S: JULIE AND KATHERINE'S CANADIAN ADVENTURE 2012
BC: DEPARTED | So many great memories! Katherine, Julie, Wendy and Wayne
FC: JULIE AND KATHERINE'S CANADIAN ADVENTURE 2012 | Canada
1: PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES We began on July 29 with a bus from Grenoble to Lyon, a train from Lyon to Paris, a plane from Paris to Toronto, and finally, a big yellow school bus in Toronto to visit the CN Tower. | The CN Tower was completed in June, 1976 and is 533.33 meters tall. It is the world's tallest tower. With spectacular views from the elevators and viewing decks, on a clear day visitors can see all the way to Niagara Falls. | Toronto | July 29
3: The falls are about 12,000 years old and the Horseshoe Falls are about 180 feet (57 meters) high. During peak tourist hours, about 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic meters) of water flow over the falls every minute. That's about a million bathtubs full of water every minute. No visit to Niagara Falls is complete without a ride aboard the Maid of the Mist. Debuting in 1846, the Maid of the Mist is North America's oldest tourist attraction. The trip goes from the Canadian docks past the base of the American Falls, then into the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, where Julie and Katherine experienced the power of the falls (getting themselves and their cameras completely soaked in the process). It was a fabulous, warm, wet day for all of the OSEF students. | NIAGARA FALLS | July 30
6: Charlie's House 1286 Geric Place Victoria | Julie's Bedroom | Charlie's Kitchen | Charlie's Living Room | Charlie's Dining Room | Charlie's Basement
7: Victoria | August 1 - 6 | Julie and Katherine arrived in Victoria very late on July 30. After a good night's sleep, we started exploring the city...
8: Shopping at Costco | Biking on the Galloping Goose Trail | Centre of the Universe Lookout
9: Victoria Harbour Tour | Moose Tracks ice cream at the Little Red Barn Market | Esquimalt Lagoon
10: Hatley Castle from The X-Men | Thetis Lake | Esquimalt Lagoon
11: We didn't see any whales on this trip, but saw lots of bull seals at Race Rocks and lots of fog!
12: Isabelle, Gen, Katherine, and Julie making S'mores | Symphony Splash
13: A sun star | Exploring Whiffin Spit | Another beautiful day!
14: Learning the fine art of Frisbee | Julie's first deer sighting in Victoria (at Hatley Castle) | Charlie's preferred method of drinking
15: Seal at Esquimalt Lagoon | Playing in the sand | Esquimalt Lagoon | Canada-opoly with Gen
17: We went on a 3-hour kayaking tour from Fisherman's Wharf. It was the perfect day to see baby seals: some were even born that morning. We ate lunch in our kayak, tied up in the kelp forest and were able to watch the seals playing during our meal. It was an absolutely incredible day, and one of our favourite adventures!
18: We left Victoria on August 7 aboard the Coastal Celebration to begin our road trip through British Columbia and Alberta.
19: A. Victoria B. Vancouver C. Hell's Gate D. Revelstoke E. Banff F. Lake Louise G. Carstairs H. Drumheller I. Calgary J. Edmonton K. Elk Island L. Jasper M. Columbia Icefields N. Sooke | On the Road Again!
21: Life on the Road We had to adjust to life on the road. Everybody helps to set up, and then good food and good times for everyone - whatever the weather!
22: We visited Vancouver's beautiful Stanley Park and walked along the sea wall. We then visited Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
23: Vancouver | August 7
24: The name came from the explorer Simon Fraser in 1808 who said that "surely this is the gate of hell". It is an abrupt narrowing of the Fraser Canyon, that forces the Fraser River into a narrow passage. It was an important salmon fishing ground for First Nations people. After a rock slide almost destroyed the salmon fishery, a series of fish ladders were built through the canyon to help salmon reach spawning grounds. | Hell's Gate | August 8
25: Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park and was established in 1885. It is one of the world's most visited national parks. We were very lucky to see 3 black bears, numerous elk (even in town), deer, 3 moose, ground squirrels, and a bald eagle. | Banff | August 9 - 11
26: We celebrated Julie's 17th birthday with a birthday cake for breakfast and then we were off to hike Johnston Canyon, one of the most popular short hikes in Banff. We had a great view of the Lower Falls from the cave and close enough to get wet from the spray. Then we hiked up to the lovely Upper Falls.
27: Although we saw a black bear here the night before, we certainly did not want to run into a grizzly this afternoon (even with the bear spray). We heeded the advice of Parks Canada and turned around at the bridge on the Stewart Canyon hike. although
29: Lake Louise is truly an iconic image of Canada, and the 15 km round trip hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers was definitely one of our best Canadian adventures. Spectacular scenery and an incredible day!!
30: Carstairs | August 12 - 14
31: We moved onto Carstairs Alberta where we had the opportunity to visit many of Katherine's relatives from Alberta at Uncle Al and Aunt Connie's magnificent new house. It was great fun spending the evenings around the pool table trying to master a few of the finer points of pool.
32: The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is located near Drumheller in the middle of a fossil bearing area commonly known as the Badlands. It is named after the geologist who discovered the first dinosaur in the Red Deer River Valley in 1884.
33: It was an incredibly hot day to take a short geology focused hike into the Badlands. Definitely a dramatic change in landscape and weather from Banff!! | Drumheller | August 13
34: Calgary | August 13 & 14
35: We had a couple of great trips into Calgary. The Calgary Tower was lots of fun and who could forget Dave's Drive-In and those fabulous milkshakes! The next day was the Calgary Zoo and Bass Pro Outlet ... and a sampling of Canadian fashion.
36: Elk Island National Park near Edmonton protects one of the most endangered habitats in Canada - the aspen parkland. It is home of herds of free roaming plains bison and wood bison. We were so close we could have reached out and touched the bison! | August 15 - 16 | Edmonton
37: West Edmonton Mall holds many world records including the worlds largest indoor lake, indoor amusement park and parking lot. The day at the water park was fantastic with the favorite slide being the toilet bowl!
38: We left the big cities behind and headed back to the mountains and to Jasper National Park. It is the largest of the national parks in the Canadian Rockies and is significantly less crowded than Banff. Wildlife is abundant including lots of Big Horn Sheep and magnificent elk. | Jasper | August 17-21
39: We hiked Maligne Canyon and learned about the huge underground river system. An early supper at 4 shocked Julie and then off to see the wild, rough and tumble Jasper Rodeo!
40: We could see for miles from the top of the Jasper Gondola on a cold, clear morning. We also felt the effects of the elevation when we climbed up the steep trail away from buildings. In the evening, we went to Medicine Lake where we saw a Big Horn Sheep scratching its back on a car!
43: Thankfully it was a beautiful hot afternoon for our white water rafting adventure, as the Sunwapta River water temperature was only 4 degrees Celsius. The river lived up to its Stoney Indian name meaning "turbulent waters". While the first 15 minutes of rafting were relatively calm, the remainder was pure excitement. Definitely one of our favourite Canadian adventures!
44: The Columbia Icefield is the largest accumulation of ice south of the Arctic Circle. It is 325 sq km and from 90 - 300 m deep (as thick as the Eiffel Tower is tall). The icefield is so big it creates its own micro-climate. A winter coat and wind pants would have been a better choice than shorts!!
45: Parker Ridge is an outstanding short hike that takes you above the tree line to look back onto the Saskatchewan Glacier, part of the Columbia Icefield. Due to high avalanche risk in the winter, avalanche control here is a must. Don't pick up unexploded ordnance! What a fabulous last day in the Canadian Rockies.
46: Home at last and our second attempt at whale watching was truly one of our most memorable days. The pictures do not do justice to the incredible experience of seeing J and L Pods of Resident Killer Whales off of the US San Juan Islands. We saw approximately 40 Killer Whales, including a brand new baby! Instead of trying to take pictures, we just watched and enjoyed these beautiful and amazing mammals all around us. Without a doubt, this is one day of our Canadian adventure that we will never forget.
47: Victoria | August 22-28
49: Of course, now that we were home, there was time for picking blackberries and making homemade jam, and trying out decorating cupcakes. We loved playing Pictionary and Backgammon and visiting with family and friends. We also had time to gain some practical experience in changing a flat tire!
50: We volunteered as drowning victims at the BC Provincial Lifeguard Championships and also went to the Chemanius Dinner Theatre. Both the dinner and the stage show were fantastic.
51: We visited Butchart Gardens on fireworks night. The gardens are a National Historic Site that has over a million visitors each year. The fireworks show was well worth the wait and very unique.
52: Our faces showed a little nervousness during our ride up to the top of Adrenaline in the Sooke Hills. In the tree tops and up to 150 feet off of the ground, we zipped along at speeds up to 60 km/hr on lines from 150 to 1000 ft long. It was great fun!!
53: Our final hike and last peanut butter sandwich was west of Sooke into the temperate rain forest and down to Mystic Beach. We saw our last black bear along the highway. Another fabulous Vancouver Island day!