn’t hurt that British Columbia is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful… even on the cloudiest/rainiest of days.

48 thoughts on “Solo Road-Tripping the ‘Highway Thru Hell’

      1. I started to read it but I got distracted when my four year old niece swiped my phone. Thanks for reminding me. I’ll go back and finish reading tonight. It was something about an abandoned mine, right? I will go back and check. Sorry about the lack of response. Been on the road the past couple of days.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t send it to a specific mail, i used the “contact” form on your blog ahah -but hey! you could write me on twitter or something :]

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      2. What’s your Twitter handle? Also, what language is your blog in? Sorry that’s a dumb question, I know, but I DON’T KNOW and I hate when I don’t know things. haha

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There’s my twitter feed in my blog, you can take it from there! It’s…in english…right? I mean, a very poor and unrefined english :[[[

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      1. I almost died in Whistler a couple years ago, so I have this innate soft (broken) spot for the whole area. 🤣

        However, I haven’t explored the area as much as I’d like, so I appreciate you posting your adventures (adding them to my personal list).

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  1. I’ve been on that road! It’s oh so beautiful but can be very scary sometimes too! I love to solo travel and you never know what can happen on a road trip. This summer I went on a solo road trip to a remote lake in the middle of nowhere, close to Sun Peaks and I ended up driving 80km+ on a forest service road with steep cliffs, very little people on the road and no phone reception… Looking back, I think it was a little crazy!

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    1. Oooh I would’ve loved that! I love BC backroads. You really never know where you’re going to end up!!! And the Sunpeaks area of the province is so beautiful. I bet it was amazing!

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