Lake Louise to Kelowna

posted in: Canada, Life on the move | 10

 

Lake Louise Campground, this morning: we woke to the whispering patter of snow falling onto Hanna’s roof. The already-snowy landscape took on another level of quiet as the campground’s few tire tracks and foot prints were filled in by the night’s snowfall.  We turned on the heater and lay in bed until the van heated up.  It was -5C last night but we’re pretty cosy under our two duvets.  It’s not quite the beach holiday we dream of but the winter beauty makes it worth it. For now.

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After breakfast we did our pack-down. We’ve got pretty quick at it now:  remove our homemade ‘window duvets’ (insulated silver screens) from the cab windows; start the engine to warm it up before driving; turn the gas off and switch the fridge over to battery power: fill the fresh water tank; empty the cassette (I’m a bit squeamish about this, but I’m trying to toughen up). All done and ready to go in under 30 minutes.

We headed off to speak to a super helpful Lake Louise information centre employee, after which we abandoned our plan of driving down the 93S to Radium Hot Springs – it was likely to be too icey.  Instead we decided to start heading down from the mountains on Highway 1. Highway 1 is the first road to see the snow ploughs and so seemed the safer option for us snow-shy English softies. We’ve both been nervous about driving in Canadian winter conditions, just because we haven’t done much snow and ice driving, and definitely not in a 5 tonne van.

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As it was, Highway 1 had areas of compacted snow anyway so we had to overcome our fears.  We drove VERY slowly!  When we saw our first long line of artic lorries and cars driving very cautiously at 15mph I felt less like a wimp for my scaredy cat driving and more like we were right to take the conditions very seriously.  It was stunningly beautiful though, with everything in black and white: black glacial streams and fir forests in a white landscape shrouded in white mist.  Gorgeous.

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After 3 hours of this we got to Revelstoke, where the snow turned to rain and we were suddenly in Autumn again.  It’s a mere 2C this evening and it feels warm after the minus temperatures we’ve been experiencing.  After another of driving, in the dark, we have now arrived at Enderby’s winter campground.  We’re about to settle down and watch Star Wars 🙂  Tomorrow we’re off to see Kim in Kelowna.

10 Responses

  1. Dad
    | Reply

    Great Pics. It looks beautiful. Better than the drizzle and fog that we have at the mo.
    xx

    • Saskia
      | Reply

      It was breathtakingly beautiful, Dad. The air was so clear and quiet that high up and with all the snow. Sad to have left really, but we’re not really kitted out for serious winter travel. Plus it was really quite chilly!!

  2. Jamie
    | Reply

    Hiya Mark and Saskia,

    I live your blog, I stumbled onto it when researching shipping a motorhome/camper across the Atlantic. It’s great what you’re doing. We will keep following your blog.

    My wife and I have been traveling in a camper for 2 years now but only across Europe, North Africa and Turkey. I have always dreamt of taking it across the pond.

    Good work you two!!!!

    • Saskia
      | Reply

      Hi Jamie – it’s great to hear from you and we’re glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂 If you’ve got any specific questions let us know as we’re more than happy to share what we’ve learnt so far. This blog was partly born out of our frustration in trying to find stuff out before we left and we want to help make it easier for others if we can. The actual doing if it was a hundred times easier than trying to find the right information, although a lot of that was due to the age of our vehicle and allowing the USA visa nightmare stories get the better of us. It looks like we’ll now be applying for a b2 tourist visa (6 mnths), rather than using the visa waiver programme (3 mnths), so we don’t have to rush The States. We’ve heard a lot more stories about how easy it is to get since we got here 🙂

      It sounds like you’ve been doing some fantastic travelling! We look forward to staying in touch 🙂

  3. Nic
    | Reply

    Wow it looks stunning! Definitely not whoosie driving slow though.. Sounds very sensible. Are you watching these films streaming wifi? Or did you take a collection of yr favourite DVDs with you? Keep up the great blog! Xxx

    • Saskia
      | Reply

      Hi Nic – we recorded all our favourite dvds and put them on a hard drive before we left 🙂 We’re not watching films very often but it’s great to have them there for quiet evenings. Most of the the time we’re going to bed pretty early: supper, read for an hour or so, bed. It’s a wild life!! xx

  4. Nic
    | Reply

    I’d love to see a map too to see your route so far..amazing how far you’ve travelled already xxx☃

    • Saskia
      | Reply

      Hi Nic – I’ve uploaded the 2nd map now, with the first part of our drive across Canada http://www.dreamdriverepeat.com/route. We’ve done over 9000km already!!! xxx

      • Nicola Renovich
        | Reply

        wow that’s insane. hope you stop sometimes too! will check it out..how are you getting on? lets find a time to Skype. xxx

        • Saskia
          | Reply

          Would love to Skype Nic! I’ve tried to call a few times but haven’t had much luck. It was hard to get hold of you living in the same country, so now it’s even harder!!! Lots of love! xxx

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