Just let go and make your own rules

I’m 29 years old and I am from Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada.  For years I have been travelling just for the thrill of leaving behind everything and exploring.  I’m not only interested in traveling but I want to know about the places that I am visiting whether they are tourist destinations or one of the many abandoned places that I like to visit.  It’s been a wild few years and I’m going out and making my own adventure.  I’m an archaeology major in my fourth year as well so I’ll be sharing many of the pre historic sites that I find on my journey’s.  I’m nehiyaw as well so I’ll be sharing my culture with you as well.  I hope you have as much fun as I do. I am going on an epic adventure and have decided to make a legit travel blog. You can follow me and see some of the best destinations in central and western Canada and I will let you know what the experience is like first hand as well as tell you the prices of this trip so maybe you will go on an adventure yourself. I hope to see some beautiful western rainforests, awe inspiring mountains and walking some back breaking trails. We are also going to visit ghost towns, abandoned insane asylums and some dark wet caves. Thanks for joining and see you on the road!

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Why did the ghost go to meetings? He was addicted to BOO’s…

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This picture was taken at the base of a waterfall in YOHO national Park in B.C.  There was hardly anyone there at 10 am and the sun was so bright I had to wear my University of Saskatchewan ball cap.  That day had been especially hard because It was on our way back home, which always gets to me.  I always want to keep wandering but the reality is that I have to go back to Saskatoon and finish the degree I started.  Much of this adventure was spent climbing things and we tried to climb all the way up these falls but it got pretty slippery.  For some reason I had been feeling kind of lonely that day and was staring into the mist, at the flowing water and mountain top.  The flowing water seems to put you in a trance and this picture really encapsulated that feeling.  When your thinking becomes nothing but water flowing over rocks and mist floating over mountains you can start to believe that no one is more lonely than the tip of the mountain and it is your job to go and give it company.

The Bluest Waters and Valley of Ten Peaks

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Moraine Lake in Banff Alberta is is glacier fed lake nestled in between several mountains.  Here you can take a few different hikes through this valley to see the lake and surrounding areas.  From the high vantage point at the end of the rocky stairway you can see the mountains, forests and gorgeous blue waters.  I took a few pictures and then sat on the rocks for about a half an hour with my boyfriend to enjoy the beauty of the bluest waters I have ever seen in my life.  It was truly breathtaking and one of my top moments for the road trip we were taking.  It was pretty windy up there so I suggest ya’ll bring a sweater or jacket for this walk and some really grippy shoes.  It’s only a ten minute walk up the tower of rock and there are very well made steps.  Make sure to bring your own water and snacks if you come here, one 500 ml bottle of water cost me $5.25 (ca).  There are also hiking trails all over the area and a cute gift shop where they sell name brand jackets and warm clothing in case you forgot your own but still are expensive.  This place is breathtaking and a perfect stop for lone travellers, couples and families alike.IMG_8744 2

Emerald lake

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Emerald Lake is one of my favourite places to visit in Yoho National Park of British Columbia.  It is a perfect stop for lunch and an hour long canoe ride around the entire lake.  The canoe rental is $60.00 an hour.  If you are not a fan of the water you can also take a hike around the lake along a well made trail which is great for kids and the whole family.  There is a small restaurant located at the entrance as well as some gorgeous villas you can rent overlooking the water.  This location is a great getaway and free fun for anyone who enjoys viewing the aquamarine water and luscious green forest surrounding it.  Like most of my blog’s my biggest bit of advice is to go early to avoid the crowds and get gas before you head to your next destination.  As a matter of fact it is best to get treaty gas at the gas station right before heading into Banff and Yoho.  There is a white “AITE” card that is only used in Alberta that you have to apply for.  For more information on this go to  This Link .  I learned this the hard way because I had my status card and had to pay full price.  So if you plan to travel around Alberta and use your status card for tobacco and fuel, be aware that you must get an AITE card.  There is also an awesome website that will help you find the tax free gas stations all around Canada at  www.Rezgas.com. 

The Kicking Horse River Valley: Natural Land Bridge

IMG_8641.JPGIMG_8657.JPGThis was my second visit to The Kicking Horse River Valley and it is a huge tourist attraction just minutes before Emerald Lake so if you are going to visit I suggest you get there earlier than 10am.  It has many trails that you can hike and the water carved rocks are very impressive.  I suggest you grab some good shoes and safely walk across if you want to peer inside the caverns that are bursting with fast flowing water.  There is also a safer walkway you can use that leads to a few trails but this is a great stop for about an hour or so and is very kid friendly although i would not leave anyone unattended near the water as it is pretty dangerous.  This is also located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia.

Banff National Park: Back woods walking trails

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IMG_8634.JPGOn the second day of our trip we came across a nice trail on the road leading out of Johnston Canyon campground.  It was 10am and very warm out that day, perfect for a walk into the wild. Amazing views and a great way to wake up in the morning with a brisk walk through the back woods trails.  One of the biggest perks of the less travelled trails is that there are no tourists here and you can enjoy a nice quiet walk in the wilderness without bumping into other people or waiting for some people to take pictures which can be quite annoying if you are like me.  Don’t be afraid to try an empty trail, you would be surprised at how peaceful it is.

Johnston Canyon: Banff National Park

IMG_8601Nipi is how you say “water” in Cree.

Water is a sacred and strong force that can carve rock over thousands of years.  Johnston Canyon is proof of the power that water has over it’s environment.  The air here is crisp and the trees are so tall that they hide the sun.  The “nipi” is so clear that you can see the stones underneath the flowing rapids and they form a mosaic of natural color throughout the hike to the falls.  If you are looking for a moderately easy walk along an accessible path this is the place for you.  The walk to the falls is about 2 hours if you pace yourself and stop to take pictures every few minutes like I do.  There is also a nice cozy restaurant you can go eat at if you start early enough for your walk.  The campsites are pretty nice but i would advise that you book early because in summer all of Banff is booked!

The Abandoned

IMG_8541All throughout Canadas highways you will see abandoned buildings and I often wonder, what happened? Luckily if you are traveling you can search “Ghost Towns” in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. (as far as I know) and wikipedia will come up with a list of places you can see.  Scroll past all of the listed towns to the “see also” menu and you can choose to map all coordinates using Google.  It is a neat tool because it is really important to read the information about the site before you go there!  There is nothing worse than expecting a cool building, only to find that place was burnt down years ago.  Just note that most of the buildings are dangerous and sometimes off limits to the public so be careful while exploring.  One of my favourite places to visit in Saskatchewan is the disbanded radar dome which was completed during the cold war in 1963 to monitor Soviet activity in North American airspace.  Located on highway 7.

This is Saskatchewan Highways!

IMG_8524For the first 5 hours of my trip to Vancouver the prairies take hold of all the roads.  The wheat fields almost look like a yellow desert encroaching every piece of land that you see.  Sometimes I imagine how it must have looked two hundred years ago, populated by bison.  Bison used to rule this land and now it is taken over by wheat. The land here is so flat that you can see for days, this is the bud of every joke made about Saskatchewan.  It is golden, beautiful, and it is Saskatchewan.

The Night before the Trip

Going on a week long road trip is so exciting that sometimes we travellers forget how important it is to prepare for the road.  All sorts of things can happen so it is important to pack accordingly.  It’s almost 9pm and I am sitting at my dining room trying to decide what fits best for this adventure.  Here are some guidelines for a good trip.

Pack a few days in advance

I usually have all of my camping gear in my car already but it’s always a good Idea to take everything out of the car that you do not need!  I’m ditching the heavy folding chairs and bringing half the amount of clothes that I would bring on a regular trip because any extra baggage makes it difficult to find things!  Just bring the essentials and don’t go nuts if its an outdoor excursion with things you may not need.

Be aware of the elements!

I’m from Saskatoon which is a beautiful city and it gets pretty hot in the summer.  My trip to Kelowna last year was a kick to the system, I had never expected to burn like that in my life.  Nightlife was great downtown but during the day I went and watched Suicide Squad and then had dinner at a Milestones which had a mist spraying continuously in the air.  I was amazed.

In the mountains it can be freezing at night and hot during the day and continuously raining so don’t be a hero thinking your hoodie is gonna do the trick.  Pack for rain, heat and cold.  Also, make sure you have the right shoes, it was hilarious watching my boyfriend ski down the mountain at Grassy Lake, Alberta in his Vans skater shoes.  It’s good for a laugh but we learned our lesson.

This year its burning pretty bad in B.C. so I kept that in mind while making my road trip map.  You can see on the weather network where the fires are and where the smoke is the worst.  Unfortunately, I’m skipping Kelowna this time. Sadface.

Get a good nights sleep

Remember that the road ahead is unknown and you are leaving your comfort zone.  Take this time to appreciate your home and comfy bed because, you wont be seeing it for awhile!

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About Me: Lilly

There is something special about venturing into the unknown and exploring the world.  It makes me feel like the world is mine, something to share with my community in intimate detail.  I have been travelling since I was a kid, sitting in my father’s van while he drove into the starry night as I fell asleep to the sounds of rain pattering the roof or feeling the rhythm of bumps in the road.  I feel like travelling is in my blood as I am a Cree person and that was a way of life for many of my ancestors.  The correct name for my people is Nêhiwayak which translates to “the people of four”.  I want to share some of my indigenous knowledge with the world because it seems like now we need that ancient knowledge more than ever.  Come join me for this journey.  Tiniki, Thank you.