The end of this epic road trip! Banff Downtown/driving to Calgary Airport

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd/Sunday 4th October)

Well, this is the end of a truly enthralling adventure.  I am so thankful that I had this opportunity and I fully appreciate how fortunate I was to be able to take this on.  Continue reading “The end of this epic road trip! Banff Downtown/driving to Calgary Airport”

Yoho National Park, Upper Spiral Tunnel

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

The mastery of railway engineering is certainly seen here, its quite amazing what has been created.  The railway link that was created here was a massive undertaking and the transport links that have now benefited from such engineering I am sure are fully appreciative of this fantastic feat.  Remember, we are talking about the Canadian Rockies here, the range of mountains that demand respect and leave you in awe and wonder of them, the rugged terrain that surrounds this area is not to underestimated.

There were several options that were available before they created this, but apparently they went for this particular route because of its shorter distance to the Pacific Coast and because of its close proximity to the US border.

Obviously these tunnels did not just appear, and when they were created, they faced significant serious challenges, for example, there was one instance when a train derailed killing three workers.  In addition to this, if you take into account the fact that the engineering of the late 1800’s is not what we have today, relate that to the fact that the geography of this land is demanding to say the least, it really is an awesome job.

Today, between 25 and 30 trains pass through these tunnels daily.  I was lucky enough to see one these trains pass through with the time I had.  It was a pleasant experience.  You first hear the train approaching from a distance, but you can’t really make out exactly where from, then you catch the first glimpse which is great.  However, the highlight, is definitely when the train enters into one of the tunnels and then starts appearing through the lower tunnel, I had not seen anything like it before, the train carriages just keep coming, it was so long that the train was fully visual on the top and bottom level, coming in and out of the tunnels!  The photos that come after, are photos from another road on the way to Banff National Park.

As I left here and began my drive to Banff National Park, I passed by some roadworks, I am not sure exactly what they were doing, but watching them carve out huge chunks of rock from the side of the mountain…while I was on the same mountain, well, a bit disheartening let me tell you!

Yoho National Park, Meeting of the Waters

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

After leaving Takakkaw Falls, a short drive takes you back down the windy road to a place called “The Meeting of the Waters”.

It maybe a little difficult to appreciate the two different types of water that meet here.  The Yoho is sort of milky in it’s presence, this is a result of the rock flour from the Waputik Icefield, the glacier melts and end up in the water.  On the other hand, the water from the Kicking Horse River is much more clear, the water here too comes from the glaciers, but the silt contained in the water seems to have more time to settle, its as if it gets sifted before it arrives and then mingles with the water from Yoho.


Yoho National Park, Takakkaw Falls

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

Onwards and upwards as they say.  I left the stunning village of Field to continue on through Yoho National Park, I was really happy with how much I did yesterday, I got through quite a bit, it was really a jam packed day:  Mount Revelstoke National Park, Glacier National Park’s spectacular drive, Town of Golden, Yoho National Park: the mesmerising Emerald Lake and the fascinating Natural Bridge, and the gorgeous village of Field…phew!

One of the main highlights of Yoho National Park is Takakkaw Falls. Fortunate timing as this place is closed throughout the winter from October until June, the main reason being high risk of avalanches in this area.  You certainly get an idea of why you would not risk trying to traverse up here during the harsher conditions just through the drive that brings you here.

I hope you get some idea of what the drive is like, I can tell you, it was a fantastic drive, tremendous views, rugged landscape and some of the switchbacks, as you can see below, are very tricky and keep you alert. Its pretty spectacular, the height of the falls is over 1200ft, but for me more impressive is the free fall of water which is over 800ft.

Takakkaw Falls are one of the highest falls in Canada.  In the Cree language, the word Takakkaw means “magnificent” which aptly fits a description for these falls.  From the moment you catch a glimpse of these falls from a distance as you are driving, to when you walk towards it as you leave your car, until you get so close that you feel the wonderful spray gently sprinkling itself all over you, describing the falls as magnificent is a good place to start.

Yoho National Park, Natural Bridge

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Friday 2nd October)

After the truly blissful wonders of Emerald Lake, along my way was something called ‘Natural Bridge’.  I so wanted to see this, the Kicking Horse River over time has simply carved its beautiful artistry out of this ancient rock, and what I saw was incredible, what has been created is something very special.  The astonishing thing is, these various formations we see now are constantly changing as a result of the waters brute force.  There will come a time when these formations will no longer be here as they will transition and manifest into other formations, eventually, the bridge will no longer be able to withstand the power of nature that allows it to display itself now.

There are so many different vantage points to see this amazing formation from, every angle leaves you in total admiration and respect of the power of water and what it can do, no matter what comes before it, no matter what lies before it, it will have to submit to the continuous, gentle caressing yet powerful demands of the water.  There are times you cannot believe what you are seeing, the corrosive force of the water is as if a sculpture has deliberately been moulded and the landscape is the artists pride and joy as onlookers behold its splendid beauty.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Natural Bridge is that it was formerly a waterfall!  I have added photos of information that were present at the site to give a better understanding of what is going on.





Zip Lining in Whistler BC…’Eagle Tour’ topped off with ‘The Sasquatch ‘

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Monday 28th September)

I have done a few crazy things in my life, things that have challenged me (for the better), scared the living day lights out of me, things I have regretted doing, and naturally made mistakes along the way. When I was younger, I used to love going to theme parks, going on roller coasters was my thrill, I used to also go on other ridiculously crazy rides, for example where you drop from a massive height and drop through a black hole, as you sit there, not knowing why you came here in the first place, why you are doing it now and where you are going to next!

As I have gotten a little older (not too much though I should stress!) I don’t get the same buzz from these things anymore, and although I am not too comfortable anymore with heights, I have been looking for something else, something that will bring back that original buzz I used to get when I was younger, the difference being now, is that I am more aware and more conscious of my actions, but I am looking for more adrenaline rushes to energise and revitalise me…something that I can do, look back and say to myself, yes I did it and I have no regrets…I think I have found it?

I was told that if I visit Whistler, I should go Zip Lining, apparently, it was quite famous for it, I looked into it and I thought I would give it a go seen as though I was here.  What I did, made my adrenaline and heart pump so hard it hurt my chest, that was just after my first zip line of what is known as the ‘Eagle Tour’…it was honestly amazing, I still remember standing there as they attached the harness and looking at the mountain in the distance which I was supposed to be heading towards, and thinking ‘I don’t think I can do this, I don’t think I want to do this…it is very high’.  I did do it and I just wanted  more and more, there were four more Zip Lines left of this Eagle Tour, but then…

Then, I did what is called ‘The Sasquatch’, well, let’s just put it this way, the ache from the adrenaline I got from this, reverberated around my body…it was a totally awesome ‘natural’ high!  From what I know, it is one of the top 10 Zip Lines in the world…”I did the Sasquatch, will you?”.

Just a note for anyone who may do this.  If you have a Go Pro, definitely take it, I don’t have one but I rented one for the day.  I wore mine on my wrist as I wanted more freedom to film different angles to give a more real experience as opposed to having it on the helmet.  If you do The Sasquatch in particular, just be conscious of the fact (as you will see), that your wrist may hit against the handle, especially as you reach high speed going through the trees.



The Eagle Tour Facts: 5 zip lines and 4 tree top bridges.  Height range from 675ft – 2,400ft with the longest descending 30 stories!  The whole tour is linked by zip lines, suspension bridges, tree top lookouts and trails…

The Sasquatch Facts:

Over 2km long (7,000ft) continuous zip line!

Longest zip line in Canada and the US!

Over 600 ft above ground at certain points during the zip!

It opened in July 2015, the fastest speed when I went had been over 145kmh, I managed to reach over 125kmh…and I went upside down!  Totally mind blowing, an experience I will never forget, and I have ‘almost’ destroyed my fear of heights…Sky dive next?

Banff National Park: Lake Louise and Mirror Lake

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Wednesday 23rd September)

While I was  searching and planning my trip, one of the most common places I came across known for its sheer beauty, especially at particular times of the day was Lake Louise, it was something I was very much looking forward to.

Continue reading “Banff National Park: Lake Louise and Mirror Lake”

Banff National Park: Lake Moraine – ‘Sentinel Pass, Larch Valley’ a quintessential hike!

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Tuesday 22nd September)

I had read that there were many different hikes available in this area, I really wanted to challenge myself and do a hike that would really get my heart pumping and my adrenaline rushing…

Continue reading “Banff National Park: Lake Moraine – ‘Sentinel Pass, Larch Valley’ a quintessential hike!”

Banff National Park: Lake Moraine…very, very special!

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Tuesday 22nd September)

I was told by so many people who I had spoke to before and during my trip that I must visit Moraine Lake, I think you will agree through the photos and the videos that they gave me the correct information, Continue reading “Banff National Park: Lake Moraine…very, very special!”

Banff National Park: Sulphur Mountain and Upper Hot Springs

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Monday 21st September)

Ok, I got up this morning hyped up for a hike, I had drove past Sulphur Mountain yesterday and chose this to be my first hike of the trip, it was excellent and well worth it…much more than I expected.   Continue reading “Banff National Park: Sulphur Mountain and Upper Hot Springs”