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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please
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Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please
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Kiwi_Explorer



Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

Hello from Nelson, New Zealand. We are a family of 4 (kids 6 & 8) visiting Canada in late April 09 and would appreciate some assistance. The main purpose of our trip is a holiday but we will no doubt find some caches along the way. We have been doing some basic research on possible routes to take while on holiday and places to stay and visit. However, we have quite a few gaps in our knowledge, if you can help that would be great.

This request has been posted on both the grondspeak forum and the bcgeocaching forum. Our current plan is as follows; fly into Vancouver 17th April and depart from Vancouver 8th May. Spending 3-4 nights in Vancouver before picking up a rental car. Intention is to head to Kamloops via Whistler and possibly staying at Lillooet. Then to Banff and stopping for 1 night at Revelstoke. Possibly stay in Banff for 3-4 nights with day trips to Lake Louise, Jasper Nat Park, explore around Banff. Next stop planned is Calgary 2-3 nights – possibly also visit Edmonton. We can see us spending approx 15 nights getting this far so that leaves us 6 nights to get back to Vancouver. A route after Calgary is a complete mystery to us. We need to get back to Vancouver and would like to take an alternate route, we had considered returning via the top of the US with a visit to Yellow Stone but know nothing of the possible stops along the way. We intend staying in cheapish hotels, looking at using the Armada and Howard Johnson chains.

What we would like to know in no particular order:

1. What are the road conditions like at that time of year on our intended route? We have some experience with winter alpine driving but don’t enjoy it. Would we need to ensure we have snow chains?
2. How does our intended route sound in terms of scenery and things to do/visit?
3. How much time would you recommend for visiting Vancouver, Banff, Calgary? Is a side trip to Edmonton recommended – why? What other must see spots are there – particularly the spots the tourists don’t normally go to – the places the locals know about?
4. Fun places or caches for kids would also be useful to know about.
5. Can you recommend an alternate return route to Vancouver from Calgary - doesn’t have to be a caching route just places worthwhile visiting (I guess they normally also have caches which is a bonus!)
6. Hiking/walking in the area around Banff – is it safe? What precautions would we need to take? We have no experience with bears – we don’t have anything like that in New Zealand – also does Canada have snakes or anything else we need to watch out for when trying to find a cache.
7. Any other recommendations about accommodation or anything else.

Any help you can provide will be much appreciated, thanks in advance.

Kiwi_Explorer
www.geocaching.com/pro...ca1a608c80
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Teddy2k



Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 358
Location: Rosedale, BC

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

That sounds like quite the trip you have planned! You will have a blast. I can't answer all of your questions, but I can answer a couple.

1. What are the road conditions like at that time of year on our intended route? We have some experience with winter alpine driving but don’t enjoy it. Would we need to ensure we have snow chains?

In May when you will be travelling, there shouldn't be any snow anywhere except the tops of the moutains! I guess you might hit some in the mountain passes near Revelstoke and Banff, but that should be it.

2. How does our intended route sound in terms of scenery and things to do/visit?

The route is VERY scenic and you will have a blast! Places to stop include:
- Whistler (site of the 2010 Olympics)
- Cache Creek (Hungry? Herbies.... best burgers around!!)
- Craigellachie (site of the last spike of the CP railway)
- The Enchanted Forest (between Sicamous and Revelstoke, great for the kids!)
- Radium Hot Springs (a natural hot spring to soak yourself in!)
- If you plan on going to Edmonton, try for a stop in Drumheller and visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum (the kids will love the dinosaurs!)

There are many more places to stop and I'm sure that others will have more suggestions.

5. Can you recommend an alternate return route to Vancouver from Calgary - doesn’t have to be a caching route just places worthwhile visiting (I guess they normally also have caches which is a bonus!)

From Calgary, you can go south to Lethbridge and then west along Hwy. 3. This takes you through Cranbrook, Christina Lake, Castlegar, Osoyoos, Princeton and Hope and well on your way back to Vancouver. There are TONS of caches to get along this route, especially in Cranbrook.

Hope this helps! Have a great trip.
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Team K1W1



Joined: Feb 16, 2005
Posts: 54
Location: New Westminster

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

I love your avatar the "Good Night Kiwi"
You'll love it here in Canada.
Drop me an email when you get close to arriving in Vancouver.

To see the highways in BC check the govt webcams:

images.drivebc.ca/bchi...index.html

check the "Southern Interior" ones. The snow will be gone by April

Steve (ex-pat Kiwi)
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

I can help out in the Vancouver area a bit. You'll be arriving in the spring (hopefully) when the cherry blossoms are still in bloom. Vancouver's parks and suburbs can be very pretty at that time. The city has more cherry blossom trees than Washington DC so certain areas of the city are snowing with pink petals. You can check out the cherry blossom festival at the following link: www.vcbf.ca/

There are geocaches close to downtown but my favourite area to cache is the north shore mountains. There are lots of trails through the temporate rainforest. One toruist trap is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It can be quite expensive but there is a free version in Lynn Canyon.

If you geocache along the north shore the kids may like Maplewood farm. Nothing spectacular and most of the animals in the petting zoo could be found anywhere in the world. Yes, I know. Do New Zealanders really have to see more sheep? **teehee** Yes, I've been to New Zealand and LOVED it. So many sheep ...but I digress. Maplewood Farm will have bird life that will be unique to you. Snow Geese, Canada Geese, wood ducks, Trumpeter Swans etc... It could be a nice break for the kids. A family of four can visit for under 20 dollars. Website here: www.maplewoodfarm.bc.ca/

Of course the stereotypical view of Canada is forts, totem poles and Mounties.

Fort Langley is considered the birth place of British Columbia. It was a fur trading post and perhaps has one of the few oldest structures in the area. The surrounding town is also known for antique shopping. Fort Langley is a way from downtown but can make a nice day trip by auto. Website: www.fortlangley.com/at...tions.html

The Museum of Antropology (at the University of British Columbia) houses a massive collection of West Coast native art. Totem poles brought from Haida Gwaii stand inside the building. It may be worth a trip if you're interested in the First Nations of British Columbia. There are a few caches around there too.

Heading out of Vancouver to Whistler there are many park and grab caches along the Sea to Sky highway. Be careful, however. Some caches look like they are park and grab but are a long walk up a steep mountain. It's a good idea to check the terrain rating. There are two major waterfalls along the route -- Shannon Falls (one of the tallest waterfalls in BC) and Brandywine Falls. Britannia Beach is a nice place to stop. There is an art gallery where you will find native art/souveniers for half the price of Vancouver. The town has been used for numerous TV shows and films including Scooby Doo 2, X files and MacGyver. Brackendale has the largest population of Bald Eagles in North America (during the nesting season).

I noticed that Victoria is not on your list of places to visit. If you have time, I'd suggest an overnight stay or at least a day trip. The ferry ride across Georgia Straight is very pretty and Victoria itself has been called the most British city outside of Britain.

If you're visiting Calgary I agree that Drumheller is worth a visit. The dinosaur museum is worth a visit.

There is more but I will leave it for a later date. You have a long time to plan. I just hope the Canadians treat you with the same hospitality I received in New Zealand. I absolutely loved it there. I got addicted to Hokey Pokey Ice cream.
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

If you are looking for inexpensive accomodation within downtown Bosman's Motor Hotel is perhaps the best deal. It is located right across the street from Robson Square and within walking distance to many attractions. It's in a good central location if you do not have a car for the first few days. The rooms are clean and the staff is pleasant but remember that this is a budget hotel. There is a 50% chance that you will get a view of the back lane and car park.

Website: www.bosmanshotel.com/

Reviews: www.tripadvisor.com/Sh...umbia.html

On another note I found a website on Bear safety here... www.environmentyukon.g...safety.php

Bear attacks are rare but it is always a good idea to have a can of bear spray if you're planning nature walks.
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goaliegirl38



Joined: Apr 19, 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, or driving in between

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

scruffster wrote:
I just hope the Canadians treat you with the same hospitality I received in New Zealand. I absolutely loved it there. I got addicted to Hokey Pokey Ice cream.

Couldn't agree more! And I'd forgotten all about hokey pokey ice cream Nut and Cadbury Yowie's!
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Team K1W1



Joined: Feb 16, 2005
Posts: 54
Location: New Westminster

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

goaliegirl38 wrote:
scruffster wrote:
I just hope the Canadians treat you with the same hospitality I received in New Zealand. I absolutely loved it there. I got addicted to Hokey Pokey Ice cream.

Couldn't agree more! And I'd forgotten all about hokey pokey ice cream Nut and Cadbury Yowie's!

Yeah, thanks for reminding me about Hokey Pokey ice cream.
Don't miss it at all... nope, not at all!

Steve
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Bestred



Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

We have children exactly those ages...I will get my husband to look up some caches along the freeway (we are in Abbotsford) on your way that are kid friendly and easy

_________________
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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5KingCachers



Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 29
Location: Logan Lake BC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

Wow what a fantasic trip that you and your family have planned. Hope you have fun (which I know that you will). There are several sites to see here in BC and Alberta. I know that you won't get to see them all but I must agree with everyone else that the Dinosaur musem is a must with the kids.

If by chance you come this way there are some really neat sites for the kids and for the kid at heart to see, I live in Logan Lake BC which is 45 min west of Kamloops and 30 min East of Merritt on Highway 5. Here we have one of the worlds largest open minning pits with all the really cool Heavy Haulers and cranes to see. Right at our info booth is one of the Heavy Haulers along with one of the shovels that you can take your pictures at and of course the kids can even go up into the cab of the shovel and check out the controls. With some really neat caches nearby this would make is a quick but fun stop for you all. We have caches for Girls and caches for Boys along with well hidden Ammo Can's. Please feel free to message me if you would like some more info.

As for some of the Caches in Kamloops there are some area's which you will have to take care for snakes. Check the cache listings and that should help you out.
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Kiwi_Explorer



Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your replies. They have given us plenty to think about and allowed us to focus out attention on some specific spots. We will book a rental car pretty soon and then hopefully we will agree on a route to take that covers most of the areas you have mentioned. Thanks again and if you see a rental car with a Kiwi flag flying on it give us a toot.
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Lode Runner



Joined: Nov 08, 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

If you plan to travel south from Calgary you might consider visiting Waterton Lakes National Park. It's a Unesco World Heritage site and the scenery is spectacular. I'm not sure what's available for accomodation because the times we've been there have been in an RV but there's lot's of info available on the web. Also in that general vicinity is Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. This is another Unesco World Heritage site

Also, I have to make a plug for Salmon Arm & Shuswap Lake (halfway between Kamloops and Revelstoke). It's a beautiful lake, nice scenery and beaches although the water will be a little chilly in May. What can I say, it's my hometown and I'm biased.

In Revelstoke you can take a tour of Revelstoke Dam and visit the train museum. Mount Revelstoke National Park will probably still be covered in snow at the higher elevations. We were up there last June and were walking through the snow to get to the very top.
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anakerose



Joined: May 26, 2007
Posts: 107
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

If you decide to come back from Calgary through Revelstoke, take Highway 97 south through Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton before heading back to Vancouver via Highway 3 through Princeton to Hope and then Highway 1 back to Vancouver. LOTS of great caches in the Okanagan!!!
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

Welcome to Canada, a land far too big to even see a portion of on a short vacation. I have talked to folks in New Zealand for years via amateur radio and still do on occasion. Some of those hams I now call friends and would love to visit them in your homeland.

One thing I would suggest to you which has not been suggested in the forums on the BCGA website is that you look for and plan to visit Earthcaches, they are such a great way to learn about the country, the people and all kinds of things which are often very interesting to younger cachers as well.

There are many Earthcaches located throughout British Columbia and Alberta and if you had any inclination to visit the area to the south of us around Mt St Helens in Washington State there are several in the immediate area which can be visited in one trip. In southern Alberta there is Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, not only a world heritage site but an Earthcache as well, and not far away is Writing on Stone National Historic Site, which is unlike any other place in this country, which not only has an Earthcache but also several regular caches as well, it is an easy day trip from Lethbridge, Alberta.

Earthcaches will educate and intrigue you, so plan on doing as many as you can during your visit, and you will find them along almost any route you decide to take in our great country…

Enjoy your visit and come often…
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Kiwi_Explorer



Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

A very good point about Earth Caches, we have a number of those on our list for the trip including the "Head Smashed In" one. We have very recently applied to become Gold EC Masters so already appreciate the Earth Cache experience. BC, Alberta and if possible WA EC visits will give us a count of 8 earth cache states, not easy to achieve when you live at the bottom of the world and are surrounded by the sea. By the time we get to Canada we hope to have been accepted as Platinum EC masters. The best thing about them is they are almost guaranteed to be in beautiful spots and a lot of thought (based on the 3 we have had published) goes into them. We hadn't considered the Mt St Helens area for this trip but will head that way if time permits. Thanks very much for your post.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Kiwi_Explorer Visiting Canada April09 Assistance Please Reply with quote

[quote="Kiwi_Explorer"]A very good point about Earth Caches, we have a number of those on our list for the trip including the "Head Smashed In" one.

If you are going to "Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump" then you definitely must go and do GC14G5W "Writing on Stone National Historic Site"
Check the cache page out, you will not want to miss it and I am the proud owner...Plus there are 3 regular caches there as well.

As you return from Alberta to BC along highway #3 you must also try and do Frank Slide Earthcache just before leaving Alberta. Oh so many caches and so many really great spots along both the Trans Canada Hwy and Highway #3.

Have a safe and happy trip

Irlpguy
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