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10 glorious days in Canmore, Alberta…again!!!

There’s something really special about Canmore. I don’t know how to describe it or do I really want you to go there because part of the draw is that it is a small town of only about 13000 people. Granted the cost of living is quite high in the average home is priced over $900,000 Canadian however for what you get there I think it’s well worth it. Here’s a bit of what we did in our 10 day stay…

First we drove from Jasper National Park down towards Canmore which requires you to go through Banff National Park also. We took the 93 down which happened to be about a 5 hour drive and one of the most phenomenal drives I’ve ever done in my life. We got really lucky because of the smoke from the BC wildfires was minimal and we got to enjoy the stunning views along the way.

This picture was a pull off along the 93 which looked right into a huge Glacier tucked in between the mountains.

Then we drove through the Columbia Icefields!!! Very famous in Canada.

They are much much much larger than you see in the photo. That is barely the start of it and the icefields extend for many hundreds of hectares off into the mountains behind here.

Anikka got to sit up front to see the views…plus after 4 hours she got wiggly.

More turquoise waters…

This was just the drive!! Holy cow!!

Getting closer to Canmore…

Banff!!

Finally we made it!!! And were parked with a creek at our backend.

This is where we spent most of our time. It is a massive complex called elevation place right in the heart of Canmore and within a 6 Minute bike ride from the RV park. Not only do they have free WiFi throughout but they have an awesome 40 ft climbing wall a massive indoor heated pool, indoor gym and tons of private study areas with desks for us to work which Overlook the pool. Both of us went there several times per day to get work and school done because WiFi was not good at the RV park.


Anikka liked to watch the climbers. She decided when she turns 6 she can do this.


They also had a free play area!!

We swam often, but never did this cool obstacle course…even though I really wanted to!

The locals call these peaks the 3 sisters.

We went on mini bike rides both individually and as a family to explore the beautiful Outdoors. You can’t help it when the entire town is full of bike trails and gorgeous scenery.


Of course we found 2 Disc golf courses and played at one of them. The last time we stayed here we had played at the other (at the Nordic Centre) although it was much more challenging.



The best part of the trip was my birthday No Doubt. We got to return to Lake Louise which is phenomenal in itself but we also rented a canoe and spent an entire hour out on the famous turquoise Waters!


That’s the massive Chateau Fairmont in the background.

Happy girls!

Adventure girl. For her first time in a canoe she did so well and had such a blast

We made it to the end!!

She was “fishing”



Heres the side most people don’t get to see.

So cute!!! And safe…

Yeeeeah!!


Heading back. With the one-hour boat rental you have to go at a pretty good speed to get all the way to the end and back in the time limit.

And snack time!

We took advantage of the free bus system which allows you to park and take the bus all the way up to the lake and get dropped off right in front. It was super efficient as most Canadian things are and really the way to go. I would highly recommend it to anyone there was literally no waiting involved they really have their act together. On the way up and down to the lake they stopped by Lake Louise Village and visitor center so on the way back down we stopped to check it out.




Happy birthday to me!

I’m really grateful to enjoy an awesome birthday in my favorite Town ever.

One of the other cool things we did was visit Johnston Canyon which is in Banff National Park and a very popular attraction.

There are several hike options but we did the shortest.

The hike ends up being less than 1 mile and ends at gorgeous water falls.


There is a huge tunnel which you can walk through and get really close to the waterfalls so we waited in line for about 10 minutes to see it.




My sweetheart.


Hiiiiiiiiiiii!

So pretty the mountains are.

It makes me want to puke it’s so pretty.

Our daily ride home from Elevation Place.

Finally on the night before we left we took a drive to explore the mountains in a place we had not been. We ended up driving for nearly two hours and found a place called Spray Lakes which is hidden deep deep deep in the mountains behind canmore.


The morning we left 😦 everyone was melancholy but still excited for revelstoke.


Bye Canmore. We will miss you.

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park

Wow! We had no idea this.place was such a treat… certainly on par with Lake Louise and Lake Moraine!

Ironically we actually ended up here by accident. Our entire plan was to spend the day adventuring at the world’s longest continuous Wetlands which is about 15 minutes south of where we are staying. However when we looked online we found out that they are not doing canoe rentals because of lack of Tourism and the BC fires. Instead I thought we were just heading to an average small Lake but this ended up being absolutely phenomenal. Although I guess I should have expected that with all of the beauty here anyhow.

They had Canoe rentals for $60 per hour. We opted not to rent a canoe this time but rather go for a hike to the end of the lake and back. We ended up walking one point eight miles total. We could have walked all the way around the lake but were pretty tired by the time we made it to the halfway point.

After letting Annika play in the lake for over an hour we dried her off because her clothes were completely soaked and had an awesome picnic in the grass overlooking the Lake.

She’s such a good ball!!

Then we went for the hike!!

There was lots of runoff from the lake which created little tiny ponds. When we looked in there were actually decent sized fish in there around 1 to 2 inches!

She was so tired!

Anikka and Scott like to read the signs together.

It’s really neat how the water changes color when the clouds cover up the Sun.

Scotty!!

Proud dad.

She found this rock that she really liked and carried it all the way back to the end of the trail but of course we gave it back to the nature at the end.

Here’s the trail heading back…

Indescribable water colour!!

Until our next adventure…

A week at Hinton-Jasper KOA and Jasper National Park

Ok so the drive from Edmonton to Hinton (which is about 45 Min outside of Jasper) was about 3 hours. Which in RV world translates to about 3.5 hours and a NICE FAST drive. Although there was lots of smoke from the BC fires…from what we could see the mountains looked awesome!

The KOA was set back off the street on a gorgeous lot with great views.

The office and gift shop. They also had a toddler play room and game room!

This was the first night we arrived and probably the most clear. Every day after was smokey!!

We did pay extra to get a deluxe site with BBQ and brick patio!

There isn’t much to do in Hinton, and most things are right off the highway…

This was a frequent visit for us and a lifesaver to keep kiddo occupied. We made friends with a Japanese boy who held Anikkas hand and walked her around.

One morning, we got up early to explore the Beaver Boardwalk. It is Canada’s Largest Freshwater Boardwalk!! Needless to say, it was VERY VERY VERY long…and full of beavers. Over 2 miles long!!!


Lots of swamp and hiking trails!

We were very excited they had a disc golf course in Hinton… So Anikkas getting better as we play so often!


In the same area was a bike skills course… although these are common in almost every Canadian city.

It doubles as a kid play land!

Some of the wood pieces move too!

Like I said…not much here so this was my office view for a day.

We completely avoided any McDonald’s food lol

Finally, a few days later…we went into Jasper National Park and the town of Jasper!!!

Entrance.

Crazy rock formations.

So much smoke 😦

It’s official! We made it.

We took the 45 km drive up to Maligned Lake!!! I was so happy!!!

Action shot…

Playing in nature!

There is a 1 km walk we did.

Gorgeous!!

Then we bought some souvenir shirts. Kiddo got a fake bear hat. anikka fell asleep in the car and Scott and I drove by Maligned Canyon…which was busier than the lake! I can see why!!

You stand on a narrow bridge about 100 feet up!

We walked around the town of Jasper.

Small town, but bigger than expected. They had about 100 shops and restaurants.

We found Jasper Brewing company…

We were hungry!!! This was our 15th order of poutine lol

More of Jasper…

It was sooooooo smokey we couldn’t see any mountains…

Cool architecture!

Oops! Hahah

She likes it here!!


Finally topped off a long day with a visit to the 4th hot springs!! Miette hot springs.

Thata it for now! We liked Jasper and would love to go back!!!

Elk Island National Park in Alberta Canada!

Luckily Elk Island National Park is only about a 40-minute drive east of Edmonton so it is a quick drive and there is not much traffic there because we got to take a big loop that went around the city so we avoided the downtown area. Elk Island is one of four or five national parks in Alberta and we have hit all of them except Wood Buffalo National Park which is way up North.

We tried to get a picture with all of us but with the Cloudy weather it did not turn out so well LOL

Elk Island National Park is home to the world’s second-largest hooved animal population per square foot in the world!

Visitors center was small but cute.

The park itself is relatively small and only takes about 20 minutes to drive from the south end to the North End

Then we came to the big lake with a few beautiful islands in the middle of it…

I had to bribe her to take this picture… with chocolate

A quick selfie before continuing…

Holy crap! They have a playground!!!

The view looking North from playground…

There were lots of beautiful hiking trails and paths to take. Although there were lots of large mosquitoes they did not bother us too bad as we were enjoying the walks…

This is actually round lumps of grass. So thick it looks like you can walk in it…but you would fall in the lake.

Our only serious photo lol

This is my favorite picture because it looks like she is floating on the water even though she’s jumping.

We were kind of bummed because we had only seen one Buffalo but when we drove around Buffalo loop again we ran into the whole herd. Of course Annika was asleep for this!!!

So there is an entire Northside which is the larger part of the park and also home to the plains Buffalo. The south end of the park is smaller however not car accessible only on foot and that is where they house the Wood Buffalo which are the largest mammals in North America. We did get to see if you of those while driving and boy are they big!!

We ended up spending over 5 hours at the park which we were surprised because of the size of it but we had lots of fun and did lots of good exercise!

The end! 

St. Albert Kinsmen RV Park in Edmonton, Alberta

We had a quick drive to get to Edmonton from Red Deer. We were pretty excited to to get to this world renown and big city…for Canada anything over 100,000 people is HUGE! Edmonton had more people than Calgary at about 1.3 million.
Here we are arriving on a cloudy day. In fact, we were excited about the cooler weather!

Edmonton is home to the LARGEST MALL IN NORTH AMERICA!! Naturally, we went soon after checking into the RV park..

They had 3 huge malls all rolled into 1…with impressive displays inside!

The mall holds its own IMAX.

And….the WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR AMUSEMENT PARK!!! Galaxy land.

Full rollercoasters inside!! It was so big that I’m sure the photos don’t do it justice.

The coolest part was that you can walk thru the park for free! So we stood inside one of the rollercoaster loops while the ride went around.

Back home during a spectacular sunset.

We stayed at the RV park near St. Albert… which is a swanky side of Edmonton… anyhow the town happens to be home to Albertas LARGEST FARMERS MARKET!!!

Over 250 vendors!!

We stopped for poutine and some Ukrainian food…this fountain was really cool and water fell along the glass also. Anikka enjoyed the water.

You pass by this on the way in and out…

We went for a drive through downtown.

Cool bridge.

We went to a restaurant called Beer Revolution with 40+ beers on tap!

Someone got ice cream!

There is sooooooo much to do in Edmonton! We were busy literally every day with something fun!!

We just happened to be there for the annual World Heritage Festival…we had no idea this event hosts 100+ countries who all have massive tents, stages, food, and products…over 300,000 people went EACH DAY!!!! ITS HUGE!!! Held at Hawrelak Park near downtown over 30 acres…we did a lot of walking and spend 4+ hours there in the sun!!! Must have been 70 degrees that day.

Arabic stage…LOUD music, dancing and shows…very cultural.

Pictures cannot even show how big this was…there were 10 areas this size…

Sooooooo much walking 🙂 no beer.

We got front row seats for a Japanese drum display!! It was awesome and great to hear a beat with no synthetics involved!

Anikka got her face painted!! First time too..she loved it…she chose purple cat lol.

Finally we found a playground and park…

At this point we were exhausted from fun…started heading out…

So many cultures and countries!!

Cold popsicle for the tot.

You have to take a city bus or bike to the event. It’s so large there is no parking so we found a drop point and rode the city bus…anikka was really excited as she has been wanting to ride one for a while.

Driving home…..a bit hot…

At some point, Scott took anikka to the Telus Science Center also! We get free entry to a global network of science centers, so they have been to quite a few!

Cool stuff!

Here the WORLDS 2ND LARGEST INDOOR WATER PARK…

It’s so big!! Twice as long as it is wide!

We went ready to swim…but the price was a bit much at $131 for 2 adults and a tot. We decided to find an aquatic centre instead.

Again…all inside the mall!!!

We found a local swim centre..

Only $20… Ok!!!

Later another day we found Critical Mass Brewery!!

They had tons of beer and an outdoor patio in St. Albert area.

Anikka has orange juice 🙂

Finally… The RV park was near Lois Hole Nature Reserve and Canadians do not mess around with conservation. This was a 180000 hectare area and had a massive boardwalk over a marsh!!

We enjoyed many bike rides here.

So many pics…I know…we have been so busy that we haven’t had much time for blogs…we also went to Elk Island National Park but that is another blog all together.

Best of all… I got to drive the RV for the first time since we got it in January!!! It’s now august lol I terrified Scott hahaha

Next comes Jasper National Park!!

A quick stay in Red Deer, Alberta Canada

The drive from Waterton Lakes to Red Deer was long…almost too long, but not quite. Our little one did great on the drive thanks to my old iPhone which now serves as a gaming station!

It took about 5 hours with the RV towing the toad and we were relieved to get here. We did enjoy passing through Calgary again and reminisced about the Stampede, the parade and Canada 150 year celebration…we felt like we were not such rookies here anymore as we can get around Calgary pretty well now and it’s the largest city in Alberta.

Although it’s a quick stay in Red Deer we like the feel of this city and are a little bummed to be leaving so quickly. Even the WiFi is great so that’s a plus!
Here’s pulling into Westerner RV park which is located near the southern part of the city.

Spot 85! This park is shaded, clean, and has a great playground so we’re all happy here.

The overall temperature is much more bearable here, being that it’s so far north…it’s been a perfect 75 all day so we don’t need to run the air conditioning.

We haven’t done much except food shop at Sobeys, disc golf, and work…But! Anikka and I finally got to do something REALLY fun here…. swim at an aquatic centre.

It’s called the Colicutt Centre, and is a multi functional sports center complete with full gym, basketball, full gymnasium, and pool area. 

It was huge inside!! But I guess it’s more busy in winter when it’s dead ass cold.

This place has a full wave pool, toddler water playground, lazy river, bubble zone, water fountain, and 2 giant hot tubs!

One of the best things about Canada is places never really get as busy as in the states…we feel like we get to do more here with less crowds.

We swam almost 2 hours!!

The gym…

Happy…but tired…

A blurry panorama…

Indoor gymnasium…packed with teenagers..

They even had an amazing toddler playground but was too tired after the swimming…
Off to Edmonton tomorrow!!

Where in the world have we been?

This is our ongoing list of cities/RV Parks we have stayed at starting April 17, 2017.

Phoenix, AZ, Desert Shadows RV Resort, about 5 days

Beaumont, CA, Country Hills RV Park, 3 days

Coarsegold, CA, Yosemite RV Resort, about 10 days

Granite Bay, CA, stayed with family, 2 weeks

Redding, CA, Green Acres RV Park, 4 days

Ashland, OR, Glenyan RV Park & Campground, 5 days

Portland, OR, Jantzen Beach RV Park and Columbia River RV Park, 1 week

Hood River, OR, Bridge RV Park & Campground, 3 days

Umatilla, OR, Umatilla Marina RV Park, about 5 days

Coeur d’Alene, ID, Blackwell Island RV Park, about 1 week

Cranbrook, BC, Canada, Mount Baker RV Park, about 1 week

Fairmont Hot Springs RV Resort, Fairmont Hot Springs, BC, Canada, 5 days

Canmore, Alberta, Canada, Spring Creek RV Campground, about 10 days

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Calgary West Campground, 10 days

Fernie, Alberta, Canada, Fernie RV Resort, about 1 week

Whitefish/Coram, Montana, North American RV Park, 10 days

Waterton Lakes National Park, Albert, Canada, Waterton Springs Campground, 1 week

Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Westerner RV Campground, 3 days

Edmonton, Alberta, Kinsmen St. Albert RV Park, 1 week

Hinton, Alberta, Hinton-Jasper KOA, 1 week

Canmore, Alberta, Spring Creek RV Park, 10 days

Golden, British Columbia, Whispering Spring Campground and RV Park, 4 days

Revelstoke, BC, Lamplighter RV Park, 8 days

More soon!

Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta Canada

The day after Anikkas birthday we left Montana for a second stretch in Canada. After the initial 38 day venture in BC and Alberta we really fell in love with Canada and got back as soon as possible! This time we drove south around Glacier National Park through Black Feet Indian territory into Canada through Big Chief border crossing. Waterton Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World heritage site and has world class reasons why!

Here’s the drive…some was nice some was boring… Once we got into Canada the views were spectacular!!

Montana…

Blah…

Canada in sight!!

Some water feature…

An awesome mountain in glacier! But Canada border…

Yes!!!! Goal!!!

Border crossing…they were very nice!

Back into Canada eh!

Into the park…

So much yes!!!

Water! 

Pulling into Waterton Springs RV Park..about 15 minutes outside of Waterton Village.

Here we are in spot 43 for a week!

We have gone into Waterton Lakes at least 10 times but it is small with 100 people that live here year round. It is a seasonal village but beyond gorgeous. Hidden in the rocky mountains and vast lakes…

We went for a drive and bike ride to Cameron Waterfalls which is in the village..

We ate at Trappers Grill.

Pizza…

Happy girl!

We took in the views! Looking south toward glacier national park. The parks a connected…

There is one main road here so we’ve walked it 10 times…lots of shopping, ice cream, coffee, treats etc.

So majestic…

We had 2 pitchers at Zums Restaurant along the main strip…

Looking out at Middle Waterton Lakes.

The view out…
Part of the drive in to Waterton.

There’s a local bison paddock too!

Up close with Mike bison…

Crooked shot I know…here’s where the prairie meets the mountains…

We did a local well known hike called Bears Hump which is only 1 hour but vertical climb of 1000+ feet and quite challenging with a toddler. But we made it!

#worthit

It was SOOOOOO WINDY!

Currently obsessed with binoculars…

We made little friends…
Breathtaking views…

There is a 30 Min conservation site at the RV park so we walked it a few times…

Nice trail!

The RV park below…


And a playground…

The second time we walked it…


Finally this morning we went on a 2 1/4 hour boat ride and tour into Goat Haunt Montana along the Waterton Lakes. It was epic.

Here’s our Monday morning rush hour.

Epic

Cruising along.

On land…

Back in Montana for 30 Min on land.

Then back to Canada via boat.

The Prince of Wales Lodge is so unique and pretty, the way it sits at the top of a hill overlooking the townsite is beyond words.

All done with the boat tour…back to the town for a snack.

Some local waterpark action…

More sunning views…

Enjoying a beer while blogging at the Thirsty Bear Social House! Bye Waterton! 

Lots of outdoor time in Fernie BC

Well, we love Canada.

We spent nearly the entire time in Fernie outdoors…which is what we love!!

Tons of bike rides…they have so many rec trails along the river and around the town.


This is elk River…

We went to a fruit stand… Spent $10 on 2 lbs of local cherries!

We went up to the alpine ski lodge just 5 Min south of town…


I bet it’s gorgeous during winter!!

A couple pics of the RV park….


Here’s the main local park we played at…and later came back for the weekly farmers market…

A real train for the kids to climb on…

Then we took the 20 Min drive north to Sparwood where we visited the world’s largest truck!!

Anikka for contrast…she’s 3 feet tall…






Anikka doing some yoga…

Fernie had an awesome aquatic center…

We swam for a few hours…

It was only $5 per person to swim and anikka was free!

Nice sunny days!!

Back up to the alpine lodge. We thought they had a carnival but no luck…

Still had fun…

Nice views…

Then we went to Island Lake lodge where justin bribery rents out a cottage for a month each year AND Justin Timberlake had his birthday last year!! It’s hidden deep in the woods after a 2 mile drive…



Deep in the woods…

Finally we took turns riding bikes down hill toward town while one of us drove…


Then we found an awesome bridge over the river so we stopped to play for a bit.



This is a local Rec area right in town where people swim and play in The Lakes. The water was very clean and clear.



We got to see a fantastic double rainbow over the RV Resort before we left. What a gift!!


Finally, we went to the farmers market!!

Anikka got a tattoo!!

Temporary of course…

Aaaand back to the park…

Fernie pub and brewery…

We ate anikka macaroni lol she ate the veggies!

I ended up ordering what was called a Caesar. It’s basically a Canadian bloody Mary with some oyster juice mixed in. It was really good!!

My early morning bike ride…

Gorgeous skies

Byeeeee Fernie!!!

Onward to the states! Montana and glacier national park here we come!!

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