Canada – June / July 2007

In June and early July, 2007, Pete and Kath spent almost six weeks travelling around British Columbia and western Alberta in Canada and Montana in the USA.

Our friends Bob and Jane lent us a 1992 Mazda truck whom we affectionately called “GJ”. Loaded up with borrowed camping gear, we headed from Vancouver Island (Nanaimo, to be exact), to Victoria and the wonderful Butchart and Abkhazi Gardens and then to the mainland, driving close to the 49th parallel till we crossed to the USA and headed down to the magnificent Glacier National Park in Montana. Wow!

We followed the Rockies north to Waterton NP in Canada, detoured via Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (really!) and Calgary and then rejoined the Rockies in Banff National Park, where we walked and drove and marvelled and took many many photos ( a small selection below!) Then along the glorious Icefields Parkway to Jasper National Park after which, reluctantly we had to move on. Through Mt Robson Provincial Park (highest mountain in the Rockies) and NW to Prince George and Prince Rupert. More snowy mountains, green meadows, wildflowers, full rivers and some rainy weather.

East back through Prince George, then southwards to Wells Gray Provincial Park (beautiful waterfalls). Further south to Glacier National Park (British Columbia – not to be confused with the one in Montana) where we had the best weather of our trip and made the most of it . Four half-day walks to as many views as we could get (still too much snow to go all the way, unfortunately!) Finally we headed back to Nanaimo via Lillooet, Whistler (loved it!), Vancouver and Victoria (the Butchart Gardens again).

We had changeable weather in general, but were lucky enough to see most of the mountaintops, the Rockies with lots of snow still on them, lovely wildflowers, green meadows, emerald or aqua rivers and lakes full of water, 12 bears(all from the car window, thankfully!), 2 moose (mooses?), elk, deer and lots of loveable squirrels, ground squirrels and chipmunks, even some hairy marmots and a pica! And we had fine weather for most of the really scenic mountain areas. Our last few days in Nanaimo were real summer at last – almost too hot! Our gratitude goes to Bob and Jane and their family for their great hospitality. What a lovely country! Great people, brilliant scenery! We’ll be back.

photo Photos

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Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island. Beautiful forests! Sunset on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Packed and ready to go in "GJ", our trusty truck. Butchart Gardens, Victoria. Tibetan poppies, azaleas, dogwood. Abkhazi Garden, Victoria. Gorgeous! GJ (on the right) and a much bigger cousin. A black bear by the road. Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park, USA. The ground squirrels will happily pose for the tourists!  St Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. Mountain views, Glacier NP, Montana. Hike at Glacier NP. St Mary Lake behind us. The ubiquitous indian paintbrush. Falls by the road to Mary Glacier. View from the top of the gondola down to Banff, Alberta. It snowed on us up there! Elk on the Bow Valley Parkway. Castle Mountain and the Bow River. A grizzly in the wrong place! Moraine Lake (near Lake Louise) and Ten Peaks. View across Vermilion Lake to the mountains above Banff. Grizzly mother and cubs seen near Bow Lake. Peyto Lake on the Icefields Parkway. Typical Rocky Mountains scene. Mistaya Canyon, Icefields Parkway. Sunwatpa Pass, 2030m. Athabasca Glacier, receding since 1850. Sunwatpa Falls, Icefields Parkway. View west from above Jasper. Kinney Lake, Mt Robson Provincial Park. Drying out after a wet night in the tent! Furs in the warehouse at Fort St. James, an old Hudson Bay trading post. Fort St James, as it was in 1896. Right on! K'san First Nations museum. sandbagged and closed because of flooding, alas! One of our favourite flowers. "A fed bear is a dead bear" -sounds better in English! Helmcken Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park. Three-tiered toilet entrance, Mt Revelstoke -nifty! Loved the bilingual signs! Hermit walk, Glacier National Park in British Columbia. Beware the hoary marmot! At Last! A Perfect Day! Glacier National Park, British Columbia. Walk to Avalanche Crest. Asulkan Valley walk. Mt. Sir Donald and smoothed rocks where the Illicilliwaet Glacier used to be. The trees have eyes! Drier country along the Fraser River near Lillooet. Mountains above Whistler. Black Tusk in the distance. View down to Whistler and beyond. Vancouver, street scene in Gastown. Butchart Gardens, Victoria - second visit! Loved the delphiniums! The Italian garden. Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island. Farewell dinner with Bill, Susan, Jane and Bob. Our last day- sunset near Piper's Lagoon, Nanaimo. Our meanderings. Original map at

Posted on July 28th, 2007, tagged with travel

One response to “Canada – June / July 2007”

  1. Shirlie - li-li says:

    Fantastic photos – they should be submitted to National Geo or somesuch.