The Mountie 1996.

Canada - British Columbia, Alberta.

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visiting this site since March 5, 2000.

Last Updated December 14, 2010.

The Mountie's of 1996 in the Vancouver Yacht Harbor.

"Silence is the mother of truth, for the silent man was ever to be trusted,
while the man ever ready with speech was never taken seriously!"
(Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala - Sioux. 1868-1939)

If You have followed my Trek Adventurer's You'll know by now that I really love the Rocky Mountains and of course this was one of the main reasons for choosing the "Mountie Trek", a 14 days Trek as my third Trek with TrekAmerica.

I flew in to Seattle, one of my favorites cities in the US on September 5, 1996 and was happy to be back here again.
This time I didn't go right away to the Trek Hotel but stayed at an Youth Hostel that first night close to the Piers in the middle of Seattle. Then I spent the next days going around the Seattle area by bus.

I went to the "Nordic Heritage Museum", located in the Ballard Area, and for me being a person from the Nordic Countries, I thought that the museum about the Scandinavians immigration to Seattle extremely interesting. After that I went to the University of Seattle, mainly because they have a really good museum about the Native Americans in this area. The University itself is worth looking at. All of this I did by the local bus system and it worked extremely smoothly. I am not used to that compare to other American cities.

The night before the Trek started we had our usually "Howdy Evening" and everyone was there with one exception. Kirsty from Australia flew in the next morning from Alaska and arrived just minutes before we took off in the van. This time the people in the group came from Australia, Holland, Germany, England and then myself from Sweden and our Trek-Leader John, or Rags as he was called by friends, from the US.

Ocanagan Valley and Yoho.

The Last Trading Post in the small town of Winthrop.
In the morning of September 8 we took off from Seattle in the van driving towards the boarder to Canada and the Ocanagan Valley.

We were two Mountie Trek groups going out at the same time, and now and then we came to the same campgrounds, but we were going on as separately groups.

On our way to Ocanagan we first came to the small town of Winthrop where we stayed over night.

The first evening on a camping tour like this everyone get to learn how to put up their tents.

Another thing is usually that you get some information about what to expect of the trip.

Nicky and Fiona with our first Winthrop campfire.

The grape fields in Ocanagan Valley.
The next morning we continued to the Ocanagan Valley.

In Ocanagan we went to a winery to have a tour around the area and then some wine tasting.

The wine tasted very nice, I love wine.

While wine tasting we also learned about how the wine was made and got some good advice about wine in generally.

Tony, Dirk, Kirsty and myself doing some wine tasting.

Nicky, Fiona and Caroline by the Beaver Lake.
We stayed the night at Beaver Lake together with Brian's Trek group, the other Mountie group. We all had a nice evening by the campfire together.

The following morning we continued to Yoho NP and there we went to have a look at a beautifully waterfall; The Takkakaw Waterfall which is an Indian name and means "the Magnificent".

Unfortunately my photos didn't come out any good from that place but I can recommend a movie in which this waterfall plays an important part if You would like to see it. Here in Yoho we also did a hike at the Lake Emerald.

Rags in the front and Dirk, Jörg and Tony.
Somewhere along the road in Yoho NP.

The movie is called "Last of the Dogmen" with Tom Berenger. It's a really good film especially if you like films about the American Indians.
Most parts of this movie are by the way filmed in the area around Canmore an hour drive from Banff towards Calgary.

The cover from the cd-soundtrack of "Last of the Dogmen".

Scene from the movie "Last of the Dogmen".

Lake Emerald with mountains in the back.
Here in Yoho we also did a hike at the Lake Emerald and it was a magnificient hike.

We got warned about Black Bears but we din't meet any.

Next day we continued our journey to Kicking Horse River where we were going to do some river rafting. I just love rafting it is such fun.

We had a really nice guide with us in the rafting boat he's name was Ian. I sat in the front of the boat this time and didn't have to do any paddling but instead I got all the water that was splashing over the boat on me. Most of the rapids were just a 2 or 3 on the scale but we did also have a few faster ones.

Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.

Later that day we went to a pub at Lake Louise to watch the finals of the World Cup in Ice Hockey between Canada and USA.

A nice lady at a bank I've been to a couple of days before had told me that Canada just beaten Sweden in the semi finals so naturally I had to make my bet on Canada in the finals. Unfortunately they didn't win, the US did and that made Rags very happy being a huge hockey fan from Philly.

We arrived to our campground at Tunnel Mountain in Banff. After dinner later in the evening some of us went out to the pub "The Rose and the Crown" which is a really nice pub in Banff.

Holger, Fiona, Tony and Nicky at our campground on Tunnel Mountain in Banff.

Lake Agnes with the little Tea-House in the back.
Our next day was a big hiking day at the Lake Louise area.

Since I did some hiking here the year before I went on my own up to Lake Agnes and then further up on the Big Beehive.

The beautifully views from everywhere up here are just breathtaking.

On my way back down to the lower grounds I just had to stop by the place where you can get a really good picture of Lake Louise and the Chateau.

I was familiar with the area so I knew exactly where to go to get a picture of the famous view.

Famous view; The Chateau at Lake Louise.

Jonny's Stable in Canmore.
The next day we went to Jonny's Stable in Canmore, an hour drive from Banff on the road towards Calgary, to do some horseback riding.

We had a beutifully trip with the horses out in the woods.
We took a brake along the road and let the horses rest for a while and we could sit down and enjoy the beutiful enviroment.

What really amaze me with these horses is that when you take a brake like we did, you don't have to tie the horse up.
They actaully stay with you and don't go anywhere.

Some of the horses at a brake in the forest.

Steel my favourite horse during our brake in the Kananaskis Country.
I was here at Jonny's Stable last year as well and to my surprise the horse I had then was still here so I asked for her.

Her name was Steel.

Steel acted just as she did last year, she still liked to kick.
The reason for that was the was not too fond of having other horses to close behind her.

But Steel was a very nice horse, despite the fact that she kicked now and then.
It was more the person riding behind us who needed to watch out and not get too close.

As usually I enjoyed the ride very much, it is so beautifully here in the Kananaskis Country.

Steel and myself at Jonny's Stable in Canmore.

Along the road on Icefields Parkway.
In the evening we went to the Pubs and Disco's. The Rose and Crown pub in Banff is a big meeting place for Trek groups so naturally we went there first. We had a great evening together.

The next morning we drove further up north to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway. on its premises.

We stopped a few times to look at the beautifully views along the way.

In Jasper we stayed at the same campground as last year the Whistler Campground with all the Elks

Beautifyllu view at a reststop along the road on Icefields Parkway.

Some of the gang on a brake on the trail up to Mt Edith Clavell.
In the morning the next day we drove off to Mt Edith Clavell to do some hiking.

We had a brilliant hike and it was pretty cold up there, lots of snow.

I had my shorts on, which wasn't that clever I imagine. But I usually have no problems standing the coldness even though I am freezing.

I am a woman from the northen countries so I am pretty used to being cold all the time but for some people it's their first time ever seeing snow and have it this cold.

On the hike up we took brakes here and there to look at the beautifully views.

The whole way up the views was just breathtaking.

Lincoln, Fiona, Kirsty and Tony on the trail up to Mt Edith Clavell.

Holger, Tony, Kirsty, myself, Nicky and Fiona on the trail up to Mt Edith Clavell.
Many people had asked me during my Treks how I can stand the cold wearing shorts when it's freezing outside.

Well, it is simply like this;
I am so used to the coldness from back home that I don't think about it any more but it doesn't mean I am freezing, I am but it's easy for me to not be bothered by it.

When we got up to the snowline some of the people in the group went snow riding on a plastic bag and Tony who also had his shorts on did get a few bruises from that.

Wells Gray and Clearwater Lake.

The next morning we drove a bit up north to the Minuit Hot Springs to have a dip in the warm water in an outdoor pool. It's about 40 degrees Celsius in the pools and it feels really good.

After that we took off for British Columbia and the Wells Gray NP. It was a long drive so it was dark when we got there and we almost hit a Black Bear that was running across the road at one time.

There are long days in the van and it's good to have a shoulder to lean on when you are tired.
(Lincoln leaning towards Kirsty's shoulder sleeping like a baby...zzzzzzz)

The group having an excellent view of the Wells Gray waterfall.
In Wells Gray we went to see one of the big waterfalls here.

There was a viewpoint right by the waterfall so we got an excellent look at the mighty waterfall.

Early morning the next day we met up with Dave, our guide out on the Clearwater Lake.
This was going to be the highlight of this Trek.

We were going out on the lake in canoes and stay over the night in the wilderness. We just had a day bag with us, along with our tents and some cooking equipment.

The gang is resting from the paddling.

Nice view from our camp at Clearwater Lake.
On our way to the lake we were that fortunate to meet a Black Bear mother with her cub beside the road.

Tony, who was in the front seat was however the only one who could take any photos of them through his side window.

We stood there for a while and watched them disappeared in to the woods.

We came to the lake and handed in our stuff and two people in each canoe, Kirsty and I was paddling together.

It took us all 3-4 hours to reach the shore were we were going to camp for the night.

Dirk and Fiona are doing a fine job in their canoe.

Holger and Caroline paddling on the Clearwater Lake.
It was so peacefully out there and the rest of the day we just relaxed on the small beach we had, for instance reading books or just sat there, relaxing.

Nicky and I went in to the lake to have a swim. The water was extremely cold but felt really good anyway.

The evening was spent in front of the campfire and a few glasses of wine.

Very relaxing.

By the campfire at Clearwater Lake.

Tony, Nicky, Caroline, Astrid, Me and Lincoln at the beach just by our campsite.
There was one thing that was really exciting about this place, and that was that there were a lot of Bears in the area.

To protect our food and other things, there was a platform up in a trea, where we had to climb up on a ladder to get there.

Here we needed to put up all our stuff, even the clothes we had been wearing during cooking.

Lincoln somewhere on the road to Vancouver.
The next morning we started to paddle back. Soon we were back in the van and headed towards Vancouver.

It was such a long drive though so we stopped when it got dark and settled in for the night. When we got to the campground where we were going to stay for the night the rain started to poor down.

After that night we were all soaking wet, everything was damp. After a while the next morning the weather was Ok again and we continued our journey towards Vancouver and our last days together on this Trek.

Vancouver and Seattle.

We arrived safely to Vancouver and before we got to our campground for the next 2 nights, the Dogwood CP, we went sightseeing in Vancouver.

We first went to a viewpoint on the opposite side north of Stanley Park where You are able to get an excellent view of Vancouver from above.

View of Vancouver - to bad though that it was a bit foggy this day.

Rags and Jörg playing pool at a pub in Gastown, Vancouver.
After that we drove in to town to have a look at the Gastown. Since I have been here before I just went looking inside the Native Art Galleries and found some beautifully pictures made by a local Native artist, which I bought.

The evening we spent at a pub in Gastown with a few drinks and some pool games.

When we later that night drove home to our campground we ran out of gas and Rags had to take a taxi to find gas for the van.

Luckily he found it and was soon back so we could get home.

Me and Fiona at the pub in Gastown in Vancouver.

A Native American Village rebuild on the outside of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.
The next morning we were on our own to explore Vancouver. I had decided to go to the Museum of Anthropology and Kirsty and Fiona went with me. That is an excellent museum about the local Native Americans.

After that we also went to The University of Vancouver which is located on the opposite side of the street from the Museum, to have a look around and to have a cup of coffee.

In the evening we went out in the Vancouver Bay for a dinner cruise on a yacht.

We had a nice evening together and ended the night in Gastown again at the same pub as the night before.

Then the next day was our finally day on our Mountie Trek together.

Some of the gang at our dinner on our boat at the Vancouver Bay Cruise.

We started up this last morning by cleaning up some of the stuff we used during this trip. After that we hit the road for the US and Seattle. When we got to the boarder we had completely forgotten about some of the stuff we had in the van, the fruit that we had for snacks in the van.

You are not aloud to bring any fruits or plants in to the US so at the boarder the van got searched through and they found the fruit of course.
Luckily we didn't get in trouble because of that, just a warning, but it was a bit embarrassing.

Some of my friends in the Mountie Trek group at the farewell party
in the bar at the Airport Plaza Hotel in Seattle!
We arrived to Seattle and took off for the big Shopping Mall, South Central to do some finally shopping.

When we later got to the Trek hotel there was a surprise waiting for me, my good friend Dennis from my Rocky Mountaineer Trek in 1995.

He had just finished the Klondike Trek; a Trek which I later did in 1998, mostly because of what Dennis had told me about it.
It was good to see him again even though I had seen him in Scotland just a few weeks before on our yearly RK-95 reunion.

We had our Mountie Trek goodbye party at the hotel bar later in the evening.

We spend the evening together, having a few drinks, games and talked about the Trek and the highlights.

I believe everyone thought that the trip on Clearwater Lake was definitely the highlight of this trip.

Ronald, Theo and Rags having some fun.

Some of The Mountie Trek group except me who is taking the photo.
Then suddenly it is over and everyone is leaving for their homes. It is always so sad.

Myselft spend the next day with my friend Dennis and Lilian, one friend from his Klondike Trek, in downtown Seattle.

We among other things went to the mighty Big Outdoor shop,The REI-store, and had a really wonderful day.

The next day I flew back to Sweden and my trip to the US and Canada was over for this time.


When I am writing this conclusion it's in the end of November 1999 and a few years has passed since I did the "Mountie Trek" in 1996 so it's hard to be objective at this point. I have done a few more Treks since then.
I do believe it's a really good Trek but now days I think 14 days are to short. Some of the people in this group had combined this Trek with other ones and I think that's the way to do it, if You can that is. I know we in Sweden are very fortunate having at least 5 weeks vacation each year and many people around the world don't have that opportunity.

Much of the success of the Treks depends on the Trek leader and Rags, doing this Trek as his last one with TrekAmerica, did a wonderful job, and most of them do.
So Rags if You ever read this; Thank You!

For me the highlight of this trip was the canoe trip at Clearwater Lake in Wells Gray NP. I would love to do that again if I could and maybe I will someday.

My Treks with TrekAmerica.

Last Updated December 14, 2008 - 12:30 CET.