Oh Canada!

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Jason and I on the Wilamette River near Eugene, OR with our friend Rachel

As many of you know, my husband Jason and I recently returned from a 2 week camping trip to Canada! We had a wonderful time and I thought I’d share a few highlights with you from our trip (ok, more than a few!).

We drove up to Yreka for our first night’s camp, then to Eugene, OR for breakfast with a friend, and into Portland to spent the day with family. We enjoyed a boat ride on the river, a super fun dinner party, and sailing! We spent 2 nights in Bremerton and saw some fun sights around the area, including waterfalls!

We caught a ferry out of Port Angeles to Victoria on Vancouver Island, staying at Englishman River Falls campground…simply beautiful and our favorite spot of the entire trip. It had an incredible waterfall!

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Englishman River Falls

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Takakkaw Falls

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Beautiful creek at Whistler Village (near Olympic Park)

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Dawson Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park

From there, we drove across the island into Uclulet and Tofino. We made some stops along the way to see a few pretty spots that looked interesting (one was a waterfall). We stayed at a pretty run down place in Uclulet where the camp host said there had been a bear in camp! We had a 7 a.m. boat departure the next morning. It was really quite cold…they give you a suit to wear over your clothes, which doubles as a flotation device (ha!). We boarded the 12 person Zodiac and took a 2.5 hour tour around Barkley Bay. We saw 7 black bears. Apparently at low tide, especially after a full moon, the bears come down onto the beach and search for clams.

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Juvenile Bald Eagle

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black bear

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Elk across the road from our campground

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Big Horn Sheep causing a traffic back up as they cross the highway

Back on shore, we returned to the other side of the island and caught another ferry out of Nanaimo into Horseshoe Bay, about 30 minutes north of Vancouver. Once on the mainland of Canada (after a 3 hour wait for the ferry – ugh!), we attempted to find a campground at 5 or 6 places and they were all full. We later discovered as we got into Whistler and found a campsite at a private campground, it was due to the Ironman in town that weekend. Aha! 40,000-some people participated in it this year. That night, we had a noisy neighbor and weren’t feeling good about where we camped, but by morning we were grateful we did. They had showers and the camp host was very kind and let us use his personal washer and dryer.

We stayed another day in Whistler and took a gondola ride up to the top of Whistler Mountain. While we were up there, Jason went on to the neighboring Black Mountain and to the “Top of the World,” an open chair mountaintop gondola ride (I’m not 100% through my fear of high places so I sat those two out).

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Hubby posing at the Olympic Rings atop Whistler Mountain

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Those are my husband’s feet dangling from the open chair lift on the way up the Summit Gondola

After that, we headed to Wells Gray national park where we stayed at a place called Dutch Lake, just outside the park. The night we spent there was our anniversary and they had a restaurant on site, so we walked to it and got a bottle of wine to celebrate.

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Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park

We saw a few waterfalls in Wells Gray the next day and then headed to Jasper National Park where we spent 2 nights.

Once on the “mainland” we were in Grizzly Country. Oh what fun! Every campsite we stayed in had to be “bare,” meaning we had to pack everything away every time we went anywhere…which can also get a bit tricky when you are sleeping in the bed of your truck (don’t worry, we have a camper shell for it!).

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Hubby walking in front of me for perspective of the doe on the trail at Maligne Lake.

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Jason and I at Emerald Lake

We spent 2 nights in Jasper, saw a bunch of big horn sheep and a deer that was right on the trail we were walking at a place called Maligne Lake. We really had a great time seeing a series of waterfalls from overlook bridges at Maligne Canyon – incredible colors and views.

From Jasper we headed a bit further south into Lake Louise, in the province of Alberta.  We spent 2 nights in this area and found it incredibly PACKED! We had lunch in town at an old railroad station and the gentleman waiting on us told us about Emerald lake. We drove there, went for a canoe trip, and took in the beauty around us – glaciers on mountains, pristine colored water…Emerald Lake gets its name from the beautiful color. All of the lakes in Canada that we saw were from glacial runoff, in contrast to “regular snow melt off” here in California; we were mesmerized by the turquoise color of the water…truly remarkable!

From Lake Louise, we headed south and decided we were ready to make our bee-line for the States. We hit the U.S. border in Idaho, continued into Washington State, got onto Highway 84 heading into Oregon along the Columbia River and detoured along Highway 97 toward Bend.

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Dinner after sailing near Seattle (Jason’s cousin Richard and his wife Joy and their two kids, Jason and I and our friends Neeld & Geraldine)

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river boating with Jason’s cousin Ryan and his wife Molly and their kids Luke, Owen and Jake.

From Bend, we continued our journey slightly west and mostly south…traveling along the backside of Mt Shasta – which was quite beautiful to see from a different perspective than the typical views we’re used to.

Continued along highway 5 and by late afternoon, we were home. We spent the next few days recuperating on the couch.

Grand total, we drove just over 3,600 miles.

We took 3,000+ photos.

We saw:

  • At least 20 waterfalls.
  • 9 black bears (7 on the boat trip we took, 1 on the side of the road and 1 running across the road – a little scary!)
  • Several herds of big horn sheep
  • Several elk (right in camp even)
  • A handful of bald eagles (which we learned are related to the vultures—interesting!)
  • A small number of deer

So that’s kind of the summary of our trip. I hope you enjoyed!

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