In Vancouver, we had already gone shopping and collected most of the things we would need, such as tents, mattresses, cooking gear etc. So we were quite ready. We went for a quick look at the fire-lookout where we had spent a night before, and almost hit a black bear on our way up! Our first night was at a lake besides the Thompson river, after a very very scenic drive besides the Thompson. The scenery is really quite amazing there! The evening was a bit chilly. Luckily Layton, being a bushman, had no trouble cranking up our first campfire. We had some snacks with bread, which would be quite a poor meal compared to what we would have later. The next day, we got some rainbow trout from a guy fishing the lake, which we had for lunch. We continued our trip through Kamloops, gathered some more things from the thrift store and went towards some wineries and then Harper Lake. We were all alone at this very nice lake, and stayed two nights. Layton had the idea to make a float trip around the lake on the air mattress, which was really nice. Later that day, we got a fishing rod from a fishing family and some flies (for fly fishing) which Layton put to use for some hours improving his technique, and eventually catching fish after lots of patience. The second night, we got the company of a family of hillbillies .
Following Harper Lake was Salmon Arm, where they sell quite some local produce. We stayed the night at Begbie falls, which had again amazing scenery. Layton found his favourite can beer, Mt Begbie brewery’s Nasty Habit. We managed to make a blazing fire, to keep bears away at night (we found some tracks), had a great dinner and rest. The morning was rainy, so we quickly packed up and went to Revelstoke. Layton and Romy tasted quite some local beers here, and following the advice of the Aussie barman, we went searching for hot springs. 100 kms on partly bumpy road and a ferry later, we arrived at the Halfway hot springs, met camp host Bob, set up our tent and went to relax in the natural hot springs, leaning on the rocks while enjoying some wine. We had dinner on a campfire and treated ourselves on another long bath in the morning. Then all the way back to Revelstoke, and on our way to Golden.
We stayed at a wet campsite with a rewarding view of Wapta falls, and met an American fellow travelling alone. He seemed quite happy to meet some other travellers (and eat some of our left-overs), and told us that Lake Louise (our next stop) was full of tourist, which we found out ourselves the next day. We had a look at the lake quite late in the afternoon, and since it is so conveniently close to all lodges and hotels, it is very full of tourists. Moraine lake was the same, but was already nicer. By now, we were in the province Alberta, and turned our clocks one hour forward. Since Wapta falls, we also have an extra traveller on board, and can’t get rid of it …
Once we hit the Icefields parkway (connecting Banff and Jasper through the respective national parks) we were blown away by the beauty of the Rockies. Peyton Lake was exceptionally beautiful, way better than Lake Louise. We spent our night in Sunwapta campground in Banff National Park, where we were almost alone, and with an amazing sunset and view. This must be one of the better campsites in the world. We had a nice fire, which was necessary, because the night got freezing cold in the Icefields. In the morning, Christophe woke up to get the fire going again, but that was quite a hard task. He eventually managed, so that we could have our daily bacon and eggs on the fire.
We had a long day ahead of us in the park, visiting the Saskewatchan glacier (again, just beautiful), walking close to the Athabasca glacier, and visiting Sunwapta and Athabasca falls. The Saskewatchan glacier viewpoint was the highlight of the day, because this was the one with the least people. We had to get out of the park that day, so went to Jasper to stock up some food (super expensive town, a total rip-off) and went on, back to British Columbia.
We stayed at a campsite in Mount Robson Provincial park, with a shower (the first this trip, we did swim in some lakes ), which was nice :P.
We did a small hike in Mount Robson Provincial Park to Lake Kinney, and then continued our trip to Valemount, where we stayed at Kinbasket Lake. Roy and Edda picked some mushrooms and cooked them. (They were excellent!) The sunset was very nice, as we were surrounded by hills, and with the upcoming storms hovering over us. We got a lot of rain and thunder and lightning, but still managed to cook a decent meal on our campfire, but got rained out. The morning was still wet, yet we did have breakfast on the campfire, and went on our way again.
We wanted to find one more lake, where we could maybe finally catch our own fish, so we headed for Gorman Lake on the Bonaparte plateau. The evening was nice, we didn’t catch a fish, but once we were in the tent, it started raining, and never stopped. So everything got soaking wet, and as we were on higher altitude, it was cold as well. We were freezing, packed up and drove to Kamloops. We had a meal there, and decided to spend the night in a motel, in stead of going camping, since Romy and Layton would continue their trip to San Francisco from Kamloops. We dropped them at the airport, and went each our own way …
It was a good trip! Saw 2 black bears, lots of eagles, deer, some caribou and other wildlife. We met some nice people, and got to see a bit of the beautiful British Columbia! We had some great food on campfires, and oh do they have great pork here!