We’re home from our summer road trip. Forgot to set the odometer before leaving, but Google Maps says we drove approximately 2600 kilometers in eight days. Whew!
Vancouver to Hope (via a detour due to a mudslide on the Trans Canada highway the night before our departure) followed by…
a quick stop at the Othello tunnels for a walk and lunch then onwards to Salmon Arm where we stayed the night. Great indoor pool with a water slide for the kids, well equipped fitness centre for mom and complimentary hot breakfast for all before we hit the road to Calgary.
The drive through the Rockies via Kicking Horse Pass is nothing short of spectacular. Each mountain vista more breath-taking than the last. Waterfalls, craggy peaks, snow fields and lots of signs for deer and elk crossing (we saw a few deer, but no elk; guess they can’t read the signs telling them where to cross, tee hee).
We arrived in Calgary on July 1st, Canada Day! Another beautifully equipped hotel, right downtown; pool, fitness room and free hot breakfast again. I managed to sneak in a run on the treadmill and a quick weights workout while the children tired themselves out in the pool.
After a quick visit to the Calgary Zoo (the gorillas are my favorite; so like us it’s eerie), we hit the road for Drumheller; dinosaur capital of Canada, if not the world!
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a must see if your children (and husband!) love dinosaurs. Lots of hands on exhibits and a great gift shop.
We hiked in the hoo doos (very other-wordly experience), climbed the world’s largest dinosaur (see picture above) and waited out a dust storm in our hotel’s indoor pool (the best pool of them all, and we had it all to ourselves). I skipped the minimalist fitness center and counted our hike as my daily workout. Two days was definitely enough to explore the area, so we packed up and headed south to Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Although the park itself is incredibly beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the two guided hikes through the back country (into a dinosaur bone bed, no less!), the campground was filthy with mosquitoes. We were all eaten alive, despite the copious quantities of mosquito repellent we continuously sprayed on ourselves and the citronella-candle-covered picnic table. Combine that with dear daughter’s middle of the night throwing up in the tent escapade and we were hard-pressed to find a reason to stay a second night!
The drive back included stops in Lethbridge (where we happened upon a great and affordable Italian restaurant where I was able to fill up on fresh greens and baked salmon, yum!), Christina Lake and Grand Forks (this last stop was the only time in eight days where we had to dine on fast food; believe me, Subway was the healthiest option we could find. Wouldn’t you know it, youngest son proclaimed it to be the best restaurant meal of the holiday!).
We overnighted in Osoyoos, land of fruit trees, vineyards and summer recreation. Due to a cool spring, the only thing ready to be harvested was cherries (I had been so looking forward to berries, apricots and peaches…). I didn’t manage to take a picture before they were all eaten, but they were big, red, juicy and delicious (can’t you just picture them?). I found the contrast between the lushness of the vineyards in the valley and the desert scape on the surrounding hills to be very surreal.
Last day on the road. The closer we got to Vancouver, the cooler and wetter the weather got (this has been the story of our spring and summer to date), until finally, an hour out of town, the rains started, welcoming us home.
Do you like to explore the country?
Been on any good road trips lately? Do tell, please!