In 1997, I had a bunch of vacation saved up (kind of like now, only I worked somewhere else). Instead of doing anything planned, I packed up a couple of suitcases, threw them in the back of my car, and drove off. Decided to head north first, as I had never been to north-east Washington (lived in Moscow at the time). Lemme tell you, Metalline Falls area is quite pretty. The plan was, every night as I pulled into a hotel or campground, to take out my map and decide where to go when I got up in the morning. Along the way, I picked up brochures and pamphlets to figure out what kinds of things were around.
My itinerary ended up being the following.
- Cranbrook, BC. Beautiful area. Got to see the headwaters of the Columbia and the Kootenay rivers. Both of them come out of the same swamp high in the Rockies. The Columbia goes north, the Kootenay goes south. Absolutely breathtaking scenery.
- Calgary, AB. Spent two nights here. Saw a play put on by a local theater group.
- Drumheller, AB. Dinosaurs. Go. See.
- Moose Jaw, SK. Not much to see in Saskatchewan. Or at least I didn't see much. Looks a lot like eastern Montana. Stopped at a motel here but they didn't have any rooms vacant, so they rented a mobile home to me for the same price. I practiced setting up my tent in the living room.
- Riding Horse NP, MB. Camped in the national park. Again, beautiful area. Ended up spending most of the evening talking with a couple who were in the camp spot next to mine. Found moose tracks in the morning near my tent. While driving north of the park, I watched a rather large bear cross the road and crash through a fence as if it wasn't there. Also saw a thunderbird nest just before crossing the lake.
- Winnipeg, MB. Mostly just wandered the city.
- Lake of the woods. I think I was on the Ontario side. Very interesting topography in northern Ontario. Hilly. Lots of birch trees. Lakes everywhere in odd shapes. Granite rocks everywhere. Huge ones. There's also pretty much only one road between Ontario and Manitoba and it runs right through there.
- Drove the south route east of there. Wished I would have stopped and canoed at Voyager NP/Quetico Provincial Park. Unfortunately the season was over. Had I gotten to take my vacation when I was first supposed to, I could have. Vacation was delayed 2 weeks the night before I was to leave because my boss couldn't figure out his scheduling. Drove through Thunder Bay, where my employer had a large client. I didn't stop to check out the site. Stayed the night in a small town on the northern shore of Lake Superior. Can't remember which one.
- Decided to head back to the states and visit friends in Cleveland. Mostly didn't want to drive through Quebec at the time, since they were in the middle of one of their separatist moods. Headed back to the states through Sault Ste. Marie. eastern shore of Lake Superior is gorgeous too. Lots of places to camp. Some day I want to go back and spend a month camping around northern Ontario.
Thus ends my tale of Canada. Vacation went on for a while longer, but I didn't re-enter Canada. So the story ends for now.