Thursday, June 4, 2009
This ferry has been a topic of controversy ever since they decided to build the $800. million bridge which spans the Fraser River from Langley to Maple Ridge. Over the years there have been many motorists complaining about the long ferry line-ups and expressing their desire to have the Government build a bridge to take them to the other side. So now that the bridge is nearly completed and expected to be open for traffic on or around June 16th, they plan to discontinue the Albion Ferry. Originally it was expected to only run until the end of June, but now I see from the official Translink website that it will run to the end of July, 2009 . This bridge will charge tolls so your bridge experience will range from $2.85 to $4.00 per travel dependant upon whether you have a transponder, or not. Use of the Albion Ferry is FREE (NO charge), so now there is a movement to have the Albion Ferry continue as before.
Traffic is very heavy as I would imagine that others are doing what we are doing. Taking one last trip on the ferry before it is shut down.
Today the line up is very long. At least a 4 ferry wait. As it is Sunday, what I call family day, I do not usually ride my 2 wheeled machines. It is a day in the car, cruising the backroads and enjoying a brunch at some out of the way establishment, and today our destination was to take the Albion Ferry. There are two ferries that transverse the Fraser River.
Motorcycles (& scooters) have first on, first off loading privileges so while we have to wait 40 minutes for our turn, they get to load on the next available ferry
It was a very warm day and there is nothing to do while you wait, except for cooling yourself with COLD ice cream if you should so desire. As this southern ferry terminus is on First Nations Land, the local tribe wishes to reclaim this land from the ferry operator, Translink.
Each ferry can accommodate 24 (standard length) vehicles. While the Fraser is fresh water, its proximity to the ocean enables the water level to rise and fall with the tide, and the ramps are so hinged.
Ferries are able to travel both directions at the same speed so as the cars load nose in, it must dock in that direction to allow for easier unloading. You are able to make out the name of this ferry as the Klatawa.
There is not really any shoreline in this area, but rather just marshland. I had really imagined a nice photo of the ferry and my Vette at the front of the ferry for a photo op but it was not to be. I have no control over the loading of the ferry and today I was sandwiched behind a 4X4, and beside an SUV and Large american Van.
It is only a short 5-7 minute ride to the other side, as compared to the 40 minute wait for the ferry. The trip is very fast and there were lots of spectators taking in the scenery
Looking to the left we are able to surmise that we are nearly there
Mere moments later, we were nearly connected with the loading ramp
I seldom drive my 'vette, but today was special, we were taking our 'vette on the Albion Ferry for the last time before it is shut down. I can't imagine a worst position for a photo beside this metal wall and stuck between goliath vehicles.
Just close your eyes and imagine for a moment that my 'vette is at the front of the ferry with a river setting as the back ground, because that is what I had planned. But even the best made plans can end in failure.
I plan on taking next week off and travelling down to Southern WA and perhaps Oregon Coast on another backroads adventure. So don't consider that I am MIA if you don't see any postings for a few days. I may be able to post a picture or two from my Hotel's WiFi .