After being in Grande Prairie a few days, and with a few reasons we realised we wanted to change every plan we had already made.We wrapped up our trip to Grande Prairie much sooner than we intended, only staying a week. After a very busy few days planning, we changed all our plans. We leave Canada next week (cry!), flying out of Vancouver on Tuesday 18th March. We are heading to New York (exciting!!!), where we will prance around and see the sights for a week, before leaving on a Jet Plane, to London! Eeek!
My little brother Tommy, and his lovely fiancee Katharina, are getting married at the beginning of May, so that is kind of what threw us into alternate planning mode. Hopefully I will be flying back to NZ for a couple of weeks then.
The first few days in Grande Prairie were super cold, but then the last few, it warmed up a ton, and everything started melting. I am suspicious of this “Spring” that is happening, it is 10 degrees outside, and thoroughly balmy. I think it is a ruse, spring has just happened like someone flicked a switch. I’m sure it will get cold again… second winter!
We did our last few chores, and packed the car up again, and drove back to Jasper. Half of the snow was gone. Canada was no longer in black and white, but now had a range of colours, blue green in the rivers, tans and browns in the fields – we could actually see grass! – green and mossy on the trees, and grey and green of mossy rocks. Lovely! Some of the rivers have melted up tot he surface, so parts are visibly flowing again.
It is tricksy though, everything melts a little, then cools and freezes again overnight, so you now have to watch out for patches of ice, where before there was just lovely snow.
Today we did the best thing ever, husky dog sledding up a mountain valley… we went with Cold Fire Dog Sled Tours. They seemed to keep their dogs well, and mostly I think they were the only place around Jasper to do dog sledding. The dogs all seemed in fine form, all were SUPER EXCITED TO RUN< PLEASE LET US RUN, TIME TO RUN? IS IT TIME? TIME TO RUN? PLEASE OH PLEASE RUN, RUN< RUN, RUN, RUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUN…. They all caused quite a commotion when it got close to the time of the sleds leaving, barking and howling and carrying on Had to hold them back.
What was great on this tour, is that they let you steer a sled yourself if you want. They give you the basic instructions and commands- start, top, braking, parking), and the tour guide rides the sled in front of you, so you are limited to their speed, but you get to steer and command the puppies…It was awesum!!! I want to go back and do more. It was so much fun having them all so excited about running, and that you could tell them to stop and go, and steer your little sled, and stop them from pulling you off into the drifts at the side of the trail, (Stop? they didn’t like to stop, you had to put the brake on, and tell them a few times, and if you were stopping for any length of time, put the anchor down, and when we stopped for lunch, they tied the sleds up, so they couldn’t just keep on running..).
We had lunch cooked over a little fire, snacks, and apple cider (Which in Canada is actually just warm spiced apple juice), before zooming off again. It was great fun 😀
Saw “Warning Moose Crossing” signs along the road, but unfortunately no moose. We drove on to Kamloops, where we stay the night.
The thing I am sad about is that I didn’t get tot see the northern lights. In Grande Prairie, I was finally at a latitude that was high enough to see them if they were just a bit active. However, they were not active this week. Incredibly quiet compared to the previous weeks. Or it was cloudy/snowing, so I couldn’t even see the sky. Disappoint!
Tomorrow we head for Vancouver, where we sort out the car, then make sure all our belongings can fit into our bags for the plane ride.