Life on an Island…Sign me up!

We’re back! Sorry for the silence. We spent the last 10 days on Vancouver Island, exploring every nook and cranny and back (logging) road we could find. This is a great place to get lost!

Breathtaking Vancouver Island...

Breathtaking Vancouver Island…

This sign says it all...

This sign says it all…

We love the beaches - even in the fog!

We love the beaches – even in the fog!

Life here is good! This Isle has everything – mountains, canyons, hiking, ocean, wineries, farm fresh produce, music and culture. You can be in the heart of a city like Victoria or Nanaimo¬†and then 10 minutes later in wide open farm country with rolling hills and magnificent views. And of course there are tons of wineries! ūüôā

Napa ain't got nothing on this wine region!

Napa ain’t got nothing on this wine region!

We went caving...

We went caving…

We went ziplining through canyons...

We went ziplining through canyons…

We walked for MILES along the beach...

We walked for MILES along the beach…

Did I mention the beach?!

Did I mention the beach?!

As always, my favorite places are not the tourist destinations, although Tofino and Victoria are gorgeous, but I definitely prefer the more hidden gems like Cowichan Bay, Ucluelet, Cape Scott, Telegraph Cove, Mill Bay

We were charmed by Victoria's colors & architecture...

We were charmed by Victoria’s colors & architecture…

We jumped off rocks into hidden pools of aqua blue water...

We jumped off rocks into hidden pools of aqua blue water…

We explored...

We explored…

We finally found some sun!

We finally found some sun!

We enjoyed the amazing views...

We enjoyed the amazing views…

We courted every pier...

We courted every pier…

We loved the little towns like Telegraph Cove...

We loved the little towns like Telegraph Cove…

We even camped one night on a man’s 100-acre property, on an invitation when we accidentally turned onto his road to make a u-turn. Does that happen in the U.S.?

Our quietest campsite on personal property. #kindnesslives

Our quietest campsite on personal property. #kindnesslives

I could so easily live here! Will Canada adopt us?!

My first zipline - upside down!

My first zipline – upside down!

We found a few car wash stations at the end of long dirt logging roads!

We found a few car wash stations at the end of long dirt logging roads!

Alaska-in-a-Box: Hyder/Stewart (a very grand finale)

We’ve decided that if you can only do ONE thing to get a taste of Alaska, drive the Cassiar hwy to the Glacier hwy which ends at¬†Stewart, BC¬†& Hyder, AK.

The views in Hyder don't stop!

The views in Hyder don’t stop!

The Salmon Glacier in Hyder. One of the largest in the world!

The Salmon Glacier in Hyder. One of the largest in the world!

These 2 towns – just 2 miles apart but in 2 different countries and timezones – seriously have everything: glaciers galore, salmon spawning, bear watching, fjords, views to die for, the best seafood (served out of a bus), even homemade fudge! … everything but a brewery. But there IS an after hours bar (cleverly called “The Bar”) in Stewart, so party on, Wayne!

"The Bar" (the bartendress: 8 mos pregnant)

“The Bar” (the bartendress: 8 mos pregnant)

Welcome to Hyder AK!

Welcome to Hyder AK!

The Seafood Bus = the best!

The Seafood Bus = the best!

The bear watching platform where thousands of salmon spawn each year

The bear watching platform where thousands of salmon spawn each year

This has been the perfect finale to our time in Alaska. The glaciers & mountains & fjords here are as beautiful as any we’ve seen. They still take my breathe away…every time.

The Glacier Inn in Hyder

The Glacier Inn in Hyder

Just us & the coolest glacier ever!

Just us & the coolest glacier ever!

More awesome views. Love it here...

More awesome views. Love it here…

Next stop:¬†a 15-hour ferry on the 11th from Prince Rupert, BC to Vancouver Island. Never been – I’m looking forward to exploring the island! Will report back when I have WIFI again. The time is going too fast!!

xoxo

Oh Canada!

We’ve spent the past week tooling around Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper¬†in Alberta, Canada. I love them all! But I have to say, the showstopper for me this week was driving the Icefields Parkway. It’s simply STUNNING!

Banff - the view from the top! (most take the gondola, but we hiked the 3.5 miles uphill - ouch!)

Banff – the view from the top! (most take the gondola, but we hiked the 3.5 miles uphill – ouch!)

Lake Moraine from an amazing hike viewpoint. The color is really that blue!

Lake Moraine from an amazing hike viewpoint. The color is really that blue!

Love Jasper! Check out mama bear & her cubs in the foreground...

Love Jasper! Check out mama bear & her cubs in the foreground…

The Icefields Parkway is a 143-mile stretch of highway between Lake Louise and Jasper, through the Canadian Rockies. It has everything Рmountains, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons, wildlife Рin every direction as far as the eye can see. I gave myself whiplash trying to take in all the panoramas. It took us 5+ hours to do the drive because we stopped at every overlook, did nearly every hike, and drove some parts of the road twice, just to get another look.

The Icefields Parkway. #bestdriveever

The Icefields Parkway. #bestdriveever

Peyto Lake, along the Icefields Parkway.

Peyto Lake, along the Icefields Parkway.

The BAMF, enjoying the Parkway too!

The BAMF, enjoying the Parkway too!

The Icefields Parkway is said to be the most beautiful road in the world. I can’t prove that, but I think I could spend the rest of my life unsuccessfully trying to disprove¬†it! I want to drive it again, and again, and again, and again…

Views for miles...don't blink!

Views for miles…don’t blink!

Hiking along the Icefields Parkway

Hiking along the Icefields Parkway

The Athabasca Glacier along the IceFields Parkway. Only 40% left. It's beautiful!

The Athabasca Glacier along the IceFields Parkway. Only 40% left. It’s beautiful!

Unbelievable waterfalls everywhere. Check out the rainbow!

Unbelievable waterfalls everywhere. Check out the rainbow!

Camping in Canada – has been (mostly) a treat. Their campground amenities are luxury compared to the U.S. (hot water, showers, large campsites, electricity & mirrors in the bathrooms, and, for ~$6 – all the wood you want)! They lost money on the wood with us for sure. Martin is a pyromaniac. ūüôā

Our grizzly infested, beautiful Jasper campsite!

Our grizzly infested, beautiful Jasper campsite!

I love the bighorn sheep - they're everywhere! Check out these monster ram horns...

I love the bighorn sheep – they’re everywhere! Check out these monster ram horns…

The only “adjustment” is that every single campground has been in an active grizzly corridor. Our Lake Louise campground even had an electric fence, apparently put up after the 6th attack. Reassuring! We’re also here during the elk birthing season, which apparently makes both the elk and the grizzlies ultra aggressive. It’s like living in a Nat Geo special!

Electric fence around the campground - that's a first!

Electric fence around the campground – that’s a first!

But after all that, we’ve only seen 2 grizzlies so far (tons of black bears). But one was walking through downtown Jasper yesterday. Yep – downtown! Bear spray is my new fashion accessory…it goes everywhere I go!

They grow 'em BIG in Canada!

They grow ’em BIG in Canada!

Off to Bowron Lakes! We’re about to head West into British Columbia towards a 7-day, 7-lake canoe adventure around the Bowron Lakes. It’s supposed to be amazing. Praying for nice weather! I definitely won’t have wifi on that part of the journey (June 7-14), so excuse the quiet blog period. I’ll post as soon as I can if/after we return from the canoe trip!

Rain - what rain? Let's hike it anyway! Worth it for the view (Jasper).

Rain – what rain? Let’s hike it anyway! Worth it for the view (Jasper).

Getting closer and closer to Alaska,¬†where the real adventure begins. We’ve gotten a ton of great tips from people along the way, so our to-do list keeps growing. I can’t wait to get there! xoxo

My Love for Glacier is True

I have many words for Glacier, but I think I can sum it up for you in just one: GO! Seriously, just go. Glacier is a magical place.

image

image

image

We hit it a bit early (the famous Going to the Sun road and many trails aren’t open yet), but the quid pro quo is that we’ve had the park largely to ourselves (a treat!), the wildflowers and waterfalls are spectacular, and the wildlife is everywhere (apparently the high altitude spring snow drives animals to the lowlands; they head back up to hide from the summer crowds, so Spring is the best time for seeing animals).

image

image

And see wildlife we have – moose (with young), mountain goats (my favorite), big horned sheep, bears, bald eagles…everywhere you look!

image

We splurged here with a heli tour to see parts of the park not yet accessible via car or foot. It was incredible! The sad fact is that many, if not all, of the remaining glaciers here will likely disappear in our lifetime. Another reason to GO!

image

image

 

Glacier actually feels like 3 parks in one – the West, East, and North (Waterton, Canada) are all different so it pays to move around and experience it all!

image

image

image

Tomorrow we head to Banff & Lake Louise for 4 days before hitting the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, said to be the most beautiful road in the world.

P.S. A special hello to our favorite¬†Canadian border control agents¬†who wanted to confiscate the BAMF (who doesn’t?) and who made us feel very welcome on our entrance to Canada. Hi guys!

image

 

P.P.S. Molly/Renny/Weylin: if you guys are reading these stories about your crazy aunt, I can’t wait to bring you here. You’ll love it! Love and miss you… xoxo

image

Going off the Grid: Glacier, Banff, Jasper

Just a quick heads up…after falling in love with WhiteFish, MT (so cute!), we’re heading into Glacier National Park for 5 days and then over the border into Canada for two full weeks (Waterton, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Bowron Lakes – woohoo!)

WhiteFish, MT #loveatfirstsight

WhiteFish, MT #loveatfirstsight

This is part of the trip (outside of Alaska) that I am most excited about and I will have a ton of photos & experiences to share, even thought the famed Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier isn’t open yet (ARGHHHH).

I’m not sure how accessible WIFI and cell connectivity will be in Glacier & Canada or how often I’ll be able to update the blog, so I wanted to give you a heads-up to not worry if we go radio silent for a short time.

I will post as soon & as often as I can, and I promise the next set of blog posts will be filled with cool stories, photos & videos. So don’t go away! ūüôā

Miss you all…xoxo