1/5/17 - 7/5/17 14 °C
Just 5 meandering days and we've reached Banff. Woke to trace of snow this a.m. but yesterday was brilliant.
Best reasons to travel at this time of year: Little traffic! Fewer tourists/travellers! Little or no snow! Lots of prime camping spots in the few campgrounds that are open! Kinda warm temps! Still friendly Visitor Info officers who have LOTS of brochures, stickers, etc.
Escaped Victoria's flowers and springtime on May 1 and 'caught' the noon ferry from Swartz Bay, Sidney to Tsawwassen, Vancouver. A tad rainy but mild temps and calm seas. Scooted the #17 bypass around Vancouver to Brae Island, Fort Langley, BC - our first 'official' night of snuggling in the Yellow Trailer.
HBC Fort Langley was gloriously sunny, warm and perched on the shores of the Mighty Fraser River. Anyone know what 'Culturally Modified' means? We do!! Prize sticker for a subscriber who can give an example. Hint - Think a First Nations practice. Learned of HBC Hawaiians at Fort Langley. Cheaper and closer than importing Scots to handle some of the fur trading labour. Some vestiges of 'old Hawaii' still found on local street signs and family names in area.
Took pics in Hope at Voyageur cutouts. Silly but fun! Yellow Trailer smiled too!
Skihist Provincial Park perched on Ponderosa Pine meadow overlooking the Thompson River Canyon (and TRAINS!). Some amazing pics of CP and CN trains (rivals don't share track) snaking along river's edge. Campsite was high enough that we could see but not hear! Glorious clumps of Cornflowers blooming on dry, south facing slopes.
Day 3 adventure had us take highway to Ashcroft then to Logan Lake (MONSTER Open Pit Copper Mine) and trucks. Looks like a company built mining town carved out the high plateau in the 1970s. Winding drive along Lac Le Jeune Rd to the backdoor of Kamloops. Mark the Ashcroft to Kamloops roads for future MC jaunts. TWISTY and 'good tarmac'! The downslope into Kamloops sent us careening east to Sick-a-Moose then 3 Valley Gap where we car slept for 2 hours while highway crews removed rock debris. Bailed into Mickey D's in Revy for a wrap then over Colonel Roger's Pass to the Golden Municipal Campground where the Kicking Horse River and more trains, 'lulled' us to sleep.
Day 4 - Shopped (and reluctantly bought) a stool in our favourite Golden artists' co-op. Gave the Yellow and car and wand wash too then headed south skirting the Mighty Columbia (kinda marshy here) to Radium and our second favourite BC Park, Dry Gulch (which was wet). Fantastic site; very quiet; the red squirrels were still sleeping. Ever get cone-bombed?
Friday, May 5 - Drove up the still lousy and road-snaked Kootenay Parkway to Castle Junction (for a pee break and java), then on the Bow Valley Parkway (a.k.a. Trans Canada Highway) to Banff. Pulled into our ridge site overlooking Mt. Rev. Bobby Rundle just in time to hear then watch a snow avalanche tumble down the north face. Headed down Tunnel Mtn to the Banff townsite to Nester's Grocery to pick up supplies in prep for our family BBQ with our son Bryan, daughter-in-law Amy, grandson Will, daughter Emily and friend Tracey on Saturday.
Day 6 - Showered off stink (then applied better smelling stuff) and awaited our family! Lots of hugs and kisses arrived in early afternoon. The sun shone and all was good. Will was a Happy Camper! Herd of elk joined the party early evening and left piles of 'chocolate' treats. GREAT DAY!