I was recently invited by Ford Canada to an exclusive “out of the city experience” in Agassiz, BC (located about 100 kilometres east of Vancouver and just north of Chilliwack). The weekend getaway was centred around the theme of getting “back to basics” and learning valuable do-it-yourself skills. We picked up our Ford vehicles early in the morning and hit the road. I ended up with a 2015 Ford Escape SE, and after loading up our bags and inputting our destination on the GPS, we set off on our way for the hour-long drive. Our destination was the beautiful Fraser River Lodge, which sits right on the shores of the Fraser River.
From the lodge, we enjoyed panoramic views of the river, Mount Cheam, and they even have bison grazing on the property. The rooms were cozy and offered great bedside views of the river, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing weekend staycation destination. After a fantastic buffet lunch which included prime rib, it was time for our Basic Car Care & Driving Skills Workshop. Led by Robin Buck, one of Canada’s foremost racing drivers and high performance driving instructors, we learned various winter driving techniques, which is always good to know despite the unseasonably warm winter weather that we’ve been experiencing. This included braking, ascending hills, recovering from a skid, and more. We also learned about car maintenance including how to change your engine oil and how to change a tire, all very practical skills to have. We were even shown how to hook up a trailer to the all new 2015 Ford F-150, which delivers industry leading payload and towing capabilities (5,500 kg towing and 1,500 kg hauling).
Ever seen a car parallel park itself? The Ford Active ParkAssist feature does just that (ab0ve). This feature was first introduced by Ford on their Lincoln vehicles in 2009, but has now found its way into most of Ford’s lineup as well. Some of us also had an opportunity to take the 2015 Ford Mustang GT out for a spin as well. This iconic American sports car is now available with three engines offering a broader power of choice. The one I drove was the 5.0L V8 engine that boasts 435 horsepower with 400 lb-ft torque.
Next on the agenda was a totem pole carving workshop, led by local carver and artist Don Froese, who actually carved many of the pieces that are on display at the lodge. In addition to learning about the shapes and lines and tools used for carving, we also learned a lot about the history of carving. After a short hands-on tutorial, it was time for us to apply our skills. After seeing the amount of work that goes into totem pole making, I definitely formed a much deeper appreciation of the aboriginal art. Next up, we enjoyed a lovely wine tasting and multi-course dinner featuring the wines of Kelowna’s Mission Hill Family Estate Winery.
As an added bonus, after dinner we headed to the fire pit where we enjoyed the starry sky over some drinks and Smores. We packed it in pretty early as we had a long day ahead. The next morning, we set off for some sturgeon fishing along the river. The Fraser River is a hotbed for sturgeon fishing, attracting plenty of anglers from around the world. We geared up, put on our hip waders, and split up into 3 boats. James Chung scored the first catch of the day within the first hour, catching a nice 5-foot sturgeon. We didn’t have much luck until the end of the day, when we caught a 3-footer right before we hooked a nearly 8-foot, 300 pound sturgeon. It took around half an hour and the efforts of 3 people to reel it in, and was by far the biggest catch of the day. After taking some photos (because pics or it didn’t happen), we released the sturgeon back into the river and called it a day.
Posing in our hip waders and fishing jackets, and equipped with thermoses of hot chocolate. Who wore it better?
Did you know? Sturgeons have remained relatively unchanged for around 200 million years! They truly are prehistoric fish.
Thanks to Ford for an amazing “back to basics” weekend adventure. Also, I now have a worthy fishing story to share!
Disclaimer: I was hosted by Ford, but was not paid for this blog post. Some photos courtesy of Ford of Canada.