Sunday 15th of June 2014, A&W Revelstoke, Kootenay Rockies
So relieved I didn’t have to spend any more time here than I needed to. Don’t get me wrong, amazing city but all the concrete; nah…
On the last day in Vancouver, when I had all the necessities for camping for the next three weeks, I was doing the last minute supply run in the supermarket at 4th Av. and Vine street. Before I was about to head out of the city, towards the Rockies, I looked at my phone with a new text message on it. It was James, backpacker from UK, who asked me if I had any room in my car. I did, so I picked him up from downtown where I dropped Christian off, another traveller from Italy who had been driving all the way from San Diego who happened to need a ride to downtown.
Ahh, that’s better…
You might get shit for camping in the wild (aka not-camping grounds) in BC. Basically just another stupid way of saying “We want to keep you safe.”
The next morning me and James woke up from Alexander falls, just off the famous Whistler resort. A massive picturesque water falls tall as many of Vancouvers downtown buildings. We found an relatively easy camping spot on a ridge between the falls and the parking lot and spent two nights there while exploring the village, or more like a pile of hotels and holiday resorts, which was more or less the equivalent of a neighbouring resort back home, a nationally recognised circus for the cheeky and loud called Levi. Something really interesting actually happened in Whistler; I found a super cool hill to ride down with my skateboard, and as my own surprise, I felt immediately comfortable on my board, even though it has been seriously long time since I’ve ridden anything like that. Fast and intimidating open road hill with some tight corners. Skookum*!
After the 5th or 6th bear sighting, you kind of get used to it. Better hope they are not as interested in us than we are of them…
The majestic Alexander Falls. Three bear sightings inside of 1 km radius of our camp spot the same day we arrived. They really like those streams and the fish in ‘em
On Monday, the 9th we headed up the valley towards Lilooet. After driving up for quite a while and skating my jeans full of new holes on an other downhill part we came up on a Provincial park of Joffrey lakes. Three glacier lakes stacked up between 1100 and 1600 vertical meters, every one of them overlooking a massive Merriet glacier. James cooked us a pasta dinner by the lower Joffrey lake and I went to find us a camping spot.
Quite ordinary view in the seemingly endless woods.
It’s weird how similar these forests are to the forests of Northern Finland and that said, it was pretty much following your instinct while scouting a camping ground. As I was walking on the marked path that led to the upper lakes as I noticed a ridge leading off the path, slightly uphill and deep in to the woods. The ridge was covered with incredibly soft moss and after about 5 min walk up the ridge, there was as I would call it a perfect spot to lay down. After a night in the magical woods of Joffrey, we had our oat meal breakfast with dark roast espresso from Italy, which gave us strength to do what we had planned last night while eating dinner; climb up for 5 km to the upper lake, right below the glacier. This is what we found:
Another magic like view of the Matier Glacier
First time I had to tune the colours DOWN in after processing since it didn’t make any sense how vibrant the water came out
Once we reached the lowland desert towards Kamloops, it was already long in to the night and we decided to stay in a Motel for one night, charging our batteries and washing clothes. Kamloops didn’t really offer much so we kept going the next day, driving via smaller roads little by little closing in on Revelstoke.Before reaching Revelstoke, we found a nice secluded and chilly lake called Mara lake. We found our ways above the lake on the steep hills and had a scary moment after we set our camp at what seemed to be a nice meadow at the end of an old random logging road. If anyone decides to camp “illegally” out in the wild here, please remember to be sure you are not setting your campsite on a flat sunny spot that is planted full on one of the most famous crops on the area, a world famous species carrying the prefix “BC”… The realisation of what we had come upon led us to a super quick repacking and change of a camp spot. Sorry about that to who ever had their hands dirty on that soil.
More or less so far it has been an unrealistic drive through the Western Rockies, but not to worry, this is only a quarter of our trip, next chapter; Revelstoke, natural and super secret hot springs and more bears as we head down to the Kootenay Rockies.
*: “Skookum” – “Awesome” in Canadian