M Schols

Joined July 2016
  • Day8

    13: Icefield Parkway crossing

    September 17 in Canada

    And it's time to move on again! After waking up in our romantic cabin we ate our breaky and left around 10.30 to drive 350km over the Icefield Parkway. It's an amazing ride through the Rocky Mountains. This road isn't always open because of the weather conditions in the winter. Luckily for us it's still open😊. We started with a stop at a lookout spot over the Athabasca pass. A beautifull spot to look out over the valley and some of the biggest mountains in this area. After this we went to the Athabasca falls with lots of turquoise coloured water falling into a great canyon. We could see that this wasn't even the biggest load of water coming through each year but just one tenth maybe. Time to go a bit further to some more falls, the Sunwapta falls. Also loads of water falling down and a very different view on the side. Then we made a few more stops before we encountered the Athabasca Glacier. A short walk took us almost to the edge of the glacier, where it was really windy and cold, but nevertheless amazing to see. At this point we were halfway through the Icefield Parkway and it didn't disappoint us at all. During this wonderfull ride we went into the next National Park, called Banff. If you would only drive through the valleys it's already amazing, but the stops makes it even more gorgeous. We made 2 more stops at the Parker Ridge trailhead and the Crowfoot glacier and because we would come back later on this week to do a traill here we just kept driving the last part of this road and straight to our Motel just outside Banff National Park in 'Golden'. After arriving we dropped off our bags and went for a great meal at The Taps Pub, downtown. Allthough downtown🤔 a few shops and even less restaurants apparently earns the title 'downtown'... Nevertheless the food and the atmosphere were excellent. Around 20.30 we went to the Motel to blog ;-) and have a good night sleep!Read more

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  • Day7

    12: Maligne Lake Snow Challenge

    September 16 in Canada

    So we were in the neighbourhood so instead of taking this day as a day off we did an even more exhausting hike than the day before. 15k (which is 2,5k shorter) but 550 meter elevation was quite a challenge when the trails are covered in snow. We started a bit late since we lacked some sleep and made our own breakfast. On our way to the lake we had to stop ten times for wildlife next to the road, we saw a Coyote running next to our car, Elks, Bighorn sheep and 2 BullMoose showing off. When we arrived at Maligne lake we could jump out and run off to do a short trail and halfway break it off to head to the mountain trail. This was a tough climb since after 30min we tought we were passed halfway easily. We found the crossing that marked half way 15 minutes later... damn we had to climb even more and more... when we passed other coming down we heard it was foggy at the top and the view not so good. Thankfully when we finally arrived it cleared up for 10minutes and we had great fun :-).
    The way down was easier but still a little slippery here and there. When almost back at the car we had a Moose on our road but it left as quick as it appeared. So we drove back to Jasper to have some delicous pizza's and well deserved alcohol. We coincidentally sat next to the 2 Belgian girls that came down the hill and had foggy view. Small world here ;-). After coffee at the restaurant we rode back and encountered countless Elks on our way back to Pocahontas. Amazing country this is. Time for a movie and some wine. Ciao Ciao.
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  • Day6

    Yeah let's plan a "Restday".... wait, what? Well Maris was little less energetic since she had a little feverish night. I would say she was smoking hot last night bit people would think I mean something else... ;-).
    So we took it slow... we hiked 17,5k in 4 hours to Kinney lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park... she made me do it I swear :-). It was a shame to let it pass since the weather was good and Maris was feeling better outdoors anyway.
    After the walk in the park we drove to Jasper and did some shopping (since the snow was appearing all around us we needed some upgrades). We had some nice fresh subway food and moved on to Pocahontas Cabins near Miette Hotsprings. We were banished here since everything was sold out or overpriced in and around Jasper. I got it when we drove through it all looked nice and like a ski resort. We were in Jasper National Park and encounterd 3 Elks directly after leaving the village. Awesome creatures. For me they look like the Reindeers of Santa Claus especially with the snow in the background (apparently these are Caribou's). Ok the Pocahontas Cabins are so nice we are so happy to have booked 2 nights here. We will certainly enjoy this romantic cabin with the fireplace, a nice couch etc. Good night ;-).
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  • Day4

    9&10: Totally wild for 24 hours

    September 13 in Canada

    Second day for Wells Gray but since all the trails around Clearwater were shorter or too much the same we decided to head for Lake Murtle and rent a Canoe and spend the night in the wild since the weather was going to be good for the next day also. So after a short hour on a gravel road (google maps almost pointed us through a dirt road) but always keep thinking for yourself so we searched for a bigger road. When we arrived at the car park... only 2 other cars... but 2 men who just returned from the lake explained us that the boatman should be at the Canoe's from 11 onward untill he cleaned his shit up. Well the hike with gear was 2,5km to the Canoe's but no boatman. More people came from the lake and were able to explain us that the boatman never was here today.... and maybe never would arrive. It is also the guy that keeps an eye out on this non motorized lake 1100meter above sea level. We were planning on waiting for this guy but this Canadian group that just arrived explained that we could wait but that he maybe wouldn't show up today or tomorrow. When I told that there was a boat just handed in and still unlocked this great guy Allan suggested to use that one and pay the boat man when he crossed our path and explained the boatman wouldnt mind since he couldn't miss us. We went with this plan but to be sure I left my business card with a message so we could prove we would pay him. Also if we missed the Boatman he would know his boat wasn't stolen. So far so good... but we paddled kayaks before and rowwed also but a Canoe was a little different so a quick course from Allan made a big difference. We noticed in his lesson that I knew only half of it. And to top it up even further Allan found out we hadn't a cooking set with us... so he lend their stove to us. How great and friendly is this... Canadian people so far are so much more polite than elsewhere but they also are easy in trusting others and helping others out. We promised to give it back to family of theirs in Nelson where we go to in the end. So we rowed off and got the rhytm fast enough when the water became more rocky (as in higher waves and stronger wind). We managed to get past Campsite 1 & 2 and cross a big part of the lake to Campsite 3 within 1hour &25min. Good job. Next job was scout the area (mostly beach), put up the tent, build a campfire, make food etc etc. We had our jobs and succeeded, the stove we saved for if we failed ;-). This place was wonderfull I think it will be one of the highlight for sure. So we slept in the tent at the beach, damn it was cold, a little under freezing point, so more layers did the job staying warm. In the morning the sand was still frozen so we waited untill the sun rose above the mountain ridge. Than we got the food out of the bearproof foodvault (they have these everywhere where you can camp), had breaky with the stove which worked perfect and fast. After that we cleaned up and left the place better than we found it (a rule I learned at work). We paddled back again with wind against us but still a little faster. Before 11 we arrived and cleaned up the boat just before the Boatman arrived, we could have said nothing but we had such a great time we would be honest also. We would pay anyway, but telling him was a little of a bummer ;-). He was not amused but for a few reasons that made sense and some others that didn't. Ok, safety was a good one, but he can't keep track of everyones whereabouts anyway. I guess he likes to stay in control which I can understand ;-). We paid and said sorry and hiked back to the car. All went well and the drive back was a bit tougher than before since google showed us the wrong way again but with a sharp eye and taking it easy we managed to get back in Blue River around 12, had lunch and drove to Valemount to have a shower and diner at Caribou Steak & Grill house to celebrate the good ending of our little adventure :-).Read more

  • Day3

    What a day, we woke up in Barriere and rode to clear water and the exit deeper in to Wells Gray. The road started with asfalt but turned to gravel half way. The car and the road were in good conditions so we drove quicker than most and slow enough to enjoy the sceneries untill suddenly we saw a bear on temhe side of the road and when we were next to it dissapeared in the bushes. It looked like our old dog Castor but thrice the size... it wasn't a big one I would say. Panda size ;-), that is smaller than a pony or donkey but twice as wide. His paws where quite broad also. Awesome so see a glympse of our first bear in the wild. So after 2 hours drive we arrived next to the Clearwater lake. Our first real wildernis hike was about to begin, with the thought of the bear we asked the ranger what to walk best here. So we followed his advice, did a coffee in a forrest hut to avoid starting wet from the rain. The trail took us along the lake, up the mountain and through thick woods actually rainforrest was the correct type of woods. Including rain but we didn't really got wet from it. We had an amazing trip with beautifull views, trees, plants, waterfalls, squirls, chipmunks and a lot of interesting mushrooms ;-). No bears.... jet ;-). Cause well on our way back on the gravel road around a corner suddenly there he was: Balou the bear. Not being distracted by us he walked on the road and walked in both lanes and looked only once or twice our direction to jump into the bushes again. He or she ;-) is boss out here, no rush, looks like just wandering around and ignoring people. For us... just wow. Day couldn't be better we could check this off for sure... sadly forgot to make a selfie in all commotion ;-). We stopped at a few amazing waterfalls and rode to Blue River to make ourselves a late diner (21:30) in the Sandman Inn. The day was overwhelming but really tiring so night night :-)Read more

  • Day2

    7: On the road

    September 11 in Canada

    Waking up in Chilliwack and after a good filling breakfast we went on the road. With a good tip from the lady at the desk from the hotel we took another route to Kelowna, which was worth the extra time it took us. We knew this day would be a long one on the road, but the scenery was breathtaking. The road lead us throught EC Manning Provincial Park and Okanagan valley to Kelowna. After a 5 hour drive, with only stops for gas and switching seats, it was time to take a break on a rooftop terrace at Kelowna. We had some beers and salads with a very nice view at the harbour of Kelowna. Unfortunately we were a bit on a schedule and had to continue our drive to Barrière. So we went throught Vernon, to Kamloops where we made a pitstop for some groceries and diner. After this it was pretty dark, so our last part of the road trip we couldn't enjoy the beautifull outdoors.Read more

  • Day1

    6: Westwood lake trail

    September 10 in Canada

    After a good night sleep we decided it was time to go out for a nice walk. Because the weather was better we chose for the Westwood lake trail. A trail that lead us around the lake for 6km. It took us a while longer then we anticipated, but that didn't matter 'cause our boat wouldn't leave till 3.30pm. Still we were 1,5 hour ahead of schedule, which gave us some time at the dock to figure out where to sleep tonight. Relaxed at the Starbucks, with a nice cup of coffee. As soon as we parked our car on the boat, we went on deck. It took a while before we made our departure, but we got to see an otter playing around so we had good entertainment. Once we got ashore of horseshoe bay we drove to Capilano suspension bridge. Unfortunately we had only 45min left before it would close. Normally people take 2,5 hours to see the bridge, so we decided not to go in and save the trouble. We drove a bit further north to see the Cleveland dam and the Capilano lake, which made up for missing the bridge. After that it was Maris her time to take the RAV4 on the road and drive us to Chilliwack were we would spent the night. In the pouring rain, we arrived on our destination. But there was a little setback, the Italian restaurant where we planned to eat was closed. Luckily the lady at the desk of our hotel pointed out another restaurant a little further away that served very nice italian food and was famous for being a good and nice restaurant. After some Italian meatballs and pizza we called it a day. Back at the hotel we figured that the next day would be mainly on the road! Time to take a good night sleep.Read more

  • Day0

    Hit the road and divide & conquer. After a wonderfull breaky in the nice AirBNB Jane & Jordan brought their hangover somewhere half way to Nelson. We or at least I brought mine to Port Renfrew. A very beautifull place but with this weather nothing is left of beauty anymore. So we drove and drove and enjoyed the scenery passing by from this wonderfull dry place we borrowed from Jane (L). The Rav4 brought us all the way to Nanaimo what we found online during our delicous lunch at Lake Cowichan. When we arrived in 'Cinderella house' (the guesthouse) we dropped our stuff and walked around the Pipers Lagoon. We found some nice views a dead snake and furthermore excitement for finding alive animals ;-). When it was dark we moved back and had noodles for diner in the guest house together with our minion friend Bob :-).Read more

  • Day0

    4: WhaleWatching & PartyPeople

    September 8 in Canada

    I am falling behind with blogging and we are likely not stopping with getting into more adventures.
    So we had an early morning start to get on this zodiac whale watching tour with a fair chance to sea some killer whales. We went in to the mist what was interesting but not good for seeing some life on the water. But after a few minutes we came out of the clouds and had a much better sight. Open water everywhere and clearing up above us as well. After some searching on Canadian waters the guide said that we should take a look in US waters. No problem crossing borders here we were illegally in the USA. First time for Maris to be in this country so been there done that haha ;-). Back to the whales... but there were no whales.. after 1,5 hour we spotted some SeaLions and by than we were close to Sooke. We heard a lot of communication over the radio and there was a small change on whales further back to Victoria. Yeaaah eureka, a Humpback whale. It came up only 15 to 25 meters in front of us. Much to close to keep the engine on. So from there we manoeuvred a bit to see where it went and where we could watch while it was safe for the animal. Amazing sight and soon there where 2 other zodiacs and 3 bigger boats around. Time for us to leave. So we headed back while passing some nice rocks with a lot of Seals on it. The fog came back again so we headed out, back to the harbor of Victoria which had now nice weather. From the docs we headed back for a hot shower and to the Great Canadian Beer festival a few blocks to the Center of Victoria. We walked there since we probably would crawl away. The beers were really good and it was really fun with the friends of Jane and Jordan. We new Nigel and Shaw from eating sushi and we had seen Kasane when we dropped Jordan of at Brad's & Kasane' s house. The pictures speak for themselves. The festival was finished around 17:30 and we were just getting started. We got picked up by Brad and we moved to their house with 6 people in one Ford Ka. Good transport. From there the party was on and we went with the flow untill hunger overtook us around 23:30 I guess. Maris knows all this I had lost time a few times this evening. The walk back was good to sober up and I fell asleep instantly. What a day what a life here in Canada on Vancouver Island with these cool and friendly friends.Read more

  • Day0

    3: Pick up by Pickup

    September 7 in Canada

    Today we would be picked up by Jane & Jordan in their great blue truck. Somehow they managed to get friends drive the Rav4 already to Victoria and they themselves did an extra sleep over at some nice hot springs. Picking us up in Vancouver on the way to Tsawwassen (where the ferry would leave) went so smoothly that we were able to get a ferry earlier. Meeting Jane again in Vancouver was so much fun and it felt only months ago that I did see her in Cuzco and machu Pichu. This time she was with her boyfriend Jordan who is also super relaxed and a very social guy. With the 4 of us, we took the Ferry and time went quickly because of all the fun conversations. Our arrival in Victoria was like we owned the place. Dropping Jordan with friends, settling in a super deluxe air bnb, some drinks and a little walk in the downtown harbour. We ate Sushi when Jordan and his friends joined us in downtown. The guys were celebrating for sure or they had just to much to drink ;-). But it was a fun and dynamic group at this point. So after the delicous sushi we did one more drink at the bar... just perfect.Read more

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