The Canadian Rockies have had some of my favorite views of the trip so far. These massive mountains seem to just keep going and going with crazy shapes and pointy peaks. We spent a week camping at Banff National Park and in Lake Louise. The Canadian parks cater way more to winter campers and RV'ers than the parks in the US. Unlike our desolate, sans-amenities stays in Teton and Glacier National Parks, we were welcomed with electrical hookups, heated bathrooms and hot showers. Temperatures dipped down to -30* F a few nights so having electricity hookups really eased some of the stress of trying to keep warm as we were able to use our little space heaters and an electric blanket at night. With the brutally cold temperatures, we spent more time that we would have liked of time indoors – either in the camper, sightseeing by car or at Park Distillery in Downtown Banff (we loved their distillery tour). Our snowboarding days at Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mount Norquay were brief with frequent warm-up breaks.
We ended up cutting our time in Lake Louise a day short, the extreme cold was getting to be too much upkeep and we had worries about doing damage to the truck and trailer. I was also going stir crazy! We traveled west to the Columbia Mountains where we landed in the town of Revelstoke, British Columbia. We drove for three hours and gained nearly 50 degrees in temperature. 30*F felt tropical and we were finally able to thaw out and spend some time outside snowboarding and hiking with Rico. Isaac and I agreed that it was our favorite mountain to ride so far on the trip. Bearable temperature and fresh snow always helps. We camped for a few nights at the renovated Boulder Mountain Resort before taking the camper up to the ski resort parking lot where they allow one night of free RV parking. Waking up next to the gondola and walking out the door to get on the mountain is the best. I loved the town, especially the fact that they had a coworking space, Mountain Colab. You can usually get a good feel for a community and entrepreneurial vibe of a town based on their coffee shops, libraries and availability of coworking. I found this little gem of a shop called Love Making that had beautiful prints, t-shirts and other hand-made goods by the artists. I bought a gorgeous pair of earrings which I immediately lost!
We're approaching our last few days in Canada. We've been enjoying the quiet back parking lot of Silver Star Ski Resort – land of great snow, a colorful, vibrant little village and $10 night skiing on weekends. My friends Sarah and Pete – who I met in Japan – came up to visit us from Kelowna and we took advantage of some nighttime powder stashes and a warm night of soup and stories inside the camper afterwards. Being on the road really makes me miss my friends and family, so it's really nice to make stops where I know I'll be able to meet up with them.
Next stops include Leavenworth, WA – a German-themed mountain town that has been on my to-do list, Hood River, OR – for a watercolor retreat with Drawn to High Places and Easter and Spring skiing in Lake Tahoe.
From the studio, I just finished 28 days of tiny stamps in February. Each day, I carved and printed a mini block print. A lot of them tell a story from my trip, but some of them are just fun!