After staying put for a few days in Whistler, it was time to cover some miles again. 408 miles (= 658 km) in eight days to be precise. We didn’t really know what to expect from our itinerary “Whistler – Kamloops – Revelstoke – Golden”. But if we had learnt one thing on our trip so far, it had been this: You don’t have to plan every single minute of your adventure. Just go with the flow, trusting that good things will happen along the way. And good things will happen along the way.
Some of our highlights
- Think cliché Canadian scenery: A crystal clear lake, mountains covered in trees, glaciers and snow. That’s exactly what you’ll get at the Lower Joffre Lakes, about an hour’s drive from Whistler. We should have definitely allowed more time to hike up to the Upper Joffre Lakes. The view up there is apparently even better. Hard to believe though!.
- Driving on the Highway 99 from Whistler to Lillooet and onward to Cache Creek. It was a loooonnng drive, resulting in sore bums, but the scenery was stunning and so varied. Firstly, you get the Canadian mountains and forests, then you are driving through a rugged canyon into Lillooet and finally the scenery changes completely to a prairie like high plateau. And all of that within a few hours. Fascinating.
- Stretching our legs and chasing the sunsets at Kenna Cartwright Nature Park (Kamloops) while the mosquitoes were chasing us (the mozzies were not part of the highlight, by the way!).
- Visiting the BC Wildlife Park. The kids so wanted to go, whereas initially, John and I were no fans of the idea. It was our plan to spot all the native animals in the wild (=utopic plan!), not in an enclosure. Anyway, we went. And it turned out to be a very good move. The animals are well looked after and the members of staff we met were all super-friendly and provided us with so many interesting facts about the animals. We had a really good time in the park. And almost missed the closing-time.
- Driving through the pretty Lac Du Bois grasslands area (just outside of Kamloops) to Isaobel Lake, where we hiked the easy loop trail. Again, we were accompanied by lots of mosquitoes which unfortunately distracted considerably from the beauty of our surroundings.
- Hitting the playgrounds of Kamloops: Westsyde Centennial Park first, then Riverside Park. Both come with water parks that kept the girls chilled and entertained. And for all mummies and daddies, there’s plenty of space to lie down in the grass and read a good book… or have a little snooze.
- Our first spotting of a wild black bear in Canada! An exciting ending to a rather dull day.
- Going back in time on Historic O’Keefe Ranch. A very well preserved ranch with lots to see and do. Should you ever find yourself here, join the Mansion Tour (we all loved it!) and have a go catching a (wooden) cow with a lasso.
- Staying at Cathy’s and Brian’s AirBnB. What a lovely place run by lovely people! The rubbish weather during our four days in Revelstoke didn’t really matter, because we all enjoyed staying in.
- Doing what the locals do in Revelstoke: Listening to live music on the Plaza (every night in summer season – how great!), racing down the water slide in the swimming pool, strolling over the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning and joining the celebrations for Canada Day.
The learning curve
- It’s confirmed: American and Canadian motels are not for us. Far too impersonal and uninviting… and… a revelation: I especially disliked eating my breakfast from plastic plates with plastic cutlery. All those interesting things you find out about yourself while traveling 😉
- In Yosemite National Park we learnt that there are brown black bears. In British Columbia we learnt that there are white black bears, too: The spirit bear (see picture further up / official name is “Kermode bear”), is a rare subspecies of the American black bear living in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia. Very hard to spot in the wild. Very easy to spot in BC Wildlife Park.
- Bear spray is real! We bought one – and had to sign a gun licence for it.
We traveled from Whistler to Golden from the 24th of June to the 2nd of July 2018.