Mileage 6500 km. Having spent our first night in a hotel, after camping for fifteen days, neither Matt nor I slept well. At home we sleep on a waterbed, and when camping we are on an air mattress, which is similar, so sleeping on a actual mattress is quite different. We found the bed far to hard, with both of us tossing and turning, plus I think we missed the fresh air, and the nighttime sounds.
Travelling back down through the Yukon, we chose to stay on highway 1 towards Upper Liard, where we then took highway 37 south, back into British Columbia. Cell service was choppy, then non-existent in the interior. I had told our adult children we would be out of contact for a few days, to stop them from worrying. Middle child is the worry-wort of the three, and we enjoyed listening to the messages she would leave on our phones, always starting with “Parents are you still alive?”
We saw three more bears on this drive, evidence of previous forest fires, and repaving of the road. At times the road was not paved, but just stone, making for a somewhat bumpy ride in some areas. The scenery was beautiful. At times, it was just a road which had been plowed through the middle of a forest.
We arrived at Boya Lake Provincial Park around dinnertime, site #37 with a gorgeous view of the lake. We nestled our tent within the trees, finding it easier to sink the tent pegs in dirt rather force them into stone. Once are tarps and tent were assembled, we decided to go for a walk (with our Bear spray in hand seeing that it was noted, when we entered the park, that a bear was roaming the area).
The map above does not show are actual starting point, thus not giving out Nicole’s home address to the world. We did though take the Bow Valley Trail out of Calgary since it was more of a scenic route. After saying goodbye to Nicole, and watching a Magpie literally pick up some dog poop, then realizing what it was, dropped it square on her lawn furniture! As pretty as they are, they are apparently considered pests because there are just so many of them out west.
We were on the road by 7:30 a.m., mileage now 3944 kilometres, and since neither of us had been to the Canadian Rockies, we were quite excited. First we had some grocery shopping, and a stop at Canadian Tire for more camping supplies, and a new air mattress since ours had sprung a leak that we were unable to locate. As soon as we drove on to the highway, we were immediately distracted by the dog running all over the three lanes. Vehicles, thankfully all slowed right down, and a few of us tried to stop the dog by very slowly edging our cars closer to him. Matt then pulled our SUV over to the side of the road where I did get out, and tried with no luck to call the dog over. The dog eventually trotted off the road onto the hillside happy as a lark. He really looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
Finally towards the Rockies we went ,and as they came into sight, both of us were just in awe. The closer we came to them, it was like every view was a picture postcard.
Below are just a few pictures of the Rockies; these were actually taken through the front window of our SUV which my husband cleaned each time we stopped.
Once we reached the Rockies our next stop was Banff National Park, where all must pay an entrance fee even if you are just driving through, this fee is more than worth the price. We then headed up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National park where we set up camp for the night at Mount Kerkislin Campground on the Athabasca River. We were at site #30 of 42. This campground is a self-registration camp, and we soon learned it was best to start looking for a campground around 3 p.m. each day before all the best spots were taken. On the drive we saw our first Bighorn Sheep which were of course blocking traffic. We were quite a ways down the road, so I did exit the car to snap some photos.
The following pictures were taking from the vehicle as we drove through the Rockies to our campsite. There wasn’t a site on the road that didn’t leave us awestruck.
Our day two drive took us to Agawa Bay Campground (site #323) in Lake Superior Provincial Park. The drive through Lake Superior Provincial Park is up and down mountains, around curves, giving you pretty spectacular views of Lake Superior.
We drove this route in 2006, when we took our kids, at that time aged 12, 14, and 17 to White Lake Provincial Park. After driving for a few hours, we remembered that we had forgotten our two cans of Bear Spray on the kitchen table, off to an outfitters to purchase another couple of cans. We would be camping in areas where there are bears, so we always carry bear spray with us. Thankfully we have never had to use the spray, even when we have camped where a problem bear was in the area. Why are there problem bears? People do not keep their site clean. Always lock your food in your car, or if in the back country, hang it high in a tree.
For lunch we stopped at Serpent River.
Our campsite at Agawa Bay was only a few steps from Lake Superior. After setting up camp, eating dinner, we walked over to the beach to watch the sun go down. The sunset though, was unbelievably long! As we waited, we chatted with other campers. Of course my husband had to bring up the topic of the Green Flash Sunset Phenomenon. One of the women we were talking with, burst out in laughter (along with me), stating her husband has been waiting for years to see the “green flash!” We did not believe the “green flash” was a real thing, but the link above says it is real. Go figure. Apologies to my husband, for not believing that he has told the truth for the past thirty odd years. Geez. (In truth, I sent him a text saying “fuck me, you’re right, damn, the green flash exists!”. We did not see the green flash that night.