Covid has influence our summer plans -
last year we went to Cathedral
Park and Big Bar
Ranch to get away from people and the year before that we
did a RV Road
Trip to Prince Rupert because it allowed us to be self
contained. Every year before that had some camping so this
was our first camping trip in quite a while.
The park we stayed at allowed reservations so we knew there was a
place for us to stay, but it turns out we could have gone without
- there were un-reserved spaced open that we could have stayed at
for two weeks if we wanted to.
I'm always on the look out for camp critters - animals that live
in the camp area - because they are generally easier to photograph
but still have a natural setting. Right outside of the
bathroom block was a Red Naped Sapsucker feeding it's
chicks. Being great parents, I just had to setup my camera
and wait for Mom or Dad to return.
Again, the kids enjoy sleep ins. I
want to see some wildlife. I found the Wilmer Wetlands
online before we started the trip (high E-Bird numbers) so I left
in the morning to go for a walk. I didn't even make to the
park before I saw an owl on a fence post.
The Wetlands have a parking lot and some nice signs and a trail
that follows the cliffs all the way down to the water. From
the edge of the cliffs you can see the Wetlands flooded with the
high water of the spring melt.
Near the parking lot you are in an arid
biome and as you descend you see more green and animals.
After my walk, I returned to the camp site to take the family into
town for a stop at "the bakery".
Paddle in The Columbia River
In the afternoon Helen had to make a
call back to Vancouver so I decided to rent some kayaks from
Columbia River Paddle and go for a paddle. Nara got a single
(she has Kakaked before) and I took a double with Claira.
The river at this part does have some current, but you are quickly
in a large lake area where the current is negligible.
We were given an "attractions" map - here
is an eagle tree, there is a good place to find turtles, and over
there is a beaver house. We didn't have much luck with the
turtles or beaver, but we did a good time paddling around.
Nara figured out I was seeing things in the
morning (she heard what I saw the day before) so she wanted to
come out for a walk as well. Good to her word, she did get
up when I did and we drove to the other side of town to check out
a local favorite - The Johnson.
There are actually lots of trails here - most are great for
mountain bikes, but we took more of a walking trail. After
the viewpoints, we turned more into the forest. Nara found
some bugs in the grass making more bugs and found it really funny.
Being morning, you have a much better
chance of actually being able to photograph a butterfly.
Nara and I were both using my 105mm lens.
Bugaboo Lower Falls
Helen had missed out on two hikes and wanted a hike. The
tourist info center in Invermere suggested we check out Bugaboo
Lower Falls. It was a drive up past Radium and then a short
drive on a dirt road to a surprisingly busy parking lot. It
was a short (but in places steep) hike to see the dramatic
waterfall. The water was running at high levels so you
didn't want to be very close to river.
We drove back to town and checked out the
small farmers market. We picked up fresh greens and the kids
Radium Hot Springs is a short drive from our camp site. One
evening we decided we wanted to be clean so we went for hot
showers and a nice soak.
Camping is cheap, but also a great way to be close to
nature. Camping with a nice soak in a hot spring makes for a
Fairmont Hot Springs
Our record for camping is something like 7 consecutive nights at Miracle Beach.
This trip has 10 days of camping in total so we wanted a shower
break before we headed up to Banff for more camping. I added
another Hot Spring to the trip so we stayed a night at the
Fairmont Hot Springs.
While there is lots of hiking around here, I was curious to see
the hot spring source. It's a bit "out of bounds", but well
documented on the internet. I went in the morning while the
kids were still asleep. I wasn't alone with this idea -
there was already another couple there when I got to the springs.