Tag Archives: revelstoke

Canada Day Camping in the Rockies

Last year on Canada Day, my best friend Lisa‘s sister Heather’s boyfriend Brent (that is a mouthful so I will just say my friend Brent now, because we are friends) posted this photo to Facebook.

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And I have never in my life been more jealous. I was like, where is this and why am I not there right now. Even though I was having a great Canada Day at the time (better than usual, even), that scene looked like a dream. I vowed that one day I would be there on that scenic beach and I would dance around in a Canada umbrella hat with mountains in the background.

So when Lisa texted me last Sunday and was all “Hey do you maybe want to come to Calgary and see me for the long weekend and we can go camping in Revelstoke with Heather and Brent and friends?” I thought it over for about two minutes, and obviously I remembered that picture, before I texted back YUP. I am in.

It was the combination of seeing my bestie, and her sister and friends, camping at that beautiful spot, AND the fact that the beautiful camping spot was only an hour away from my mom and brother in Salmon Arm, so I could see them too. The entire situation could not have worked out any better. I was absolutely sold and I booked my flights that evening.

Five days later I flew out to Calgary and had a wine-filled Friday night in with Lisa and our friend Crystal, who also happens to live out there. Saturday morning Lis and I left for Revelstoke, BC, about a five hour drive from Calgary, Alberta, to meet up with Heather and Brent and their friends in the Rockies for what would be the best camping of my life.

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I have made the drive along the Trans Canada Highway from Calgary over to Salmon Arm several times now and it will never get old. It is my favourite drive in the world. Everywhere you look is just breathtakingly beautiful, the entire drive.

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So the scenery coupled with catching up with my best friend while we sang ridiculous car karaoke make me pretty overwhelmingly excited for the rest of our adventures that weekend.

The drive ended up taking us a bit longer than usual because of a minor directions snafu that led to us nearly getting on a ferry and making friends with a directions-savvy biker (thank God or I don’t think we would have found it), but we eventually made it to paradise.

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I know, right? Amazing.

I was delighted to find Jen, Corinna and Elliot from our Vegas crew, as well as Heather and Brent, in attendance, and several of their friends, and friends and friends who were all fun and welcoming. There were 17 people there at one point.

Lis and I immediately cracked a beer, got into our bathing suits and got in that glorious water!

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The campsite is on crown land and is not an actual campground, so we did not have to pay (which was awesome). We were totally in middle of nowhere in the mountains, no cell signal or any way of contacting the outside world really, and no other campers within a good couple of kilometres. Extremely secluded. Mountains on all sides!

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View of our site from the water

Pictures just do not do it justice. Even that picture with Brent didn’t prepare me for what I would experience when I saw that view in person.

Heather was all “I need to show you the bathroom, it’s so nice!” which…

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Cute

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and…rustic.

I guess. Pretty nice. I’ve seen worse, it did have a seat. And twinkle lights!

So for the next two days, we did all the camping things. We drank a lot. We spent hours and hours in the river, either floating, swimming, or sitting in chairs.

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The water was very cold, but it was very very hot (38 degrees C on Sunday! I don’t know what that is in F, but definitely over 100), so it was refreshing. Being outside would have been unbearable without the river. We had a good breeze, too.

I leisurely dog paddled around for about two hours on Sunday, swimming close to that mountain across the way and then lying on my back in the water and just staring up at it for a really long time. Lis and I also took our inflatable boats out there and floated around.

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We slept in a wonky tent that we left open to the sky so we could see the mountains and the stars.

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We ate all the camping food.

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We listened to Elliot and Lauren play their guitars and we all sang along.

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Hands down the best campsite I have ever had.

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Mainly I tried to convince Elliot to play Neil Young. 

We had campfires and roasted marshmallows.

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We played ladder ball and watched the sun go down, although it stayed light outside until 11pm. And even then it never got fully dark because the moon was so bright rising over the mountain. It was surreal.

I made new and closer friends. I laughed harder than I have in a long time, almost at everything. I got my bestie time.

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And I got my picture with the Canada umbrella hat.

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So, it was the best time ever. I was really sad to leave. The perfect way to celebrate Canada Day weekend!

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Mount Macpherson Cross Country Skiing, Revelstoke

Today I am going to tell you the story of one of my very favourite winter adventures. I still think about it all the time, and whenever I am around the people I experienced this with the conversation ultimately comes back to it and we laugh for about half an hour. It was one of the most fun weekends of my life.

I have told this story in bits and pieces over the years, but it took place several years ago, pre blog. Lucky for you I already incessantly photographed my life as if I had a blog.

So, a few years ago I was visiting my Bestie Lisa in Calgary during the March Break.

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Bestie reunion

Over the weekend I was there we took a road trip to Revelstoke, BC to meet up with Lisa’s sister Heather and Heather’s friends (our Vegas crew, it was the first time I met Matt and Trevor and Tonya).

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Let it be known that Revelstoke is a good time. A small town good time. I loved it immediately.

We were all staying at Matt and Trevor’s for the weekend (they live in Toronto now, but had a beautiful house in Revelstoke then), and since Salmon Arm, where my mom and brother live, is only a few hours from Revelstoke, my brother Eric took a bus to meet us for a night!

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Here he is walking up to meet us from the bus stop. I was so excited to see him!

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Just picture this happening in slow motion.

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Sibling reunion

Our plan for the day was cross country skiing on the Mount Macpherson trail. To prepare for this we did what most hardcore skiers would do, and we hit up the liquor store for boxes of wine and beer to bring with us in our backpacks. We rented cross country skis from a shop in downtown Revelstoke and a giant van to take us all to the mountain. It was all very convenient.

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We were so excited, and so happy to have Eric with us.

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We arrived at the trail head and got into our skis, and it was just perfect. Everything was going smoothly. Perfect weather (almost springlike!), great group of people, and we were all like pro skiers (this did not apply on the way back).

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Happily skiing up a mountain with a box o’ wine on my back.

And the mountain views were ridiculous.

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Skiing up the mountain was hard work, but we were having such a great time.

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A few kilometres later we arrived at the Ole Sandberg cabin, which I was not expecting at all and was the coolest thing I could have imagined.

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It was the ideal rest/drinking spot. We took off our skis, broke out the boxes of wine and the beer, and got the party started.

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The views were incredible.

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And I was so glad to be spending this time with my bestie and my baby brother.

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And Heather!

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And Matt and Trevor!

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This is when I fell in love with these two.

Inside the cabin was a wood stove…

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It conveniently had pre-cut dry wood and everything, so we made a fire and hung out inside for a bit.

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But outside was so nice that we eventually made our way back out there. It was just shenanigans.

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Eric fit right in.

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We hung out and talked and laughed for hours. Here’s our entire ski crew, automatic timer for the win.

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And then we decided it was time to leave, so we put on our gear to ski back down the mountain. Except by this time we were tired and we may have been drunk. So we forgot how to ski.

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And we fell.

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A lot.

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We fell the entire way down the mountain.

This is my favourite picture taken:

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I love that the background is just so beautiful and mountainous…and then there is Eric, trying so hard to get up, hat about to pop off the top of his head, snowpants falling down, skis all mangled. This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it.

So the falling was all fun and games…until it started to get dark.

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And we were starting to worry about whether we were going to be able to make it back down. Being on the mountain in the dark did not sound like a good plan.

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Eventually we gave up and just sat on the backs of our skis and used them like sleds to slide down the mountain. It worked, and we all made it safely down.

The vans came by to pick us up and brought us back downtown to return our skis. We happened to stumble across a snowboard jam happening in the street!

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My pictures of it didn’t turn out, but it was really cool. We were also just ecstatic to finally be off that mountain.

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So we went to a pub in our snow pants and had dinner and drank more.

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And then the next day we drove back to Lisa’s and discovered that I had accidentally zipped her cat Charlie into my suitcase before we left for the weekend (he was fine, luckily).

We always talk about how we need to go back and recreate this day, but I know that it will never happen, sadly. Everything came together to make that day incredibly fun and hilarious and we will never be able to do it quite the same again. I just hope to always keep adding new experiences and adventures!

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The Enchanted Forest

So I left off with our last day in Salmon Arm, when we toured around Margaret Falls. The next morning we started our road trip to Banff, Alberta. It’s about a five hour drive (although it feels way less than that because the scenery is so incredibly amazing you always have something to look at), and to save Evan and I the expense of renting a car, Eric and Kenya were driving us there and then spending the night in Banff with us, and then Evan and I would continue to Calgary. Usually the roles are reversed and I am the one chauffeuring Eric around when he is visiting, so it was a nice change.

Anyway, I have made this particular drive (from Salmon Arm to Calgary) a few times now, and about an hour from Salmon Arm, just outside of Revelstoke, BC, there is a place called The Enchanted Forest. It’s right on the Trans Canada Highway and every time I’ve passed it I’ve always been really intrigued…so this time we stopped. And we were not disappointed. The Enchanted Forest is awesome. When I was reading reviews everyone seemed to go on about how great the attraction is if you have kids, but I think it’s fun for everyone. We had no kids with us and we all LOVED it.

Here is the story of the forest:

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It is literally an enchanted forest. A forest full of huge and beautiful trees and filled with nursery rhyme and fairytale characters. Probably the most impressive thing was that all the characters were hand made. Like Humpty Dumpty.

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Better watch yourself Humpty.

The three little kittens!

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Mother Goose!

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Little Miss Muffet!

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And so, so many more.

At the very beginning of the forest there was a castle that you can explore, complete with a dungeon.

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And what is hands down the greatest thing about the Enchanted Forest is that you can go into the castle and all of the little houses. Like the straw house in the Three Little Pigs…

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And the wooden house, built by the second pig.

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And more elaborate houses, like the third little pig’s brick house…

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…which several people could actually fit inside.

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Exploring all the houses was the best. No wonder kids love this place so much. If I was a kid this would be my favourite thing ever.

I loved the house of the old woman who lived in a shoe!

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It was pretty spacious inside… There were even stairs.

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And a slide from the top to get out…

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Which I totally went down. Notice the nice lady in the window. The creepy figurines really made this experience for me.

I also really enjoyed the home of the Three Bears.

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And Old Mother Hubbard.

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It was REALLY cool that you could just explore everywhere, even inside trees.

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There were also elaborate wooden tree houses, which were way nicer than any tree house I’ve ever seen.

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Evan was going on for a while about how impressed he was with how this treehouse was built.

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Excellent craftsmanship in there.

The forest is also home to BC’s tallest treehouse!

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Pretty groovy. I love a good treehouse!

And when I thought the forest couldn’t possibly get any more awesome, we stumbled across the most beautiful nature walk.

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Really, the most beautiful.

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Some parts of the trail were a bit flooded and we did have some tricky times getting though there, so much so that I thought there should maybe have been a warning about trail conditions. But otherwise that trail was awesome.

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I’ve always wanted to take a perfectly reflected photo like the one above. You can turn it upside down and it looks exactly the same. So beauty.

It was so much fun, and a relatively quick stop for us. If you are ever making this road trip along this stretch of the Trans Canada Highway, go to the Enchanted Forest! It is a time.

Some other forest pictures…

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Eric really enjoys being the subject of my photos.

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Not a creepy bunny at all…

If you are just catching up and you missed my other BC posts you can find them here:

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