As we entered our last morning in Jasper we decided to leave the Bear Paw alone for today and instead went for a diner breakfast at Smitty's as we had no plans to stop on the drive south. After a quick lap around the town to stretch our legs, we headed off. As Jasper and Alberta shrunk in the rear-view mirror we crossed the border into British Colombia (where the signs have no French at all!) and followed the twisting mountain trails down to Kamloops. A 5 hour journey was forecast by the Sat-Nav although, slow moving vehicles, a toilet stop and road works pushed the timer closer to 6 by the time we parked up at the Alpine Motel. If we are being honest, having visited on our honeymoon, neither of us thought we would ever be back in Kamloops however, it served a purpose as a half way stop and our dinner and drinks at On the Rocks absolutely hit the spot!
With a fairly restful nights sleep (for the first time in over a week) we got back on the road early, only after getting Katy a pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks of course (it is now 'fall' apparently). Another 4 hours on the road today however, it was a beautiful drive down to Whistler as the brown of Kamloops gave way to the forested hills and greenery of the Coast Mountains. The only blemish was the insistence of RV's to keep climbing the hills instead of pulling in to let the que of cars behind them past. There was a slight time constraint today though, as Craig's NFL Fantasy Draft was at 1pm. Luckily when we tore into Tim Horton's with 2 minutes to go (we needed their very generously offered free wi-fi) he discovered it had been put back to 1:30pm (thanks Anna!) although there was a slight smell of burning rubber from the car!
Katy very patiently waited the hour or so for the draft to finish before we got back in the car and headed around to our hotel for the next 3 nights, the Executive Inn at Whistler Village. With the gentleman behind the counter being a stickler for the 16:00 check in at 14:45, we parked the car in the underground car park before going for a walk into the village. We browsed some of the shops and saw the Olympic and Paralympic signs from when Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
We returned to the hotel just after 16:00, desperate to get out of our jeans in the 29C heat, to discover the room we had been assigned was still not ready! Annoyingly, we landed ourselves an upgrade to the loft suite - we definitely weren't complaining!
With some chill out time required after 2 days of travelling we took a moment to read our books before heading out to the local supermarket to stock up the fridge with breakfast and some alcohol. A late dinner at The Amsterdam Cafe Pub for some pub grub alerted us to the fact Whistler was going to be a tad more expensive than what we have been used to for the last few days!
After some much needed showers we headed back into town for a quick bite to eat and then headed out on a hike to the Lost Lake. It wasn't an arduous journey, indeed it was mostly flat, on the Lost Lake Trail and the trees provided some shade from the glorious sunshine as we walked out to and around the lake. The lake itself , was very popular as families surrounded a sandy area at one end, close to the food trucks that were belching out the smell of burgers, fries and ice cream, to the comparatively peaceful docks that were decked with teenagers sunbathing at the other end. We whizzed around and headed back to our hotel room for a bit of relaxation.
The next morning, Craig was as excited as Katy was nervous. Ever since Whistler had been slotted into the trip, Craig had been planning to get out onto Blackcomb mountain to try his hand at downhill mountain biking. He had a 3 hour group lesson with Dahj as an Intro to Park and had an absolute blast, who knew he had such a need for speed!? Below are 2 an 'on-board' video shots at the end of his last run (anti-sickness tablet may be required).
Exhilarating rides down a mountain over, we headed to lunch at Basalt Wine & Salumeria and went for the Local and Handcrafted Charcuterie board that was filled with delicious cheeses, ranging from a smooth honey and black pepper labneh to a red wine dipped, hard goats cheese, and meats, such as the spicy bison and herb salami and prosciutto di parma, served with bread and chutneys. We can safely say not a drop was left! We also have to give a special shout out to Kyle from Uddingston who was our server and will be forever known as the man who explained the Caley Swally (Glaswegian accent encouraged whilst saying it) to us!
After lunch we attempted to go a short local hike however Craig's legs had started to seize up from sitting at lunch so, instead, we went to the pool in our hotel's sister hotel and enjoyed a leisurely swim in their heated outdoor pool before soaking in the hot tub.
Unbelievably the time to pack had come again and neither of us can truly believe we leave Canada 2 weeks today. Although, we do still have some stops in between time, and the next is Victoria on Vancouver Island.