Posts filed under ‘British Columbia’

Photo Post: Mostly Alberta

To get to Alberta, I had to drive through the rest of BC first. Here’s Three Valley Lake, a spot so gorgeous that I had to backtrack after I originally passed the turnoff.

Rogers Pass, in Glacier National Park in BC. Glaciers above me, and I was wearing short sleeves!

Quick stop in Field, BC.

BC snacks: roasted seaweed (delish, I had no idea!), dried apples, and Tori’s chocolate chip cookies

Welcome to Calgary! It’s a bit rainy, but Stephen St. is picturesque.

When it’s finished, this building will be the tallest building in Western Canada at 58 stories.

The Calgary Tower

Palisser Hotel detail

Remember when I said that I found a hill to climb for skyline photos in Calgary? Here’s one of the results.


June 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm 1 comment

Photo Post: Kelowna

I loved Kelowna and the surrounding area. Here’s why:

Father Pandosy Mission, established 1859

Summerhill Winery

Panoramic view of Okanagan Lake from Summerhill Winery; click to see it larger

Part of Okanagan Lake Park was destroyed by wildfires in 2003. Most of the area was saved, but about 300 homes were lost.

Merlot vines at Cedar Creek Winery, Okanagan Lake Park in the background

Aerial view of Kelowna from Knox Mountain

Kalamalka Lake — absolutely breathtaking!

Kalamalka Lake, with Wood Lake just beyond it

Peanut says hi!

Okanagan Lake from downtown Kelowna, including a view of the Delta Grand resort on the right

Waterfront Park, Kelowna

Beautiful place!

June 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

Introduction to Calgary

On Tuesday, I drove from Kelowna to Calgary, again through mountains, quite obviously. I really enjoyed my drive through the Rockies, since the weather was nice through much of it and I wasn’t as scared of driving in the mountains anymore.

While looking for a gas station, I accidentally took a scenic detour to the waterfront in Sicamous, BC. I was told that this is the houseboating capital of the world, but I didn’t see any houseboats yet…perhaps a bit early in the summer for it, since it was fairly chilly when I got out of the car for a few quick photo ops. I also pulled over for photos at Three Valley Lake, west of Revelstoke, BC, near the “ghost town.” I didn’t stop there, as it looked like a cheesy tourist trap, but I did turn around in their parking lot so I could go back to the scenic lookout. Next stop was at the top of Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park, 1330 metres above sea level! The weather was perfect up there, so my photos turned out fantastically well; I can’t wait to post them!

By the time I got to Field, BC, near the Alberta border, the perfect weather had turned to drizzle, but it still wasn’t too bad. I went in and out of mist through the Alberta Rockies and the valley west of Calgary, but I made it to Calgary before it really started raining too much and got settled at Erin & Kyle’s place. Erin had a ballet class, so I drove her and she gave me a brief tour of Calgary on the way, and then I headed downtown to walk around and take some photos. Even though it was about 9 on a weeknight and downtown was pretty quiet, I really liked the city. It’s hard to explain, but something about it just felt familiar. I suppose I always feel most at home in big cities. Vancouver is wonderful, but it’s not possible to get lost downtown. No matter where you look, you’re always reminded that you’re in Vancouver. With Calgary, though, for a few seconds, it was easy to forget where I was. I could have been in any city. I could have been at home. So far, it’s been the only place that has felt like that to me, so I liked it.

Even if the Calgary “Tower” is shorter than some of the surrounding office buildings.

I had a stroke of luck when I made my way back to the neighbourhood where Erin was taking her ballet class. I had a few minutes before I was due to pick her up, and I drove past a big hill. I wasn’t sure what kind of view I would get from it, but I parked my car around the corner and hiked up it. I was treated to a fabulous dusky view of the entire skyline. What a great photographic moment!

June 19, 2010 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

Lessons Learned: British Columbia

To recap the beautiful province of BC and to throw in some amusing tidbits I might have forgotten to write about, let’s go over What I Learned in BC.

1. I love British Columbia. (Already known, but reiterated)
2. Big boats are less scary than small boats.
3. It’s not too difficult to work up the nerve to do something once. For an example, let’s use: “cross a creepy-high suspension bridge.” It’s working up the nerve to do it a second time (example: “return trip”), especially once you hated it the first time.
4. I now know what a croup cough sounds like.
5. I can nap anywhere when necessary, even for 30 minutes in my car in a Safeway parking lot.
6. There are many reasons why hotels are more popular than hostels.
7. Roasted seaweed is a delicious snack!
8. GPS is essential for navigating mountains.
9. National Parks are not known for clean washrooms.
10. Canadians really are super nice. (Known, but reiterated)

Vancouver-area hosts! L-R: Chris, Katarina, Maddie, Mark, and me. I did actually take this, since I set up the shot with a tripod and timer and then jumped in…

…however, I did not take this one, but we thought it would be amusing if I put my signature on it anyway. Ready to hit the road!

June 19, 2010 at 12:17 am 1 comment

Photo Post: West Coast Dream (Vancouver, Part 2)

Kitsilano (“Kits”) Beach on a beautiful warm Saturday, with the saltwater pool in the foreground

More Kits Beach

Downtown Vancouver from Kits Beach

Panoramic view of Kits Beach, click to see this a bit bigger

Stop #2 on Saturday (along with everyone else in Vancouver) was Stanley Park, a peninsula on the west end of downtown (also a peninsula).

Seawall and a whole bunch of shells of some sort along the beach…clearly I am well in tune with marine nature.

Almost the very western point of the seawall

Stanley Park, overlooking Burrard Inlet, with the super-creepy Lions Gate Bridge visible in the upper left corner

June 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm 1 comment

Beautiful BC

So I’m a bit behind in blogging…this is the usual for me. I was actually surprising myself by how well I was keeping up the first few days! But on about day 5, I started getting tired, and now I’m doing a lot more driving most days, so staring at a computer screen isn’t the best rest for my tired eyes. However, I’m currently experiencing some unpleasant weather in the Rockies, so I thought I’d warm up with a coffee for a few moments and blog. Of course, I picked a coffee shop stuck in the dark ages with no wi-fi, but what can you do?

I think I left off in Vancouver, so to pick things up, Sunday was my last day there. I went to Stanley Park for a picnic lunch with a bunch of friends. It was so great to meet up with Jenny, one of my good friends from undergrad, and her husband Sam, along with various members of the family. Jenny & Sam, Tori (Jenny’s sister) & Cameron & Austin, and Jenny & Tori’s parents had all just docked that morning from an Alaskan cruise, and Cameron’s parents had also met them to help transport luggage from the ship. Unfortunately, Jenny & Sam didn’t have much time before they had to catch their bus to the airport, but we had a nice lunch and had enough time to hover around Austin while he played on the swings. Tori, Cameron, & Austin were my Kelowna hosts, so I made plans with them to leave Vancouver later in the day, around the same time that they were, so we could meet up on the road. Then they went off to spend time with family in Vancouver, and I had coffee with another friend, Aaron, and then went back to Port Moody for just a bit more time with my fabulous hosts.

I have to mention how wonderful my time staying with the Edwards family was, and not just because I know they’re following my blog! They were incredibly kind and a ton of fun. We had so much to chat about that I had a hard time leaving their house to go sightseeing a time or two! I only met them last year through figure skating—their daughter is an ice dancer and my friends Megan & Aaron coach her—but they treated me like they’d known me for years. I’m really glad that I had the chance to get to know the whole family better, and I’m looking forward to seeing the ladies again in Ottawa in 6 weeks for the first competition of the season.

Sunday evening, it was onward to the Okanagan via the Coquihalla Pass. It was my first time driving up a mountain like that, and I was a little terrified since I was alone, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I have vague memories of hiding in the backseat while driving in the Appalachians with my parents when I was 9, and either the roads in the Appalachians are a lot steeper, or my stepdad drove a lot faster than I did. I’m going to guess option #2.

On Monday morning, Cameron played tour guide for me and drove me around Kelowna while Tori stayed home with Austin, who wasn’t feeling well. Cameron had a ton of fun facts about the area, and I love a good fun fact, plus he knew a lot of great spots, since he really loves the area and drives a lot for work. I was glad to have an insider’s perspective. We stopped at the Father Padosy Mission, at Okanagan Lake Park, and on Knox Mountain, but while we were on the mountain, Cameron got a call from Tori—now she wasn’t feeling well either, so we headed back right away.

With Cameron, Tori, and Austin all getting checked out at the hospital, I was on my own for a few hours in the afternoon. Cameron recommended a drive up the highway along Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake, and I was really glad that he did! National Geographic has apparently rated Kalamalka Lake the 6th most beautiful lake in the world, and if it’s only #6, I’m really going to have to start travelling to see the top five.

Everyone came home for dinner and things were fine, thank goodness, so Cameron ended up taking me to downtown Kelowna to see the waterfront. The city has done a great job with public space and even though it was a touch chilly, there were plenty of people out, enjoying the evening. We also stopped at Moo-Lix, a local ice cream spot. Two thumbs up for the mint chip, which didn’t taste over-the-top, even though it was OTT green.

Well, this is probably enough catch-up for tonight…I’ll get to Alberta tomorrow!

June 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm 3 comments

Vancouver: Photo Post

First, I drove from Victoria to Nanaimo and found one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen from Malahat Mountain.

Leaving Departure Bay on the ferry

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver…I had to scramble up on some boulders to get this shot, but I didn’t break any bones, so it was worth it.

So no one forgets what I look like…

View of downtown Vancouver from Lighthouse Park

Waterfall in Lynn Canyon Park

Worth it to conquer the scary suspension bridge for some shots by the creek…

…until I realized I had to walk back across it, too.

June 16, 2010 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

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