THE CANADIAN ADVENTURE CONTINUES

August 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I can't believe it has been 8 weeks since we left Palm Springs. Several friends have asked if we aren't tired of traveling or, more pointedly, tired of each other by now. Steven and I agree that the only thing we are tired of is that each of us has one duffel of clothes we have been dressing from for 8 weeks, half of which are heavier items that we could have left at home. And one more week to go of these same wardrobes – oy!

We are now in Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta). We have our first rainy day of the entire trip.  Before today, the weather has been a little hotter than expected, but for we desert rats it has been cooler than at home and that's good enough. There has been a little rain here and there as typical of mountain areas, but nothing much to get in the way of activities. Based on advice from friends who had been this way before us, we were loaded with bug spray and bug nets for our hats and the only bugs we met up with were a few miscreants on a hike along the wooded river hike in Edmonton.

Given this rainy morning, I am inspired to catch up on our travel journal, starting with leaving Vancouver 8/4 and driving to Kelowna.

KELOWNA is BC's winery center. As we approached town, we veered off to West Kelowna and the wineries, and started our visit here with a delightful lunch and tasting (the first of several occasions). Our hotel was on the south side of town with a beach and marina on the Okanagan Lake (135 sq miles really big lake). There are good bike trails all around town. We intended to bike over to the Wednesday Farmers' Market but on our way we saw a sign for Herb Farms and ended up biking into farm country instead. The cherries were amazing. The sunflowers were twice my height. We never made it to the herb farm – we had already biked some serious hills and around curves for 10 miles and figured that was enough for one day, especially since my backpack was now full. Check out the first hole of the golf course we played (Tower Ranch).  Our last day here was hot, so after a morning bike ride, we pulled some deck chairs up to the water's edge and did a little "chillin."

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GOLF CART BLING :)

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8/7 we headed off to CANMORE- Alberta, the drive serving as our introduction to the more craggy, rough rock formations of the Canadian Rockies.  Canmore is a stunning mountain village less than 30-minutes south of Banff. Less crowded than Banff or Lake Louise. And, home to our friends George and Barb Crookshank, who assigned themselves the roles of hosts, tour guides, hike leaders, and golf outing organizers. Our other good buddies -  Allan and Suzan from Edmonton, and Dave and Maureen from Calgary, joined us in Canmore. Outstanding time. It was a "Mission Hills North" event.

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The shot below is of George Crookshank across the lake from where I was standing on our hike to Rummel Lake. George is probably about 6'2" - just to provide a context for the enormity of the space for our hike's lunch destination.

JAW-DROPPING SCENERY

Steven and I spent one day touring LAKE LOUISE and BANFF. We started very early, arriving at the parking lot at Lake Louise by 8:00 am – maybe the 5th car in the lot. The scenery was spectacular – the sun angle just perfect. We headed off for the 2.5 mile shoreline walk and, by the time we returned, bus-loads of people were heading toward us on the trail, and the parking lot was already overflowed to the lower lot!  We were ahead of the crowds for 2 other short hikes but by mid-day it was clearly time to pack it in and head for a quiet picnic table. Lake Louise and Banff have spectacular scenery but way too many people, reinforcing what a good idea it had been to stay in Canmore.

 

LAKE LOUISE

JOHNSTON CANYON

 

8/11 we started our drive to JASPER along the ICEFIELDS PARKWAY. This is a roughly 4 hour drive on a good 2-lane road. However, we took a little over 9 hours to do this drive – checking out every pull-out for jaw-dropping scenery. Stunning mountains/glaciers. Walking on the icefields. Glacial Waterfalls. Short hikes for optimal viewpoints. The Icefields Parkway is on National Geographic's list of "10 most amazing drives" and it certainly deserves that reputation. We took almost 300 shots, and there would have been more, except we found ourselves spending a lot of time just embracing the beauty.

BOW LAKE

THE ICEFIELDS - YOU CAN HIKE UP TO THIS OR TAKE A "TRACTOR" AND WALK ON THE FIELD. 

PYRAMID LAKE

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We stayed in a cabin park in the charming mountain town of Jasper for 3 days. Hiking, Biking, FISHING, yep, Linda and George, you paying attention, we caught some trout! 

STEVEN SETTING UP FISHING GEAR

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8:00 AM - MALIGNE LAKE

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9:15 MY FIRST BROOKIE OF THE DAY (BEHIND ME IS GEORGE OUR GUIDE AND FISHING GURU). 

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8/15, we headed to EDMONTON to stay with our friends Allan and Suzan (and their wonderful dog, Ocean, who clearly owns the place). We had home-cooked meals, Suzan led us on a walking tour (6 miles), Allan led the biking tour (15 miles) and driving tour (I forgot to count). We played golf at their club, had dinner with Herb and Susan – other Edmonton friends we met in Palm Springs, and went downtown to the Fringe Festival for a little while. We had a great visit!

Next up, Waterton Lakes (Canadian side) and Glacier (US side) National Parks. I probably won't post this last leg of our trip until we get home.

Thanks for continuing to share our journey.

best

steven & bette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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