We were stopped at a car wash in Eureka, Montana (just 13 km South of the Canadian border) during a short spell from drenching rain, trying frantically to vacuum a week of crumbs and dog hair from the floor of our car in the amount of time and few coins we had to pay for the car wash vacuum. And… before that bank of black clouds, quickly moving our direction, dumped their contents on the backpacks, coats, stuffies, snacks and floor mats strewn across the parking lot.
We had already puddle-hopped the parking lot at Montana Coffee Traders to escape the wet and splurge on two yummy hot chocolates, a Mayan Mocha, a Mocha Fuego and a special AeroPress coffee attachment (hoping to create a more espresso-like feel to our cup-by-cup morning brews).
Hot, chocolaty sips warmed us from the inside out as we continued our way North through Whitefish and towards the Canadian border. When the clouds cleared, we grabbed this moment to bring the car back to some semblance of its pre-trip cleanliness. Success! Sort of. A layer of dirt and dust still coated the console, backs of seats and armrests. Tackle that later. We need to get to gushing rivers and glacier-topped mountains.
The border-crossing was…thrilling?! We were last in Canada on our way to Alaska and that was BIG. Since that trip… stay home, masks, shutdowns, cancellations, sickness, death, fear. You remember. But I think we all wish we didn’t. This time the U.S. to Canada border crossing took two tries: stop, turn around, park, fill out a (vaccination) form, wait and try again. Proceed! The signs changed to kilometers, maple leafs prevailed and we were off!
|work, basketball and charging in Invermere
Three and a half hours of driving through sporadic, torrential downpours and we were tooling around the parking lot in Invermere waiting for electrons. By 8PM we were settled into our beautiful, quiet, empty and damp campsite. Charged up? Check. Groceries? Check. Tent up? Check. Bedtime at 10:15 in June at Redstreak Campground was lit (literally)!
We woke to a flurry of paws as Joonah launched over our heads to growl at something behind the blue vinyl door. We rubbed our eyes and reluctantly unzipped the window. Big horned sheep, a huge herd, silently grazing on all sides watching the blue blob that was our tent reluctantly. We climbed out of sleeping bags for standing coffee and breakfast in the misty morning, carefully shooing the herd along, as the dog kept watch.
After a good deal of waffling about next steps we chose not to jump into steamy Radium Hot Springs on this day. Primarily because three of us would be all relaxed and happy in the steamy water while one would be left typing and clicking away at a computer in the parking lot. But, not too far down the road Golden offered something for everyone: pretty good cell service, coffee/cafes, EV charging and a bunch of bike paths. Kris did his digital nomad thing in his lux mobile office (the car) and we were lucky enough to find a few cruiser bikes to tool around the easy Golden bike trails.
|Reflection Lake in Golden, BC
Onto uncharted territory: the Trans-Canada Highway headed past Golden, to the ocean! And the journey did not disappoint. Even Kenedy woke up to gape at the hanging glaciers and dangerous looking avalanche chutes as we climbed over Rogers Pass. We might have stopped to walk through the hemlock grove or take in a waterfall, or explore some piece of Canada’s Glacier National Park but, frankly, it was big, wild looking, snowy and so we chickened out. Yeah. No hot springs and no waterfall hike all in one day. The Rogers Pass Discovery Center bathrooms did merit a short jaw-dropping exit from the car, thankfully.
In Revelstoke we stopped to regroup, make a plan, and for a quick supercharging, dog-walking, bathroom-partaking sesh. Should we stay? The view from the hotel parking lot charger did not entice but Revelstoke’s reputation did. Where was the gigantic Columbia River and world famous skiing? We'd stay a night-to see about a future wintery, powdery visit-but mostly because it was late and the next place to stay was hours away.
Snowforest campground was nearly full when we pulled in. On a Tuesday! We grabbed the last slanty site which had a slanty table and a slanty parking spot. So we set up our tent in a slanty way and proceeded straight to the shower. Head to the shower, do not delay, do not pass go, go get a clean, hot, private shower and feel refreshed!! Dinner on the slanty table was, as expected, half cooked--slanty eggs. The bugs came out and bugged us. But the shower….YES!
|more slanty than it looks
The next morning we visited a monolithic concrete slab filled with power-generating equipment; Lake Revelstoke on one side and the mighty Columbia on the other. It was a good lesson in scale and the power of water.
We also visited Revelstoke Mountain Resort but opted not to take the gondola to the top. Baked goods and coffee were calling and sitting in the rain, dry under an umbrella, with a Flight of the Pterodactyl and a cream cheese filled pumpkin muffin…pure heaven. A mob of kids on bikes flew past us down MacKenzie Ave so we followed on foot. The scent of something savory and doughy wafted from The Modern Bakeshop and Cafe and we promptly stopped in. Back outside, strolling down MacKenzie Ave, surrounded by sculptures and gardens, munching sausage rolls, we decided was pretty good. We'll be back!