This week was holiday time for the Collins Clan. In car activities packed, IPods charged, free games downloaded and van loaded up like we were emigrating.
We set off on our road trip to Fairmont and Banff.
I was excited for this trip. A much-needed break for the family, I looked forward to the scenic route we were taking. I was ready to embrace the Rockies.
We joined the worlds longest highway, TransCanada Highway 1, the road that joins 10 provinces of Canada.
Our first stop was Golden – we stayed there overnight. The hotel online offered us a luxurious fun loving time. Oh the power of advertising! We were glad of the fun waterslide as we all slept, 6 in a row in our little room being entertained by the mosquitoes that had taken charge of the place, thankfully many of them were squished – on our hotel wall.
Moving on from Golden we traveled on Highway 95 through the Columbia Wetlands.
A fact for you. Wetlands are places where water accumulates for a period long enough so that waterlogged, oxygen-depleted soils develop and water-loving vegetation grows. The wetlands play a vital ecological role by providing habitat for a rich variety of plants and animals and they remove as much as 90% of sediment and toxins from water. The wetlands also help prevent global warming by slowing the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
On to Fairmont Hot Springs – ‘where warmth comes naturally’ (nice strap line)
We settled quickly and soon set out to explore – we enjoyed the towns of Invermere and Windermere with their beaches, ice cream and resident artists.
Invermere had an interesting little church – St. Peters, otherwise known as the stolen church. The church originated in Golden and in 1897 the CPR decided to relocate their divisional point from Golden to Revelstoke moving all of the important buildings. A leading citizen Rufus Kimpton, decided to move his family to Windermere. His wife was so upset at losing her church that Kimpton as an act of devotion decided to steal the church for her. Brick by brick, piece by piece through many nights he relocated the church to Windermere. All except for the bell, the bell disappeared en route and ended up in Golden. After much to-ing and fro-ing Windermere kept the church and Golden kept the bell. They decided two wrongs don’t make a right.
Bells have a way of creating a ding-dong.
As for the wife – bell or no bell – love won.
Phil decided at last minute to run the ‘Loop the Lake’ half marathon, a cross-country difficult run, which he ‘enjoyed’. To ease his marathon legs we thought we would search out some natural hot springs. We set out to find Whiteswan National Park, and went 17km off the beaten track.
The drive was raw, the canyon below immense, especially as it was my side.
I was on the edge of my seat. Of my sanity.
Ten minutes of roller coaster at it’s sickening height.
The reward was beautiful. Lussier Hot Springs provide a natural, therapeutic experience. Nestled in an amazing creek, the first spring is 102 degrees. We enjoyed the calm, the beauty and the turquoise dragonflies dancing like they were at a hot spring rave.
There are 2 facts I didn’t know about natural springs.
1.They, therefore you, smell of egg.
2.When silver hits the water, it turns bronze. Don’t get me wrong. I like bronze when it’s meant to be bronze.
But not my silver Pandora bracelet. I much preferred it silver.
Thanks to Google – I found that bicarb is great silver cleaner.
You did not beat me Sulphur.
Following our natural springs experience, next day, we headed to the resort. As much as I love all things created by my Creator – I do love a man made resort! Comfy sun beds for all, pools for every occasion and the all-important high dive.
The high dive is what I will focus on here. Bella decided to enter the ‘Big Splash’ competition. A competition for young and old – big or small. The idea is simply head to the high dive, do your biggest jump and create a big splash. Now Bella in her little lean 8-year-old body was so excited and really did make a splash.
But then a new entrant emerged, a man stepped onto the board who wasn’t so lean. In fact – he was huge. This was his moment. Silence descended upon Fairmont, possibly the Columbia Valley as he made his way across the board and into the water. Entering the water with obvious drenching repercussions.
At the end of the competition Bella came to me and told me she was going to hear the results. I gently explained to her that she was unlikely to win due to her size.
‘I know Mom, I was in the competition and I want to see who won’
Of course! Silly me.