Finally, after months of telling people we would be heading to Alaska and traveling up through Canada, we were pulling up to the border patrol offices north of Bonner’s Ferry, ID!
Honestly, we hadn’t prepared much. We read a few articles, had a textbook-thick book about driving to Alaska. We Googled what not to bring. We renewed the dog’s rabies vaccination. That’s about it. (We did cram about half our food stock into our mouths a couple days beforehand, thinking that if the border patrol people wanted to go through our home, they wouldn’t find anything to fine us for. )
It was only when we pulled up to the border that day did we exchange our American money for Canadian money, figure out how much the Canadian dollar was, and figuring out kilometers instead of miles.
We “ooh’d and ahh’d” over the Canadian dollars, and I inspecting them closely; feeling the plastic, reading what’s on the back, whose faces were on them. They are washable and non-tearable, and they even have a see through part! Even the colors and pictures are prettier than American money.
The first thing I did in Canada? Posed in front of the sign, of course!
As we were driving off, we noticed all of the signs. They changed to kilometers and KMH. They even had signs with pictures of deer, elk, and moose, warning you that you might hit one of those 3 along the way. They had signs that read “Litter Bins” instead of “Dumpster” (How nice and elegant do Litter Bins sound instead of Dumpsters? So cute).
After about 40 kilometers I started to realize how different the Canada land actually was compared to the United States mountains. The mountains somehow seemed softer, normal (not a big deal since it is the north) which made being in another country feel more comfy in a way.
On the way out of Cranbrook
On the way into Cranbrook
In Cranbrook, BC we stopped for McDonalds (Yes, our first stop in Canada was McDonalds). We had to get our fill of wifi before heading into the unknown, of course! 😉
Then, we dumped our tanks at the Cranbrook Visitor Centre, and we were off towards our free campsite near Radium Hot Springs, about 100 miles from Banff National Park.
And after a horrifying few moments of thinking I forgot the trailer keys at the dump station 100 miles back (I found them under my seat), we got settled in as a herd of healthy, fat cows plowed through, groaning and moaning their way across. In the morning, not even 6am, I awake to cows screaming and trotting around the trailer. Around my window, 3 baby calfs were scrutinizing the trailer and table outside. One even started licking the table! But one thump against my wall got them jumping back a few feet. The cries continued until 10am. When I walked out of the trailer to stop the cow who was rubbing against the back, about 20 pairs of eyes were on me. As I peered around the corner to stop the calf rubbing against us, she spotted me and started taking off. Busted! LOL
In the morning, we started our little trek to Yoho National Park, where we camped for a couple night next to the blue river water. Whitewater Rafting groups came about twice a day, as well.
That’s it for now, y’all! Watch out for my next blog post (you know, whenever I’m connected to wifi long enough through Canada) about our experience in Banff and Jasper! Ta-ta!
-Breanna, the hippie traveling through another country