North America · 15 Days · 18 Moments · August 2017

Veronica and Nik's journi to Canada

9 September 2017

Made it home after a long day of traveling: Calgary to Toronto to Hartford to Delmar. Missing our adventures in Canada already but was able to bring some Canadian artwork home with us! Over all, we logged about 60hrs and 2,500 miles of driving and around 80 miles of walking/hiking.

7 September 2017

White water rafting today! We went a little west of banff today to raft down Kickinghorse River. The river was mostly tame but there were some fun rapids. And while the water was about 35 degrees, we did jump in for a quick swim- took the breath right out of you and I was glad we had wet suits on.

6 September 2017

Got to banff today. We stop at a canyon and waterfalls on the way. Cute little town- lots of shopping and restaurants. We white water raft tomorrow then off to our last stop, Calgary. I'm already sad that this amazing trip is coming to a close but so grateful for the past two weeks!

5 September 2017

Today nik finally caught a fish!! Lol In the afternoon we did a hike that was more off the beaten path, like 13 miles up a dirt "road" (so glad we had a jeep) and another 2 mile hike up a crazy forest and rocky mountainside. It was a little scary because the forest fire smoke was everywhere and there were rock slides happening all over but we made it safe and sound to a secluded mountain lake. There were fish jumping all over and nik caught a rainbow trout in no time. A canoe left up there but it was held together with duct tape so we passed. On the way up, I spotted a giant mountain goat. It was massive but pretty far away. After a long day, we stopped for dinner at a burger place- burgers so so but the maple syrup pie was unreal!
We started the day on Emerald Lake in Yoho National park, first walking around the lake then canoeing around it. We saw some cute grouse that were too used to people. It's a super touristy spot so we went really early to avoid the crowds. We rented a canoe for $60 an hr - a little pricy but a really cool experience.

4 September 2017

Got to our accommodations for the next two nights. It's a beautiful lodge but there is a giant forest fire in the mountain behind us. There is a river in between us and the fire so I think we are ok. The restaurant in the lodge is amazing and we even got a free show- the helicopter dropping water on the fire, landed right next to us to pick up a ranger. It's all a bit surreal but we were assured by the hotel that we are safe (nik even sent pics of the fire to his cousin who flys water dropping helicopters for a living and he said the wind looks ok and not in this direction). We decided that we will be taking all of our stuff with us tomorrow just incase we can't get back to our room after hiking tomorrow.
Headed down the Icefield Parkway towards Banf National park today. It was another long drive with beautiful scenery of mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. We didn't do any real hiking - only short walks to view points. It was another chilly morning but ended up in the 80s so it was pretty nice.

3 September 2017

Another day, another hike and more incredible scenery. Today was the first sort of cold day (55 degrees) so we had to bundle up. We went to Edith Cavell mountain today. The base of the mountain has a glacier pond that was of course insanely blue. The hike to the top was pretty challenging and took about 2hrs but the views were so worth it! Lots of wild life, we saw three elk, five rams and about one hundred rodent things on the mountain- they weren't scared of us at all and would run around our feet. On the way home we stopped at a few fishing spots but had no luck. We ended our day doing laundry- which I was super excited for (and it's Sunday)! lol It's hard to bring enough stuff in a suitcase to last two weeks. :)
More Edith Cavell mountain and glacier pics. We even got to stand on a part of a glacier!

2 September 2017

Today is our 7yr anniversary! 9/02/17!! Made it to Jasper National Park. Stopped and did a hike in the am, to yet another amazingly blue lake. The mountains here are like nothing we've ever seen before- insanely huge and very jagged/ rugged. We are staying in a town outside the park called Hinton. We went into the town of Jasper for our anniversary dinner. Nik picked the place so naturally it had a lot of "big game"- he had and elk steak while I stuck with the more traditional beef. I tried the elk and it was surprisingly good, not too gamey.

1 September 2017

Continued our journey east towards Jasper national park stopping at Wells Grey Park to see some waterfalls and some salmon running. A lot of the hikes in Wells were closed due to the wild fires but we still were able to see the second largest waterfall in Canada and a huge river with salmon trying to jump up stream- really cool. We are in a town called Blue River for the night and will drive to Jasper tomorrow.

31 August 2017

Long drive from Whistler to Celista (a small town in eastern British Columbia) today. On the way, we stopped at Lake Joffre Park- about 1.5hrs north of Whistler. A sort of challenging but short hike brings you to three small lakes with the bluest water. The scenery was unreal, it actually looked fake. Nik did some fishing but couldnt catch anything. We drove over and around GIANT mountains, saw a bunch of rivers, and enjoyed the scenery on our 4hr trip to our Airbnb cabin. This area is pretty covered with smoke from the wild fires but it still beautiful. The cabin is cute and the hosts are super nice- we ended up eating dinner with them.

30 August 2017

Today, we traveled back to the mainland from Vancouver island via ferry - destination, Whistler. The road here was amazing (that word will be over used in this blog) and cut in to the coast. We stopped at a few sights along the way. Shannon falls - third largest waterfall in CAN and some lake I forget the name of- the hike in was along side a cool river. Nik fished the lake but no luck. We spend one night in Whistler. It's a really trendy town with lots of shops and restaurants but we have a room with a kitchen tho so I HAD to cook the salmon we caught the other day. It came out soooo delish! I marinated it in orange juice, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Yummmmm!! I was worried about the room getting smelly, but I boiled a lemon, strawberries and sugar in water and made the room smell sweet- I impress myself sometimes. Hahahah. Going into the heart of British Columbia tomorrow so may be off the grid for a few days :)

29 August 2017

Bears, bears, bears!! Today was amazing. A two hour boat ride brought us to a desolate part of Canada that is totally off the grid. There is a small operation run by a native band (that's what they call tribes here) that brings you around to several grizzly watching towers and areas. There were two different rivers- one super clear and the other very teal with sentiment- both rivers were LOADED with salmon. We saw 9 bears total. It was unreal!!
More bear pics. One even came up to our bus!!

28 August 2017

Went salmon fishing early today. Tiny little boat and choppy seas but we caught four and was able to keep one. They froze it for us and we bought a cooler (at Walmart lol) so we can cook up fresh fish at our next locations. The guide told us to cook it with miso paste, mayo, and ginger so we are looking forward to that!! After fishing, we went on a local hike and found some waterfalls, a suspension bridge, and amazing swimming holes. The water here is soooo clean the colors are unreal. The water is also freezing cold but we still jumped in. :)

27 August 2017

Headed out early to catch a ferry from the main land to Vancouver Island. Once on the island, we took a long detour to see the Pacific coast. The drive was really cool - great scenic route. After a couple hour drive through giant forests and up and down mountains, we ended up on the pacific coast Vancouver island. Really interesting coast with lots of jagged rocks- sort of reminded us of Maine. Went for a quick swim in one of the several crystal clear lakes. The water is so clear it's almost like the ocean. Got to our next spot- we will be here for the next three nights. The Painters Lodge caters to fishermen and wildlife viewers- they do a lot of tours here. We are right on the water. Looking forward to salmon fishing in the am!

25 August 2017

Stayed at an econo lodge last night right by Bradley airport in Connecticut. Sort of a dumpy hotel but only $100 for a night's stay, a shuttle to the airport, and two weeks of free parking!! Bradley International is a great airport- small like Albany so getting through security was super easy. The only down side is the duty free store- it doesn't open until 1pm. Looks like we will be paying full price for our booze in Canada. Lay over in Toronto. Flight here was crazy because it was such a tiny plane. The airport is under construction but it's still pretty nice- lots of food and drink choices. :) Long day of travel but everything went great. Easy flight and even had an extra seat! I used my trick of booking the window and isle seats in hopes that no one would sit in between us and it worked! We got a free upgrade to an SUV rental instead of a car- good thing because we will pretty much be living out of it for the next two weeks. Early night because we are exhausted.