So, last Thursday I left my central Alberta habitat with my future in-laws (Andrew, Iris, Kyrianna, Trina and Josh) and fiance (Jonathan) and set out on a journey to the West Coast of Vancouver, BC. Here is a chronicle of my western Canada adventure.
DAY ONE: We headed out early in the morning for Armstrong, BC to spend the first night with friends. About a 6-7 hour drive. Our first stop was beside a beautiful river whose name escapes me with a gorgeous mountain view. We had lunch in the mountain town of Revelstoke and met this adorable puppy.
At the end of the drive we arrived in Armstrong mid-afternoon and proceeded to explore the gorgeous property, petting horses, kittens and lambs along the way. The house is situated in a little valley with a large creek, up the hill you can hike to a nice flat field. It's beautiful. They have a cabin in which we spent the night.
DAY TWO: Us four girls (myself, Iris, Kyrianna and Trina) got up early and made our way westward to catch the afternoon ferry from the mainland of Vancouver to Vancouver Island. That was quite the drive, but beautiful. A soft, somber drizzle accompanied us through the whole morning until we boarded the ferry (we arrived just in time to be the third last car on).
The ferry across to the island was an hour and a half. It was my first time cruising over the ocean and I loved it. The wind was nasty but I thoroughly enjoyed standing at the front of the boat and feeling the wind through my hair. I enjoyed it less having my back to the wind and it blowing into my eyes.
We had another pretty long drive down the main island to our next ferry, making our travel total that day about 12 hours. But we stopped at a beach on the way to stretch our legs and then caught a much smaller ferry to Quadra Island - our end destination being Camp Homewood.
Our first evening we explored Camp Homewood and had a wonderful meal and a decent sleep on real(ish) beds.
DAY THREE: Involved waking up early and Kyrianna and I heading right back down to the dock for a morning tree climb above the water. Then breakfast and then the both of us and Trina took a canoe out into the cove and saw some seals playing in the water from a little distance. After that we split up to go to our activities. Trina and I went hiking to Homewood Bluff and saw a really cool view. After that I skipped activities to wander around the dock and take photos of things. Then it was lunch and all four of us went to the horse barn for a trail ride (much more relaxing to ride horses at other camps). The head of the horse program there is a 20 year old girl named Meagan and I was so impressed by her and her bravery in heading something like that. After our ride Trina and I had to rush back down to the dock to catch our sailboat (I had never been on a proper sailboat). That was pretty awesome. We then had some time throughout the day to explore the camp and canoe twice more. Once we canoed around a smaller island and came across a spotted seal sitting on a rock, just a couple feet away. He didn't even move, just let us canoe past and then pull up a little ways away to watch him on the island. That was pretty neat. We ended the day with the camp director's wife (who's a fantastic lady) playing with homemade sparklers by the campfire.
DAY FOUR: Our final day at the camp started with another tree climb/big rock climb, a hearty breakfast, a drive out to Rebecca Spit on the island, and then a speedy exit to catch the ferry back to the main island. We then proceeded to take the long drive back to catch a ferry to the mainland where we visited Iris' sister and family and then drove to Surrey to stay with a very kind old friend of Iris' named Ursula. By that point the tiredness was beginning to catch up.
DAY FIVE: After breakfasting and exploring Ursula's garden, we started the long drive back to Armstrong. Along the way stopping at Bridal Falls where I was made to pose under the big, gorgeous waterfall, cause symbolism I guess? :P It was a cool little hike into the most mossy woods I've ever seen. We got back to Armstrong mid-afternoon and Kyrianna and I spent a large portion of the day working with their two young horses and got the little guy to take a saddle for the first time, which was pretty cool.
DAY SIX: The final stretch! In Armstrong we picked up Josh, who had stayed behind after Jonathan and Andrew headed home. Thus our car ride back to Alberta was squishier, to say the least. We went through multiple avalanche zones and were stopped for them a couple times, saw two mountain goats and ate lunch at the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, which was pretty cool.
There you have it! My roadtrip of 2017 documented in pictures, supplemented with stories. I had an amazing week away and am so happy I got the chance to go and enjoy the west coast. If you ever get the chance to see British Columbia, Canada, I implore you - GO.
One of the things that definitely stood out to me about this trip was the phrase "valuing experiences rather than possessions." I've never really realized the depth and truth there is to that - as a bit of a homebody who likes her creature comforts. But experiences truly are far more valuable than possessions, and I am so fortunate to be able to collect so many. I'm so excited to see what others I get to add to my life story in years to come.