Good morning / afternoon / evening to the friends and families of the Great Voyager!
Week two was equal parts fun, exciting, and scenic as we drove from Calgary to Whistler making many stops along the way through the Canadian Rockies! Our first two nights were at the University of Calgary where all the Trip Members enjoyed hanging out in the common areas and experiencing a taste of what it would be like to live in a university residence building.
The first morning started off with a run as many trip members were looking forward to getting some exercise! At lunch, the American trip members discovered just how good Tim Hortons was as all the kids enjoyed wraps, sandwiches, ‘timbits’ and donuts from this staple Canadian coffee shop! The next day had us piling down the 1976 winter Olympic bobsleigh track reaching speeds of up to 80 mph! Each bobsleigh had either the Australian or New Zealand Olympic drivers in them controlling the speed and course. The combination of meeting Olympic athletes and the thrill of the track made for some amazing memories! Other highlights in Calgary were a great game of laser tag and fun at a great rec center.
The next day we headed to Lake Louise where we went canoeing on stunning blue waters and made the long but very rewarding hike to the famous teahouse on the mountain! Everyone had an amazing time working together as they paddled around the lake and took pictures of the glacier and surrounding mountains. The views on the way to the teahouse took everyone’s breath away! It seemed that every time there was a new clearing of trees the scenery just got more and more beautiful. Hidden lakes, streams and waterfalls surrounded many parts of the path to the top. At the teahouse we enjoyed hot chocolate and baked goods. That night, the staff facilitated an evening program back at the campsite that had some of us performing random and hilarious talents.
Next up was the Columbian Ice Field…. they were a thing of beauty! We were able to walk on glacial ice and even drink the flowing glacier water (which was not surprisingly ice cold and incredibly delicious!). We learned about the surrounding geology as well as the nature of the retreating glacier from some VERY Canadian guides!
After a final night at the Banff campsite we headed off to Kelowna and stayed in a wonderful hotel overlooking the water and enjoyed a fun day of tubing and using the pool. After all the hiking, canoeing and camping, Kelowna was a great place to recharge our batteries.
Our final stop in Canada was Whistler, site of the Vancouver 2014 winter Olympics! For out last full day in Canada, we spent the morning mountain biking with our expert guides on the stunning trails and beaches of Whistler, and the afternoon riding the Peak to Peak gondola. The gondola itself is the highest lift of its kind in the world at 436M or 1427ft above the valley floor!
Today, our adventure continues as we travel back into the USA to visit Seattle and make our way down the west coast!
Until next time,
The Westcoast Blogger
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