26th of August
It´s raining as we´re walking out of our hotel. Nevertheless, we drive to Mt. Robson information centre to go on the 13km hike to Lake Kinney and back. There´s also a small museum and a café, which we both visit in hope of seeing a change in weather conditions. A hot chocolate and some fries later, I layer all the functional clothing I own onto my body and off we go. The trail mostly leads visitors through forest along a river. After four kilometres, the river turns into a pastel blue fairy tale lake. We´re now at the bottom of Mt. Robson. After the disappointment at Lake Louise, this is more beautiful than I could´ve wished for. The colour of the water is mesmerizing, I just can´t take my eyes of it. By the way: There are tables and a toilet at the end of the path. If the weather is better, this must be the perfect spot for a picnic and a quick swim.
And there it is. Blue sky. Just a patch between the clouds but it is undisputedly blue. Five minutes later it´s gone and the rain is getting heavier again.
A rabbit greets us on the way back, and as great as the hike was, I´m happy to be back at the car. At “Rearguard Falls”, I really don´t want to get out of the car. I´m still cold, my clothes are wet and I´m tired. Luckily, I can convince myself to walk the five minutes to the waterfall. We´re just in time to watch kayakers float down the falls.
Quite some kilometres later: My family is standing on the side of the road watching a brown bear from our car. He looks so calm and cute, it´s hard to imagine how dangerous he can be.
Blue River, the town we´re staying in for the night, is the next big thing. They seem to have a huge problem finding staff for anything. Hotels, restaurants etc. That’s why we can choose out of the broad selection of three restaurants: The Grill, Husky restaurant and the petrol station next door. The Husky restaurant is even open 24 hours. “A city that never sleeps”, as my dad puts it. We wait to get seated at The Grill and are warned that, as they only have one cook and a full house, food can take up to an hour to be served. So, we wait and talk and observe other people´s behaviour and look at the highway sunset from our window and thank the waiter for filling up our water again and again. My burger tastes absolutely delicious, and the kitchen is being closed as we walk out the door. “We´re out of everything, it´s been a crazy night…”, says the waitress and sends away new customers. What an authentic experience.
27th of August
Before heading out of town, we drive around for a bit and I´m immediately drwn to the Blue River community garden. What a great way to create something so sweet from so little.
Like everyday, we have to get our hiking kilometres somewhere. Clearwater Chain Meadow Trail in Wells Gray National Park is our choice of the day. Unfortunately, the trail leads primarily through forest and just the last metres are by the water. There is, however, a viewpoint from which Clearwater lake and the mountains can be seen. My parents dare to jump into the freezing water for a short swim, my brother and I prefer sunbathing.
(An around 100-year-old tree)
(Chain Meadow Trail viewpoint)
What would a day in Canada be without a waterfall? Also in Wells Gray National Park, we stumble across the Spahats Creek Falls. They´re just a few steps from the parking lot. What´s especially beautiful about this one, are the different layers of rock.
Thereupon…a scenic drive along Fraser River and Lillooet.
We spend our night in Pemberton, as it´s difficult to find a hotel in Whistler.
28th of August
28th of August. The first day of absolutely perfect weather. Sunny and warm. Blue sky. I could be anywhere in this country and I´d be stoked, but we´re not anywhere. We´re at the Joffre lakes. And it´s awesome. Let me describe our experience here. First of all, parking is very limited and if you don´t want to park at the side of the road, don´t be late. Secondly, the there are only two toilets and they´re disgusting. Thirdly, the hike to the two lakes higher up (middle and upper Joffre lake) is demanding. But it´s so worth it! The lower lake is situated just 10 minutes from the parking lot and is very photogenic. If you make it up to the other ones, you´ll be rewarded with a fantastic view of the mountains and a glacier behing the lakes. Even tough the hike is said to take 2.5 hours, we did it in about an hour. There´s a camp ground with a toilet at the upper lake, right where the water from the glacier runs down the mountain. It´s really idyllic. You can spend ages wandering around and finding new places with breathtaking perspectives of the landscape. Given you´re as crazy as we are, you can even go swimming. It´s very…refreshing.
(Middle Joffre Lake)
(Upper Joffre Lake)