BEYOND THE BORDER: LET’S GO RVING IN CANADA!

UntitledAnticipation filled the truck of our cab as we drove the two-lane highway north from Havre, Montana towards the Canadian border. How would the border crossing go? Would our RV be searched as we had heard happened to other RVers? Not that we had anything to hide, but the thought of having to unpack everything and open up the slides for a search seemed daunting.

We had spent a fair amount of time getting everything in order for this day. Thing 3’s passport card had come just in time. Rabies vaccination certificates for the animals were in the truck console. The day before we had shipped a few airsoft guns to grandmas just to make crossing as easy as possible (Canada allows airsoft guns in a specific FPS range). We had read up on how much food we could take into Canada and it was safe to say we didn’t have more than 20kg of cheese per person!

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Even Meow Cow seemed anxious about crossing the border!Untitled2

As it turned out, border crossing was simple and uneventful. I have a harder time getting out of Costco! We were asked a few questions about where we are from, what we did for work, and where we were headed. I even offered the vaccination certificates to the officer and with the kind of smile you give an overly anxious mother, he said he didn’t need them. Regardless, make sure you have rabies certifications for you pets if you plan to travel to Canada because you want to be prepared if the question is ever asked.

The drive through southern Alberta towards Medicine Hat was breathtaking. Rolling hills covered with yellow wildflowers stretched as far as we could see. Every once in a while, we would round a corner or crest a hill to be greeted by a picturesque lake or the steep asymmetrical drops of the badlands.

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In Medicine Hat, we passed the “world’s largest teepee.” Apparently, it was build for the 1988 Calgary Olympics and moved to its current location a few years later.

Untitled4Before heading up to Banff National Park, we spent the night at a Walmart in Calgary where we met up with another family, Paige, Scott, and their two boys, who are also en route to Alaska. So we are going to drive the Alaskan Highway together!

While in Calgary, we got a few last minute things like a hard copy of the Milepost and eighteen heads of romaine lettuce at Costco. The Alaskan Highway is looooong. 😉  We also tried to get a data plan for our wireless hotspot, but to no avail. We tried Telus, Bell, and Rogers, but none of them could give us a SIM card for our device despite what we had read on online forums. So it looks like we’ll be traversing through Canada without internet and relying on libraries, coffee shops, and campgrounds for Wi-Fi. Should be interesting!

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Your suggestion to stay at the Tunnel Mountain Campground was awesome! Thank you. Our campsite was surrounded by spectacular mountain views. It was a perfect home base for exploring Banff National Park – Canada’s first national park.

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Lake Louise was one of the most recommend stops on the Go RVing Facebook page. Lake Louise is a turquoise alpine lake situated at the base of the surrounding glacier-covered mountains.

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It was a cloudy and rainy that day, but we didn’t let the weather stop us from having fun!Untitled9

We hiked the nearby Lake Agnes trail with our friends.

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Occasionally, the sun would come out and the water on the trees shimmered like glitter in the light. Magical!

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Despite the temperamental weather, the views were beautiful.

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This was Thing 3’s first hike of any distance. He stayed nice and dry under the hood of his baby carrier.

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There is a teahouse located at the top of Lake Agnes trail. The cup of hot tea was our saving grace after two miles of uphill hiking in the rain.

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A few hours later we returned to the RV where a warm meal was waiting in the crockpot. It’s days like these that make you really appreciate the RV. We spent the rest of the evening cozy and dry.

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The next day we were ready for another hike. This time through the lower falls of Johnston Canyon.

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It was a short hike; much of it was along a catwalk through the canyon overlooking the aquamarine waters of Johnston Creek.

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This little guy ran along the rocks hoping to charm us into giving him food. No such luck!

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The path was smooth and wide enough to bring Thing 3 in his stroller. He seemed to be enjoying himself and didn’t even fall asleep.

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The lower trail ends at a small tunnel in the rock where you can view the falls from the other side.

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We aren’t above “rewarding” the boys with ice cream for a complaint-free hike.

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The town of Banff is beautiful from above and below. The top left was taken from a viewpoint on Mt. Norquay Road. The other two are at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

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This was taken from a vista point on the Bow Valley Parkway.

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A family of elk visited us the morning we packed up to leave. It’s hard to believe from these pictures, but a few minutes later a storm hit!

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Mountain weather is volatile. Just as quickly as the rain came and went, the clouds settled and hugged the mountaintops as we drove north towards Jasper.

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We passed many of these types of bridges. Notice the trees on top? These bridges are for animals, not people, to cross the highway safely.

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The Icefields Parkway was another “must-see” recommendation made by Go RVing fans. It was every bit as beautiful as you said it would be.

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The Icefields Parkway winds 144 miles through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It was completed in 1940 and is often referred to one of the most beautiful drives in the world and for good reason. The rugged mountains awed us with the plunging waterfalls, and sweeping valleys at every turn.

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There were plenty of places to pull over and park large RVs.

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It seemed every bend revealed a new display of nature at its finest.

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The boys even seemed content to watch out the window. There wasn’t one complaint from the backseat; nothing short of a small miracle.

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We arrived at our campsite in Jasper, which was surrounded by aspens, and set up.

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We have a few days here to explore Jasper National Park before we head to the Alaskan Highway. Thanks for following along with us!

Do you have a favorite scenic drive where you like to #GoRVing? Have you ever been to any of Canada’s national parks?