We left Calgary and headed towards the Rockies. We finished the short drive to Banff before all the campgrounds filled up. It was beautiful and hot so we took advantage by doing lots of biking for the two days we were there. Some more technical bike trails too, which Dave thrived at and I mostly walked. We also managed a soak in the Banff Hot Springs before heading on to Lake Louise.
In Lake Louise we went to see our friends Shauna and Julian, who hooked us up in the village with their driveway for the night. While they were working we hopped on our bikes and slowly climbed steadily up to Lake Louise. It was teeming with tourists. The walk around the lake was lovely. We luckily had perfect timing on our return before the huge hail balls started! We took shelter in the Chateau Lake Louise but saw that many others weren’t so lucky.
We waited out the storm and then had to get back down the hill, flying through all the new mud and puddles. It was messy business with dirt everywhere, eyes and mouth included. Thank goodness we had a nice warm shower waiting and got cleaned up and even had the luxury of a washing machine for our disgusting clothes. A special thanks to Shauna and Julian for being great hosts!
We started for the mountains and what we thought would be our biggest climb – over Roger’s Pass. Ginger Lee did great, though we did have to pull over to let the ol’ girl cool down! We made it, a new province and another hour gained. We spent the night at Illecillewaet Campground in the National Park and even managed to do a nice hike up the valley, the Great Glacier.
Another shorter driving day took us to Kamloops where we stayed at Dave’s friends, Kerri and Tyler’s driveway. Dave’s Australian friend H was visiting them too. We were treated to a delicious mexican feast with a few beers too. This lead to some intense competition on the Wii, with Christine proving her Canadian heritage by kicking Dave’s arse on the ski jumping and canoeing. The next morning was a slow start, but much enjoyed with home made pancakes. We all packed into their car and headed to Sun Peaks Mountain and got the ski lift up to the top and then did a hike to the ‘Top of the World’.
We got Ginger back on the road late in the day and eventually made it to Pemberton. It was a short distance, but long drive with lots of switchbacks and high ascents followed by huge descents. A total of 1300m climbed followed by a very quick 1300m drop. We had to pull off at one point to cool Ginger off, but she happily kept going with no problem.
We made it to the Pacific Ocean on Thursday! We took the Sea to Sky highway into Vancouver and out to Maple Ridge where we dropped off the van at my friend Krista’s house before we got dropped off downtown. We are currently in Vancouver hanging out with Dave’s friends as we had planned. We’ve had a great couple of days of eating and drinking and seeing the sights around town and wandering the streets of Vancouver.
Unfortunately tomorrow it’s back to the van and we will resume our life on the road.