We more or less came eye tot eye with one, a large grizzly bear. He was walking across the road. Or rather, he was running across the road. We were sitting in a car, fortunately! And we also missed two bears! But that wasn`t too much of a disappointment…… Of course it doesn’t mean that you actually spotted a bear, but when a person travelling by car stops while you`re walking alongside the road to tell you that you just passed a bear, you do wonder… Or, if you are doing a nice mountainous hike and every passerby asks you if you also saw the bear a little further back, eating berries , you find it almost too bad that you could not even have given him a hug.
In the past weeks we have crossed the Rocky Mountains; the beautifully rugged mountain range in the west of Canada. We left Calgary and via Highway 1 (the highway running from east to west, all the way through Canada) we hitch-hiked to Vancouver. This almost 1,200 km long journey took us about a week and on the way we have seen spectacular views and had the most beautiful hiking trips.
The peace and tranquility is striking.
- If you encounter 20 hikers on a walk, then you have either chosen the most popular hike or you were just unlucky to hike on such a crowded mountain.
- The impressive valleys, waterfalls and snowy peaks give one a sense of humbleness, time seems to stand still.
- Wildlife live here in abundance and animals are not afraid of people, the reason being the lack of them (something to remember! :)), so we not only met bears, but also marmots, eagles, chipmunks and other kinds of creeping (crawling?)animals.
- The sound of a waterfall, of creaking trees and singing birds is still the best.
The fun (and tricky) aspect concerning travelling is that you don’t know far in advance where you’ll be spending the night. Fortunately thus far, it has all turned out quite nice. During our time travelling through the mountains we couldn’t find a housesit, so we searched for alternative accommodation. We emailed a church in Calgary, resulting in a stay with a very hospitable elderly couple who took us all over the place. With them we saw the grizzly bear, we hiked the Mount Everest trail in Kannanaskis and we visited a party for the elderly. After saying goodbye to this lovely couple, we stayed at different accommodations which we found through Airbnb, a website where people rent out a room in their house (or tiki, treehouse, yurt, tent or whatever their home is :P). This is much cheaper than a hostel or hotel, and a lot more fun too. The homeowners are often nice, helpful, local people who love to show you around. The last few days, we spent some time in Chilliwack at friends of Steve’s parents. That was great fun.
That way you live the dream!
From a wonderful Blaine, where we see the sunset over the sea and falling asleep hearing the lapping of the waves!
Ps. Would you like to find out more about Airbnb? Use the following link to create an account and get 30 euro travel allowance: www.airbnb.com/c/annav1953
Ps2. Photos of our trip through the Rocky Mountains can be viewed in Sam´s Samples section.