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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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…
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.
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.
We slept in a wonky tent that we left open to the sky so we could see the mountains and the stars.
We ate all the camping food.
We listened to Elliot and Lauren play their guitars and we all sang along.
Mainly I tried to convince Elliot to play Neil Young.
We had campfires and roasted marshmallows.
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.
And I got my picture with the Canada umbrella hat.
So, it was the best time ever. I was really sad to leave. The perfect way to celebrate Canada Day weekend!