On the Road: Week 2

Here comes the sun!

We are off again, the race to Canada begins!

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Day 8: Run for the border! Finally the sun is shining! OK, so we did wait it out a couple of extra days with the folks…but mostly we just did laundry and ate trout. The day we set out for the border was simply glorious. We drove North of McCall, by chance gassed up in the great little town of Moscow, Idaho, and spent the night in a log cabin just outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. I am not sure if it was simply the sun after so much gray – but Northern Idaho is stunning. Who knew?!

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Pics off the Dash

Day 9: I started the day anxiety ridden. The border was less than half an hour away. I have obviously been scarred by immigration processes. Luckily with just a slight hint of attitude from the official, eh, we were in and high fiveing in no time. It’s a strange habit we’ve picked up over the years and I am sure if an officer turned around and caught us in the act we would be yanked back through the veil. Our original plan was to head directly for Kelowna, BC, to see a good friend of Man’s, but my dad insisted – you guys have to see Banff. That’s Canada’s first National Park, for those of you who didn’t know – like me.   “Banff?” I said. “Yes, Banff” my dad replied. “Banff, like B-A-M-F?” I questioned. “No, Banff, like B-A-N-F-F” he answered. Needless to say, it’s not a destination that rolls off the tongue, but we are SO glad we went. I HIGHLY recommend seeing this park at some point in your life.

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The road into Banff

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Every turn is just breathtaking

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The little town of Banff

Day 10: We woke up at the crack of dawn to the song of kids at the next camp site screaming. Like they did – All. Through. The. Night. One of the less glamorous aspects of camping. Oh well, a beautiful sunrise over Alberta and little brats next door were the perfect excuses to head out and discover more of the park. You can drive all over and short hikes will take you to stunning locations. There are tourists here from absolutely everywhere which lends to a very international feel. In the late afternoon we realized we would never see it all and if we wanted to squeeze in half of the things on this weeks list we would have to leave our park paradise with promises to return one day. So off to Kelowna, through rain and sleet in Glacier National Park, BC and sun-shiny goodness in the British Columbian countryside, to find our selves completely without a place to rest our heads as we learned we were in town for ‘Canada Day’ weekend. Everything was COMPLETELY booked. It was getting late, we were getting exhausted, and lost, and we couldn’t reach Man’s friend. We finally had to spring for a fancy hotel. Poor planning on our part, very poor. But the sleep was oh, so sweet!

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Big Horn Sheep abound

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Lake Louise

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Lake Moraine

Day 11: After  a late check out, we went out to cruise downtown Kelowna. We still couldn’t reach Man’s friend, but this is where that “Thai Style” of planning as in “lets just show up and see what happens” can get you into a bind. So sad to miss him. But, Kelowna was hoppin’. The parks were full of hippies getting their Canada Day on. I didn’t know going in, but I know it now, this is hippy land, people. We saw a woman swimming in the lake in one of these puppies. She was a pretty convincing mermaid, other than it looked like she might drown. We had breakfast at the Bohemian Cafe. My kind of place. Organic this, free-range that, and a soy chai latte to wash it all down. Our sunny days turned into an all out heat wave and we figured we better hit the road. En-route to Pemberton.

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The Bohemian Cafe

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Happy Canada Day Campers

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Day 12: Yesterday turned into a long, long, driving day in near 100 degree heat. No air-con in the bug, remember. It was scorchin’. But fun can still be had on the open road. Somewhere between Kelowna and Pemberton on a long, long, deserted stretch of winding, dry, dry, highway a roadside sign appears – “Ice-cold Drinks Ahead”. Another mile down the road “Organic Treats”. Half a mile away “Iced Americanos Here”. Stop the car! This, people, was hippy heaven. Check out Monkey in the Garden. This little gem has been one of the highlights of our trip. I just love roadside weirdness/goodness. At nearly 10:00pm (luckily this far north it is still light out) we rolled into Pemberton and magically found my cousin Tommy and his lovely wife Nicole, Amen!

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Monkey in the Garden

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Day 13: Oh the joys of staying with friends and family. It makes a trip so much richer when you can get a little local exposure. Plus you get to see your loved ones in their natural habitat. We were pretty tuckered out, but somehow we managed to get in some strawberry pickin’, paddle boarding  and fish tacos. Man helped Tommy with a bathroom remodel while I got to check out Nicole’s studio where her Mana jewelry comes to life, check her out! We polished off the day with the most amazing strawberry shortcake you could ever dream up. So great to see these newlyweds. Thank you SO much!!

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YUM!

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Beautiful woodcut creations

Day 14: After some amazing R&R with Tommy and Nicole it is time to hit the road again. Off to Vancouver! This time we will actually see Man’s friend from Thailand TJ and he is so excited. We drove through Whistler and Squamish, we took nearly 6 hours to make the normally 2 1/2 hour drive on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. There were so many gorgeous places to stop and take pictures, go for a swim, and look for bears. This caused us to hit rush hour right on the button and get lost. Being in Canada we have been without service to our precious iPhones. Remember the old days of navigation? Our skills have obviously rusted a fair bit. But home-cooked Thai food and old friends saved the evening. Many thanks to TJ and Adele who would help us to have our most exciting day yet on day 15….stay tuned! Freebirds Fly!

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Somewhere between Whistler and Squamish

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Squamish

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Somewhere between Squamish and Vancouver

And that wraps it up for now! Stay tuned for next week’s adventures!

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