The following Travelogue is an instalment by Bolton resident Skid Crease who is currently on a Cross-Canada Summer Tour of our incredible National Parks….
When our Humberview grad got his acceptance to the coop program in Engineering at Waterloo, we realized that this could be our last summer holiday with him for the next five years. So, being Canada’s 150th, we decided to make it a cross-country summer, stopping in at as many National Parks as we could.
It was far more spectacular than we expected. A journey like that makes you appreciate the size and splendour of our incredibly diverse country. The fact that it takes three days alone to get out of Ontario was one small indicator. After Tobermory, the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry to Manitoulin, the spectacular coastline of Lake Superior, and Kakabeka Falls in Thunder Bay, we were already exhausted.
But then came Riding Mountain NP in Manitoba, a cross between Blue Mountain Resort, Disneyworld and Algonquin Park – a very polished resort-style National Park. Contrast that with the Prairie wilderness of waving grasses, high winds, and endless horizon line at Grasslands NP in Saskatchewan, complete with prairie dogs and bison. Note to self: who knew black widow spiders liked to hide in prairie dog burrows? Check shoes in the morning…
Then it was through Cardston and the magnificent Mormon Temple there, to the splendour of Waterton Lakes NP. Nothing can compare to driving off the total flat of the Prairies and coming into the sheer vertical rise of the Rocky Mountains. Breathtaking and humbling. The Waterton hikes give spectacular views across the Rockies and south into Montana, while the Townsite offers an eclectic mix of shops and cafes – could have spent a month here.
Then it was off to Gladstone Provincial Park in BC for a quick overnight, and a lot of smoky haze from the William’s Lake wildfires before taking our young engineer to the Hope Slide and bear witness to what happens when the earth moves. In 1965, in less than four minutes, the entire mining town of Hope was buried under tonnes of rock when the entire side of Turtle Mountain sheered off. A sobering site for young engineers to remember where the real power resides.
It was a quiet ride up to Vancouver, the Pacific Ocean and a family visit and rest time before the return journey. Relaxing hikes in the Lynn Valley Canyon, walking Lion’s Gate Bridge to Stanley Park, and digging for clams in the Port Hardy estuaries. Good playtime with a brand new grandchild and then packing up tight for the return journey.
Next travelogue, next stop starts tomorrow – Roger’s Pass, here we come!