Only a week ago Jen, Piney, and myself were headed northeast, beyond American borders to a landscape of craggy mountains, deep valleys, and large abundance of wildlife. What we were expecting from this trip does not even closely measure to the experiences we had. From the moment we approached the border crossing the stories began to write themselves. Too many to account in this post. Instead I'll let the photography tell the stories, with some numbers and facts peppered in.
The interior as it is known is inhabited by the restless, the young at heart, the self reliant culture not seen so much here in the states. Timber and mining industries gave way to heli-ski and snowcat operations. The waterways are frequented with SUP boards, kayaks, canoes, and sailboats. Descending mountain bike trails into town is the norm for daily commutes. Small organic farms are considered a normal amenity outside most homes.
Those deep canyons mentioned earlier are flooded with massive finger lakes and pristine creeks filled with clear blue water. Bald Eagles frequent the river shores, searching for the fish below the surface. And, due to the heat wave the interior was going through, we spent much of our time cooling off in those waters.
Follow down any beaten path and you are guaranteed an incredible find. Don't expect many signs or directions to these hidden gems though. Canada has its great share of Provincial and National Parks, providing all the necessary signage and information to bring these wild places to the public with ease. Many of the spots we visited though were places in mention, passed along from the locals who make these their go to.
Piney decided he was most definitely born to live the BC life. Since learning to swim only a couple weeks earlier Piney has found a passion for all things that splash. From beginning to end Piney's experiences were filled with water to dive into, wild flowers to sniff, trails to bound down, and plenty of mountain dogs to romp off into the woods with. His 10 hours drive home was spent recuperating and sleeping in the back.
Canada is celebrating 150 years of national parks this year. Lucky for us that includes free admission to all national parks. We took advantage of this, ascending the 25 km up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway in the evening of our last day. Above 5,000' the giant conifers begin to disperse, opening up to meadows of high land wild flowers and expansive views of craggy ridges and basins off in the distance. Bears frequent this area so the common sound of bells jingling came from the packs of hikers we passed. Bonus for this final adventure was the 25 km hill bomb back down the winding parkway on my BMX. If the opportunity presents itself then why not.
The trip seemed fast in relation to time, but the experiences we all took in continues to flood our memories with one story after another. The biggest takeaway was the generosity of the people. Jen got to visit with friends from far back and we both enjoyed moments with friends anew. The self reliant attitude and welcomeness to us was incredible. Our adventures were guided completely by the suggestions and hospitality of all these individuals. Thanks to Mark Fawcett and family, Alan Clarke, Stu and Sarah, and anyone else who helped give us this authentic Canadian Experience...