Summer vacation

Summer vacation

This summer as a family we travelled out west to Revelstoke, BC. Along the way we spent a few days in different places along the way.

Our first outing was in the Drumheller area, starting with the Atlas coal mine. I would highly recommend if your in the area to spend some time at the mine and take in the tours. At the mine you will learn about coal mining in the Drumheller area which featured 139 different mines. Of all the tours we went on I think the tour in the last wooden coal tipple in Canada was the most interesting.

coal tipple

The next day we went to the Royal Tyrel Museum and saw all the different dinosaur fossils. It took a good couple of hours to walk through the museum and look at the different exhibits. The shear size of the different dinosaurs is impressive.

Just outside the museum is an excellent hiking trail through the badlands along with interpretive signs explaining the different geographic features of the area.

About fifteen minutes down the road there is a site where you can see the hoodoos as well as an area you can just hike.

Following Drumheller we went to Calgary to visit The Calgary Tower as well as the zoo. Unfortunately the smoke from the forest fires in BC had moved back in so it limited visibility from the tower but it was still neat being able to eat lunch and see the entire city as the restaurant revolved. The tower was built in 1967 and stands 190.8 metres tall. From the observation deck you can look straight down at the street below.

From the tower we spent the afternoon in the Calgary Zoo. Due to the heat though most of the animals were sleeping but if you are patient you could see some of the animals get up and move about. We got to see a bobcat and a grizzly moving about after their afternoon naps. Of all the animals the pemguins have to be my favourite, though it could be because it was cool in their enclosure while it was 35°C outside.

Next we drove out to Banff national park for another night of camping. It was the first time being back to the rockies since I was a kid so it was a disappointing how smoky it was but there were still some amazing views. In Banff we went for a "short" hike up Stoney Squaw summit which ended up taking all afternoon but it was nice being out in the forest. Following the hike we headed into Banff and went for dinner before settling in for another night without a camp fire (Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia were all under a fire ban). We did get to see some mountain goats right on the road which was cool.

On Friday we made it to our destination in Revelstoke. We had a blast and there were so many activities I can't list them all. The highlights though aside from hanging out with family were:

  • white water rafting
  • mountain coaster

The part I enjoyed the most about the time in Revelstoke was the time with family and the view.

Following our time in Revelstoke we headed up to Jasper through the Icefields Parkway. The views were magnificent and well worth the slow crawl along the highway.

We wrapped up our trip with some shopping and amusement rides at West Edmonton Mall before doing a marathon drive home. Being back home and sleeping in our own beds was amazing. The next day we pick up our dogs who were super excited to see us again. The kids are already talking about where to go next time.