Canada eh?! What was it like visiting our northern neighbors?
Columbia Ice Center
The Columbia Icefield is the largest ice field in North America’s Rocky Mountains.
10 K Year Old Ice
The Athabasca Valley
Banff & Jasper
with Jan and Flash
Off on the Wrong Foot
We entered Canada from Washington state; the Surrey border crossing. Just getting across the border was an ordeal that Jan won’t let me discuss here. Suffice it to say; “it was all my fault”. From us both getting frisked and Molly VSOD doing time behind bars… You’ll have to ask me about it over a couple Baja Fogs 😀
Our first Canadian night was at a golf course in Golden, aptly named “The Golden Golf Club”. The geography and flora of the area unmistakably let us know we were somewhere special. While dramatic, it was just a hint of what was to come.
What Jan Says
Everything about Canada was Grand.
Traveling into Canada the scenery is all inspiring. The first mountains I saw were bigger than the Colorado Rockies! I gasped and thought, This is God’s country. Reminding me of Blake Shelton’s song. The Redwoods in California and Oregon encased you, but the Big trees in Canada are over towered by the mountains that look like glaciers. Awesome.
On our trek we saw folks livin’ the “Canadream”. Class C motorhomes rentals – by the hundreds!
We lived the dream in Banff and Jasper National Parks. Picturesque and folks from all over the country. Everyone was friendly always saying “hi” and French Canadian was spoken and common to hear.
On our way to Jasper we *boondocked at The Columbia Ice Fields in Alberta Canada on our way to Jasper National Park. Our living room window had an up front glacier view. We had our antigravity chairs inside our rig positioned to view the glaciers. I felt like we were in Alaska in Mendenhall Glacier up front and center. The temperatures were in the 40’s and Molly VSOD would lay out side the rig for hours. We waited until she was shaking before we brought her in. She wouldn’t have it any other way – not want to miss anything, critters or other dogs.
In Jasper National Park there were bike paths to the town of Jasper that we explored, winding along rivers with rafters. Beautiful log cabins, and wild flowers decorating streets. We will be going back at some point to do more of the “Canadream”.
*Boondocking in an RV is when you camp without hookups to electricity, water, or sewage.
Park and Gold Club Entrance
No Waiting for a Tee Time
We’re out early in the morning to walk Molly, an activity she insists on, and all of us stumble upon something that excites the senses. Occasionally we let her wander on her own recognizance. She never ventures too far out of our sight and has long ago passed the age where she could or would chase some living creature. There are places however where she has to be on a leash. In town of course, around other campsites and anywhere we think she might scare up a coyote or a bear. Speaking of bears, we saw our first bear on our way to Banff. It was casually crossing the four lanes of Canada 1. It catches ones attention and inspires.
Speaking of inspiring, Banff too inspires. It is definately a tourist mecca, yet given its unique location, there is something there for everyone; kayakers, bicycle riders (electric or manual), hikers and runners like Jan and Flash. We were careful running in Banff lest we get lost in the woods. There’s a lot of woods – fo’ schizzle! There likely isn’t any place in town that does not have a view of the drama of the mountains that surrounds Banff. Likely this area is a geologist’s dream come true. For us it was our home base for exploring the town and surrounds, especially a trip to Lake Louise.
Lake Louise is a hamlet in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, known for its turquoise, glacier-fed lake ringed by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau. Hiking trails wind up to the Lake Agnes Tea House for bird’s-eye views. There’s a canoe dock in summer, see the canoers in photo three, and a skating rink on the frozen lake in winter.
What the hell, eh!?
The bathrooms were closed and we didn’t get the memo. Jan and I were wondering why so many people were stopped in the rest areas along the drive from Banff to Lake Louise; we found out :-O
Jasper National Park – eh?
Trust us, you’ll want to get an early start when you’re exploring this massive national park on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. The sunrise lights up each of its peaks—several of them towering over 10,000 feet—one by one. Just getting there is a blast, as Icefields Parkway takes you through forests of lodgepole pines. Once you arrive, lace up your hiking boots (or strap on your snowshoes) for an above-the-tree-line trek through the Bald Hills. A wintertime ice walk to Maligne Canyon takes you past frozen waterfalls. There’s zero light pollution here, so stay up late to see billions of stars and sometimes even the aurora borealis
What Jan and Flash enjoyed most was riding their bikes into town from Whistler’s Mountain Campground. Canada does it right with pleanty of bike trails and paths. From their campsite into town was an enjoyable 3.9K ride along beautiful stretches of river, through the woods, across a couple train tracks and “BAM”, they were exploring the streets, perusing the shops and taking in the sights and sounds.