For those of you who don’t know, that’s Fairmont, British Columbia. It’s a small town in the middle of the forest that hosts some pretty nice resorts and hot springs!
Some friends and I took a road trip out to B.C. in May because we were all fresh out of classes for the summer (or fresh out of university forever, in my case!). It really was an amazing time. Five of us driving a van across half of the country, exploring these foreign things called mountains (guys, I was in complete awe), and having a great time worrying about nothing!
I really was in complete awe as we drove out the west end of Calgary and the mountains took shape. The last time I’ve seen mountains up close was as a really young kid on family road trips to visit my grandparents out in Vernon, B.C. Pictures don’t really do them justice, but I try.
We did much hiking there. Except for the massive hills, it reminded me of nature walks back home. I loved getting back in touch with nature. Being out in the sunshine, smelling the trees, listening for animals—it’s pretty great.
I particularly enjoyed the hoodoo trail. After hiking uphill through thick forest, all of a sudden we emerged in the open on these massive and sandy hoodoo cliffs. They were incredibly fun to explore.
Everyday we would drive the fifteen minutes to the town of Invermere-on-the-Lake. It’s a beautiful place with tons of art galleries and stores that sell art, jewelry and various other knick-knacks made by Canadian artists.
We visited Gerry’s Gelati every day for either gelati (duh) or lemonade. Across the way was a cute building with a geology shop on the ground floor and a used bookstore in the basement. The English nerd in me kind of went nuts and bought a few books there one day.
One day we went boating. Another day we took a day trip to Banff. We spent our evenings playing board games. We ate good food. We laughed. We explored. We forgot about our commitments back home.
I love looking back on this trip. Trips like these seem so spur-of-the-moment to me and the me of more than five years ago would have thought of them as completely out of the question. Leave everything behind for a week? Impossible! But it is possible! It really is! And it’s so worth it.
There’s so much of Canada I want to explore and it isn’t that hard to do it! I don’t need a passport or a visa, I don’t need a plane ticket (although it can come in handy if I want to go very far – why are you so far away, Eastern Canada?), and I’m not a “foreigner” wherever I go.
I guess it was really great for me to realise I don’t necessarily have to fly across the globe to go explore some awesomeness. There’s plenty of awesome right here in my home country! And I’ve got some awesome people I can go explore it with. (Sap factor got huge here, I know)
Any recommendations for obscure places in Canada I should visit?