We exited Waterton Lakes, Banff and Jasper National Parks after four days, but we will be back; these are simply stunning parks that we have at this point only lightly touched.
As we left the parks, we were not suddenly faced with unrestrained commercialism; in fact quite the opposite. We spent hours yesterday driving outside of the park, with many of the same gorgeous views as inside the park.
Having exited the parks driving north, we stopped randomly at what turned out to be a provincial park just to have lunch, and decided to stay for the night.
We were camped right on Sheep Creek, an amazing river; it was a beautiful day, and we decided to spend the day reading, watching the river, and having a campfire. Is that not epic retired attitude? By the way, we were literally the only ones camped here!
Even better, it was adjacent to railroad tracks, and, seriously, we love the sound of trains at night. Don’t judge us.
A couple of girls had camped here the night before, but they packed up their stuff and were kind enough to give us their unused firewood. And a trailer pulled in with horses to water and let them out to stretch. Other than that, the place was all ours.
The river (or creek as it is named) is, how do I say this, ripping! I mean, it must be traveling 10 mph or maybe even faster, although quite frankly it looked more like 30-40 mph. You would not want to be a novice trying to paddle this river, nor would you even be able to paddle upstream (unless you are a superhuman). We have seen entire trees traveling down the river as obviously the snows continue to melt upstream and add to the current in the river. Pictures do not do justice to the power of this river.
Today we drove to Grand Prairie, AB (actually a pretty big town with lots of retail stores) to restock supplies, refill propane, and fuel. Having accomplished our mission, we continued our drive west and north, crossed into British Columbia and will spend the night at one next favorite campground – the Wal-Mart parking lot in Dawson Creek. Pictures not needed – I think you know the view.
I am not sure how many days we will spend in British Columbia before heading into the Yukon. Interesting side note: our National Geographic road atlas, that has all 50 states as well as the provinces of Canada, does not have a separate page for the Yukon! A fellow camper told me that the Yukon has about 30,000 inhabitants, and apparently there are not enough roads or landmarks to merit its own page in the atlas. Keep in mind that the Yukon is about the size of Montana and Wyoming – combined! Yikes.