Adventuring during #Canada150 #redchairs, Forest Fires and the #Rockies #MondayBlogs

Sharing a few adventures from our recent Canadian holiday.

Many of you know we’ve just had a long awaited trip to Canada, and I thought I’d share a few of our adventures with you readers.

‘Ah’ moment – using I Love Meet and Greet car drop off/ pick up service at Gatwick made the start of the trip a breeze.

Eek!’ moment – my son’s visa wouldn’t electronically talk to the airline’s computer, but the Westjet staff and security soon sorted us out.

‘Ooh’ moment– straight roads which stretched as far as the eye could see, around both Edmonton and Calgary airports.

Amazing moment – views from the Dinosaur trail near Drumheller, Alberta

Fun momentHoodoo stones, fun formations created by wind erosion.

Love it – this year to celebrate 150 years of the Canadian Federation entrance to all the National Parks is free.  Red chairs – The Red Chair Experience – Parks Canada have placed pairs of red chairs throughout Canada in treasured places such as awe-inspiring views or markers at the end of a hike. We found several sets of chairs on our trip and they were a delight to find.

‘Ah’ moment – Snow topped mountain views at Lake Louise Inn. Our 2 night stay here was our top holiday memory.

‘Ooh’ moment – Big horned mountain sheep strolling down the road.

‘Phew’ moment – hiking all the way to the top of Johnston Canyon and Falls, Banff National Park.

‘Ooh’ momentTakakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park.

‘Ah’ moment – blue glacial lakes on the Icefields Parkway.

‘Phew’ moment – hiking all the way up a 5km round route to Parker Ridge and seeing the Saskatchewan Glacier.

‘Phew’ moment – hiking to see the Athabasca Glacier.

‘Wow’ moment – the Athabasca Falls and a brown bear and elk on the roadside.

‘Eek!’ moment – driving to 100 mile house, seeing wildfire smoke and being told the town was on evacuation alert. Over 300 wildfires had been caused by dry lightning in one day. More than 100 started the next day. We did stay overnight and the town was evacuated the next day, just a few hours after we left.

‘Phew’ moment – We needed to change our plans.  Our route to Whistler was shut by another large fire, and routes out of the area were closing fast, so we made a long detoured drive down to Vancouver to escape the area.

‘Ooh’ moment – Our stay in Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island was at Wild Edge Lodge in the spacious granny annexe of the owners house. The town was small and we went on a trip see whales, sea lions and bald eagles with our landlord on his Wildedge Whales tour boat. Captain Cam is one of the area’s top wildlife spotters in the area.

‘Ooh’ momentsPacific Rim National Park Reserve, between Ucluelet and Tofino, had us walking in rain forests, bog trails and taking plenty of peaceful forest lined coastal walks. Ucluelet is much quieter than the surfing town of Tofino and we ranked it our second best place we stayed.

‘Ooh’ moment – Next we stayed in a small, cute log cabin at Port Renfrew a backwater coastal town and a fisherman’s mecca. Unspoilt by tourism, this hamlet is just beginning to get noticed. We saw grey seals in the harbour and giant gnarled cedar trees in the Avatar Grove.

‘Eek!’ moment – navigating the roads in Vancouver.

‘Phew’ moment – on our last day in Vancouver, we saw Olympic rings and hiked up Black Mountain trail in the Cypress ski resort in North Vancouver, host to the 2010 Winter Olympics freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.

We enjoyed the polite Canadian drivers, who gave us lots of space when overtaking, accepted our late turn-off decisions, and we saw no signs of anger or road rage, even in the cities.

We liked the fact Canada was litter free with plenty of bear-proof garbage bins—a nation trained to responsibly dispose of their litter.

We loved the scenery, the tress, the wildlife, the vast open spaces, majestic mountains and the rugged coasts.

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42 thoughts on “Adventuring during #Canada150 #redchairs, Forest Fires and the #Rockies #MondayBlogs

  1. Love your photos, Rosie. I bet the wild fires were a bit scary. Loving the red chair idea – I’d have been incredibly happy to sit down after hiking up those mountains! Being in such a beautiful place is restorative for the soul and it certainly sounds like you all had a fabulous time.

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  2. Fabulous photos, they take me back to the trip we did 15 years ago. I remember how gorgeous Lake Louise was. When we arrived, there was a moose posing in the water! The red chairs are a great idea.

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  3. Hi Rosie – looks like you had an amazing time … glad the fires didn’t stop you doing things – and wonderful family fun by the sound of it. Took me back 20 years when I visited with my mother … Love the red chairs, and the Canadians free entry to the parks … I did love it out there … gorgeous views and the icy water colours – just glorious. Cheers Hilary

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  4. I loved the red chairs. What a wonderful way to celebrate the special sights around you. (And I particularly loved the phew moments!) Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures and trip memories.

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  5. Thanks for sharing Rosie, so beautiful, sometimes when all the ‘stuff’ is going on posts like this make you stop and think … and be grateful … amazing planet this, isn’t it?

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  6. Beautiful pics, Rosie! My son’s girlfriend is from Canada and he traveled there a couple of years ago to visit – was especially impressed by Lake Louise.

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  7. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit! I live in Canada (born and raised) and there are so many beautiful sights to see! This year was a perfect time to come with all the fun things happening with the Canada 150. The national parks are wonderful! Wonderful pictures! 🙂

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  8. Hi Rosie, the pictures are beautiful. I’m so glad you enjoyed Western Canada. I am a little biased as I have lived here in Calgary for almost 20 years and think it’s one of the most picturesque parts of the country. I truly is something special to be able to see the rockies out my windows daily. I hope the rest of your summer is just as wonderful!
    Zoe

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  9. Wow, what an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing your photos, Rosie. Those Hoodoo stones look incredible.

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  10. Great photos – this is a trip we’ve thought about taking ourselves. I’ve been in Vancouver and loved it – lots of things to do around the city. Glad you had such a good time!

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  11. Found this via #redchairs on Twitter – I’ve just posted mine. We came back from Canada yesterday and visited many of the places you mention. Perhaps our paths crossed!

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    • Fabulous! What was your favourite place? I could have stayed at Lake Louise resort longer and explored more. We missed the gondola ride there due to an area wide power failure/ outage, which was a shame.
      Also loved Vancouver Island, would to return and head to the north of the island.

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      • We managed to get up the gondola and did both the trails at the top (very steep). The views weren’t as good as they could have been because of the smoke from all the fires but you still couldn’t beat lunch on the terrace Bistro there! We didn’t go any further east than Glacier (stayed at Rogers Pass years ago and sad to see the hotel there so desolate) but have been to Vancouver before. Dinosaur Provincial Park and the museum at Drumheller were new to us this year though, and we loved both.

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