Friday, October 9, 2015

Our Western Canada Vacation - Part 2

This part covers May 12-14.

We drove from Canmore, Alberta to Salmon Arm, BC on May 12th.  Such beautiful scenery!  We took the Bow Valley Parkway, which is a scenic route in Banff National Park that runs parallel to the highway.  We didn't see much at all for wildlife - a few elk and a coyote - but did I mention the beautiful scenery??  We stopped at one place for a picnic and it was just wonderful - I just love being in the pine forest.  We also saw and paused by a number of places that were familiar to us from our honeymoon ten years earlier - Castle Mountain, for example.  We also drove through Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park, and Mount Revelstoke National Park and saw scenic attractions like Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake (both in Yoho).  I was a little (okay, sometimes a lot) freaked out at the mountain roads we took and all the snow sheds and avalanche zones we saw.  But the big, majestic mountains were stunning and there were so many pretty waterfalls alongside the highways.  Beautiful country!!

Coyote.  She was a nursing mama.
Castle Mountain.  We stayed at the chalets here on our honeymoon ten years earlier.
Picnic time! :)  Note the can of bear spray to my husband's right, lol.  We bought this big, expensive spray for grizzlies before we left home...and forgot to take it with.  So we had to buy another one in the town of Banff!

On May 13th we drove to Chilliwack, BC.  This was a long day of driving mountain roads; we didn't do all the fun stopping we did yesterday.  The roads were scary (to me) and we drove through clouds at the tops of mountains (born and raised on the flat prairies here).  The roads were so winding and at such high altitude, and there were lots of avalanche zones again (it was late Spring so we were safe - I think, haha - but it still freaked me out to see the paths of snow on the mountains where it had come down and wiped everything else out).  In Kelowna, BC we went to a goat place I had been looking forward to checking out, you know, buying some cheese or gelato because I can't have cow dairy, but the place was a bit of a disappointment to me and we didn't buy anything.  However, it was neat seeing how people make their homes and vineyards on the mountain sides.  And almost everyone has one or two huge weeping willows or other big trees in their yard - beautiful!

Driving through clouds near the tops of mountains.
Lush greenery; waterfalls.
May 14th was the two-year mark since we were approved to adopt.  I honestly can't recall if I even thought of it.  I know I didn't want to.  Back to the trip.  On this day we went to Bridal Veil Falls, which is a waterfall we visited on our honeymoon (can I get an "aww, how romantic!" heehee).  We also went to a different goat dairy, this one called Happy Days.  What a good experience!!  We were the only ones in the shop and the lady took her time talking with us.  She gave us so many samples to taste of various cheeses without us even asking.  Then as we were paying for our purchases (we bought marble goat cheddar, scrumptious goat gouda, and goat milk powder) and debating whether we would buy any goat ice-cream (she had also given us samples of that!), she wrapped up all the cheese samples she had cut and gave them to us for the road!  Plus she said we could each choose ice-cream for the road, on her!  That place will definitely be getting my business if I am back in the area again (actually they already do, haha, we buy their milk at home).  The trees on people's yards, wildflowers alongside the roads, and flowering shrubs in the BC towns we drove through were stunning, and there are so many greenhouses.  I was disappointed that we were too early in the season to be able to buy any fresh BC fruit from fruit stands.  We ended the day by getting on the ferry to cross over to Vancouver Island; that was a good experience as well.

The trail leading to Bridal Veil Falls was verdant with mossy trees and fern-covered ground.
Bridal Veil Falls
At the base of the falls.
I am ridiculously happy to be eating ice-cream for the first time in a long time!
Delectable cheese samples.
On the ferry.
My husband takes cool pictures.
The ferry's a little windy.
We stayed in Victoria, BC for the night.

 Please come back to read the third part tomorrow :)

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