100 Mile House, BC to Jasper, Alberta

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 22 ~Day #43
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$4300
$101.40
$5368.73
$124.85
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
5557+296=5853
3826
000
69
10356.4

Location: Jasper, Alberta

Today’s Total Expenses: $101.40

Transportation: $40.00
Accommodation: $27.40
Food: $17.40
Entertainment: $16.60

Happy Birthday!

Today was my daughter’s birthday and I was afraid we might not have an Internet connection so that I could use Skype to call her and wish her a Happy Birthday.

There was supposed to be a WiFi connection at the campground we stayed in last night, but no matter what we did we just couldn’t get it to work.

But, as luck would have it, we stopped at a little market (Jim’s Food Market) in Clearwater, BC and were able to get a good enough signal so that we could call. The connection wasn’t great but we could at least hear each other most of the time even though it was a very short call.

Happy Birthday, sweetie! Love you. Hope you had a great day.

Mount Robson

Along the route to Jasper we stopped at Mount Robson. Mount Robson is 12,972 ft tall.

Note to BC Provincial Parks: I understand that Canada uses the metric system, but for most visitors 12,972 ft would seem way more impressive than the same height in meters (3954 m). All I’m suggesting is that you put BOTH measurements on the signs so people who are not familiar with the metric system don’t confuse it with feet or don’t need to do the conversion (which most of us would get wrong anyway).

Jasper National Park

We were a little taken aback at the cost to enter the park and the cost for camping, which I will cover a little later.

I will leave the rant to Geoff, who is much better at such things, but it seems to me that, being Canadian, we shouldn’t have to pay quite so much. We had planned to stay in the park longer, but not at these prices.

A senior’s day pass (good for 24 hours) into the Park was $16.60 for both of us. There is no discount for extra days and if you plan to stay a week or more, you might as well get the annual pass that is about $140, but at least it covers most Federal Parks.

Now, this does’t include the cost of camping. For a tent site with no electricity or water the cost was $27.40/night. Although there were toilets and showers, the toilets were a fair distance away – particularly for someone like me who generally needs to get up at least once a night – and the showers were way over by the entrance to the campground.

For the same amount of money, or even less, we’ve been able to stay at a reasonably nice hotel in the States.

I don’t want to sound negative but we are Canadian and pay Canadian taxes. Shouldn’t there be a different rate for taxpayers?

At the Grand Canyon, if you were a senior and a US resident or citizen, you received a significant discount for park entry fees and camping. And, although the park entry fee was $25.00, it was good for an entire week.

Wildlife Encounter

Okay, time to get more positive.

After popping into the Town of Jasper for a quick look we headed back to our campsite and actually passed three elk along the way, just grazing at the side of highway.

They didn’t seem to mind when we pulled over to video them. I guess they’re used to seeing humans around.

They are actually quite large. At first glance I thought the one I saw might actually be a moose.

So far we have seen more wildlife in the few days we’ve been in British Columbia than we saw during our two-week cruise in Alaska.

Chilliwack to 100 Mile House Through Hell’s Gate

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 21 ~Day #42
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$4200
$111.91
$5267.33
$125.41
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4981+576=5557
3826
000
69
10060.4

Current Location: 100 Mile House, BC

Transportation: $79.00 gas
Accommodation: $17.75 incl showers
Food: $15.16 groceries

On The Road Again
There was a light rain this morning but it felt good to be back on the road again. We are headed towards Jasper and Banff Provincial parks in the Rocky Mountains.

There is quick route through the mountains called the Coquihalla (pronounced coka-holla) – Hwy 5, but it is not the scenic route. We took the Trans Canada – Hwy 1 from Chilliwack to Cache Creek then Hwy 97 to 100 Mile House. Yes that is the actual name of the town. Back in 1862 it was just a roadhouses that was located 100 miles up the Old Cariboo Road which which was a resting spot for travelers during the Cariboo Gold Rush

Hell’s Gate
The Trans Canada winds through some spectacular mountain scenery but it is just a prelude to the Glacier Highway we’ll be following through The Rockies in a couple of days.

The highway follows the Fraser River valley through the Coast Mountains. At one point the river passes through a narrow gorge called Hell’s Gate. There is a cable car you can take to a viewing platform and gift shop where you can get a better look but at $19 each there was no way we could justify the expense – besides it was still raining.

Maybe I’m just getting old and curmudgeonly but it feels like more and more tourist attractions are trying to rip me off. It seems to be a kind of vicious circle – business is poor so they raise the prices. The higher prices mean less people will buy a ticket which means business is worse. The only ones unaffected seem to be the Japanese tourists that visit the area by the bus load.

100 Mile House
100 Mile House is much larger than I expected with a good selection of stores but none seem to be open past 6pm. None except for the grocery store and we apparently needed more groceries.

In the middle of town is the 100 Mile Motel and RV Park where we pitched our tent for $15 which included wi-fi but not showers. The showers cost $1 for four minutes which is just enough time if you’re quick.

Turns out the Wi-Fi only sort of worked (which we are getting used to on this trip) but the site was clean and dry and the shower block was close. For $15 we thought we got a good deal.

Father’s Day in Chilliwack

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 20 ~Day #41
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$4100
$76.66
$5155.42
$125.74
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4981
3826
000
69
9484.40

Location: Chilliwack, BC

Today’s Total Expenses: $76.66

Food: $76.66

Father’s Day

Today was Father’s Day and my sister and I were able to contact my Dad and wish him a Happy Daddy’s Day!

Sadly, my Dad is the only Dad left now. Geoff’s Dad passed away some years ago as did my brother-in-law’s Dad. But they are, of course, still in our memories.

However, Geoff, of course is Dad to his daughter “J” and he was very pleased to receive a Happy Father’s Day email from her.

Laundry

Yes, more laundry again today. Does it ever end?

Traveling light is great, but it means that the laundry needs to be done way more often.

At least this means that we head out tomorrow with clean clothes.

Yes, unfortunately, this is our last day with family for a while. Next family will be with my daughter and her family in a couple of weeks.

Stocking Up on Groceries

Today we made another trip to the supermarket to stock up on groceries before we head out. Again, it was tough not to buy too much. Actually, we probably did buy too much but were at least able to restraint ourselves from buying WAY too much.

Repacking the Car

As we get ready to head out again tomorrow, we’ve made an attempt – well, Geoff has, actually because I’m not very good at this – to repack and reorganize the car.

It’s really packed well but considering that we are “traveling light”, there doesn’t seem to be much room in the car once it’s packed. With everything in place there is just enough room for me and Geoff in the front seats. All the other space is taken up with the tent, the cooler, the groceries, our clothes, etc.

Turkey Dinner

My sister decided to send us off with a wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings on our last night staying with them.

We all enjoyed it immensely and all agreed that turkey is great any time, not just for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Thanks again for the fantastic time we’ve been able to spend with you guys!

Cilliwack, Oil Change, Repairs, Sushi Dinner

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 19 ~Day #40
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$4000
$35.88 + $87.49
$5078.76
$126.96
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4981
3856
000
69
9484.40

Current Location: Cilliwack, BC

Today’s Total Expenses: $123.37

Transportation: $35.88 cdn
Accommodation: $
Food: $87.49 cdn
Entertainment: $0.00

We got in pretty late last night so everybody slept in a little.

After breakfast I decided we had better take the opportunity to clean out the car a little before we set out on the next leg of our journey. So I pulled everything out of the car and piled it in the driveway. Then it was off to Canadian Tire for an oil change.

Canadian Tire is a uniquely Canadian institution. They sell an eclectic mix of products for a mostly male clientele but with enough household items to keep the wives busy while us men can do some real shopping for the important stuff.

For you Americans think of it like a combination of Autozone, Outdoor World, Best Buy and Home Depot. Canadian Tire stores of various sizes are in pretty much in every decent sized community in Canada.

Since they also have a service department I checked the Jeep in for a much needed oil change. They do a thorough job of checking for potential problems while the car is on the hoist and the mechanic found a rusty universal axle joint on the front drive axle. We still have six thousand miles to drive so it was not something I could ignore. $250 + $35 for the oil change and we are good to go.

We have not included the $250 in our expense report total as we are trying to

I’m a little bummed that the Hollywood Chrysler Jeep in Florida that changed the oil and checked out the car before we started didn’t find the problem. They charged $150 to tell us about $3000 worth of work we didn’t need but didn’t find the rusty joint.

Sushi
It’s never a good idea to impose yourself on family without contributing something to the household budget in some way or taking our hosts out to supper. TA and S love sushi so we decided to take them out for supper to thank them for their hospitality.

We have never had sushi so this was an opportunity to try something new. This was an all you could eat Japanese food restaurant and they had other stuff besides sushi in case we didn’t like it.

I know sushi is very popular and there are people that really like it – hey Japanese kids are brought up on it. But I can’t help thinking that for a lot of people it is like the story of the emperor’s new clothes. Just because it’s trendy they say they like it but secretly they are hoping for the next trend to take over.

For what it’s worth we think sushi is awful and would likely starve to death if that is all there was to eat.

What do you think? Are you willing to admit you don’t like it?

Nanaimo to Vancouver to Chilliwack, BC

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 18 ~Day #39
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$3900
$48.70
$4955.39
$127.06
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4917 + 64
3826 + 30
000
69
9484.40

Location: Chilliwack, BC
Mileage: 128 (Chilliwack to Vancouver and return)
Nautical Miles: 30 (Departure Bay (Nanaimo) to Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver)

Today’s Total Expenses: $48.70

Transportation: $27.70 (Ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver)

Entertainment: $21.00 (Parking for Stanley Park, ferry to Granville Island)

BC Ferries

British Columbia has an amazing ferry system to service many of their communities.

This morning we were up early to catch the 8:30am ferry from Departure Bay in Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver where my sister would be waiting to pick us up. We had a full day planned visiting Stanley Park, Granville Island and finishing up with a BBQ with my brother-in-law’s family.

The ferry crossing was pleasant and relaxing. I was hoping to see some wildlife along the way – whales in particular – but I would have settled for seals or dolphins, but it was not to be.

We felt the charge for the ferry was pretty reasonable. We only spent $27.70 for both of us and the trip was over 1-1/2 hours long and covered 30 nautical miles.

Stanley Park

My sister was waiting for us as we got off the ferry. She had brought our car, which we had left at their house while we were on the Alaska cruise.

We threw our stuff in the car and headed for Stanley Park. This is a huge park on a peninsula in downtown Vancouver. It boasts an aquarium, totem poles, many lookout points and more. I’m really not doing it justice with my description, so you should consider a visit here.

We drove through the park to get an idea of where we’d like to stop. We then found a parking spot and the parking pass was good for anywhere in the park which meant we could feel free to stop and explore wherever we wanted.

Our first parking spot was actually just outside the park but our pass covered that, too.

It was lunchtime so we stopped for lunch at a small Arabian restaurant for a Shwarma (I hope I’m spelling that right) plate. It was a plate of spiced chicken, rice, humus, tabouli and a pita bread. We couldn’t finish it all.

Granville Island

After walking the seawall in downtown Vancouver to work off some of our lunch it was off the Granville Island.

Granville Island is a mix of farmers market, boutique stores, entertainment, restaurants and more and is a “must see” when visiting Vancouver.

We were able to leave the car where we had parked it and take a cute little ferry to Granville Island.

While we were there we were able to meet up with our niece (who is expecting within a couple of weeks and simply cute as a button), her husband and their six Afghan hounds – that’s right, I said six and they are all amazingly beautiful.

Back to Stanley Park

After taking the little ferry back to where we had our car parked, we headed back into Stanley Park and made several stops throughout the park including one at the totem poles.

Wildlife Encounter

Finally! An up close and personal wildlife encounter.

Okay, it was only a raccoon with attitude, but it was exciting anyway.

Family BBQ

From there we headed, with the help of Madge (our GPS), to the family BBQ. It was lovely to meet many family members that we have not met before and to see a few that we hadn’t seen in more years than I care to mention.

The conversations were interesting, the food was great and there was most certainly lots of it. Many thanks to my brother-in-law’s family for including us in their get-together.