Road trip time!!
After spending a couple of days in Vancouver, attending the Fringe Fest on Granville Is. and basically getting my bearings and adjusting to local time, I flew to Calgary, picked up a one way car rental and set out with my cold weather gear in the back.
The snows came early this year and I found my self wondering if I’d even make it to the first port of call in Banff so severe were the white flurries. After a few small slides and a notable reduction in the road speed, the temperature rose to a balmy -02°C and the sun peeked through the evening clouds, making road conditions much more manageable.
From Banff there were a couple of day trips to Lake Louise / Moraine Lake and Lake Minnewanka / Stewart Canyon for the hiking, followed by a welcome dip in the Banff hot springs.
The following days I left the grid and explored the backcountry areas between Banff and Jasper, staying in the HI Canada Wilderness Hostels along the way. While some were better than others, I have to say that Hilda Creek was just amazing. It’s only a short hike from parking on the Icefields Parkway, not far from Parker Ridge. It might have helped that I had the whole place to myself, and figured out how to get the gas heaters going fairly quickly.
The three days of wilderness backpacking in the snow were brilliant, the lack of mobile signal and wifi a welcome break, the non-availability of any shower facilities maybe not so welcome but that didn’t bother me too much. It was probably much worse for anyone I met over those few days who now think all Irish are dirty and unwashed.
Jasper brought with it a return to interweb based shite – instacrap and fakebook and bullshit notifications. But it also brought a welcome shower, and a real nice burger and yam fries at the Jasper brewing co.
A couple of long driving days lay ahead, making the way 900kms cross country from Jasper to Whistler, via Lillooet and a few other places.
Whistler brought with it some downhill mountain biking, Squamish had some amazing hiking and trail riding, and then finally back to Vancouver for a fews days rest before the long flight home.