At the end of May Jackson and I headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in pursuit of jobs we had lined up for the summer. But on the drive there, we decided to take a few weeks off and take our time down the long winding roads from Vancouver, BC. It was a long adventure no doubt, but a completely spontaneous one. We left with no itenerary and had no idea of where we would spend the next couple of weeks.
We left our house late in the evening and ending up spending our first night in Hope, BC, just a few hours out of Vancouver. The next morning eager to get to somewhere more exciting, we checked out and made our way to Clearwater, BC. In this small town we watched rapids soar through the big rivers and caught a bite to eat. We spent the night just a few hours away from there in Jasper, BC. Since there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground we spent our night at the only campground open, Whistlers Campground. It was nice and full of people eager to get outside and get a taste of somewhat warm weather they were experiencing.
The next morning we headed into town to fetch some breakfast and see what was going on. It was a simple town surrounded by open fields and towering mountains painted with snow. It was beautiful. Since, a lot of trails were closed due to the snow, we decided to get an early start on the very popular Icefields Parkway. It is said to be one of the most beautiful stretches of roads in North America because of how intimiate the road is with the mountains, providing spectacular views and scenery.
The parkway road was curvy and slow, but perfect for anyone who wants to take their time in the magnificent area. On the road we saw all kinds of wildlife, including black bears, mountain goats, and a moose. After a long day spent on the road we landed in Lake Louise for the night. We explored the famous Fairmont Hotel and took a hike around frozen Lake Louise.
The next morning we drove two hours to Banff, Alberta. The town has been populated by tourists, which has lead a lot of shops to be more commercial and less local. Instead of people walking the streets, there were large groups of tours and tour buses crowding the area. However, just a few miles down from Banff, we found the town of Canmore. This town was a lot more welcoming and local. This seemed like where all the people of the mountains lived. Instead of a tourist destination, it felt like a regular town, but dispersed in an unreal mountain-like environment. We stayed in Canmore for three nights, camping in spots we found along dirt roads. We climbed Ha Ling peak and Lady McDonald; both were spectacular. Lady McDonald in particular has an awesome section for people eager to scramble across the peaks. From both mountains we got great views of the towns below and mountains across from us. Huge peaks poked out of the valley with the most gorgeous rock formations, which neither one of us had seen before.
After Canmore we headed down to the states. We crossed a small border coming into Montana. Since our car was completely packed in every little crack, we got questioned and searched for two hours. After vigorous hours of questioning we were let free into the US. We drove down to Whitefish, Montana, where our friend Burch lives in the summers. He had told us about the small town and its culture around water sports. Thanks to him, we visited a shop he works in called Paddlefish Sports, where we we scored some paddle boards for the day. I had never paddle boarded before, but Jack had his instructor certification, so he taught me the techniques. We spent the day basking in the sun and paddling all around Whitefish Lake.
The next day we headed to Glacier National Park. Not much was open since the snow was still present on all trails and we had not brought our skis. However we ended up biking up to Logan Pass from St. Mary Lake. It was about a 32 mile ride, up a rugged dirt road that was going to be paved in the summer. At the top of the pass the plows had been working on clearing the last bit of the road. Since, no cars are allowed on the road until summertime, it was just us and our bikes. The whole day we only ran into one other group of people. The most eventful part of the day was when we were about 9 miles into the ride with no one around and we ran into a black cub. The bear stood in the road, with no intentions of moving. Jackson and I were hooting and hollering, waving our hands, and trying to be the most intimidating we could be. After about five minutes of us making fools of ourselves, the bear ran into the woods. We never saw the mama bear, and nor did we want to. After a couple minutes making sure all bears were out of sight, we got back on our bikes and continued on our journey up the mountain. We stopped a lot to explore little trails and didn't make it back to our car until 10:00 pm, we biked into the dark with our headlamps on.
After camping and exploring the lakes around Glacier we headed to Missoula, Montana where we watched people surf the river and walked around the area.
We spent one night in Missoula and then took the road to Sun Valley, Idaho. I spent my last two years in high school staying with close family friends in Idaho and I had not been back since. It was a fun whirlwind of memories and friends. Jackson and I biked along the hills in Sun Valley and spent the night with friends and family barbequing. The next day we spent with my host mom, Maria, out on the Putt Putt course drinking beer and enjoying a beautiful spring day on the golf course. The day after, it was time to leave and head to Jackson Hole, where we would start working in two days.