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Day 306 – Alberta Beach, Alberta

Day 306 – Alberta Beach, Alberta

Day 306 – June 21st, 2017
Alberta Beach, Alberta
Alberta Beach Golf and RV Resort
Momma’s a “Happy Camper”

There is only one picture necessary to sum up Day 306, after 5  months apart, I couldn’t be happier to see Travis, and it was time to break out Sunnybrae’s Happy Camper !

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$30 – 50% with our Passport America Discount
– Full Services- Water, Electric, Sewer
Temperatures
Low – 12
High – 21
Elevation
726 meters
Towing Kilometres
0 km

Day 304 – 305 Alberta Beach, Alberta

Day 304 – 305 Alberta Beach, Alberta

Day 304 -305 – June 19th & 20th, 2017
Alberta Beach, Alberta
Alberta Beach Golf and RV Resort
Well Hello Alberta !

We had a pretty big drive in front of us so we packed up early and hit the road.  Travis would be flying into Edmonton in 2 days and we were heading to a little known lake about an hour from the Edmonton Airport.  Our drive today would take us through Jasper Nationalal park, which we would be returning to for 6 nights with Travis.

I was excited to be back in Alberta as Jasper and Banff are two of my very favourite places in Canada.  And though it was rather gray and gloomy, I had Rick pull over, so I could breathe in the mountains and take a few pictures to share with you.

Even on a a gray day they are majestic and beautiful and can lift your spirits

Within a few miles we were greeted by a herd of elk grazing by the highway.  I had forgotten the chaos and traffic this causes, especially in the summer months, but I managed to get a couple of pics without cars and tourists 

Such an awesome creature!

A little further into the park and we came across a couple of big horn sheep.  They were all out to greet us and we were only a half hour into the park.

At the far eastern perimeter of the park, we discovered a series of lakes that we looked forward to exploring, later when we were camping at Pocahontas

We arrived at Alberta Beach Golf & RV Resort in time to get a quick round of golf in.  Resort would be a bit of a far stretch, but it had everything we needed for the next few days.  

We walked down to the lake, later in the evening to watch the sunset.

And a wake surfer enjoying the last light

The next day we drove into Edmonton to do a huge grocery shop as we knew that Jasper and Lake Louise would have limited groceries and very high prices.  All stocked up, we were ready for Travis to arrive the next day !

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$30 – 50% Off with our Passport America Discount
– Full Services- Water, Electric, Sewer
Temperatures
Low – 12
High – 24
Elevation
726 meters
Towing Kilometres
341 km

Day 303 – Mount Robson, British Columbia

Day 303 – Mount Robson, British Columbia

Day 303 – June 18th, 2017
Mount Robson, British Columbia
Mount Robson Provincial Park
Kinnery Lake

We had our first real sleep in, in a long time, and ended up getting to Mount Robson Provincial Park, shortly after 2:00pm.  We found we had a great spot right by the river.  I just love the milky turquoise colours of glacial fed rivers and lakes.

Beautiful views both up and down the river !

We headed to the Visitor Centre to get some trail maps and decided on the Berg Lake Trail.   This is a popular back-country walk-in camping trail, similar to the style of the West Coast Trail. It allows you to hike in for a couple of days with all your supplies.  We would take it as far as Kinnery Lake which would be about a 10k hike in and out.

The hike followed the Robson River.  Mount Robson’s four glaciers supply melt water to the Robson River as do the eight other glaciers in the watershed and it is the rock flour that gives the Robson it’s milky blue colour.

This water travels all the way to the Fraser River.  There are no lakes along the Fraser River for the rock flour to settle out, so it travels a journey of a thousand kilometers to the Pacific Ocean.

Mount Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, loomed in the clouds ahead of us 

There were beautiful waterfalls along the trail

And new mountains appeared in the clearings 

The snowy glaciers were so thick and the sky changed to a brilliant blue !

Our first glimpse of the turquoise blue waters on Kinnery Lake

A short while later some more expansive views, through the trees

Majestic mountains surround the lake

But we needed to hike around it to truly appreciate it.

So up and around we hiked, til we reached the stoney beaches on the far side.

Kinnery Lake had the colours and beauty of Lake Louise but was untouched, void of tourists.

It was peaceful and pristine !

We even saw some people swimming in the chilly water on the far side of the lake!  We could hear their screams as the entered the water.

And then it was time to start the hike back 

One last glimpse from the bridge, of yet another place we are destined to return to

The skies were much bluer now and the mountains shone in all their glory 

Back at the Visitor Center, Mount Klapperhorn had sprung to life with the blue sky above it.

And the clouds over Mt. Robson, had lifted as far as they would that day, giving us the best view of Mt. Robson we were going to get this trip.

It had been a pretty huge hike in and out to the lake and it was now time to take our chairs and drinks down to the river and relax 

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$34 – No Services
Temperatures
Low – 10
High – 21
Elevation
1057 meters
Towing Kilometres
33 km

Day 302 – Valemount, British Columbia

Day 302 – Valemount, British Columbia

Day 302 – June 17th, 2017
Valemount, British Columbia
Irvin RV Park
Our Love Affair with Valemount Begins

We woke to a bright sunny morning with the clouds sitting below the  mountains !  We were due to check-in to Mt. Robson Provincial Park today but having scored the Craft Beer Fesitval tickets, I phoned ahead and let them know we wouldn’t be arriving til Sunday.  It was going to shorten our stay to only one night, but we had weeks of the Rockies in front of us !

Rick spent the day rebuilding the tech drawer and even had a chance to wash the RV, for only the second time during the now 300+ days we had been on the road.   The shuttle to the Festival picked us up at 4:00pm along with a handful of others from the park and whisked us off to the airfield.  The Festival was so well organized – no one could drive to the airfield, no parking was available, instead shuttles were picking people up at the the RV parks and hotels around town as well as a stop downtown for the locals!  It was a great way to ensure that no one drank and drove and the shuttle was included in the price of your tickets.

The weather had turned, during the course of the day and it was cloudier and cooler then expected and everyone was hoping the rain would hold off.

The airfield was the perfect setting for a Craft Beer Festival, with the backdrop of the three mountain ranges behind !

We met so many friendly and incredible people, most from Jasper, and we quckly learned that Valemount was now Jasper’s playground.   A place to camp, hike, mountain bike and ski, away from the tourism of Jasper.

 

The bands were great and so were the food trucks !

And even when the skies turned gloomy it was still beautiful !

There were 6 Craft Breweries, A Cidery and a Winery and we sampled them all and talked with their owners.

 We introduced ourselves to a couple of the partners that ran Left Field Cidery and mentioned that Toronto had their own Left Field Craft Brewery.  They then told us, that after Left Field in Toronto had opened, they discovered that Left Field in B.C. already existed and contacted them and asked them if they were going to sue them or force them to change their name ? The partners at the Cidery laughed and instead, wished Toronto’s Left Field luck in their business and said they would look for their beer.  Shortly their after received a couriered case fo Left Field’s Beer.  It was a great story and reinforced the collective, harmonious and supportive nature we continue to see in the entrepreneurs in the Craft Beer Industry in both Canada and The States

As night approached the sun came back out and cast awesome light on the mountains

Once again different in each direction

The bands got a bit louder and the dancing more jovial.  We met a couple of girls up dancing with little antlers on and stopped and talked to them.   We told them of our family connection to Manantler Brewery in Ontario and how perfect these little hand made antlers would be for events the attended or even for their staff to wear at the Brewery ! Unfortunately they had none for sale with them, but we did their card.

Rick, living proof of Manantler !

It was amazing how it stayed light until well past 10:30, I had forgotten this special treasure of the west !

It had been an awesome event and we loved meeting so many genuine people.  Valemount was definitely somewhere we would return to and spend much more time in !

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$35 – Full Service – Water, Sewer, Electric
Temperatures
Low – 8
High – 18
Elevation
788 meters
Towing Kilometres
0 km

Day 301 – Valemount, British Columbia

Day 301 – Valemount, British Columbia

Day 301 – June 16th, 2017
Valemount, British Columbia
Irvin’s RV Park
Nice but……

The bugs, the rain, the cold weather and B.C. Parks restrictive generators rules had gotten to us and we woke and made the decision to abandon this experience and leave a day early.  Throw in the lack of basic communication and we were done.  We began to pack up.

And then there was a knock on our door and it was the outfitter telling us to be sure to arrive 15 minutes early for the boat tour and well, Rick just couldn’t say “no”, so we decided to pack up, take the tour and then head out.

We did not regret, the boat tour ! There was us, two other couple and our guide Ray, who had grown up on this lake and these mountains.  He was a spirited story teller with a great sense of humour and loved to tell of his experiences in the mountains, on the water and back country camping.

He even had Rick take the wheel for a bit

The shorelines, reminded us of Muskoka

 

And then we turned a corner and the snow capped Caribou Mountains came into view!

And the clouds starting rolling in quickly, and the blue skies disappeared 

We stopped the boat, by one of the canoe-in campsites and listened to Ray’s stories about some of his run ins with bears while hiking and snowboarding on these mountains

He fixed us up with coffee, tea and hot chocoloates as he told his tales 

All the while keeping his eye on the weather….  The rain blew in for 5 or 10 minutes and then blew out

We were a bit over our tour time, having had to wait out the weather, but Ray wanted us to see one of waterfalls that fed into the lake.  It was hard to snap a picture as the boat bounced around, but here’s a glimpse of it

We headed back to shore, took one last look at the lake and headed back to the RV, to start making tracks.

Where we were headed, we weren’t sure, since we had been without internet…… We had seen an intriguing Poster in the grocery store in Clearwater before we set out on the road to Wells Gray and we kind of had this town in mind !

When we finally got cell signal we determined it was 200 km and headed there ! We found a great little RV Park on the edge of town, spacious sites, plenty of sunshine and incredible 360 mountain views !

Valemount was smack in the middle of three mountain ranges.  

The Selkirks

The Caribou

And the Rockies – it was my first view of the Rockies and I immediately felt home, grounded and a swell of Canadian Pride 

Once settled we went to find out about the Craft Beer Festival.  Our Park Host explained it was a big event for the town and that the event had been sold out for weeks.  She added in, it was a shame too, as there was a shuttle right from the Park to the festival,  that was being held at the airfield outside of town.

Now we are never ones to take “no’ for an an answer and I knew in this tiny town of 1,o2o there had to be a couple of tickets for a price.  So we headed straight to their own Craft Brewery, Three Ranges !  And sure enough the bartender hooked us up with a scalper who had two tickets for sale.  Rick jumped in the truck and headed down the street to the pub to get them.

And we celebrated our luck with a flight on Three Ranges Patio.   Valemount was a cool town, with great views and a great vibe !

The Caribou Grill was the recommendation for dinner and we enjoyed an awesome Prime Rib Dinner, and both agreed it was the best meal we had out, during the whole trip ! It was the true authentic western dining experience !

We were back at the park in time for an incredible mountain sunset !

With each range capturing it differently

I was in awe !

The way the last light hit little spots on the Caribou Mountains, was so cool

And the moody skies over the Selkirks

And the clouds enhancing the sun’s last light!

And finally the pinks and orange illuminations

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$30 – Full Service – Water, Sewer and Electric
Temperatures
Low – 6
High – 12 @Well’s Gray \ 24 @ Valemount
Elevation
788 meters
Towing Kilometres
207 km

Day 300 – Clearwater, British Columbia

Day 300 – Clearwater, British Columbia

Day 300 – June 15th
Clearwater, British Columbia
Well’s Gray Provincial Park
Mosquitoes and Waterfalls

Unfortunately for us the weather was not great and it was the height of mosquito season. We were determined to make the best of it and layer up and hike when it wasn’t pouring rain

The river ran behind the sites and there was a nice trail along side it

The area area had been ravaged by some pretty severe winds in the past couple of weeks and there were trees uprooted everywhere.

There was a pretty waterfall separating the two Campgrounds 

And more waterfalls as we hiked towards the main lodge 

The park had a small family run outfitter lodge / restaurant with boat tours, canoe rentals, water taxi’s and very limited wifi. 

The rain was imminent today so we grabbed some hiking trail maps.  They were pretty good sales people, so we said we would consider a boat tour tomorrow and for today fit in whatever hiking we could.

We were in deep bear country now, both black bear and grizzly, so before heading out hiking we read their “Bear Watching Etiquette” pamplet and sign.  Well’s Gray is a very popular spot with the German Tourists. Most renting Canadreams or Adventurers RV’s, so much so that  all of Well’s Gray’s pamphlets were written in English and German !

We set out for the trail along Clearwater Lake, and passed this rustic old homesteader cabin.  There were 4 families that settled in the Well’s Gray area and a couple are still farming up here.

The trail was narrow and took you right along the edge of the lake

More evidence of the damage the winds and rains had done

The trail was also slippery and muddy

And subject to slides

We hiked for about an hour until the rain got stronger and we retreated to the RV for a few hours.

Around 3:00pm the rain let up a bit and we headed out to see some of the Falls. Bailey’s Chute was the first one!

The force of the water was absolutely violent.  I was able to capture some great “live” photos on my IPhone, but they may not show as well in the stills 

Then off to the famous Helmcken Falls.  It was truly spectacular 

The trail took you along a steep gorge, with little or no barriers

With great views of the river running away from the Falls, far below 

And more incredible views of Helmcken Falls

From there we decided to take the hike to Dawson Falls, it was raining on and off so we were avoiding the longer hikes, we didn’t want to get an hour or more out and all of a sudden be in a torrential down pour.  Thoughout all these short hikes our bear spray and horns were on our packs.  We had seen bears on the road and fresh bear skat on the trails.  

The trials were lined with purple and orange wild flowers and of course the sweet grass that the bears all love.

Dawson Falls 

We can only imagine how beautiful these falls all look on a sunny blue sky day !

The hike at Dawson Falls gave us a glimpse of the narrow ‘one vehicle only” bridge that we had come across on our way in and reminded us we had it to look forward to on our way out.

The rain had stopped making the bugs thick, and it was close to dinner time so we decided to retreat back to the RV. We stopped at The Outfitters on the way back to try and check messages (their wifi wasn’t working) and instead were persuaded to sign up for the 11:00am boat tour of Clearwater Lake.

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$32 + $6 Reservation Fee – Dry Camping – No Services
Temperatures
Low – 6
High – 12
Elevation
748 meters
Towing Kilometres
0 km

 

Day 299 – Clearwater, British Columbia

Day 299 – Clearwater, British Columbia

Day 299 – June 14th, 2017
Clearwater, British Columbia
Well’s Gray Provincial Park
A Quick Trip Through Our Town

It was time to leave the Shuswap and start heading north east.  Our drive took us through Chase, British Columbia, so we had to stop fro a couple of photo ops !

And, well Rick just had to pose in front of the “Chase, A Shuswap Experience”

And we got a real kick out of this poster  !

Chase was a cute little town overlooking the Thompson River

We were heading to Well’s Gray Provincial Park near Clearwater B.C. And our drive would take us through the Kamloops area, where the landscape would change dramatically, as sandstone hills began to appear

And the first sights of hoodoo type land formations, with their glacial grooves

Well’s Gray Park is one of B.C.’s most beautiful Provincial Park and boasts 22 waterfalls.  It is the 4th largest Proviinicial Park in B.C. And covers 5,250 sq kilometers. It is meant for remote camping, as you take a 60 km road into it, with the last 30km being a bumpy dirt road, that winds and climbs through the mountains.   It has many canoe in only sites and 3 private lakes.  It is nestled amongst B.C.’s Cariboo  mountains and is truly beautiful.   

The park was not really designed for large RV’s and there was no way we were going to fit in the site we had booked, luckily the park wasn’t full and the third site we tried we were able to fit in.  The mosquitoes were the thickest we had seen and once set up, we quickly retreated to the RV, where we found the tech drawer in our entertainment Centre had not survived the bumpy drive in. 

We also discovered that there was absolute no cell signal, so there would be no blog writing for the next few days.

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$32 + $6 Reservation Fee – Dry Camping – No Services
Temperatures
Low – 12
High – 14
Elevation
748 meters
Towing Kilometres
151 km

Day 295 – 298 – Scotch Creek, British Columbia

Day 295 – 298 – Scotch Creek, British Columbia

Day 295 – 298 – June 10th – June 13th
Scotch Creek, British Columbia
Shuswap Provincial Park
Wine, Stein, Dine and Dance

We had a fun weeekend up at Scotch Creek with Ruth & Richard.  The weather was a bit of a mix, overcast on Saturday but sunny and nice on Sunday and Monday.

Rick and Richard, sported 2 new “loud shirts” from Enderby Flea Market, where we scored the shirts and some other treasures for our RV

Richard was The Fire Master, chopping wood and keeeping the fire going all weekend.  They also loved a wood fire…

Rich taught Rick how to start a fire with a Dorito

And when we ran low on wood, Richard always found more

Ruthie and I kept warm in our “Pooks”, our big find of the weekend

Richard thought our Pooks could be a good disguise for gathering more firewood, but we vetoed that idea

While out exploring we discovered that we were in town for the Saturday night, “Wine, Stein, Dine and Dance” and scored the last few tickets at the local market !

We opted out of the dine portion but were in for the Stein and Dance.  What a riot, the whole town was out and everyone was up dancing.  There were a ton of old hippies living in the area and it was great to watch them all dressed up and working their moves.  The band was great, everyone was super friendly and we had a blast !

We spent the next couple of days hiking, hanging out by the lake, playing bocce and learning some new campfire games.

Water levels were high here, so there were no boats over at Copper Island and no one jumping off the cliffs

Docks were underwater here as well

And benches 

Lucy enjoyed a swim, we thought about it but it was incredibly cold

The loons were enjoying the empty lake 

And once again the lake was a sailors paradise

We managed to catch the final Stanley Cup game at the Copper Island Pub, it’s so nice when they put a Pub right outside the entrance to the Provincial Park!

Ruthie even won $50 at Pull Tabs

And earlier in the day while Richard was napping, Rick managed to make him a sign to go above his “fart couch” at the cottage

Our time with Ruth & Richard was drawing to an end, and Richard slept like a baby on his last night !

Rick and I had a couple of more days enjoying the Shuswap before we headed up to Wells Gray to start our route east to Alberta !  We would miss B.C.’s big lakes and snow capped mountains.

On our last day, we loaded up on groceries in Salmon Arm and I finally found a Goldwell Salon that could colour my hair the way I wanted it ! You have no idea how happy this made me after a couple of months of what felt to me like bleach blonde hair.

And to really make our to last day in the Shuswap memorable, we managed to see a moose !

We had been waiting weeks to see one and he even paused and looked at me long enough for a good photo!

 

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$32 + $6 Reservation Fee – Dry Camping – No Services
Temperatures
Low – 28
High – 12
Elevation
355 meters
Towing Kilometres
131 km

Day 293 – 294 – Vernon, British Columbia

Day 293 – 294 – Vernon, British Columbia

Day 293- 294  – June 9th – 10th, 2017
Vernon, British Columbia
Kekuli Bay Provincial Park
One last visit with friends

Our friends, Alan and Christina, that we had met in Kelowna had hoped to join us this week, but weren’t able to make it up to the Shuswap, so we decided to head down and spend a night where they were staying.

Kekuli Bay is on Lake Kalamalka, just south of Vernon and goes down definitely as our favourite B.C. Provincial Parks.  We could see why they loved it and the ares so much ! The park was situated on a hill and was tiered so everyone had a view of the lake !

We arrived to a rainbow !

 

We got to see Chloe and get some dog loving !

We had a great dinner together and after dinner sat outside and watched the sunset !

And had a wood burning campfire, a rarity for Rick and I, as we usually use our fire ring 

Even as we went to bed, the sky was still impressive 

We got up the next morning and did a nice hike along an old rail  bed, beside Kalamalka Lake

Christina and I had become fast friends, we had lots in common and really connected

The Falls were beautiful

As was the lake

It was a great trail and we had only walked a small portion of it.  

So nice to be hiking in bright sunshine for a change instead of a forest 

While we had been out hiking Rick had been busy on one of his projects.   Alan and Christina also have a blog of their RV Adventures called Bear’s Groove and Rick wanted to make them a sign.  They loved it !

One of the best things about traveling is the friends you make along the way, one of the hardest things about traveling is having to say good-bye too soon, when there is so much fun still to be had !

We would have loved to stay longer but we had to get back up the Shuswap as it was Friday and Ruth & Richard were meeting us up at Scotch Creek to spend a few days RVing with us.

 

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$32 – Dry Camping – No Services
Temperatures
Low – 31
High – 12
Elevation
392 meters
Towing Kilometres
97 km

Day 290 – 292 – Salmon Arm, British Columbia

Day 290 – 292 – Salmon Arm, British Columbia

Day 290 – 292 – June 5th – 7th, 2017
Salmon Arm, British Columbia
Herald Point Provincial Park
Hanging out in the Shuswap

We checked out of Mabel Lake and headed to Herald Provincial Park in the Shuswap. They refunded all but one day’s fees for cancelling Mabel, but we were fine with it, we were heading to where is was warm and sunny and there was a decent town and cell coverage.

We got a great site at Herald in the sun and backing onto the lake, the solar was working and the batteries had charged while we drove.  We weren’t out of the woods yet as we were still trying to get the monitor to read 100% to initialize but it was looking good !

Shuswap Lake is another huge Okanagan Lake and it too was dangerously high !

The views were beautiful 

The park was 20 minutes in from the main road and the road was pretty narrow for driving the RV on

In addition to flooding, the area had been devastated by land slides

Houses and cars crushed.  Luckily this family got out unharmed.  Another family further up the road was not so lucky.  I can’t imagine the absolute terror you feel in those few seconds you hear the slide coming down the hill or mountain behind your home.

Despite the devastation, nature was abound – beautiful flowers

Tall pines

Osprey

Even a bird on a wire

Loons on the lake

And then one morning there was a bear, a momma bear,and we learned the sound of crying baby bears.  

We were thankful Rick had his air horn and thankful Momma turned and walked away.  We vowed no more walking anywhere without our bear spray !   Not a great photo but that’s what you get with shaking hands – lol

And that was our morning bear and as we drove into Salmon Arm, we saw our afternoon bear !

We stopped at a local winery on the way back, I am not usually a box wine fan but apparently it’s becoming quite vogue, according to an article I read recently in the LCBO mag.  And this was their award winning Turner Road, and well the name says it all !

We did some kayaking and once again had the lake to ourselves because of the motor boat restrictions.  We were so impressed how well people were observing it.   It was nice to see such care and respect for one’s neighbours

There was us and a lone houseboat puttting around this huge lake

Rick got some fishing in

On our last night we watched a big storm roll in across the lake

And the next morning our battery monitor finally made it to 100% – ok, well 102% but it seemed to have finally initialized and after weeks of confusion, we were getting accurate readings !

We had only been able to secure this sunny site for 3 nights, so the timing was perfect !

Today’s Tallies
Camping Costs

$32 + $6 Reservation Fee – Dry Camping – No Services
Temperatures
Low – 31
High – 12
Elevation
415 meters
Towing Kilometres
131 km