Rocky Mountain High

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Fast forward a week and we’re already on Vancouver Island! Tomorrow we’ll be headed towards Tofino on the western side of the island as we hear it is absolutely gorgeous. From Lake Louise we made our way up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, Valemount, Kamloops, Pemberton, Whistler, Vancouver, and now Nanaimo.

The Rockies were incredible and my parents and I agree that it was our favorite part of the trip so far. The ride from Lake Louise to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway was incredible. It was just miles and miles of amazing views.

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my dad and I trying to wade into the glacial water. We made it up to our knees!

my dad and I trying to wade into the glacial water. We made it up to our knees!

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It was also interesting for me to see a mountain that would be impossible to climb up unless you were an experienced rock climber. I probably should’ve realized that earlier when I was researching about the Canadian Rockies, but it’s just so foreign to me. All the mountains in Vermont and even the bigger ones in New Hampshire might have a few tricky spots, but are definitely climbable. Those are little dinky hills compared to the massive mountains out here, though!

the icefields in Jasper

the icefields in Jasper

Taking pics. Don't want to drop your phone off that ledge!

Taking pics. Don’t want to drop your phone off that ledge!

We did a short hike to Lake Kinney

We did a short hike to Lake Kinney

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We didn’t even know it, but British Columbia actually has some desert. It seems like after only a few short days after leaving the Rockies we found ourselves surrounded by dry desert and then canyons. None of us were really expecting that and found ourselves a bit surprised… especially after finding out that one of the campsites we were supposed to stay at was in the middle of an industrial park in the desert. Needless to say we decided to skip through that one and go ahead to the next one. It’s funny how some of the most expensive campgrounds we’ve stayed at have actually been the worst while we’ve actually had some really nice $10 ones.

the desert

the desert

more desertville

more desertville

The beautiful weather at the beginning of our trip definitely spoiled us and we’ve now had a few odd weather days. In Pemberton, BC we were really looking forward to a nice hike the next day, but that just wasn’t an option when we woke up in the morning. The valley was all hazy with smoke from a few wildfires surrounding the area. Now we’ve had a few days filled with rain off and on, but we still are having a lot of fun. We went to a little local fair today as well as a wildlife recovery center, which was really interesting.

the slugs seemed to all emerge during the rain when we were in Whistler

some giant slugs seemed to emerge during the rain when we were in Whistler

One thing I’m looking forward to when I get back? Reliable wifi. I accidentally published the last post as a page instead of a post and didn’t realize it until just now. I apologize to anyone whose comments got deleted! I’ve got things figured out and that won’t happen again. I definitely am not in any rush to get back home, but a decent Internet connection is something I am really looking forward to. In some ways it’s been kind of nice because I’ve barely been online and it feels good not to be plugged in all the time. On the other hand, I know I’m going to have a bunch of real-world stuff to deal with when I get back to school.

Wildlife spotting! We had the amazing opportunity to see a wild black bear in its natural environment the other day. It was pawing through some nettles to reach the abundant blackberries growing in Squamish.  The only odd thing was that it had on a bike helmet as well as bike gloves…

my dad, the rare black bear

my dad, the rare black bear

Okay, but in all honesty we have seen three black bears so far; two adolescent bears crossed the road a ways away when my dad and I were biking and then we spotted a pretty big one eating some berries on the side of the road when we were driving. We also saw a caribou just chilling and munching on some grass.

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It’s hard to believe that our trip comes to a close in less than a week. I remember us wondering if 6 weeks was too long for a trip, but we’ve been having the time of our lives. We’ve never done anything like this before and we’ve been making some amazing memories. That’s all for now. Happy trails!

Grizzly Country

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We have now biked safely away from the wildfire in St. Mary’s and are now in the exact opposite weather; cold and wet. From St. Mary’s we traveled into Canada to Pincher Creek, Fernie, Fairmont Hot Springs, and now Lake Louise. Nights have been getting down into the 30’s and it’s rained almost every day since we left Montana. It definitely hasn’t been pleasant biking weather. I’ve been sleeping with 2 layers on bottom, 4 on top, thick smart wool socks, and a hat. Is it really summer?

the praries in Alberta

the praries in Alberta

our humble abode as we call it

our humble abode as we call it

Despite the nasty weather we still have been having a great time and can’t believe the sites we’ve seen. Alberta and British Columbia sure are beautiful, eh? We spent part of yesterday and today exploring Banff. The mountains are gorgeous and the color of the lakes and rivers isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a cloudy turquoise that almost looks fake. We are also now REALLY in bear area. You know you’re in grizzly country when your campground is surrounded by an electric fence…

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

 

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met a little friend while hiking today

met a little friend while hiking today

My dad and I also passed another milestone in terms of mileage. We’re now over 1500 miles and are hoping to make it to 2000, possibly 2500 but we’ll see. We crossed over the continental divide as well; 5382 feet above sea level! We also had our biggest day so far at 115 miles in one day. It’s a good thing that we’re farther north and it stays lighter for longer or else we might not have made it. I have to admit that it’s a little strange going to bed sometimes when it’s not dark yet. A 9:30 sunset sure is different.

The Continental Divide! My dad is in British Columbia and I am in Alberta

The Continental Divide! My dad is in British Columbia and I am in Alberta

Now we’re headed off to Jasper where the weather forecast actually looks sunny and warm for a few days. Hopefully it’s the truth! I’ll update again soon.