Miles: 1,127 Days: July 2 - 6
In loosely planning our itinerary through Canada, we planned very few days on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, opting for more time in Banff and Jasper and in the Northwest. This epic road trip topped our Year in Review: 2017 trips. We crossed the border at Noonan, North Dakota on July 2nd (the morning after Canada’s 150th Birthday) and stayed the night in Winnipeg.
Read about Planning an Epic Road Trip
Politefully nicknamed “Winter Pig” by our Canadian friends, our first stop in Canada did not disappoint. Once we got to town, we took Euro to a dog park, checked into our hotel and headed out for dinner. We found a British style pub, chatted with the bartender and tried a few local beers. The whole city seemed to be moving a little slow due to the party the night before.
Crooked Lake, Saskatchewan
After Winnipeg, we headed out of Manitoba to our first night of camping at Crooked Lake in Saskatchewan. The lake was very nice and we were surprised to see hills that surrounded the lake area. We camped in a hike-in site on the lake and played ball with Euro that evening in the grassy meadow that surrounded our site. At night, a thunderstorm passed over head. Lightning lit up the tent sporadically for just over an hour. It also sprinkled a small amount of rain.
Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan
Our second night of camping (the fourth of July) would take us west on Trans-Canada Highway #1 to the Qu’apple Valley on the western edge of Saskatchewan at the Deer Hollow Campground in the Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The Cypress Hills are the highest point (4567 feet/1392 meters) in Saskatchewan.
Early the next day, we took a short hike from Loch Leven on the Trans-Canada trail before heading in to Calgary.
After Saskatchewan, we kept heading west into Alberta. We spent two nights in an Airbnb in Calgary to restock, do laundry and have a dinner out. Arriving in Calgary on July 5, put us there just one night the night before the famous Calgary Stampede. So, we were in Calgary for Stampede. We didn't go as we had our hearts set on getting to Banff and Jasper for more nights outside. Instead, we visited a brewery, took Euro to dog parks and caught up on emails and the like at our Airbnb. Michael also got to meet a few of his photography heroes at The Camera Store.
Continue reading about our epic Canada Road Trip in Part 2, The Mountains where we continue our travels west and visit Banff, Jasper and Whistler.