This summer we went on our longest camping trip as a family yet. We took two weeks and went out to the west coast. Outside of the first night’s drive the trip was a lot of fun! We got to see some beautiful scenery, wildlife, and family members we haven’t seen in years. The first night’s drive, from Lethbridge to Cranbrook, normally a three-hour drive, took six. A logging truck had crashed near Sparwood, and backed up traffic all the way to the Crowsnest Pass.
The next day we reached our second stop at Christina Lake. We parked at a local campground and checked out the beach. It was a beautiful river that was incredibly cold. Perfect for a 30 degree C day. Cascade Cove Campground was a nice place. We were right across from the playground, and the staff were friendly. There was some smoke in the air, but it wasn’t oppressive.
After two nights we headed off to our next stop on our way to the coast. We next stopped at Bromley Rock Provincial Park. It was just a small strip of campsites between the river and the highway. We spent a good deal of time down at the river, as it was incredibly hot. The river was nice and cool, but even the breeze was hot. This was also the first time we saw smoke. We got through dinner with some difficulty, as we were more or less swarmed by wasps. At this point we decided we would head off early in the morning and eat breakfast at an A&W in Princeton. Beautiful little park, but wasps suck.
Our next stop was Golden Ears Provincial Park. The park was in a beautiful forest, and our site was very well shaded. It was really the first place we got any relief from the heat on our journey. The park was beat up. The showers were free, but each push of the button only afforded you a few seconds of water, meaning you needed to pretty much hold the button down the entire time. That said, the hiking in this park was awesome! Over our two full days there we did three of the hikes and enjoyed them all. I even did the Lookout Trail twice, as my daughter left her hat at the viewpoint at the top. I won all the dad points with that one.
Our next leg was a drive to Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. We stopped on the way to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge. My whole family loved it whereas I was a quivering ball of fear. We next headed to Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry to the coast. The ferry was a really cool experience. We were lucky enough to be sent to near the front of the line to wait, so we took a quick hop to the nearby village to take in some sights and have ice cream.
This was the first time the kids had ever been on a ferry, and the first time I had ever been on one over a sizable body of water. After getting across we drove to Sechelt and found my Aunt’s house. We hadn’t seen her in almost 10 years and had a great reunion. The view from her deck was breathtaking! The kids loved her and we got along like we’d last seen each other a few days prior.
Sechelt was really beautiful. It has some wonderful parks that were great for hiking, and a wonderful laid back atmosphere. We found a playground that the kids loved, which was right near an asian themed arch.
After a couple of wonderful days in Sechelt, we made our way up to Harrison Lake. We stayed at a small RV park, and took a quick trip to Harrison Lake Hot Springs. The hot spring pool was small, and kind of reminded me of the old pool I used to work at, just significantly warmer and smelling of sulfur. The kids were more interested in the playground across the street.
We then were off to Osoyoos, which is credited with being British Columbia’s warmest lake. We stayed at a small campground that had very little grass. Our site was basically a plot of dirt with a picnic table. The beach across the street was kind of lacking and weedy. The next day we went to a spray park and beach across town. This beach was much nicer, with fewer weeds and a diving platform. We spent the day split between the two, then went back to our campsite and hit the hay.
Our second last stop was in Castlegar, which I went into greater detail about here.
Finally we spent a night in Cranbrook, visiting more family before heading home. We made two final stops on the drive, first at the world’s largest truck in Sparwood,
then in Lundbreck Falls, a neat little stop just off the highway.
All told we had a wonderful trip. We saw some amazing sights, visited family we hadn’t seen in a long while, and didn’t kill each other!