June 6 - Road Trip Day 1
Red Lake, Ontario to Yorkton, Saskatchewan - Miles: 587
Today we left Red Lake after a tearful goodbye to Charlie when he left for work at 5:45 this morning. I'm so glad my dad is here and I'm not doing this alone. The first leg of the journey from Red Lake to Winnipeg, Manitoba is a familiar one. That's where Charlie and I would drive to get our "city fix" and shop for things you couldn't get in town. Past Winnipeg are a slew of small towns with signs advertising museums that I can't imagine get many visitors. Museum of Agriculture Equipment - that sort of thing. The land is flat and peppered with farms. There seems to be an awful lot of "Big Black Bulls" for sale. It's hard to believe we made it out of Ontario, through all of Manitoba, and into Saskatchewan in one day. It's also hard to believe how exhausting driving in the car all day is. Sleepy time.
June 7 - Road Trip Day 2
Yorkton, Saskatchewan to Edmonton, Alberta - Miles: 528
We are flying across the prairies. We planned it that way - hightail it out west then cruise and enjoy ourselves. Not that this part of the country isn't beautiful in its own way with the wide open skies and farmland, but I crave mountains, alpine lakes, and rugged coastlines. Out the window today there were farms, truck stops, and cows galore. Tonight it's another hotel, but tomorrow we camp.
June 8 - Road Trip Day 3
Edmonton, Alberta to Jasper National Park - Miles: 195
When we saw the Canadian Rockies in the distance, my heart jumped. They are so huge - bigger than any mountains I've seen before. Bluegrass music blasted in the truck as we drove into the park past turquoise lakes reflecting the mountains in the distance and over bridges crossing rushing rivers. Our campsite, where I'm writing this next to the campfire, is situated right along the Snaring River. I can hear it running and the sound is soothing. Daisy found a bush in the wooded area around our site and is currently snoozing in it. Before our hike today we ventured into the town of Jasper for supplies. For dinner we bought steaks and veggies to throw over the fire, and I picked up a Honey Ale and a Pilsner for Charlie at the Jasper Brewing Co. One of my goals for the trip is to pick up a local beer from each of our destinations for him. Our hike today didn't go quite as planned because the signage was a bit lacking, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Afterwards we drove to Maligne Lake. I love how these glacial-fed lakes each have their own unique turquoise coloring. I can't get enough of them. Back at the campsite we got the fire roaring (eventually) and I slipped off the the river with Daisy. After a few looks around to make sure the coast was clear, I stripped down and dipped into the cool water of the river all while taking in the mountains surrounding the valley. It was one of those moments where I was so happy I could cry.
June 9 - Road Trip Day 4
Jasper National Park to Banff National Park - Miles: 186
Today. Today blew my mind. The drive from Jasper to Banff and through the park was incredible. The size of the mountains. The vast, undeveloped stretches of pure wilderness. The glaciers. The waterfalls. The fog. The LAKES. Words and pictures can't do it justice.
June 10 - Road Trip Day 5
Banff Provincial Park
Today was a rest day from driving. We stayed in Banff again at the Rimrock Hotel. Rainy and unpredictable weather caused us to reconsider our two days of camping here, but a nice hotel and bed is A-OK with me, too. We went for a short hike along Johnston Canyon to the Upper and Lower Falls. It was drizzling and everything was green and fragrant. For dinner, room service steak and frites in bed.
June 11 - Road Trip Day 6
Banff National Park to Kelowna, British Columbia - Miles: 265
Another foggy drive through the mountains into British Columbia. Thank goodness for Audible books and epic scenery. Kelowna, sometimes referred to as Kelownafornia, is know for its vineyards and orchards and is nestled amongst mountains and along the over 80-mile long Okanagan Lake. After a hike above the lake, we settled in for drinks by the fire and takeout Chinese food. Tomorrow we cross into the U.S. via Washington! I can't wait.
Road Trip Part 2: America is coming soon! Stay tuned.