Vancouver Island Adventure
Looking for a way to put a long winter in the rear view mirror? How about a road trip to Vancouver Island? Surf, sand, and palm trees – sounds kind of like Mexico.
But it’s camping. The first week of April.
“Insane”, you think. “Why”, you ask?
My sister calls it itchy feet. There was some truth to that. I was feeling complacent and in need of a challenge. What better way than to travel on my own and be the master of my destiny, or mishaps.
Step one: drive to Kelowna.
Spring break driving thrills
Spring break is over, but keep this in mind for next year.
Pack the kids and a dog (it’s more fun when there are people in the back seat) and drive from Calgary to Sicamous. The first 2.5 hours are kind of boring, with mountain upon mountain and brilliantly coloured streams, but once you get close to Golden – bam, G-Force turns abound! The posted speed limit is 40 kph, but why not have some fun, let the kids take their seat belts off, and see who can slam each other harder into the doors. Even more exciting is to find a flatlander (Saskatchewan or Manitoba license plates) and tailgate them so they get really panicky in the turns.
The next two hours can be really exhilarating, particularly after a winter of heavy snow and cold. Frost heaves west of Golden provide a roller-coaster experience and even air time if you hit them right. The kids will love it!
You might need a bit of patience and snacks if the road is temporarily closed for avalanche control, but this will be rewarded further on when, indeed, an avalanche rolls down the hill in front of you part way onto the highway. Participate in the indecision dance: should I stop or just floor it? Or, well, take a picture.
All kidding aside, I only had Chester in the back and he was fine when we got to Kelowna. I did learn that my boxes needed to be secured a bit better as I think he had to dodge one during braking :).
Skiing at Big White the next day was exhilarating too. The webcams didn’t look too cloudy and 50 cms of snow had fallen in the past two days, so I had to go!
The snow was amazing – the deepest powder in which I have ever skied! But I couldn’t see a thing at the top and the wind was blowing like a banshee.
Note to self: always ski where you can see something in thick fog. The first part of the run was an open bowl and with no point of reference, I got totally disoriented. Vertigo kicked in and I kept losing my balance. At least the landing was soft!
Friday morning dawned and I had the most beautiful sunrise to see me off.
Driving through the mountains to Vancouver, I realized I will have to work on not getting distracted by the scenery – waterfalls tumbling down beside the road, birds soaring overhead, and the daffodils growing randomly beside the highway.
I made it onto the ferry; second last car or I would have had to wait another 2.5 hours. My luck was holding!
Stay tuned for more….