Hope B.C - Rambo to Shakespeare

Rambo Bridge

“What you call hell, he calls home."  Those words were spoken in First Blood.  While Hope, B.C. may be closer to heaven than hell, it was where that movie was filmed.  First Blood, by the way, is the only Rambo I know worth seeing twice.  Don’t get me wrong, Rambo II had its moments.  But by Rambo III he’s helping the Taliban.   Sure this was before we thought of them as terrorists.  But still, if the movie was filmed today he would have helped the Russians.   And I am not sure what Rambo IV was about, but I am sure it stunk.  It just so happened that we were moving on through Hope, B.C. the day before the Rambo Bridge Festival.  This was the last summer for the bridge as it was coming down due to environmental reasons.  The bridge plays a central part in the movie.  It is where the bad cop sets up his command center.  The movie also begins with that same bad cop picking up Rambo, driving him across the bridge and then dropping him off with the thought being he would not return (he returns).  And the day we came through Hope there was a festival complete with bit actors from the first film, impersonators, and props from the original movie.   We camped the night before the party at a small, city owned park that backed into private homes separated by a gate and forest to both sides.  Campers ranged from Rambo enthusiasts to teenagers with empty beer can pyramids to the RV set.


Props from First Blood


Another attraction near Hope is Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park.   In the early 1900s the Canadian Pacific Railway attempted to link the Kootenay Region with the BC coast.  These efforts necessitated a lot of rock being blasted and some very impressive tunnels referred to as the Othello Tunnels.  The engineer who oversaw construction was a big fan of Shakespeare and named stations along the railroad after his favorite characters.  Parts of First Blood were also filmed here including the scene near the beginning of the film where he is hanging from a cliff and ducking bullets from a sharpshooter in a helicopter.  Rambo of course kills the shooter with a rock (the only fatality in the entire film).  Rambo aside, the tunnels are very interesting to walk through and offer good vantage points of the river below.

Othello Tunnels

Coquihalla Provincal Park

Our journey to Hope did not involve rail.  Instead we drove a rollercoaster of a road, the Coquihalla Highway.  The road is unique for being a former toll road (can you think of another toll road being set free) and for legal, Canadian travel over 60 MPH (the speed limit is a brisk 110 KMH or about 65 MPH).  The road twists and snakes through valleys framed by mountains and sweeping birds of prey.  After navigating the sprawl of Kamloops in search of an oil change, we welcomed the drive and fancied us a part of the scenery and not just three folks stuck in a car.  The drive after Hope was more pedestrian and involved divided highways leading to Vancouver City.  Lucky for us we got lost in other valleys on the way to the big city.

The Coquihalla Highway

For more road adventures, click on the link below


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