Going north and back over to Alberta Day 12

We left our campsite at Kerkeslin and headed north, crossing back over into Alberta, mileage 4327 kilometres. Our goal was Miette Hot Springs and Saskatoon Island Provincial Park just outside of Grande Prairie.

First stop was Athabasca Falls, and we were not disappointed.

  • Top of the Athabasca Falls
  • Athabasca Falls
  • View of the roadway crossing the Athabasca Falls
  • Athabasca river churning through the rocks
  • View of walkways over the Athabasca Falls
  • Stairs beside the Athabasca Falls
  • On the stairs Athabasca Falls
  • The Athabasca River before descending the falls
  • The Athabasca River at the bottom of the falls.
  • The rapidly moving Athabasca River below the falls

Back on the highway we saw a coyote, two mountain goats, and a Bighorn sheep that appeared to be entertaining us.

  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Bighorn sheep

Still on the Icefields Parkway, we stopped along the road with other tourists to take a dip in the Athabasca River, I did not go in very far because oh my was it ever cold!

Matt wading into Athabasca River
Matt wading into Athabasca River, I did tempt to go in a bit, but the water was ice cold!
Icefields Parkway towards Jasper
Icefields Parkway towards Jasper

Next stop was Miette Hot Springs, the water was absolutely wonderful, this I did spend some time in, with a view of the Fiddle River Valley.

Miette Hot Springs
Miette Hot Springs

Before reaching Saskatoon Island Provincial Park, we made a quick stop at the Toyota dealer to buy some radiator fluid, we needed a top up because of all the driving we had been doing. We reached the park before dinnertime, to see snowshoe hares everywhere. Maybe due to the abundance of Saskatoon berries, a quick favourite of mine. I picked a large Tupperware container full, and they lasted a couple of weeks for me, a delicious addition to my morning porridge.

We were at site #93, and after quickly setting up our tent, having a bite to eat, we asked about the beach. We were told not to swim in the water you would get the “itch”. Apparently no one has been able to go in the lake for years due to blue-green algae and an abundance of leeches.

Campsite at Saskatoon Island Provincial park, site 93
Saskatoon Island Provincial park, campsite 93

Off to the Rockies, Day 11

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.

Banff National Park
Banff the town
We naturally stopped in Banff for coffee.
  • Bighorn sheep on the roadway
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Bighorn Sheep
Our campsite at Mount Kerkislin campground
Our campsite at Mount Kerkislin campground.
Beside the Athabasca River Mount Kerkislin campground
After setting up camp we went for a hike, and found the Athabasca River not far behind where we set up our tent.

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.

Ontario to Whitehorse, Day One

For years, my last surviving Uncle has asked me to visit him in Chilliwack, British Columbia (I had flown out when I was a teenager), but it was time to go again. So figuring that we would be driving all the way, I said to my husband that I also wanted to go to the Yukon, after all, it would be unlikely we would ever have the opportunity again. My husband, having worked at the hospital for over twenty-eight years, has earned seven weeks holidays each year, so I suggested he take five of those weeks. He, of course, thought I was insane, and was not completely convinced he wanted to drive that far, so I needed a ‘hook’ to get him on-board. It didn’t take long for us to come up with the ‘hook’ – enter Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta

The trip was on!

Day one, Total kilometres to ferry 300.

We were both agreed to arise around 4 a.m. but the husband thought he would be a really sweet guy and let me sleep in, this as it turned out was bad idea, as I forgot numerous things while I tried to finish packing everything in a half-hour, have coffee, get dressed, etc. Both of us were in the car at 6 a.m., said our goodbyes to the young man who would be left in charge of the house, my vegetable garden, and most importantly our two dogs. I think my husband drove about an hour and a half when he realized he forgot his wallet! No driver’s licence! Quickly phone the young man, who thankfully is still at home rather than on a trail walking our dogs. I ask him to drive an hour to highway 401 and 6, where we, in turn will drive an hour back, and meet him at the car park. This normally would not be such a big deal but we had booked ourselves a spot on the ferry from Tobermory, Ontario to South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island.
Chi-Cheemaun Ferry to Manitoulin Island
Leaving Tobermory on the ferry
Matt and I on the ferry to South Baymouth

On the ferry from Tobermory to South BaymouthOnce on Manitoulin Island the plan was to meet up with fellow Blogger Christine, who had graciously offered to be our host, show us around the island and even put us up for the night.
Christine and I
Christine, her husband and daughter gave us an amazing tour of Manitoulin Island. One of our first stops was Bridal Veil Falls for a wonderful swim.
Bridal Veil FallsEnjoying the water Bridal Falls
Next was a visit to Manitoulin Chocolate Works, then dinner at The Trough. Later, exhausted from the whirlwind tour of the island, Christine put us up for the night, and our first good night’s sleep was well earned.

Sandhill Crane on Manitoulin Island: