Crossing the Rockies

Trip Start Jul 01, 2009
Trip End Sep 12, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In 2001, Celine and I hiked the West Coast Trail for the first time together. Our children, were only 7 and 9 at the time, too young to accompany us. Instead they stayed with their cousin in the care of my mother while we had the experience of a life time. That trip was marked by dry weather, warm sunshine, short hiking days with leisurely afternoons in camp, and the company of 4 great guys from Ontario. When we got off the trail, we were on an amazing high and the kids were swept up in our enthusiasm. They made us promise that one day we would bring them back to the coast to hike the trail as a family. This trip is the fullfillment of that promise!

We've spent the last four days intensely preparing for our departure. Everything seems to take so long to get ready - gathering all our gear and ensuring it is in working order, purchasing new gear (especially packs for the kids), dehydrating food (vegetables, humus, turkey, tuna, chicken, ground beef, jerky, etc.), packaging our meals, measuring fuel, and on and on. With everything packed and the car fuelled up we headed to the Trans Canada Highway and the 10 hour drive to the coast. We left at 08h00 mountain time and arrived at 17h00 pacific.

We drove straight to Richmond where we have access to the accomodation that I use when working with the National Speed Skating Team. After unpacking the car, we headed over to the Richmond Olympic Oval where the team trains in preparation for the Olympic Games. My security pass allowed us to tour the facility and gave everyone a chance to see the place where I work on a regular basis. Then it was off to the local Save-On Foods where we purchased the fresh foods we wanted to take on the trail for lunches - salami, cheese, breads, an onion, a couple of carrots, an apple, and an orange. It is amazing how good these taste when you have been working hard on a backpacking trip.

For our last meal in "civilization" we went out to a great little Malaysian restaurant (Red Palms) where we were seranaded in Malaysian by local Karaoke singers...a unique experience and a memorable Canada Day. Then it was back to the house were we met up with my roommates, Derek (sport psychologist) and Gordon (physiotherapist) and Gord's wife Kim who was visiting from Cornwall, England.
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