Our first day on the road, we drove north passing through Squamish and Whistler, and camped on a little logging road near Lillooet Lake. We had just started to see some snow, and cooked a lovely pasta and fish dinner right as the sun was setting. If you're ever looking for super tasty non-perishable food, try a can of smoked fish! You don't even need sauce if you just use the fish oil; mix in some pasta, fresh peppers and cucumber, maybe a little rosemary and thyme, and you're all set!
The drive through BC is worth the experience alone, even without a destination in mind.
The next day we got a few groceries, and made our first on-the-road repair to Trucko -- replacing a signal light! It was a brilliant success.
Revelstoke was beautiful. The mountainscapes are absolutely gorgeous, and stretch all around. We were greeted by a helicopter landing right in front of us as we arrived -- there's a helipad immediately outside the hotel at the base of resort. Some extravagant bordering properties even have their own private pads, very luxurious!
We camped in the RV parking lot for two nights, snowboarding the day in between. It was sunny out, but the snow was hard packed and having only boarded one or two times in the past two years, I didn't like the steep drop offs and narrow routes. Mike had a blast on the backside though! He was a super happy camper by the time the day was over.
There won't be many snowboarding pictures coming from me, since I'm not confident enough to take my camera, but I think Mike grabbed some phone pics!
After a hard day on the mountain, you should check out the community rec centre in town. It's open until 9pm, and and access to the pool is only $5.25 CAD/person! Not only do they have a pool with lanes and a diving board, but they also have a kiddie pool, water slide, hot tub, sauna, steam room, AND a little rock wall overhanging the pool for fun! Nothing like the rec centre I grew up with... Also, this was a chance to get in a nice hot shower for the first time.
The next stop was to Kicking Horse, Canada's Champagne Powder Capital. It's a smaller mountain with only three lifts operating, but the community atmosphere is nice. True to its title, the snow here was a great deal better -- and it was continuously dumping the whole time we were on the mountain! Visibility sucked because of this; the route markings are also fewer and farther between than what we're used to, so it's easy to get lost. At one point I got so far off route that I had to unstrap and walk half an hour back :( But on the plus side, the runs are wider and have larger sections of uninterrupted flow! Mike discovered the joys of handwarmers while boarding, and we will definitely be stocking up on more of those. My poor fingers haha...
For dinner, we treated ourselves to our first fancy meal at the Eagle's Eye Restaurant, "Canada's Most Elevated Dining Experience". You ride the gondola up to the top, where dinner awaits you at 7,700ft. We treated ourselves to cocktails, and I ordered the rack of lamb while Mike enjoyed some Albertan beef with prawns and a scallop. Delicious! We eat pretty well considering we're constantly moving and have the most modest of kitchens, but this was a welcome break from all the pasta and rice based dishes we've been having.
The next day was a rest day, and we visited the Northern Lights Wolf Centre. The Wolf Centre is almost like a sanctuary for wolves -- they take in wolves from zoos or other places which can no longer care for them, and adopt them into their pack. Their primary focus is on educating the public about wolves and their vital role in the ecosystem. Most of the wolves are accepted when they are only a few weeks old so they can be imprinted and adapt to human company; they offer photography experience walks where you can roam with the wolves, coming into direct and unrestricted contact with them. That was too expensive for our tastes however, so we just visited the centre for a $12 fare and were able to observe them behind their fences (any strange cross hatching you see in the photos is the fence we're looking through).
The average lifespan of a wild wolf is only 3-4 years, but their alpha female Maya, the oldest in the pack, has reached the ripe old age of 16 thanks to her sheltered and well fed life. The centre buys roadkill from the province to feed their wolves, and also receives donations of extra meat from locals or hunters. Maya had been given a deer carcass the previous day, and was working on some remains while we were there.
While howling is most often used when the wolves are away from home, the two main operators of the centre were absent for the week, causing the wolves to howl more often to try to communicate. We were lucky enough to experience a howling session that lasted a good while!