Friday, September 03, 2010

Canada - Final Preperations

With less than 2-weeks to go to our departure for our RV tour of Canada preparations in relation to our planned route are in the final stages. There are two vehicles planned with Dee and I in one and Dave my best mate who resides in Spain in the other, the plan is to meet up in Calgary on September 17th.

Dee has planned a provisional route which begins at Calgary and takes us immediately west toward the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park, a visit to Banff where we were married last year will be out first stop for provisions and a reminisce.

From Banff, where we are now at 4,800ft, we move west and across into British Columbia visiting the Vermilion Lakes and pass. The Vermilion Lakes are a large wetland area of sedge and willow flats and shallow water bodies connected by many small channels. Spruce stands are home year-round to Three-toed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper and Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pileated Woodpecker have also been seen in the aspens and dead conifers. Northern Pygmy-, Barred and Boreal Owls are also possible and during autumn and winter you may be lucky enough to encounter Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin (rare) and Evening Grosbeak.

White Winged Crossbill
After Vermilion we travel north and back into Alberta taking in Lake Louise, Johnson's Canyon, which is one of only three known breeding sites of Black Swift in Alberta, and Lake Moraine before crossing into Jasper National Park a few days later at the Saskatchewan River Crossing.

From Jasper we now head west crossing from Alberta back into British Columbia once more at Yellowhead and then turn south-west for several days to investigate Wells Gray Provincial Park. Black Bears, Grizzlies, Moose, Mountain Goats, Caribou, Wolves, Cougar and bird species such as Merlin, Osprey, Eagle, Cranes and Heron are all a possibility.

Our next way point is due west, and uncharted territory for us, as we head for Williams Lake near the San Jose River, the lake offers a unique opportunity to view shorebirds and waterfowl that populate the wetland marsh. Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Marsh Wren, Brewer's Blackbird, Great Blue Heron, Hooded Merganser, Swallows, Flycatchers, Gulls, Hummingbirds, and songbirds. Animals include Red Foxes, Mink, Otters, Beavers and Muskrats. Here we also plan to visit the Indian reserves at Deep Creek and re-assess the trip for timings.

From here and over the following week we turn in a southerly direction towards Carpenter Lake, then progressing further south arriving at The Whistler, Garibaldi Provisional Park. The final leg of our trip will see us arriving at Vancouver where we split and depart for our journeys back to the UK and Spain.