Edit Blog Post
Published: October 25th 2017
Well we made it to Vancouver last Friday evening and are enjoying spending some time with our friends Bob and Jen before we head back to NZ this Friday evening (arriving early Sunday morning)
So I will quickly update you on where we have been since we left our white furry friends in Churchill Manitoba. We headed away from Winnipeg in the wee small hours of last Tuesday morning arriving into Calgary at about 7am where we rented a car with the intention of driving west to Banff National Park and eventually making our way north to Jasper National park before we planned to exit the park into Edmonton where we had booked a flight to Vancouver.
So once we had picked up our car we headed about 2 hours west to Banff. On the way we heard on the radio that they were warning of high winds in exposed areas ...talk about an understatement!! By the time we got to Banff I had white knuckles from holding onto the steering wheel as the car was getting blown every which way. (We caught the news later that night to see that trucks had been blown over and believe it
or not a complete freight train with 20 or so carriages had had the same fate)
We arrived into Banff and into the first bit of really bad weather we had seen for a while and so just confined ourselves to a five km hike into a mountain valley called “the Johnston canyon” which was an amazing walk with waterfalls and sheer drops into the valley below. It was well worth donning the wet weather gear for the walk.
For those who don’t know ...Banff and Jasper National parks are renowned for their beauty and Steph and I had driven between the two parks way back in 2005 so we’re looking forward to a repeat of the same..what we hadn’t counted on was that the last time it was fall but this time it was a month later and the only thing in the mountains that follows fall is “snow!!”
So we set off the following day in bright sun to head north to Jasper and with a quick stop at the beautiful Lake Louise to take in the view we were happy that the weather forecast had got it wrong as there was no sign of
snow on the horizon....that was until we got to the top of the first mountain pass north of Lake Louise and we found that the weather ahead did not look too promising.
The further north we got the worse the weather became until we were driving into snow for most of the journey. Again for those of you who have driven in snow before you will know how much fun that is!! A few times we were driving on a road covered in ice and just flowing the tracks of the previous vehicles..No fun!! But unfortunately we had two choices..either turn around and head back to Banff and into goodness knows what weather or keep going and take it easy..so we chose the later and just drove carefully. It was with a lot of relief that we arrived a couple of hours later into Jasper where the weather had cleared and was raining lightly. Even though the weather was not on our side the scenery (when able to be seen) was amazing with sheer cliff faces and surprise surprise .....snow capped peaks. We looked the next morning at the road conditions between Banff and Jasper and found that the
road was now officially closed to all traffic...so we just made it through in time.
We had a good look around the Jasper area and headed off to Edmonton.... the scenery in Banff and Jasper obviously used up all our superlatives because all we could say about Edmonton was “flat, featureless and “What time is the flight out of here”. Edmonton is a big city in the middle of the northern Alberta plains and doesn’t have any high points...speaking both figuratively and topographicly...so it was with sadness that we stepped upon our outward bound flight to Vancouver last Friday afternoon.
It was great to get back to Vancouver and see Bob and Jen again and since arriving we have just mucked around catching up on sleep and slowing down after seven weeks of being on the go (don’t feel sorry for us).
Vancouver is a beautiful city at the best of times and in fall when the trees are ablaze of colour it truely is “the best of times” . Since we have been here we have driven through Stanley Park a couple of times and the view towards the lions gate bridge with the yellows, reds
and orange tree colour is spectacular. We spent the day yesterday just wandering the city and a place called Granville Island (which is an inner city market on an island) and toady we drove up to Whistler and wandered around there. Whistler is the Queenstown of Vancouver tucked right in against the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and is a great little place just to wander.
On the way back from Whistler we stopped at a place called Squamish which has a sea to sky gondola” which climb straight up the side of granite peaks and reaches an amazing view point over the town below and stretches out into the Vancouver island area. The views today were great with blue sky above and snow on the nearby mountains not to mention the view from the suspension bridge which goes over a sheer drop below. It was a great day.
Tomorrow Bob and Jen have the day off so we will no doubt spend it at relaxing yet again!! It’s tough!!
So I will sign off now and bring you the final chapter later in the week.
Tot: 0.208s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 27; qc: 103; dbt: 0.0185s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb