Johnstone Creek

Ever since we left the frigid domain of the parkway it has been harder and harder for me to write. Warm sandy beaches seem to have a more compelling draw then the keyboard.

We have been fortunate to have very nice camp spots right on the lake at every place we stay. It’s nice to have come here later in the year when the local tourists have gone (back to school).

The trip south through Salmon Arm, Peachland, Summerland and Osoyoos have been a little out of character for us. We typically would stay out of the touristy cities and the roadside attractions. They lack grit, I don’t get the sense that I am a visitor exploring a new place. Instead I’m a bystander among a flood of others exploiting and overusing one place. I guess that is what happens when a gem of nature is found and accessible.

Never the less, we came, we saw, we enjoyed, we moved on. Nothing much to write home about. We had a coil burn up on the Navi that set us back a day in Salmon Arm. We hiked to the top of Pincushion Mountain in Peachland. Not much else. Initially, I thought that there were fewer fruit stands than I remember when I was here as a child. That all changed as we neared Pentiction; they were everywhere. Many of them had closed for the season already, but there were a few that were still open and we stopped at a couple of them. The first place we grabbed a handful of Plums, 2 Asian Pears, 2 Bartlett Pears, 2 Peaches and went to the till. The fellow weighed it, Two Dollars…! What? I felt I should try and negotiate and see if I could get them for $3

The pull out of Osoyoos was nuts! We headed east on the Crowsnest, and it was the longest steepest pull I remember. The Navi was barking the whole way up, but seemed to do fine. After that the terrain changed into dried up rolling mountain pastures. It reminded us of Eastern California just before Yosemite. We’d actually intended to stay at Haynes Point in Osoyoos, but it was full, so we were forced to move on. What a blessing that turned out to be as we found a place called Johnstone Creek just west of Rock Creek. It is the closest thing to Trappers we have found. 16 camp spots, all nicely carved into the tall evergreens, No Services – Perfect! There is a brook tricking away 5 meters behind us and a couple of trails through knee deep dried grasses but still under the shade of the tall trees.

I love it here, today we are the only ones here. We only intended to stay one night, but it’s starting to look like two.

Categories: Interesting Stuff | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Kick, Snip, and a Dip

Sorry everyone! It’s been a long time since we’ve posted! I guess that means that we are really relaxing now. So we left you at Kicking Horse. It was just as we remembered it; lots of rain and lots of trains. Unfortunately we had two full days of rain so we didn’t get a chance for any big adventures. Jason was a good sport in letting me practice my portrait photography down by the river during the reprieve from the rain. Lincoln and I did some walking around the campground in what I now realize, are matching rain jackets. This was not planned. I guess we both look stunning in bright blue.

On our way through Golden I decided it was time to drop a few pounds. My hair was becoming harder to care for on such a long trip. I was looking for a fast drying, easy to style, modern look. It was time for a change!

After my makeover we were planning on staying in Glacier National Park (the Canadian one, not the US one – confusing!). As we drove through the pass, sandwiched between logging trucks, in borderline freezing rain, we decided to move to a warmer climate. In no time we were parked on the sunny beaches of Canada.

We stayed at Pierre’s Point just outside of Salmon Arm. We basically had the whole place to ourselves and enjoyed campfires right on the beach and great views. Due to previous flooding the water was not so tempting and we stayed on land and relaxed. One really neat feature was a fenced dog park within the campground with a doggie beach. Good on them!

From there we continued on into Kelowna. What bad can one really say about Kelowna!? I guess if you don’t like fresh fruit, warm weather, and scenic views then it is not for you. We stayed at Bear Creek Provincial Park. I was jonesing for a lakefront campsite. The park was surprisingly busy and finally we settled on a spot. To my delight we had our own path down to our own little private beach on the Okanagan. What a treat! Finally I got to take that dip!

Jason and I decided to do one touristy thing and rented some jet skis. Jason rented the 260 horse power, supercharged Kawasaki (vroom, vroom 0-70 mph in 3 seconds). Sounded something like the Navi; you who know, know what I mean! I rented the scooty, puff Jr. (topping out at 60 mph). The lake was so glassy and being a Friday morning, we had it all to ourselves.

We also took in the Kelowna Farmer’s Market. We got cherries, peaches, corn, potatoes, carrots, and a massive onion. We also stocked up on some wildflower honey and a few homemade mini pies.

Due to our lack of activity and the aforementioned mini pies, we decided to hike the Bear Creek Canyon Trail the morning we left. Not overly challenging but a very interesting hike along one side of the canyon rim, down to the creek, and back up the other side. It was great to get back into the groove of hiking. We hope to some more. Being half way done our vacation we are heading south. See ya later!

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Mosquito Creek

Mosquito Creek Campground was on the top of our list of campgrounds to visit on this trip. The name may sounds scary to some, but not to someone from Saskatchewan!! Last time we were here we enjoyed relaxing at our camp site by the river and meeting lots of interesting people. If you can recall this is where we met Frank and Isabel from Switzerland and Peter and Judy from Germany. Both couples embarking on trips across Canada and down to the tip of South America. We enjoyed keeping in contact and their stories were inspiring.

Anyway, back to Mosquito Creek! We were able to get the camp spot that we were hoping for. A small spot beside the river, fairly treed but still with enough sunlight to keep our solar charged. Everyday we took our camping chairs down to the riverbank and enjoyed the views and nice weather. Even Lincoln put his quest for inspecting every squirrel aside and relaxed in the warm sun.

We were very happy to meet another Swiss couple, Fabian and Fabion. Yes, that was a little hard to keep straight at first, but in no time we were enjoying each others company and stories. Fabian and Fabion had rented a Pleasure Way van and had 3 weeks to tour BC and Alberta. It is interesting to see that even though we are half a world apart we still have lots in common.

We also enjoyed the company of another couple from Wisconsin, Gene and Patsy. They introduced us to some great games with dominoes, including a newly invented one called “Canadian Train”. We will have to invest in a set of dominoes as a trailer staple! We had originally met Gene and Patsy as we joined them under the only tree on top on the Wilcox pass in the middle of a snowstorm! We were both interested in doing some more hiking, minus the snowstorm of course. We joined Gene and Patsy for a short hike to Peyto Lake and the much more challenging Lake Louise Tea House hike. For this hike we opted to leave Lincoln out due to the level of difficulty and popularity. This 14 km round trip hike gains 1000 ft in elevation and is definitely not for those afraid of heights! The end result was a cute little Swiss tea house; very basic with much effort put in to keep it “original”. We opted out of eating at the tea house and enjoyed our trail mix, fruit bars, and water with great views and conversation.

Now we are off to Kicking Horse campground in Yoho National Park. It is hard to believe that we are just over a week in. Our trip has been so enjoyable and eventful. We are happy to be keeping up with our exercise and healthy food prep routine. Lincoln is having a blast as well. He is enjoying all the new sights and sounds, especially the squirrels!

Categories: Adventures, Lake Louise | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Hiking in a snowstorm at Wilcox Creek

Our next planned stop was at Wilcox Creek very near to the Columbia Icefield. We made good time and managed to get the same premium camp spot we had the last time we were threw. Good ole’ 43. It was a nice sunny day which was good because we needed to recharge our batteries after our shaded stay at Whistlers campground. We got in a few good hours of sun before it hid behind the trees, just enough to get us by for a few nights.

The next day was a bit gloomy and overcast; I guess it’s the price you pay for setting up camp next to a glacier. It seems to make it’s own weather. The day was cool, so we decided to hike the nearby trail to Wilcox Pass. Like the last, this trail had no posted restrictions regarding dogs, so we suited everyone up and pointed ourselves at the summit. Although it seems obvious, I found it quite fascinating to ascend threw the thick ceder and emerge above the treeline. We continued upward, through the grassy tundra but not before it started to precipitate on us. It started as a light mist, then a shower, then freezing rain, then the biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen. At this point carrying on to the summit seemed pointless as visibility had dropped to 15 meters or less. To add the hardship, Lincoln was wet and cold and refused to walk another step. Kara and I were both fairly well dressed for the day, Lincoln however only brought a light jacket (for shame!). We dried him off as best we could a stuffed him in my jacket for the decent. It sounds pretty treacherous, but it was actually very beautiful to watch the snow quilt the mountain in white as we headed back to camp.

As we neared our trailer we saw a sharp looking F250 with a brand new pop-up camper in the box. It reminded us of Tom and Janet’s Overlander Rig, and so we stopped to greet them. It was manned by Eric and Barb, of Colorado. We told them of the similarities of their setup to that of Tom and Janet’s and the back story of their trip through Argentina and South America and were quite surprised to hear that Eric and Barb had lived in both Argentina and Chile. We will certainly have more questions for you folks later…


Categories: Adventures, Interesting Stuff | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Vacation Time 2012!

As I’ve mentioned before, this year we plan to travel less and see more (of each other).

We planned to start our trip in Jasper and spend some time getting into “Vacation Mode”. After our first night at Elk Island National Park we made it into Jasper and got all settled in before heading to the Kimchi House. Monica did not recognize us at first, citing our recent weight loss – but we were soon initiated with every Korean delicacy under the sun. The next few days were spent relaxing and going for walks along the trials in and around Jasper. We were not sure how Lincoln would adapt to this Nomadic lifestyle, many new smells and people everywhere, but he did fine. We’d planned to re-hike the Edith Cavell Glacier, but an avalanche earlier in the year put the kibosh to that. Instead we went for a hike on the Wabasso trail which to our surprise, was a trail which allowed dogs. We hurried back to the trailer to pick up Lincoln, the SatComm, and the bear spray. It was only about 6km return which went by really quick. The lake at the end of the trail was “so-so”, nothing to write home about.

Before leaving Jasper we went to the Kimchi house once more and were treated to an array of dishes I’m not even sure were on the menu. We really enjoyed the warm welcome and hospitality we received from Monica and Peter at the Kimchi House. A+

Categories: Adventures, Interesting Stuff, Jasper | Tags: , , | 4 Comments