October 27, 2012 | Tips from Travellers >
Prince Rupert, Car / Truck / Motorcycle
In July 2012, we went camping in North Carolina and South Carolina. It was one of the hottest vacations we'd ever done. If you are familiar with tent camping, you know that tents don't breathe, and although we did camp on the coast, the breezes never made it as far as our campgrounds. The ocean temperatures must have been in the high 30s (C).
Our habit is to discuss/plan/decide on the next year's summer vacation on our way home from the current one. We've planned our vacations to the Grand Canyon, Gaspe, Alaska, Newfoundland, the coast or Washington/Oregon, North Dakota etc this way. We have many trips on our bucket list.
We thought of a cruise up the inside passage, and decided it was time to see some of BC. While looking for an inexpensive trip on a cruiseline, I "tripped" across the offer from BC Ferries. For a reasonable price, we could start in Vancouver, travel the inside passage and drive back down from Prince Rupert. Being true campers/drivers of long distances to get where we want to be and see, this appealed to us.
I contacted BC Ferries, but found out I can't book a 2013 trip until January - when the new rates are published. So, I've left my name/email etc. with their promise to contact me as soon as I can book the trip.
Since then, I've sent for and received the BC Trip Planner package and I've purchased a current Frommer's Guide on BC, I've got my hiliters out, pinned up my map and planned our route. Because it doesn't cost a dime to reserve a rental car, I've booked the car. This past week, I've booked our flights on West Jet (I don't figure the price will go down between now and Aug 2, but it's a gamble, for sure). I'm paying for the flight with my TD Visa points, so again, I'm not yet out of any cash.
October 22, 2012 | Tips from Travellers >
Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Hiking
Find more information about Mount Washington Alpine Resort - Hiking
Mt. Washington, located on Vancouver Island, is renowned for fantastic skiing in the winter and remarkable hiking in the summer. But when we arrived in late October, it became immediately apparent that this was neither season.
As we left our car, a gust of bitterly cold wind sliced through my sweater. A skiff of snow covered the leaves, as if all the world had been dusted with icing sugar. The red leaves and golden grasses had now been dressed in a ghostly lace of frost. We set out along the trails of Paradise Meadows and saw very few people. The two or three hikers we passed were well bundled in rain gear, and kitted out with scarves, gloves, and bright red noses.
The temperature started cold, then warmed, then snow billowed around us, then the sun burned through the clouds and warmed our faces. The weather lurched from one extreme to another. We felt like we were standing on the middle of a teeter-totter, with one end in August and the other in December.
It was silent and beautiful. During summer and winter, the mountain can feel crowded with skiiers and hikers, but autumn provides a time for quiet reflection, when we can peer into the icy pools and admire the last crimson leaves. This season of transition reminds us of change, and you can almost feel the icy breath of Winter on your neck, creeping closer. When we stopped on the trail to take some footage, a chipmunk scurried up to my boot, placed its paws brazenly on my toes, and looked at me with suspicion. Why are you here, it seemed to say, when you could be home with a cup of hot chocolate in hand?
The answer is simple: I wouldn't want to miss this! The dramatic greys and silvers, the brooding forest, the eccentric shifts in the weather, all provide a breathtaking way to welcome the change of seasons.