Not long ago Dan Imdieke wrote us a letter from his travels through California. Well… he’s written to us again telling us of his explorations in the beautiful Canada!
Part II of our recent journey was a biking and hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies to Banff and Jasper National Parks. To see Canada, we went with an active tour company, Backroads, which has leaders that plan your daily routes and set everything up for you. Each day has an ambitious itinerary of activities. One day we biked 25 miles, hiked 4 miles and then walked on a glacier! This makes your hindquarters sore but also makes that first glass of wine (and second, and third) with dinner even better. There is something to be said for touching the soul of the place you are visiting in this way and not simply driving around in a tour bus where you only get out to take pictures. We got to bike through the wilderness and see things like a family of mountain goats eating their lunch on the side of the road, and several black bears gathering and eating berries 30 feet away. The Rockies in Canada are amazingly pristine and are full of impossibly blue glacier-fed lakes that look like they belong in the Caribbean (but are much colder as I found out firsthand).
One of the coolest highlights of the trip was our walk on the Athabasca Glacier. The ice crunched like Rice Krispies beneath our feet and we had to hop over several glacial rivers as we hiked up it. It was like being in another world. The water is so pure up there I actually filled my bottle full of glacier water and drank it. We also did a great hike above the most famous landmark in the Rockies, Lake Louise, which is surrounded by mountain peaks and a series of six different glaciers. We had lunch at a teahouse built in the 1800’s and the view of the lake from up high was breathtaking.
As far as food and alcohol related adventures while in Canada, we stayed 2 of our nights at the Post Hotel which has a restaurant that is considered to be one of the best places to eat dinner in North America. I got to try local caribou filet and bison steak for the first time both of which were delicious. One night after sharing some good wine with some fellow travelers, we were offered a tour of the Post wine cellar, one of the largest in the world. I was surprised to see that it was two stories and had over 1 million in inventory. It reminded me of the Long Beach keg room but was all wine!
It was fun for us to plan a trip to a country that neither one of us has ever been to so we could experience it together for the first time, as we have done in Turkey, Bhutan, and French Polynesia. We are definitely feeling a lot of gratitude for being able to see and experience so many things this last month. We are now a couple of days away from heading to Denver to start the next part of our life and plan further travels!