Off to Boya Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia, Day 16

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.

Sandy cliffs in the Yukon.
Sandy cliffs in the Yukon.

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).

Driving into the interior of British Columbia
Driving into the interior of British Columbia.
The interior of Northern British Columbia
Just a road through the forest of Northern British Columbia.
Our tent nestled in the trees.
Our tent nestled in the trees.
View of our campsite at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
View of our campsite at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
View of the lake from our campsite.
View of the lake from our campsite.
The toilet at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
The toilet at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
Boya Lake.

Days 9 & 10 our last day in the badlands, then off to Calgary

Yesterday was awesome, we spent the day walking trails, and just resting in the beautiful sunshine. Without trees on our campsite, there was no way for Matt to hang tarp to provide some shade. He did do his best attaching two very large umbrellas on the roof of the RAV4, but by the next day I was pretty sure, my eyes were sun burnt. I should have been wearing my sunglasses for protection. I learned the hard way, my eyes were quite sore for a good week afterwards.

A photo showing the umbrellas on our car in effort to provide us with some shade.
Though there is some shade provided from the tree at the next campsite, it quickly disappeared, thus umbrellas on top of the car.

Before we left for Calgary, Matt hiked up a large mountain, I stayed at camp, packing up, knowing I would not be able to complete that particular hike. The video he shot really showed how wide-ranging the badlands are, covering 8,086 hectares.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Mileage 3625 kilometres. We took a scenic drive towards Calgary because I wanted to make a stop in Drumheller to visit a few stores. Matt wanted a dinosaur shirt, and ended up buying one that glows in the dark. He has a thing for t-shirts with animals prints.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Driving towards the Canadian Badlands.
The Canadian Badlands
Matt making a funny face standing in front of a dinosaur statues (Note, the animal print t-shirt, he has a thing for them).
In Drumheller, where dinosaurs roam. Well, actually there are just many statues. Note, his animal print t-shirt!
The prairie sky, Alberta
Prairie sky, Alberta, Canada
A red grain elevator in Dorothy, Alberta
Red Grain Elevator Dorothy, Alberta, Canada
Rain clouds in the distance, Alberta, Canada
Rain in the distance Alberta, Canada

We arrived in Calgary in no time at all. The main reason for visiting Calgary was to see my lovely friend Nicole, owner and writer of Girl in a Boy House.

Nicole and I at Nose Hill Natural Environment Park, Calgary, Alberta
Nose Hill Natural Environment park with Nicole and Barclay

Neither Matt nor I have ever been to Calgary, so Nicole drove us around, giving us a brief history of the city, then it was off for a walk in Nose Hill Natural Environment Park with Nicole’s dog Barclay. In the background are the Rockies. After our walk, we headed back to Nicole’s, where she took the time to make us a nice meal. Soon her husband arrived home from work, and the evening was spent having a few drinks, and chatting. It was an early night for us though, excited about reaching our next destination.

I fell through the ice

The weather has been up and down lately, cold, warm, snow, rain, etc., you really never know what to wear when you leave the house. However this past Tuesday, the weather was warm enough that I decided to wear my running shoes to the dog park. Now when I say warm enough, I mean around 1° Celsius, 34° Fahrenheit for my American followers, Canadians will leave the hat and mittens at home, put on the running shoes instead of winter boots, and leave our coat zipper down. The ground was still frozen, so I wasn’t worried about muddy shoes or paws.

The dogs were running here and there, well Cocoa was mostly walking beside me, until he would see another dog that he decided was a threat to Bear. Cocoa is Bear’s bodyguard, which is quite funny, being that Cocoa is half the size of him, and certainly cannot run anywhere near as fast as Bear can. Cocoa also doesn’t really understand Bear play fighting with other dogs, he thinks Bear is being hurt, so he is right there to defend him.

We rarely take more than two walks around the entire dog park because of Cocoa’s arthritis, and of course mine. Lately we haven’t been doing the usual circle because this leash free dog park is prone to flooding, so there is a lot of water on the ground after the snow melts. Then of course the ground freezes again, leaving ice everywhere. On this particular day, I saw the dogs running across the ice so I figured it would hold me too. Ha! (Afterthought: the combined weight of Bear and Cocoa is less than what I weigh).

I put my one foot on the ice, it holds, I put my other foot on the ice, and then I start to hear the cracks. (Now before I scare the heck out of my readers, this is a very, very small creek that I am crossing, most could run and hop over it, but I can’t; it is also only a foot or so deep). My right foot falls through the ice, seconds later left goes under. My right is wet up to the middle of my shin, whereas the left is only wet up to my ankle. I easily pull my right up out of the ice, but my left is more difficult. The ice is broken like shards of glass, and they are poking into my ankle. Thankfully my thick sock and jeans are protecting my ankle from being cut. I finally get my foot out of the water, but both my feet are now frozen solid. The walk is over, and I’m off home to warm up.

Note to self: next time remember the dogs are lighter than I.