Walking on Water in the Canadian Winter

Canada is one of my most favourite places to visit. Nature and the people are the drawcards and being able to walk on water and experience moonlight as bright as day are memories I shall call on forever.

Back in 2009, the (now) husband and I went on an adventure. A pretty exciting adventure – 4 weeks travelling through West Coast Canada, the USA with a side trip to New Orleans. Hindsight tells me that we needed 4 months to do the trip justice, but never the less we did the whistle-stop tour!


We arrived in Calgary around 10pm local time, we’d had a long flight and Ben doesn’t like flying! Instead of picking up the hire car, we jumped in a cab and straight to an airport stopover. I cannot remember the hotel, just the welcome when we arrived! Canada, I’d forgotten how lovely you are! Queue one husband-to-be at the end of his longest ever flight, sitting in the bar in a comfortable chair watching a spot of ice hockey and the waitress comes over and asks ‘can I bring you a beer and a burger?’ Ben’s reply (to waitress) ‘urm, yes please’ (with big, thankful smile on his face), then to me ‘when are we moving here?’


The next morning we pick up the car, and head off on our drive to Vancouver with a few stops along the way. Highway 1 still does not take first place for my favourite road to drive along (the A9 from Perth to the Cairngorms in Scotland will forever hold that), but it is in the top 3! Out of the city limits, and Boom! Mountains! Everywhere! Totally awesome. 


Our first few nights are spent in Banff with a day trip to Lake Louise for a spot of skiing (me) and snowboarding (Ben). I'd never experienced slopes like it. We lucked in with a bluebird day and all I could see were mountains. Absolute heaven! No queues so I skied up and down for an entire afternoon - I've never been so sore in my life! 


Another day, after visiting the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, we went to visit it's sister location at Lake Louise. That hotel paled into insignificance when in the presence of the Lake. They day we visited was a moody, contemplative sort of day. We spent it walking across water simply enjoying the silence of nature. I captured one of my all-time favourite photo's with the love of my life in almost complete isolation surrounded by the most magnificent of mountains. A lucky shot just before the weather came in.


Perhaps my most memorable part of the Calgary to Vancouver road trip was the stopover at a snowmobiling lodge in Revelstoke. We’d only driven 250 miles (400km's) in about 4 days, but I'd lost track of which day and what time it was when we eventually found our bed for the night up a long, winding driveway.


We were in the middle of effing nowhere and I thought we were stopping for a romantic night with the love of my life in a beautiful log cabin style hotel. But I’m freaking out that I’m the only female in the place! There are a handful of snowmobiling, beard wearing, beer drinking guys, my husband and I! I needed a stiff drink and a bite to eat. I foolishly asked for a glass of wine and a salad! Some sort of vegetation was assembled together. I believe a few glasses of wine were drunk. Needless to say I felt a bit on edge.


So I don’t know whether it is my lack of calm, or the fact that I’d totally forgotten we’d get jetlag but we’re both wide awake in the middle of the night. We opened the curtains (we’re not talking Sam & Dean style here, but late 80’s blue/green/yellow/orange affair) and stared at the most beautiful sight in the world.


The sky was clear, and the moon shone almost as bright as day. The snow glistened and we could see the outline of the mountains against the starry sky – shades of blue, black and white. No hint of human habitation except the log cabins outside our window; just snow, trees, sky and mountains. We opened the window a little to listen to stillness and breathe the clean cold air. This was the best experience of jetlag I’ve ever had and to this day I think of this scene when I’m feeling a little uptight or cannot sleep.


We carried on our way the next morning, no time to try out snowmobiling – the dudes were probably the coolest guys you could meet. I was over tired and a silly Brit feeling a little out of her comfort zone!