Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Okanagan Valley

We have come to the part of the journey I have been looking forward to the most. To go through the mountain region and visit some of the hot springs located there. But we first went to Invermere and spent the day by the lake and playground. It was a really hot day and felt good to cool off in the lake.

 

 

Following day we had some exercise. I took Nina with me on the bike and Lucy went for a walk with Pim in the stroller. After lunch we contiued driving north and arrived at Radium hot springs in the evening. Stopped by a playground for Nina to enjoy for a while before bedtime. In the morning we went straight to the hot spring bath itself and on the way there we saw a Bighorn and the road was cut through the mountain. We had breakfast and went to the bath. All of us enjoyed it plenty.

         

 

It was already well into the afternoon when we started our journey up the mountains. First through a tunnel and then the beautiful scenary lay in front of us. We had to stop and take some pictures. British Colombia is really beautiful!

 

 

We went up, up, up slowly through the mountains with spectacular views all around. Later in the afternoon we made a stop at the "Continental Divide" at 1630 meters above sea level. It marks where the water flows. West of here all water ends up in the Pacific ocean while all water east of here ends up in the Atlantic. That is a long journey for water to travel. We also spotted some railway tracks up there and I imagined it would be a really nice train journey to travel on those tracks from Calgary to Vancouver.

 

We continued our journey northeast and reached Lake louise as the sun set behind the mountains. A really nice long drive. In the morning we by coincidence saw the last remaining old luxury train that used to travel these tracks some 80 years ago. It was chartered by a group of enthusiasts and parked at Lake louse station overnight. Impressive that it is still rolling. There were six axles on each wagon as they are close to 100 tonnes each.

         

We went up the the lake itself and parked at a big parking lot. Lucy went with Pim in the stroller and I took Nina with me on the bike. The views of Lake louise was breathtaking. Mountains surrounding a green lake and snow on the peaks. We went on a path all the way to the other end of the lake, it was really nice. Then Nina and me took off for another lake some 11 km away up the mountain. That lake was as beautiful as the first one. Coming back again was an easy down hill. Nina fell asleep and I listened to an audio book by Peter Englund when rolling down.

 

We joined again in the motor home and drove towards a waterfall. On the way there we spotted some snow. I took Nina with me to go and play for a while. We made some snowballs and threw down on the road. 

 

The waterfall was bigger than I expected. Maybe because of the record rains during June. It was a beautiful setting and easy to reach. We went all the way up to the waterfall and were sprayed with water all over us. It felt good as it was a very sunny and hot day. 

                 

Nina saw an interesting creature by the road. An earth squarrel standing there looking at us. He was quick to hide in the hole when Nina approached him. Those small ones are really good for childrens exercise!

 

We usually spend the evenings parked close to are park or playground. After dinner we sometimes watch a movie on the laptop or play with Nina's toys. Nina and Pim change to pyjamas and go to bed. They are really comforatble in their bed in the back and sleeps very well every night. If I have any strength left I sometimes work on the website before going to bed. Lucy and me usually read books before going to sleep.

 

This morning we spent at a playground in Golden, where Nina made friends with a kind cat. We moved location to do the laundry and got to see the 'Rocky Mountineer' drive past. Some of the wagons are two stories with viewing platforms in the end. Going with that train is a three days journey from Toronto to Vancouver, would be nice to do some day.

 

Our direction is now west, coming down the mountains again. We went through a number of tunnels and over a high pass before the real descent started. The views were amazing with mountains all around. We stayed overnight at a wilderness parking place and had rain knocking on the roof most of the night. After breakfast we stopped at a playground next to a visitor centre and then continued west again.

 

Nina was picking flowers and made a nice exhibition with available toys. Pim likes to sit in his car seat for up to an hour, then he demands to take a break and stretch his legs. That is how we do our driving, adjusted to the childrens needs. This day was one of the very few days in July with rain. The afternoon offered very heavy rains that made us stop for lack of clear sight through the windscreen. 

 

We decided to break our journey at the 'Canyon hot spring'. When the rain slowed down we went for a bath. Really nice to sit in the hot pool with cold rain pouring down. We enjoyed the evening at the pool, stayed overninght at their camping site and went for another swim in the morning.

         

Clean and refreshed we continued straight west to Revelstoke. A really nice town located next to a large river with mountains all around. Luckily they had a special music week this week with musicians playing music in the downtown area every night. We parked nearby and went there to listen. Nina was dancing to the music with some other children as the sun came down. Sometimes the performance was interrupted by long freight trains slowly driving past just behind the scene, making a lot of noise. We slept well and in the morning had breakfast with the most spectacular view Revelstoke could offer.

 

I went for a bicycle ride with Nina while Lucy took Pim for a walk in the stroller. We found Revelstoke to be a really nice little mountain town. We stayed for three days and visited several playgrounds, the beach by the river, played minigolf and chilled out. This was also when we had to decide weather to continue west towards Whistler or south through Okanagan valley. The choice became to head south. 

 

One hour out of Revelstoke we took a ferry across the Upper arrow lake where Nina was looking at some horses standing in the trailers. The horse owner told me there was going to be a Rodeo show in Nakusp following day.

         

Sun was shining and it was a pleasant crossing. Beautiful views of the mountains surrounding the lake. We made our way towards Nakusp and stopped to have lunch at a nice place with a waterfall just next to the parking lot. Arrived in Nakusp and checked the time table for the Rodeo.

         

In the morning we parked the motor home in the shade under some trees next to a park, then I took Nina with me on the back of the bike and went to the rodeo. It was a full day arrangement with lots of different activities. This was going to be my first experience of a Rodeo show.

 

It was organised as a family event with things to see and do for all ages. We talked to some of the riders, Nina tried sitting on an artificial horse and then we went to the viewing platform. They were catching cattle with lasso, riding bareback on angry bulls, and riding around cones in high speed. There was a rodeo-clown for the children and water games to play with. We had popcorn for lunch and went back to Lucy and Pim in the late afternoon. Nina fell asleep straight away, having been exposed to the sun all day.

 

Following day we went up to Nakusp hot springs. Two small pools with different temperature on the water. Pim also enjoyed the comfort of warm water and Nina had fun with some toys they provided. We all felt completely clean as we left the establishment.

 

After lunch we went back down to Nakusp, got connected to wifi and lauched this website. We also had a long chat over skype with 'farfar', my dad in Sweden. Continued south to the ferry crossing at Lower arrow lake and found a really nice spot to park for the night. We had dinner while overlooking a small lake.

 

Next day we were going to have a change of driver. Tried first with Pim but he could  not reach down to the pedals. Instead Lucy took the steering wheel and drove us westward on a nice road to Lumby, where we stayed overnight. I went for an evening bike ride around town and in the morning Nina and me went for a swim in an outdoor pool.

         

We continued to Kelowna in the north of Okanagan valley. Went straight to the splash park with a lot of toys. Returned the following day and Nina played and played the whole day. It was a really nice spot where parents could sit in the shadow while the kids were playing. 

         

It so happened that this particular day they had an airshow arranged above the river, just where we were located. So we watched the planes doing their cool movements back and forth in the sky. The show ended with a big heavenly heart.

 

Nina and me went for a bike ride along the river. At one place they had made a small pond for animals to enjoy. We spotted a couple of turtles along with the birds in there. I put the bike back on the rack again and then we drove to the south of town and stopped by a big playground close to a football field. I started preparing myself and the bike for a long ride the following day.

 

It was raining a little in the morning so we did not take off until 11.00 when it was dry and a bit cloudy. Perfect bicycle weather. Nina and me first went along a creek on a good bicycle road and then had to walk steps up a steep hill. We finally arrived close to a golf course and found the main road near by. Went on that road for a while and turned left on a mountain road.

 

We were riding up and up until the asphalt ended and continued on a gravel road. It however became too steep so we had to disembark and walk. Lucky Nina is a tough girl. We walked and we walked up the hill, had a rest and continued walking and walking until finally we saw the sign, Myra canyon. We sat down to rest and celebrated our arrival with food and drinks.

 

Now we were prepared for the coolest part of the day. Riding the Myra canyon rail trail over 18 bridges and through 2 tunnels. Amazing how they have managed to turn the old railway track into a really nice bicycle path. 

 

The track went first on one side of the canyon and then crossed it on a long bent bridge and continued on the other side. We stopped several times to have a look at the fantastic engineering tasks and the beautiful scenery surrounding us. Reaching the other end we stopped to put warmer clothes on and started our descent all the way down to town again. Nina slept in her seat all the way back to the mobile home. We arrived at 19.30 after having covered altogether 72 km distance and some 650 meters in altitude, up and down.

 

Next day we went for a swim at an indoor swimming pool with wavemachine, riverflow, slides and other fun for children. Clean and with new clothes we went next door to the library and chilled out in the childrens corner. Then we decided to leave Kelowna and head further south. Stopped overnight in Peachland. Nina and Lucy had a morning swim after breakfast before we continued south again. 

 

Saw a sign about a car museum and decided to have a look. Lucy had a rest in the mobile home while Lucy, Pim and me went inside. Many old american cars to look at, each one in top condition. Nina was dancing to the rockabilly music in the jukebox while Pim put his elbow out on the side like a real cruising guy. There were Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Oldsmobile, and some other rare brands among the exibited vehicles. 

 

We arrived in Penticton and I started planning for another bicycle trip. Penticton is nicely located between two lakes and is a very popular tourist destination. It was decided I would take Nina with me to visit some of the 80 wineries in the region. I could taste some wine at one place and then go to the next. It would be a full day tour of the wineries in the neighbourhood. We got an early start at about 09.00. Found the rail trail going north along the lake. It was nice arranged with picnic tables along the way and a tunnel to go through.

 

When we came close to the first winery I abandoned the original plan and instead continued along the rail trail. It was a nice sunny day and we had our swim gear with us so I thought it better to go to a lake further up north instead of tasting wine. Nina fell asleep as we rode along. It was going slightly upwards all the time. After several hours and several stops to rest we arrived at the lake and had a swim.

 

We then had lunch at a picnic table nearby and turned our noses south again. The descent was fast and easy even though the surface was soft and sandy at places. Had a nice view of the lake and Penticton located all the way at the southern tip. We arrived back at 18.30 and the speedometer stopped at 86 km. Elevation from Penticton to the lake was 840 meters.

   

Lucy had run out of electricity in the mobile home during the day so we decided to check in at a camping site next morning. Found one at the other end of town across the street from a big park with nice playground and splashpool. Nina played there during the afternoon. Then we had barbeque with hot dogs and banana. Pim was happy as always. 

 

Next day we checked out with fully charged batteries and went west to Princeton where Nina and me went for another bicycle ride on a rail trail. We came to a river where we stopped and Nina went playing with the other kids. We ate some apples and went back on the main road over the mountain.

         

We continued west to Manning park and found a good place for flying the kite. There was a nice breeze and up went the kite. We also played some frisbee but the most interesting about the place was all the earth squarrels living there. Nina ran back and forth trying to catch one, without success. I took the kids with me and sat down in the middle. One by one the squarrels came up, looking at us, and got closer and closer until they were right around us. Pim was laughing and Nina gave them water to drink.

 

Further west we came to Chilliwack where they had a farm fair that particular weekend. We went in and spent the afternoon loooking at farm animals like horses, cows, goat, lama(!) and pig. They also had plenty of birds and rabbits on display. On the outside there was a bouncing castle for Nina to enjoy. She was asking for water frequently as it was a hot day with strong sun.

 

There was also a magic show with latin music. In the end we went to see the sheeps and Nina got to play with one of them. A long afternoon came to an end when they closed and we went out to the mobile home again.

 

Spent the evening building LEGO for the last time in Canada. I made a lawnmower. By now we only had a few days left in Canada and made our way slowly closer to Vancouver. We however first went on a small detour north to visit the Harrison hot spring.

 

Harrison hot springs was very popular with tourists. It was located right next to a lake with mountains coming up on both sides. We went to enjoy the hot pool in the morning and continued west in the afternoon. Following day we went to visit an old friend of Lucy. Bertha is also from Samoa and now married to a fiji-indian guy now living in Canada. She had invited us for lunch at their house in Surrey and it was nice to meet her and the kids.

 

Nina had a good time playing with her daughter and all her toys. Bertha offered us to stay overnight and use their waterhose the wash the mobile home the following day. So we parked outside and stayed to meet her husband in the evening. I had a flat tire on the bike and fixed it with a pad and went for a ride in the neighbourhood. In the morning we cleaned the inside and outside of the mobile home.

 

The last thing we did in Canada was to take the kids for a train ride, the only one we did in Canada. It was really nice set up in a park with trees, bushes, and flowers all around. Next day we checked in at a hotel close to the airport, I went to return the mobile home in Gibsons, and Lucy went with the kids to a park behind the hotel.

 

The park was as nice and well maintained as all the parks in BC. Nina enjoyed the playground and we fed the rabbits, squarrels, and ducks with bread and carrots. That day concluded our stay in Canada. After a good nights sleep we took all our belongings in boxes and went to the airport. Next stop Samoa in the Pacific ocean.

         

Here is a map of the route we travelled over 90 days in British Columbia, Washington state, and Alberta. In total we covered 4840 kilometers in our rented Mobilehome. Number of different playgrounds visited: 60