Thursday August 17, 2006
Kinbrook Island Provincial Park, near Brooks Alberta
We arrived at this nice park about 2:00 pm after the run through Calgary. The Trans Canada highway goes through the center of Calgary, it is a bit of a hassle fighting the stop lights (but not as bad as Edmonton). They are working on improving the roadway, but it will remain a hassle with the traffic lights even after the improvement. There did not seem to be a city by-pass highway that we could take from the west to the east.
Kinbrook Island is a park that was developed by the Kinsmen back in the 1950's, then it became a provincial park. The Kinsmen still play an active role, making yearly improvements to the facility. It is a great spot for families, the park is on a lake, lots of opportunities exist for water recreation. As through most of Alberta, the area is booming because of oil, we saw a billboard outside a restaurant advertising for a cook at $16.20 per hour. Apparently, Tim Horton's in some communities are paying these rates for counter staff in order to keep the facilities open!
This is the view of the marsh side of the lake, lots of ducks and other waterfoul. Apparently there are pelicans there as well, we didn't see them on our walk.
This is the trail, it separates the lake side, to the left, from the marsh side to the right:
Another view of the marsh:
The ducks are havving a great time!
Wednesday August 16, 2006
Bow Valley Provincial Park, near Canmore Alberta
We got into this provincial park located between Canmore and the exit to Kananskis just after noon today, and Suzette looked after the laundry (we can go about 2 weeks between washes).
We don't have pictures, but it is a good one night stop (we have 15 amp power and water) and there is a clear shot to the satellite with a signal strength of about 60. The forecast for Calgary calls for rain today, we have had some short rain and thunder showers, but we are betting that we have a fire tonight.
Before we left Banff NP this morning, Suzette got some great shots of Mule Deer grazing in the campground (see below).
Tomorrow, we are headed for Brooks then Cyprus Hills after that.
Monday & Tuesday August 14 & 15, 2006
Banff National Park Alberta
We made it over to Banff National Park about 3:00 pm this afternoon, and we are camped in Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court. We reserved the site for one night, but decided to spend a second night here and check out Banff. Suzette is out taking pictures of the campground, these will be posted later. We are adjusting to losing one hour coming over from BC, however, this morning we slept in to 7:30 (our bodies said that it was really 6:30 am). It helped that this is good sleeping weather (it was 6C in Jasper this morning and 2C in Banff!).
We took a couple of pictures of the campsite and the view:This is the view from the campsite!
The campground is set up with sites on both sides of central roads, each site is drive in with full services:
On Tuesday morning, we had an opportunity to take the gondola ride to Sulpher Mountain. It was a great ride and the views were fantastic, much better than the ride in Jasper.
This is a view of the Banff Springs Hotel, with Banff towards the left:
Another view of Banff, the pictures do not do justice to the magnificent view. It had rained last night, so there is a little bit of mist around.
On the morning we were leaving, a few Mule Deer came through the campground to graze,and Suzette took a number of pictures, Here are two of them:
Friday & Saturday August 12-13, 2006
Jasper National Park Alberta
We had 2 great days in Jasper. The first night we got a non-sericed site in Whistlers campground, it was kind of overused (like Pinery after the Labour Day weekend), the second night in a full service site in the same campground.
After the standard set by BC parks (see below), Jasper was a disappointment, it seems that the practice in BC and the NWT of using private campground operators results in a better quality of cleanliness and service. In Jasper, the campsites were not cleaned between uses, this seems to make the difference. In addition, the roads in the Jasper campground were narrow and potholed, and the Icefields Parkway was not in great shape either. Considering that the camping charges including entry fees in the NP's are significantly higher than in BC parks, I wonder if the funds are going into Canada's "general revenue" slush fund instead of improving the parks.
We took some great shots of mountains and wildlife:
This is a view of the mountains between Banff and Jasper (I believe the river is the Athabaska river).
Kasey is relaxing in the clover (we had to look out for bees!)
The Jasper townsite was nice to visit, they have a train station with a view as well!
I tried to get on-line with the dish, but the trees were in the way
Last time we were here in 1992, Elk were all over the campsite, this time they showed up to graze early in the morning (they actually were there overnight as well).
Over the next day or so, I will update the site with pictures from other parks we visited in BC.
Thursday August 10, 2006
Mount Robson Provincial Park BC
We spent a day at this beautiful park, adjacent to the highest mountain in the BC rockies. The sites are clean and big. We spent the good part of a day waiting for the clouds around the mountain to clear; near dark the clouds cleared and we got this shot:
Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park near Kamloops BC
A provincial park for a change!
We made it up here by the Cocualla (sp??) Highway, and passed an active forest fire on the way!
Again, the landscape changed to a more arid desert-like one:
Our site overlooks the lake from a distance. In spite of the forest fire about 100 km. from here, there are no campfire bans, we are having the first campfire in about a week!
Tomorrow we head up towards Wells Gray Provincial Park and towards Jasper, if we get a sattelite friendly campsite, we will be back on-line.
Tuesday August 8, 2006
Red Rose campground near Hope BC
We took the ferry from Swartz Bay on the island to Twassen on the mainland, navigated through Vancouver (got off-track once!) then parked at a private campground near Hope BC.The weather on the crossing was overcast with fog, but we had a very pleasant ride:
The campground was a good one night stop, but we look forward to a provincial park again after a week of private parks.
Monday August 7, 2006
Victoria West KOA
We made a short run from Nanaimo to just outside Victoria.
We had wanted to get into a provincial park. We tried one north of here, but it was unsuitable for RV's although the provincial camping guide did not indicate this. On the way back to the Trans-Canada highway, we got lost.
We tried to get into another one just south of here, but gave up after having to make a U-turn in the picnic area!. The Trans Canada highway here is such that you can't make left turns, we had to go a to "U-turn" cutout, then tail back to the KOA. STRESSFULL!
The above combined with holiday Monday traffic heading into Victoria and the ferry resulted in my decision to stay in the KOA, not quite the campsite version of the no-tell-motel, but not as nice as the parks we've stayed at. The good news is that we have a wireless internet connection to update the web site (from our RV) and 30 amps to utilize the A/C (it's 27 or so outside).
Sunday August 6, 2006
Living Forest Oceanside RV park, Nanaimo BC
We made it over to Vancouver Island on Wednesday, a 2 hour ferry ride from the mainland.
I'm still having problems with the satellite dish finding a clear shot through the trees, so I'm updating the website with a wireless connection at the campground office.
We were able to spend the entire long weekend here, with yesterday and today in a semi-serviced site (no sewer).
The city center of
There is a lot of activity in the harbour, seaplanes and ferries drop off passengers and vehicles, there are log booms offshore waiting to be processed at the mill south of
The ferry ride from the mainland was relatively quick at just under 2 hours. We have heard a lot of criticism of the ferry services out here, but our experience was that the service was efficient (we waited just over an hour to get on), the food on-board was excellent and the cost for our trip at about $150.00 was cheaper than comparable services in Ontario and in the Maritimes.
The view wasnít bad either!
Tuesday August 1, 2006
We toured around Whistler (and used the medical clinic, which was very efficient). The area is truly a four seasons resort, we met a number of mountain bicyclists who indicated that Whistler has the best bike trails around, even better than in
Whistler has a very nice walking only center with lots of stores and services. It feels like a modern version of a European city.
There is also a lot of construction activity from Whistler down into
This was a waterfall near our campsite just south of Whistler:
This is the outflow from the falls, with the mountain nearby:
The road from Lillooet to Whistler is part of the Sea to Sky highway, highway 99. It has some interesting grades, 12 to 14% for a few kilometers at a time. I made the mistake of stopping on a hill to cool off the trailer brakes; I had to keep the brakes on to prevent rolling down the hill. As a result, I smoked the trailer brakes; the brakes still work OK, but probably will have to be replaced as Iím sure they are glazed or otherwise deformed.
Monday August 1, 2006
This town is very nice, it is located in an arid area, as can be seen from the pictures, even grass growing for hay has to be irrigated in order to grow.
The climate is very temperate, little or no snow in the winter and temperatures just touching the freezing mark. Itís amazing how the climate varies over less than 100 km. in this province.
Sunday July 31, 2006
This was a one night stop south of Quesnel on the way to Lillooet.
We had rain off and on all the time that we stayed there, not pleasant, but some areas in BC needed the rain. No pictures were taken
This was a good stop, we stayed here for 2 nights, we provisioned in Quesnel and got essential things done like haircuts etc.
Tuesday July 25, 2006Cassiar RV Park, Kitwanga BC
We stopped at this full service RV park to dump the tanks, fill with water and do some laundry. Having spent the last 3 days in provincial parks , we were out of fresh water (Suzette had a shower this morning, but I missed mine!).
This park is interesting in that it is located right beside the Kitwanga river and has a native salmon enumeration facility located on the river. We saw some salmon in the river heading upstream to spawn, no counting was being done at the time we were there.
The campground has a great view of the mountains as well.
Sunday & Monday July 23-24, 2006
Meziadin Lake Provincial Park and Stewart BC - Hyder Alaska
We spent 2 days at this provincial park and also took the opportunity to take the "glacier highway" to Stewart, then went into Alaska to see the Salmon glacier.
BC provincial parks are set up extremely well, and have fantastic natural views:
This is the view from our campsite.
The campsite we used was high up on the hill, we used 4 wheel drive low range on the truck (for the first time!) to back into the site.
This is another picture of our campsite:
After settling into the campsite, we spent the next day going down highway 37A to Stewart BC then into Hyder Alaska. The Stewart-Hyder highway is known for it's glaciers, the Bear glacier can be seen from the highway:
We are not sure why the glacier is called the Bear glacier, it may be because of the shape at the toe, We think it looks like the face of a bear!
We crossed the border into Alaska and went to see the fish ladder display just outside Hyder, organized by the US forest service.
We went further on to see the salmon glacier, we made it as far as the toe of the glacier:
We returned back into BC, a little concerned because we did not bring passports. There is no US customs going into the US (you can't go anywhere, the road ends at the salmon glacier), but the Canadian Customs exists apparently for tobacco and alcohol monitoring (it's cheaper in the US).
We were let back into our country without any hassles, and returned back to our campsite.
Saturday July 22, 2006
Kinaskin Lake Provincial Park
Another great BC provincial park! We got a site on the lake, with great views outside the back window of the RV.
Our camper next door who is a fisherman caught his daily limit of rainbow trout in less than half a day, he has a neat arrangement of a horseshoe floater and hip waders with flippers that allow him to float up and down the lake, you can see him just beside the tree:
Kasey had a great time watching the fisherman:
Friday July 21, 2006
Dease Lake BC
We made a one night stop at a full service RV park here in order to dump the tanks and fill up with water. Up north here in BC, the provincial parks generally don't have dump facilities.
Wednesday and Thursday July 19-20, 2006
Boya Lake Provincial Park BC
Another great campsite directly on the lake!
There were a number of sites that backed out onto the lake, we got one that allowed us to inflate the boat right on the campsite.
We set up the boat and checked it out:
The lake is quite interesting, it has a couple of beaver ponds and many coves and islands. The water was almost still and great images of clouds and hills were seen.