Burnaby, British Columbia

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Burnaby is located on the east side of the city of Vancouver.  While here we stayed at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park.  It is immediately adjacent to the Burnaby Lake Regional Park just off the Trans Canada Highway.  We visited the city of Vancouver on our car trip back in 2014.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

In North Vancouver you will find the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  This is a tourist attraction with the primary feature of a suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River.  The bridge is 460 feet in length and 230 feet above the riverbed.  The other features are Treetops Adventure which is a boardwalk and elevated footbridges among old growth forest and Cliffwalk which is a narrow walkway cantilevered from the cliff’s edge, extending out over the open canyon.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful place but it felt a little too staged for my tastes.  There are many places where you can get a comparable experience without the admission price which was about $69 USD for the two of us.  However for those who are unable or unwilling to do a little hiking, then this provides a convenient way to get the experience.

Sea to Sky Highway

On another day we did a day trip west to the end of the Trans Canada Highway at Horseshoe Bay.  From there Highway 99 turns north on what is known as the Sea to Sky Highway.  Immediately, you encounter jaw dropping beauty along the shore of the bay.  And it doesn’t stop as you continue north passing through Brittany Beach, Squamish and Whistler.  Along the way, a short walk gets you to Shannon Falls which at almost 1,100 feet is the third tallest waterfall in British Columbia.  The Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics.  It is a large ski resort with extensive facilities and village development.

Next stop:  Arlington, WA

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Hope, British Columbia

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From Anacortes, we headed north and crossed the Canadian border at Sumas, WA.  Once across, we turned east to the town of Hope.  This small town is on the Frasier River at the southern end of the Frasier Valley.  This is a place of spectacular natural beauty.  Near vertical granite mountains rise up in all directions.  The Trans Canada Highway runs through the valley.

In 1848, Fort Hope was established by Hudson’s Bay Company at the trailhead for what is now known as HBC Heritage Trail.  This trail was originally developed as a way to reach inland bypassing Frasier Valley since the valley walls were too steep to navigate.  In the years following, the fur trade and the 1858 Frasier River Gold Rush supported Hope and its residents.

Hope and Frasier River Continue reading

Anacortes, WA

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We parked here at the Swinomish Lodge and Casino RV park which is located a bit east of Anacortes and Whidbey Island.  During our car road trip in 2014 we spent a few days in nearby Oak Harbor.

Diablo Lake - North Cascades National Park

We took a day trip from here, heading east to North Cascades National Park.  This park contains some of America’s most beautiful mountain scenery.  The mountains are not the tallest but with jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, glaciers and sheer-walled cliffs there is ample dramatic beauty.  We hiked the Thunder Knob Trail which afforded awesome views of Diablo Lake and the peaks beyond.

Coupeville, WA

On another day we drove out to Whidbey Island and re-visited Oak Harbor and Coupeville.  We had to treat ourselves to the steamed mussels at Toby’s Tavern in Coupeville.  These are Penn Cove mussels which are grown right here in Coupeville.

Next stop:  Hope, British Columbia

Alaska Cruise–Week 2

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This post is a continuation of Alaska Cruise – Week 1.

Byron Glacier - Anchorage

Day 8:  Anchorage, AK.  This is by far the largest city in Alaska and is the commercial and transportation center for the state.  Valerie’s cousin Prudence is working on a temporary assignment at a hospital in Anchorage.  We were able to meet up with her and she generously offered to drive us to see some of the natural beauty around Anchorage.  We drove south from the city along the coast of Turnagain Arm.  Our first stop was a brief hike in Chugach State Park, one of the largest state parks in the United States.  While hiking, Prudence spotted a moose with a calf at about 150 yards from the trail.  At a little further along the road we hiked to Byron Glacier and spotted a black bear at a comfortable distance.  Back to Anchorage we stopped briefly at the Earthquake Park which captures some of the impact from the massive 9.2 earthquake that hit Anchorage in 1964.  Near there we saw a young moose grazing on the side of the road.  Finally, after a quick stop at Point Woronzof for a classic view of Anchorage across Knik Arm, we stopped into 49th State Brewing before returning to the ship.  It was a good day with beautiful weather and we thank Prudence for showing us around. Continue reading

Alaska Cruise–Week 1

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We took a 14 day cruise aboard the Zaandam, a Holland America Lines ship, round trip from Seattle to several ports in Alaska.  Neither of us have much cruise experience but we were thrilled with the level of service and the quality of the food aboard this ship.  We heard similar comments from more experienced cruisers as well.  Every evening in the main dining room was a fine dining experience with a varied menu that changed every day.  And they even had selections that suited our particular food preferences.  With a 14 day itinerary we were able to visit ports that don’t get a lot of cruise ship traffic.  The following is a summary by day of our experience.

Departing Seattle Continue reading