From Sheila, Tubbs Ambassador
This past summer, my husband and I decided to take an extended vacation, for the very first time in our 31 years of marriage! Our summer getaways are usually no more than a week, due to my husband’s work schedule. We have loved our weeklong paddling and camping trips in New England, Quebec, and the Adirondacks, but 2017 was the year of an epic (for us) adventure. The two of us, and our two lab mutts, had quite the momentous three week trip!
Towing our cool tent trailer, we headed out in early September for a 3 week, 4800 mile road journey that would take us across Canada and the northern US. The whole concept of tent trailer camping is new to us, as we are by nature more of the canoe camping types. However, at our age, the idea of three weeks of crawling in an out of a tent was a bit unsettling. The trip had been in the planning stages for nearly a year, given that our primary destination was Banff National Park, the most popular park in Canada. Campsite reservation for Banff in 2017 were full by late January, but we had been right at the head of the online queue, and had booked some prime sites for our week in the Canadian Rockies
Our goal was to paddle at different locations as we traveled, and for the most part, we were able to get in all our planned paddling outings. A bit of sketchy weather prevented our paddling at the Rideau River in Ottawa on our second travel day, and on the return trip, at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. However, we cannot complain! We had a great campsite at every stop, we met some wonderful people, explored some scenic hiking trails, and paddled some less well known paddling spots, as well as iconic locations such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Algonquin Provincial Park, and the Bannf/ Lake Louise area. We used travel advice from fellow Tubbs Ambassador Kimberly Ciesla, and spent time at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore; if not for her suggestion, we would have missed this impressive natural spectacle. We met up with some Facebook friends that we have known for many years, and were able to camp with them, and have a sunrise canoeing outing with them and their three paddle dogs. And we saw fresh snow! During the second half of our week in Banff, we had some pretty cool and raw weather; when the sun came out,we observed the beautiful whiteness of newly fallen snow on the impressive peaks.
We (and the dogs) were definitely glad to arrive home, safe and sound. Fall paddling and hiking season is here, but it will be followed quickly by the arrival of snow, and snowshoe season! I am so fortunate to be able to live in an area where I can engage in my favorite activities right out my back door. However, I also enjoy the opportunity to explore, and seek out exciting new destinations for snowshoeing, hiking, and paddling. Now that our summer adventure is finished, it is time to plan our winter snowshoeing getaway…too bad that Banff is so far away!