Ahhh… summer. A time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. A time for sun and mosquito bites and sleeping in tents. A time to bond over roasted marshmallows and shared adventures. Or at least, this is what I was hoping for when we set out on holidays at the beginning of the month. It was all of this and more.
Eric and I have always loved the outdoors. We’d both camped and hiked extensively before we met… Eric being far more “rustic” than me, had done a lot of back country camping. You know, the kind where you hike in with all your stuff in a backpack… even enjoying this pursuit in the winter. We’d done a couple of these trips together… before we had kids and I loved it. But since having kids, we’ve done very little camping. I always worried that the girls wouldn’t have fun… or they’d cry through the night and annoy our neighbours… or some other random excuse. After Eric took Ella camping last fall, and she loved it, we decided that it was time to make this part of our summer fun again.
We rolled out late on June 30th. I felt guilty about this. I had so much to get done before we left and it took me longer than we planned. But, as soon as we were out the door and on our way, I switched off the phone and lived the next 10 days in the moment… and here’s a little snap shot of what the first part of our trip looked like…
Our first night, Eric headed out to photograph the night sky… Beautiful, isn’t it?
The girls LOVED eating at the picnic table and thought juice in wine glasses was pretty funny!
As we were sitting in our campsite one night, I could see this gorgeous light streaming through the trees. I kinda love this image.
This was our compromise one night. The girls wanted to sit in their camping chairs to eat… I saw spaghetti ending up on the ground and tears over the spilled food… so they pulled their chairs up to the picnic bench and ate there 🙂
We spent our first few days at Sasquatch Provincial Park, which was great. There was a lovely playground for the girls, we explored the town of Harrison one day, and generally had a good time. When our time was up at that campsite, we headed north, up the Fraser Canyon, with no real destination or plans in mind. Our goal was to stop and explore when we saw something we wanted to see… and find a place to stay when the girls were done being in the car!
One stop was a short hike down to Alexandra’s bridge. It was built in 1926 and was one of the main routes to get across the river when they were building the railway.
We gave the girls cameras… and they had so much fun!
It’s such a beautiful bridge… even with the rust!
Tehya hitched a ride on Eric’s shoulders when it was time to hike back up the hill… she thought stealing his hat was pretty funny!
Next stop on our journey was Hell’s Gate. The girls LOVED it… especially the stamps!
This shot was done by Ella… glad we gave her a camera! (psst… we may have an announcement next week that ties in with kids and cameras…)
Ella was SO excited to write their names in the guest book!
After camping for the three nights in Sasquatch, without facilities… we decided that staying at a hotel or motel would be fun and the girls needed a bath! We stayed at the Totem Motel in Lytton and the girls were delighted to have our own little cottage… complete with a bedroom for them to share and a different one for us 🙂
We took the Lytton Ferry across and drove up to the Stein Valley trail head. This is definitely something I want to do again when the girls are a little older and we’re able to really hike with them!
That night we camped at Gold Pan. A great little spot, right on the river.
The girls loved watching the trains go by… I can’t say I loved them late at night! Definitely the only downside to the site was the fact that it’s right off the highway and between two sets of train tracks!
We had this great rock on our campsite and the girls probably spent half an hour climbing it.
Ella kept wanting to “spot” Tehya, so Eric was showing her how!
Love this image Eric took that night.
The river was nice and close, and the girls had lots of fun fishing, climbing, and hanging out by the water.
Before heading out on the trip, we talked to Ella a bit about the Gold Rush. Naturally, we had to try some panning!
While we packed up and loaded the car, the girls took over the tent… and they probably would have been happy to play like this for hours!
Gold Pan was the last night we camped. The girls were getting pretty tired, so after we packed up, we drove up to Cache Creek to explore a little more of the canyon, then headed home. Interestingly, if you stop at Hell’s Gate and are from the Vancouver Area, you get a season’s pass for the same price as your one time admission… so we decided to stop on our way home as well. Ella loved that we had a tram all to ourselves!
I think we may need a bigger car for our next adventure… though the girls didn’t seem to mind how full it was!
When we left on our trip, we left with hopes for how things would go, but we tried to not to get hung up on expectations. The trip was nothing short of amazing. The girls played and bonded in a way that I hadn’t seen before. They had fun and despite being really tired, they smiled and giggled and played our whole ride home. One of the things I loved best, was the ability to completely switch off. No email. No computers. No work. We had planned to be away until the 10th… but when we decided that it would be best for the girls if we headed home on the 5th, we promised that we wouldn’t allow that to stop us from being in holiday mode… but that’s a post for a different day!
If you’ve made it this far, Happy Friday 🙂 Have a great weekend!