I have been on the road (or, more acurately, away from home) for a week and a half now, and guess what? Canada’s beautiful. I am currenly in D’arcy, British Columbia, and I have to keep reminding myself to look up and not take that I am surrounded (literally surrounded) by mountains for granted.

Just because it’s in my own country, doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be in awe of this place. There’s no place like home. Especially if your home is 9,984,670 square kilometres.

After a couple of rainy days in Jasper National Park, I hopped on the train (well, waited around for a few hours in a packed train station until the train was ready to board two hours late) and made my way to the big city of Vancouver.

Entering the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia

The train ride was slow, but the mountains were just so stunning, it was nice to have the chance to take them in.

Pyramid Falls, British Columbia. The engineer slowed the train down so we could take pictures.

I stopped pretending I wasn’t taking pictures from behind a window.

Once in Vancouver, I quickly bought a bus ticket to Pemberton (conveniently the train and bus stations are in the same building) and then turned around to see my friend Alyssa, who’d come to surprise me. Slightly surreal, and totally great.

Surprise (but too brief) visit from Alyssa and Aimee in surprisingly sunny Vancouver.

The bus to Pemberton let everyone else off in Whistler and I moved up to see the road through the windshield- these mountain roads, even the highways, are a bit too windy for my sensitive inner ear.

I arrived in Pemberton just in time to check out the farmers’ market with my aunt before driving to D’arcy.

When we got to the house, we almost immediately (ie the next day) packed up the truck and headed off to work. My cousin is working on tracking grizzly bears in the area and I got to tag long. That meant I got to go to parts of the country very few get access to. It was absolutely breath-taking.

There were mosquitoes, some barbed-wire and stinging nettle action, and I did step in a creek (good news: my new socks and shoes dry quickly), but we didn’t end up in a ravine when our truck slid sideways where the road had washed out and we didn’t get eaten by bears.

Michelle takes me quading for the first time and I live to tell you about it.

I mean, look at this…

That’s me pretending to be a biologist, collecting bear hair, trying not to breathe in the bait smell or hoards of mosquitoes.

Bears are attracted to rotting cow’s blood. Biologist need strong arms and stronger stomachs.

This black bear visited the hair trap- cutest picture the motion-sensored camera captured. For more info on the project, check out: https://www.facebook.com/BCGrizzly

 

High up in the alpine- the surreal landscape left by forest fire.

 

Just hanging out, eating Cheerios.

 

Just your typical view.

 

Beautiful British Columbia.

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