So long Canada…

The end of a trip always seems to be dominated by the mundane; packing, dumping stuff you no longer need and finding out how long it will take to get to the airport. Every time we face up to the prospect of coming home I convince myself that we can sail through those tasks with a minimum of fuss and have plenty of time to extend the holiday by one more bit of sightseeing, one more meal in a funky little cafe. And every time, I am wrong.

The one thing we had to do before giving the RV back was empty its holding tanks (See? The mundane…). But the reason that the campsite we were staying in was the last to fill was that it had no running water and no place to dump holding tanks. In fact Yoho campgrounds were a bit infuriating in this respect because I even those that had water insisted it had to be boiled before consumption, which is a pain when you are thirsty… We noticed our tenting neighbours had brought a huge bottles of the kind used in water coolers. OK so there would be plenty of faffing to come, but first breakfast. Leftover potatoes, the last of the mushrooms, a final strip of bacon all fried up with a tin of emergency baked beans we’d never needed. Breakfast of champions.

We washed up, cleaned out, packed up and set off on an increasingly frustrating search for a dump station and a place to hose down the RV. The Kicking Horse dump station, where we had never seen a single vehicle, now had a queue of five. The Lake Louise overflow lot had nothing. Neither did the Castle Rock campground. Finally back at Johnston Creek we found what we needed. I emptied everything and hosed down the RV, but failed to make any impression on the mud and dust that had been baked on over two weeks. Well all this meant that our hopes for lunch somewhere had evaporated and we had to settle for a quick coffee and the last of our yoghurts in a Day’s Inn access road when we stopped for fuel in Canmore. Oh the glamour.
We pressed on, joining a rush of fast moving motorway traffic heading east. The mountains soon vanished behind us and we were in flat farmland, heading for Calgary to give back the RV. It was just about over.
Favourite things? Tom said for him it was white water rafting. That was one of Philippa’s top picks too – and mine in fact, though we all loved the hikes. The Iceline yesterday was terrific, But if I could only do one thing it would be Lake O’Hara. It’s perfect views and atmosphere are a little capsule of Rockies gorgeousness to be taken whenever possible…

From Vancouver to LA to the Rockies this has been a splendid holiday indeed with so much variety it feels as if we have been away for months. We re-enter the real world a little browner, a little fitter and a possibly a little fatter, but with some terrific memories; hearty Japanese greetings, the flyover experience and a stunning afternoon bike ride in Vancouver. Gleaming exotica in the Peterson, fun with friends in Catalina, hikes in the heat and talk of movies while looking over the twinkling lights of LA. Then there was star watching with the Sturks and of course, big walks to big places. We shall miss the view.

 

Author: Richard Lister

Chasing horizons...

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