For Chuck and my 4th (!) anniversary adventure, we decided to take a roadtrip to the The Great White North – Alberta and British Columbia; or as their respective license plates read: ‘Wild Rose Country’ (AB) and ‘The Best Place on Earth’ (BC).
Growing up, I had traveled quite often through various parts of B.C. as half of my relatives are Canadian – but I hadn’t been north of Shuswap Lake or east of Osoyoos. After seeing the amazing scenery further up north, I can’t believe how long it took for us to visit, especially considering how close it is! Chuck and I are big lovers of Alaska and a lot of the wildlife and scenery seemed similar – primarily the beautiful mountains, rivers, and lakes, which you will see plenty of pictures of below.
Here is a map of the route we took (all 1,600 miles of it):
May 24, 2013 – Wauconda
We began our trip by taking Highway 20 over the Cascades, had dinner at the Twisp River Pub (my favorite), and stayed at Chuck’s Mom’s house in the small community of Wauconda. Chuck has put a lot of hard work into the house and I hadn’t seen it since it was framed – it was really cool to see what a beautiful place it’s become.
Chuck exploring the Wauconda property – or modeling for a hunting magazine
Mountain Bluebird house
May 25, 2013 – Republic, Nelson, Creston, & Skookumchuck
The next morning, we stopped in Republic for coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
Chuck said that this would be the first and last time he’d pose in a cutout
At the Republic Merchantile, I’m famous for my fishing skills
We crossed into Canada via the Waneta border, then checked out Nelson and took the ferry across Kootenay Lake.
View from the ferry
Snow had thwarted our plans of taking a logging road shortcut, so we took the long way around through Creston.
Creston grain elevator
That evening, we camped at Tamarack Lake next to a very friendly and helpful Canadian man who acted as a camp host – cutting a bunch of firewood for us (much to Chuck’s chagrin), providing Baileys and coffee and regaled us with Canadian hunting tales.
May 26, 2013 – Beautiful Banff
View from the Kootenay Highway
One of the many beautiful views in Kootenay National Park
Once we got to Banff National Park, we hiked up Sulphur Mountain.
The snowy hike up Sulphur Mountain
Top of Sulphur Mountain, overlooking Banff town and Tunnel Mountain
Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
View into Bow Valley
Gondola; we hiked up (and down!) from the building way, way below. After the snowy hike to the top, we contemplated taking the gondola down but alas, we left our money in the car.
After our hike, we perused Banff town which was super cute – it reminded of a small-scale Whistler village.
View from Morant’s Curve
May 27, 2013 – Our Anniversary! Lake Louise, Yoho National Park, & Jasper
Some of the prettiest sights ever…
Chuck reflecting on Lake Louise’s reflection
Amazing Lake Louise
The quintessential ‘Chuck and his binoculars’ shot
Inuksuk overlooking Moraine Lake
Water tower in Field
The Kicking Horse River falling at the Natural Bridge
Top of the Natural Bridge
The road to Jasper
Icy Bow Lake
Bighorn ewe going for a stroll
Patricia Lake self-timer
Two Brothers Totem Pole in downtown Jasper
Pyramid Lake canoes
May 28, 2013 – Jasper National Park, then homeward bound
The Maligne Lake Road in Jasper National Park is known for its abundant wildlife and it did not disappoint…
The moose says ‘Well, hello’. For some reason, Chuck and I always use an old English accent when talking like animals…
In addition to the wildlife, one of the highlights from driving through the park was watching a park ranger remove baseball-size rocks from the road by hitting them with a hockey stick.
One of 6 black bears that we saw on our trip!
Medicine Lake – Aboriginal peoples called the lake Medicine because of its seemingly magical powers, as the lake ‘drains’ in the wintertime due to sinkholes
4 years down – many more adventures to come!
Trip details –
Animals spotted: Whitetail deer, mule deer, Columbian ground squirrels, snowshoe hares, mountain bluebirds, elk, black bears, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and moose!
Where we stayed:
The family Wauconda house
Tamarack Lake – Canadian camping fun
Paradise Lodge & Bungalows, Lake Louise – We were planning on camping but, apparently, most campgrounds don’t open until June 1st. This was a great, cozy place to shower, relax, and catch up on Canadian news.
Patricia Lake Bungalows, Jasper – Another cute, cozy place. Great location, right on Patricia Lake. We had fun drinking beer and playing cribbage on the dock.
Where we ate (restaurant highlights):
Twisp River Pub, Twisp, WA – One of my favorite places to eat on the ‘eastside’
Kicking Horse Coffee, Invermere, BC – Fantastic iced mocha and granola bowl; Chuck loved their coffee and I just bought their Kick Ass coffee beans at Fred Meyer.
The Bear Street Tavern, Banff, AB – After our Sulphur Mountain hike, we enjoyed pizza, beer, and The Icefield martini – Absolut Berri Açai, lychee liqueur, lemonade, and lychee fruit. Fantastic food and drinks!
Truffle Pigs Bistro, Field, BC – Another fantastic place – we shared the bacon and corn chowder and each ordered their awesome BLT
Cassios Italian Restaurant, Jasper, AB – For our anniversary, we had a fancy meal of wine and pasta
SnowDome Coffee Bar, Jasper, AB – Another great coffee place
What we listened to: As with all of our roadtrips over the past 4 years, we listened to an audiobook – this time we downloaded a legal thriller called ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’. The movie came out last year with Matthew McConaughey as the main character – so I imagined that I was hearing his southern drawl throughout the book – ‘all right, all right, all right’ (as Wooderson).
Some images available for purchase here.
[…] If you’d like to reminisce about our previous years anniversary adventures, here are the links! Kaua’i’s Kalalau Trail, the Oregon Coast/Crater Lake, and Banff/Jasper. […]
[…] adventures, here are the links: Kaua’i’s Kalalau Trail, the Oregon Coast/Crater Lake, Banff/Jasper, and Glacier National […]