Alice Lake Provincial Park and Squamish area, BC


The Coastal Forest is just magical... You cannot help but smile when you walk in it, feeling like pointy elf ears are gonna pop on your head or that wings will appear on your back. 

Alice Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful campground in that gorgeous forest. It's a popular family destination, so it's not unusual that the 108 sites are all reserved (and they don't have First Come First Serve sites). There are tons of beautiful hiking and mountain biking trails in the park and four lakes (only Alice lake is OK for swimming), but the hiking around Stump lake is beautiful. Dogs have to be kept on a leash everywhere and are not allowed on some trails and on the beach.

Nairns Falls Provincial Park and North Arm Farm, Pemberton, BC

North Arm Farm, in Pemberton.

North Arm Farm, in Pemberton.

Picking blueberries at North Arm Farm.

Picking blueberries at North Arm Farm.

The twins are both injured (bike crashes), so they are taking it easy instead of biking and climbing as was the plan for this area...

The twins are both injured (bike crashes), so they are taking it easy instead of biking and climbing as was the plan for this area...

The Farm store and Café, a wonderful place!

The Farm store and Café, a wonderful place!

After driving through a very smoky sectors from Prince George to Clinton and seeing vast expanses of burnt (and still smoking) areas, we turned onto the Sea to Sky Hwy and the landscape completely changed. We could not believe how many vehicles were parked along the highway at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park and a quick search revealed why. There is a gorgeous 10 km hike that leads to 3 different green and turquoise lakes that look incredible. We'll be back another year outside of the busy season (and early on a weekday!). 

The grades are pretty steep before arriving in Pemberton and the bus brakes overheated (and smoked) quite a bit. When we arrived at Nairn Falls Provincial Park (our destination for the night), the campground sign indicated Full. We still went in and asked and got the last available site! The hike to the fall was beautiful, especially at sunset (make sure your wear proper footwear and not worn Birkies like me, the rocks are pretty slick towards the end). There is a well-hidden beach where it is safe to swim (the Green river is pretty strong). More info here.

We rode some of the bike trails the next day (they are OK, but not great for the area). Aisha had a crash and ended at the Whistler ER (it's not broken!). The waiting room was mostly populated with other mountain bikers, full face helmet under their arms, limping their way in... All you could here on the interphone was: Bike crash coming in. 

We also visited the magical North Arm Farm just North of Pemberton (40 km north of Whistler) and picked organically grown blueberries and raspberries. We also ate wonderful homemade food at their beautiful Café (breakfast tart made of croissant dough topped with homemade pesto, a farm egg, goat cheese and caramelized onions) and had their gelato. Everything was very decently price, especially for this area. 

By the way, check out this fun graphics of us and many vanlife nomads at Mighty Goods. It's just too bad that they didn't include the girls and Stout in it, but still love it! Can you find us?

Boya Lake Provincial Park, BC, the Bora Bora of the North!

I mean, look how clear this water is!!

I mean, look how clear this water is!!

Picking Saskatoon berries on the trail to the beaver dam.

Picking Saskatoon berries on the trail to the beaver dam.

Isn't that place spectacular or what? OK, there are some leeches in the lake and lots of deer flies, but hey, Bora Bora has dengue mosquitoes and sting rays, so we're even. 

For more info on that campground, read my review on Campendium. Make sure your fridge is full of groceries and your tank full of water, because this is quite far off in the boonies. 

Under the rain in Meziadin Lake Provincial Park

The rain on my face, hiding the tears as I stand on that black pebble beach, hair dripping. I wash my empty coffee mug in the clear freezing cold water. I feel myself melting into the landscape. The mist, the cloud covered mountains and the weather matching my mood. I stand there a long time, taking in the magic of this place I love so much.

I distractedly caress a smooth rock between my fingers, lost in toughts. The puppy's playfulness contrasting with my heaviness. He barks at a rock, paws at the water, and his antics make me smile.

As I scan the horizon for grizzlies, I notice that the clouds are slowly lifting, reavealing even more beauty. I exhale. The clouds always lift.


Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia

Crampy feet from the freezing cold water! They still played for a good hour with that log together! It was a beautiful sight to see!

My mom flew in from Quebec to spend 2 weeks with us before we drive north to the Yukon for the summer. The Okanagan Valley is the perfect place to camp at this time of year. We have enjoyed the beautiful Okanagan Lake and did a beautiful short hike at Hardy Falls. JF found an awesome used Santa Cruz (Juliana) mountain bike for Aïsha (hers was getting small so it went to Mathilde) and she was zooming around the campground on it at every hour of the day (when she was not reading her new books that Mamie brought her or perched high up on a tree). It was the perfect setting to celebrate Mother's Day together. We had long conversations in the morning sun and around the bonfire at night. I am so fortunate to have such a fun, easy-going open-minded mom!

Hayne's Point Provincial Park, Osoyoos, BC

It had been a really long day. A day of waiting at the garage for the Westy to be ready (and then, seing the bill…) and then waiting for hours in traffic because of a car accident. It was warm and sunny outside. Clearly not the best day for being stuck in the bus.

When we arrived at Hayne’s Point Provincial Park at 9:30 pm, the campground was full. Fortunately, there was still some room in the overflow, right by the lake. The girls had been sleeping for an hour, but when we arrived, Aïsha said she was too warm. She joined me outside. It was pitch black. And we stood there in silence, hugging each other, looking at the stars. She decided she wanted to go for a swim, climbed down the rocks to the lake and jumped in! Ahh! The feeling of swimming in complete darkness! She was smiling from ear to ear as I let the warm wind wash out the frustration of the day.

Funny how morning never knows what evening will bring…


P.S. The photos have been taken the next morning...

Down the Cassiar

We arrived at Meziadin Provincial Park after 30 hours straight in the bus. We had slept in a rest area in the rain and only JF had stepped out to fill up at the Cassiar Junction. The girls and I remained bundled up, cold and sick, our bodies responding to the grey weather outside.

We had great memories of that Provincial Park and hoped to find plenty of thimbleberries like we did 2 years ago at the same time.

The sweet smelling air brought a smile to our faces as we ate dinner outside by the lake.

We were too late for the thimbleberries, but there was a perfect sunset walk on the shore, an eagle feather found, rocks made into knives and a bear cub passing through the campground. Morning brought crepes eaten with homemade cranberry sauce (from the highbush cranberries we picked in Alaska), dinosaurs swimming in the lake and more shore exploration.

Just what I needed to be reminded of the reasons we have chosen this life on the road.

Farmers' market and the Great Lakes

One of the things I love about living on the road is discovering the local farmers' market. We love our greens and sprouts and supporting local organic farmers is very important to us, so wherever we go, we try to shop at health food stores that carry local produce or at farmers' market when the timing is right. This is a great site to find the farmers' market in every town we visit.

The other night, we stopped to make dinner at one of our usual spot near Pancake Bay Provincial Park (Ontario) and the girls swam in cold Lake Superior while we sat in the soft sand. We looked at them jump in the waves and scream with glee and smiled in silence.

Things felt more right than they had in a long time.