A blog about my travels around the world, in search of wild parrots, great paddling opportunities and incredibly eclectic travel experiences, I try to make a difference by connecting people with nature, people with other cultures, and people with themselves by sharing my stories.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Enjoying the great outdoors ... comfortably
I never thought I'd be thinking this - never mind putting it
in writing - but as I've passed the 50-year-mark in my life, I actually think I
would prefer sleeping in something other than a tent while enjoying overnight outdoor
There. I've said it.
But although I'd prefer to sleep on something softer than
the ground and with washroom facilities that I DON'T have to step outside to
use, I'm not quite ready to go all "hotel-chic" yet.
While I have certainly enjoyed glamping, the destinations
that offer this option can be pricey - certainly pricier than pitching a tent
and cooking over a campfire in a provincial park (although even that is getting
more expensive, these days).
There area other alternatives to camping and glamping, though.
Canoeing Quiniscoe Lake
For example: if you want to spend time hiking in Cathedral Provincial Park in the British Columbia interior, you can choose to camp there, as the park provides both vehicle access and walk-in campsites.
The lodge is rustic - we're not talking five-star
accommodation, here - but it provides quick and easy access to several trails
in the park and even an opportunity to do some canoeing on the lake.
It also provides simple but hearty home-baked fare for
hungry hikers staying there. The staff can also help you plan your hikes. And
at the end of the day, you can enjoy a soak in the hot tub in the main lodge,
relaxing and soothing your muscles after a day of trekking up and down mountain
(Take note, if you stay there, they do shut down the power
generators at night, so if you require something like a CPAP machine, you'll
have to bring a battery pack or make special arrangements with the staff to
leave your room "on" at night, which they will do for you.)
The lodge itself provides transportation to and from a
pick-up point 20 minutes from the town of Keremeos.
The road is steep and rough enough you will not want to take your own vehicle
from the AshnolaRiver to the lodge. In other words,
"Don't make a fuss, leave the driving to us!" is a good catch-phrase
As for the hiking itself...
You can choose from trails that offer a variety of distances
and difficulties, taking you to some incredible alpine viewpoints of lakes,
forests and mountains.
You can also encounter a variety of wildlife; while staying
there for three days, we saw several pikas, squirrels, some mule deer and many
different birds, including Canada
jays (whiskey jacks), woodpeckers and birds of prey like eagles.
The trails are all well-marked, so there's very little
chance of getting lost. However, you are very high in the mountains, so be
prepared all kinds of weather.
We visited there in September, and alternately
experienced rain, snow and warm sunshine on successive days. But the views were
certainly worth braving the elements...
Regardless of what your hiking level or experience is, you'll certainly appreciate being able to wind up your day, curled up by a roaring fireplace in the evening without having to chop the wood or start the fire yourself.
That's especially enjoyable at Cathedral Lakes Lodge, as there are no televisions or telephones there to distract from the experience!
And then there is that bed you're climbing into, instead of a sleeping on a camp cot or an air mattress....