July, 2012

01-07-12 until 03-07-2012, Bad weather in Columbia Icefield

Some dramatic view of the mountains From the Mt. Kerkeslin campground we went to the Wilcox Creek campground, visited there the Athabasca Glacier. It's quite shocking to see how quickly it's getting smaller! The next day we went with the bikes to the begin point of the Wilcox Pass Trail but because of the rain we decided to wait for a bit with a hope that the weather would get better. But unfortunately it didn't, it began raining even harder. Anyway, we were lucky that a friendly 'ozzie' saw us waiting and offered us a lift to the campground! We invited him and his son to have lunch with us and we had a great talk about traveling. That guy was traveling for about 8 years through the world, working and having holidays, he had so many interesting stories to tell. It's great to meet people who like traveling! By the way, Iryna has learned how to bake bread, so we're now enjoying fresh baked bread mmmm.....Until now we tried white-, milk-,raisin-cinamon-, Dill – onion- and olive-italian spices bread, which was super tasty!!
By the way, we have some good news, for quite a while Iryna had some problems with her hear, because of a different diet in Asia plus climate changes while traveling she started to lose her hair and it was quite thin. But now it's getting much better, no hair loss anymore. And as Govert's parents are coming for a holiday in Canada, they gonna bring a special treatment for Iryna's hair :-) so she's gonna have the most healthy hair ever :-)
About the weather at the moment, it's raining and raining....so no long hikes the last days, plus it's cold up here :-(

03-07-2012 until 08-07-2012, Banff and Yoho NP's

Wow, such a nice lake in such a nice settingEarly in the morning we left Wilcox campground in Jasper and went towards Peyto Lake and Lake Louise. As the weather wasn't great we had a very short hike to see both lakes and decided to go to Yoho NP. Because we plan to come back in late august/begin September to Banff and Jasper anyway, we went through Banff very briefly. We stay at the moment at Monarch campground in Yoho and as the weather forecast says it's gonna be sunny the last days so we can't wait to do some hikes!
Anyways, the last days the weather was perfect for hiking. So we did take advantage of it. We did an awesome hike at Lake Louise to the six glaciers. If you ever want to do that hike, you better be there early in the morning, as it's getting very busy after 9 am. So on this hike we went to the tea-house had some tea and experienced the avalanche and it's a very loud noise.....that was great!
Also in Yoho we have done some amazing hikes, we had a wonderful time up there. On our way to Kamloops we stopped by Glacier and Mt.Revelstoke NP. At the last one we visited a place where the biggest ceder trees grow. It was cool to walk among them. We visited quite a bit of places during our trip, but no one looks the same, its amazing how different the nature is, it keeps surprising us, it's awesome!

08-07-2012 until 10-07-2012, On our way to pick up Goofy's parents visited Kamloops

As the heading says, on our way to Vancouver we visited Kamloops. Where Govert's family lives, Jody and Dave. We had a wonderful time up there, did laugh a lot and visited some nice places. Because there was something wrong with the motor-home
we asked for a check up. It turned out that the tires where not good anymore, so all tires needed to be changed. We only managed to change the front 2 because they didn't have more....On our way to Vancouver the back tire broke on us, luckily we had a spare one and Goofy managed to change it. But ok, we were in time to pick up Jan and Nel. We drove with them to downtown Vancouver, got a spot at the hotel and went together to eat some Mexican.

11-07-2012 until 14-07-2012...., we are having a wonderful time at beautiful Vancouver Island

Again mother nature is stunning usAfter picking up the RV for Jan and Nel, we took the ferry to Vancouver Island (VI) It was a relaxing cruise, our RV's we took with us to VI. We landed at Nanaimo. Jan and Nel did some shopping up there and we got ourselves sushi :-) The first night we spent at Qualicum Beach, first nations Campground. We enjoyed the view of the ocean and even had a dip in it. The weather is still wonderful, no worries there. From there on we headed for Telegraph Cove. It's a beautiful small place where you can do some wild-life watching. This part of the island is famous for its whale watching and of course some other activities. Anyway, we had a wonderful whale watching trip. The weather was great and we saw these amazing whales, hundreds (literally) of dolphins, which were swimming along with the boat, that was an awesome experience!!! We had a wonderful 3,5 hours cruising around the island!!! Also the camping where we stayed was great! On the 14 of July we said 'good bye' to Jan and Nel and went different directions.
We got a campground near the ferry & Port Hardy. In Port Hardy we went to OK tires to see if they got 4 tires 4 our RV, as the ones on them are about to go flat.
The guys there didn't have the tires I was looking for. But they did the best next thing & helped arrange us the tires in Prince Rupert! Awesome service!!! Guys if ya ever read this: be proud of your service to a complete stranger!!!
In the evening we went out to eat sushi & of course being Dutchies we took the bike. On both the way in as well on the way out we saw a bear, how cool! When we got back to our little home we worked a bit on the site & the travel journal ;-)

15-07-2012 until 16-07-2012, 15h cruise from Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert

Again mother nature is stunning usIt was a spontaneous decision to go with a ferry to Prince Rupert. We are looking forward to it, as it's said be an awesome cruise!
And, YES it was!!!!
The check in time for the ferry was 2 hours, so we had to be there at 5:30am, yup awful early. That's why we stayed at the camping close to the port. The cruise would have a duration of 15 hours, but it took a bit longer. During this trip the entrance to the cars was closed and only opened once in a while for 15 min. So we packed everything needed. Anyways, they expected some bad weather around Queen Charlotte Strait, but it turned out to be OK. So we were very lucky with perfect weather the whole cruise. It was a stunning trip, we have seen some wildlife again: killer whales, humpbacks, dolphins and eagles. Beside of it, the views were spectacular, completely wild forests and mountains around us! Goofy enjoyed reading his book as well and Iryna called his attention when the whales were passing by. The weather was very warm around Bella Bella port and stayed like this until the sunset, t-shirt & shorts weather. But when the sun went down we had to put on warm jackets to be able to stay outside. We took some fish & chips, soup and cheeseburger for the evening meal, which was OK. We were on land around noon. We found it a bit silly to go to a campground and pay the whole price for a short night, so we decided to go outside Prince Rupert and hoped to find something there. Fortunately we didn't have to drive outside the city as you can stay for free at the parking lot of the Safeway. We saw a couple of campers staying there and thought to ourselves why not.
Anyways, we left early in the morning to get 4 new tires by Kal Tire. Goofy arranged the pick up from Port Hardy. We really needed these tires as the old ones were completely worn out. So, we are on our way to Northern Canada with a new set of tires!

16-07-2012 until 22-07-2012, On Hwy 37(a) to Stewart & Hyder

Bear catching a ...small... salmonWe bought some things in Terrace so we could continue to the Alaska Hwy. Think of things like flower, milk, gas, etc.
We're going to the Alaska Hwy by way of Hwy 37. Along the 37 there are a couple of POI's. One of them being the Tongass NP. This NP has a stunning wildlife viewing area. Lot's a bears coming there to fish. Well, if ever there's something awesome it's a bear fishing!!!!
It's a gravel road to get there but man is it cool. If you go further on the gravel road you'll end up at the Salmon Glacier. We camped overnight there. (quite unique to camp with a view over a glacier haha!).
The next day we relaxed a bit, talked to a bloke whose selling DVD's from the area & took some more pics... (by now we've accumulated a stunning amount of 60GB of pics since the beginning of our trip in November 2011).
In the evening we went back to watch some more bears. Again in the morning we went there & then we were treated with a bear fishing, a lone wolf looking for some left overs & quite a few bald eagles.
The 22th we did some washing in Stewart, also took in some propane & gas. The evening we spend working on the site, converting movies, typing the travel journal etc.

23-07-2012 until 26-07-2012, From Hwy 37(a) to Jade City

especially for our grandad in the UkraineAfter we took of from Clements Lake we drove on towards Bell II roadhouse, the gas here is a criminal $1.46 a liter...
But we knew that gasoline prizes would be high along this route. But nevertheless it's a shock to your wallet :-).
We didn't do much today except to drive, in the evening we made a fire. Our camp spot for the night is a dirt road of the 37. It was barely wide enough for the RV but we managed. It's close to Thomas Creek for the people who are interested. In the remaining of the day we worked on the RV to build a little 'woodshed', so we have always some dry wood with us. After some fiddling the base structure is there...
The next day we continued on the 37, heading for Iskut, the next gas stop. Ai ai ai, gas is even more expensive here, $1.50... So we just took enough in to get us to the next gas station which is Dease Lake. And guess what, gas is $1.51. But such is life & the scenery here makes up for it. Plus the fact that we can just camp out in the wild. We can recommend this Cassier Hwy (the 37) to anyone who loves the wild side of nature. In the evening we ended up in Sawmill Point. A recreational area with beautiful sites (for free). We're camping right on the water edge. Made some nice pizza for diner and enjoyed the campground. No one here, stunning views.Mirror like lakeWe decided to stay here another night if no one shows up. Tomorrow we'll continue to work on the wood storage, read a bit, make a couple of sudoko's and relax some. As if we didn't do that enough yet haha.
Our wood storage is finished. Maybe not as nice as we would want but for sure grandpa in the Ukraine would be proud of it. As you can see on the pic, Goofy is real proud of it ;-). Again we made pizza. The dough is for 2 pizza's says the book, but we make 4 out of it. Can you imagine the thickness of the crust of the pizza if you only make 2 out of it. But maybe you can say the same about how thin the crust is when we make 4 out of it... But that's the way we like our pizza. Goofy did some swimming in the lake & afterwords he had a nice shower outside with our solar campshower. By now it's 23:30 & it's still light outside. Incredible. That's it for today, we'll make a Sudoku & tomorrow we'll head for Jade City, we're anxious to check it out!

26-07-2012, From Jade City to Watson Lake

Only a few plates...OK, arriving in Watson Lake, it's a bit surreal. If you enter the town you'll see a forest of plates, all kinda plates. license plates, warning signs, city signs etc.
In Stewart GoofY tried to update the navigation software but unfortunately all the maps were gone. It's not that's impossible to drive without navigation but it's convenient to see how far it's till the next service station for example. But coming back to the update story, we needed some internet.
We knew the library always has free internet. So in Watson Lake we went to the library. Their hardwired computers weren't working but the WIFI was so, no worries for us. After a while I asked them what was wrong as I had to wait anyway. Something with 2 switches not working. I had a look at it & was fortunate enough to fix it. The lady in the library was very happy & we started chatting. After a while she asked us if we've already been to the Northern Light center. We said nope not yet, we'll hope to do that tonight. She said, well, I'll give you free tickets to that show tonight. Sounds like a good deal. So afterwords we went to the Northern Light center where a big 360 screen projected the northern lights, quite spectacular.
We drove a little that evening & that's it for Watson Lake, if we're driving back to Toronto we'll pass it again. I think we're gonna say hi to the lady again. Found a spot to sleep not to far from Watson Lake on our way to Atlin.

27-07-2012 until 31-07-2012, From Watson Lake to White Horse via Atlin

So so beautifulPaying a visit to Atlin, was definitely a good idea. It's a very small town with some awesome mountains and the huge Atlin lake (the biggest natural lake in Northern BC) On our way to Atlin we had to stop a couple of times to make some pics and enjoy the view! Once in the city we walked along the bay in Atlin, visited the information center and head off south in order to find a spot for 2 days. And so we did, a nice (for us turned out) private spot near Palmer lake. We stayed there 2 days and enjoyed the silence of Yukon. We were surprised that even in the weekend there was nobody at that campground. Oh no, there was someone, a women who went canoeing and then offered us her canoe if we wanted to paddle for a while. We couldn't resist not to take her offer.
From there on we went hiking, the Monarch Mountain Trail. In combination with good weather we had some spectacular views at Atlin lake and the area around it. Once on the top of the mountain we had to put our wind-jackets on due to strong and cold winds, but the views were breathtaking!
The next day we have been driving on the Tagish hwy 8 to White Horse passing Carcross. According to the book it's supposed to be a scenic drive, but we found it less attractive then the hwy to Atlin. On the way from Carcross we passed sand dunes, which they call a small desert and an emerald lake.
In White Horse, we have done some 'house - holding' activities: washing, shopping, internetting and of course eating sushi. GoofY fixed some delayed stuff on the server and updated the site. We spent the night at Walmart, as some other 20 campers did. We had a feeling that we are staying at the RV park. There we had a nice deal: for $40 we got ourselves a nice inflatable boat:)
The second day in White Horse: biking along the Yukon River, visiting Miles Canyon and Fishing Ladder Center. At this center we've learned something more about migrating salmon.