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Hoy Creek Linear Park – A Little Piece of Paradise in Coquitlam, BC

I had a few hours of downtime between my on campus classes and was all caught up on my homework (for once), so I opened Google Maps and looked for a trail close by!

To my surprise, I discovered one right behind my college campus!

Hoy Creek Linear Park is a network of trails that connects you to various residential areas of Coquitlam!

I was very confused when the first trail I tried took me to a dead end residential road! So I turned around and walked the other way instead, wanting to stay in the forested area.

There are multiple ways to go and if I had more time I would have tried to explore all of them!

I could not find much information online about this park at the time, but further research afterwards turned up some interesting info! See links below to read more about it.

Hoy Creek Fishery is also found within this park! The Hoy-Scott Creek Watershed Society, in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with assistance from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, manage the Hoy Creek Fish hatchery.

Young salmon fry are raised from the egg and smolt stages and then released each spring to begin their journey to the Pacific Ocean. After a few years, the mature salmon return to spawn. Their release and return are celebrated at the Salmon Leave Home and Salmon Come Home events.

I sent a few photos to my friend who works for Fisheries and she knew exactly where I was!

I was surprised by this little guy just sitting in the creek, not caring as people walked by. I stopped and watched him for awhile, before continuing on.

To read more about this trail and other ones in Coquitlam, Learn more Here.

This was a short but sweet adventure, squeezed between my college classes, but it was so worth it! I was a little worried I wouldn’t get back to campus on time for my next class, but I made it.

It just goes to show that it pays to explore, even in the middle of a big city, because you never know what you will find!

As always, thank you for reading and keep adventuring!

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Chilliwack to Quesnel!

My husband called and said he got off from work early, let’s leave for our road trip a day early! We arranged for our friend to look after our animals, packed a few things, and hit the road.

I went through the fridge & brought whatever would go bad & lots of easy snacks for the drive & hotel

3 Days, 1300kms, and a whole lot of fun! We laughed a lot, and memories were made. It was a great weekend.

Google should have an option for “with kids” or “without kids” it was closer to 7 hours for us with stretch breaks and construction

Road Trips are a great time to get your kids talking. They can’t walk away from you, so they kind of have to participate in the conversation. My son had a device and headphones and still chose to talk our ears off, I was pleasantly surprised!

My son is turning 13 this fall, and as I’m sure many parents of tweenagers can appreciate, the conversations become fewer and shorter. Answers like “nothing much” become the normal when asked about their day, and a it feels like you’re pulling teeth to get a just a few! Details about their day.

We got stopped in a construction zone and were told it would be 10-15 minute wait so we got out to stretch our legs. I took a few photos, and then our son jumped into the ditch and started attempting rock climbing up the mountain!

When the kids get bored, we go back to basics – I Spy, Truth or Dare, or just shouting out random things as we see them – animals, landmarks, etc. At one point around the 4 hour mark, we were shouting anything and everything “barrel! Construction cone! Sign! Bridge!” And we all dissolved into hysterical laughter. These are the memories that last forever. It’s kind of a “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality to be honest.

We were blessed with great weather both ways!

We had a great time in Quesnel. We spent most of the first night walking around downtown, exploring.

The next morning we discovered Granville’s Coffee and ordered breakfast and delicious coffee. Later that day, we returned for more coffee and my daughter ordered a $6 giant, delicious cinnamon bun (don’t worry, she shared).

We chatted with some locals who said they’ve lived in Quesnel since the 70s and love the town and then we walked up the road to a game store where you can rent games and movies!!! I felt like I had stepped back in time. They also had lots of models, RC’s, puzzles and toys along with lots of arts and crafts supplies. It was a dangerous store to bring kids to but we let each of them pick out one thing for a trip momento and continued on our way.

Then we called a few hotels that were listed as having pools, but they weren’t open. (The first night I booked a hotel on Hotwire that advertised a pool but it wasn’t open). We debated driving home, but I called the Sandman and their pool was open, I was able to book a time slot right after check-in, as well as get early check-in, and got a discount, so it worked out great!

I’m glad we stayed the second night and got to enjoy some family pool and hot tub time – we had the place to ourselves! We also booked a time slot for the next morning before check out and a nice soak in the hot tub before the drive home felt amazing.

The pool and hot tub were basic but also all we needed!

My son kept commenting that he couldn’t believe I didn’t have a plan, or a hotel reservation. I’m a planner, my husband likes to wing it, so sometimes we have to meet in the middle. This trip was a great example of that!

We spent more money than we had planned on, but we had a great time and definitely made some great memories with our kiddos, and that’s what it’s all about! We haven’t done much this spring break with my husband working and me finishing my final school semester, so this was a good quick getaway. Short and sweet, but tons of fun!

As always, thank you for reading! Have you gone on any road trips this Spring Break? Comment below, I would love to hear where everyone else went!!!

Life Begins At The End of Your Comfort Zone

Neale Donald Walsch
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Date Night Vancouver Style

This is a different kind of post from my usual, but I decided to write about it and share some of my money saving tips!

My husband was gifted Free Canucks Tickets for Saturday’s game, so we arranged an overnight at Grandma’s for our kiddos and went into planning mode!

A friend of mine told me about Hotwire for booking hotel deals and I had never used it, but after looking at hotel prices for Downtown Vancouver, I downloaded the app and started searching!

They have what they call Hot Rate Deals – you choose the amenities you want – pool, free breakfast, etc. and it shows you by hotel rating what deals you can get – but it doesn’t show you the hotel name!

I know what you’re thinking – how does that work?! Well, their deals are so good they can’t advertise them with the hotel name! So, once you book, you get an email telling you what hotel you are staying at!

I lucked out and we scored a hotel downtown on Burrard Street for $150 taxes in! We paid $17 for parking (half the price of parking at the arena!) and we were able to walk everywhere we needed to go.

Our room was larger than we expected and we were surprised to find a kitchenette too!

The downside was that we were right across the hall from the elevators, so my husband was awake most of the night listening to the constant humming and dinging – but they did include ear plugs in the bathroom amenities!

When you book through these apps, you can expect to stay in the less desirable rooms, but we really only needed it for a place to sleep, so we weren’t picky!

We walked down to the Amsterdam Cafe and had some delicious drinks (I had coffee, my hubby had a milkshake-yum!) and then from there we walked to find somewhere to eat dinner.

Normally, I would search Groupon for Dinner Deals, or try to find a Game Night Special, but since this was a little last-minute, and my husband is more of a “wing it” kind of guy, so we just decided to walk until we found/agreed on a place. We settled at St. Regis Bar & Grill and shared some yummy appetizers before strolling down to Rogers Arena. It wasn’t a long walk to the arena so it worked out perfectly!

These seats were awesome, despite being surrounded by Calgary fans while the Canucks were losing! They were all great, fun people and we had a great time.

The next morning, I woke up early (as I always do, even when I don’t want to) and walked down the street in search of a quiet coffee shop.

I walked past St. Paul’s Hospital – I love the architecture! Then I found a Starbucks and enjoyed coffee, water and my book. After awhile, I started walking again and explored down Davie Street. Loonie Toonie Town looked like a pretty cool store, I was sad it was closed and I couldn’t explore it!

All in all, it was a quick but greatly enjoyed trip to the city of Vancouver!

As always, thanks for reading!

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Riverside Recreation Site

Located approximately 29km down Chilliwack Lake Road, just off the road to your right is Riverside Recreation Site. It is roughly 20km before Chilliwack Lake. I have driven past this spot many times without realizing that there is a whole campground there!

It is right next to Nesakwatch Creek Forestry Service Road, and is actually part of the Trans Canada Trail!

Campground Map

This beautiful Recreation Site backs onto a tributary of the Chilliwack River and has 15 campsites, 2 Outhouses and a whole lot of natural beauty.

This site can be booked as a group site, or just individual sites. To make a reservation, you must email in advance. Be sure to review the fees carefully- group booking reservation fee is $100 and the website says day visitors must also pay $10! So make sure you know about all of the potential extra fees before you go.

For more information on Reservations, click Here

Campsite with Fire Pit & Picnic Table

There are two outhouses and no garbage cans, so come prepared to pack your garbage out with you. The sites are not very large, and vary in size. One vehicle per site is allowed.

This site is open from Easter Weekend until Thanksgiving weekend.

I took my time exploring this spot and stretching my legs. A few 4×4 vehicles passed by heading up the FSR and there was a bit of traffic noise from Chilliwack Lake Road, but the sounds of the river also helped drown out the road noise.

I LOVE these old growth forests with the moss covered trees!

Despite being surrounded by gorgeous old growth trees, the blue sky and sunshine could still be enjoyed, peeking through the branches.

I would definitely consider booking this spot for a group trip! No cell service, your own little beach along the river and an entire campground to take over, so you don’t have to worry about noise, or your kids waking up early and disturbing your fellow campers.

I think it would be more peaceful during the off season though, as I imagine the traffic noise would be much worse during the summer, especially on long weekends.

All in all, this seems like a great rec site and I am glad I got a chance to explore it, even though it is closed right now. Shoutout to my Mom for telling me about it!!

Always take the back roads when you can, fit in the adventures, and never stop making memories!

As always, thank you for reading!

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Welcome to 2022!

The holidays were different again this year.

No big family dinner as planned…. we received notice that my son had been exposed to Covid at school and needed to self monitor. He had missed the last two days of school due to a cold, so we decided to stay home and celebrate Christmas as a family of four and not risk exposing anyone to anything, though his symptoms had cleared.

On December 23rd I was feeling a little down about our quiet Christmas and since my son needed to self monitor until December 28th, I thought it would be perfect if we went for a one night staycation!

I booked a room in town at the hotel that has a pool and waterslide! January 1st we woke up to 2022 and packed our bags. We got to check in early and after the kids jumped on the bed for a few, we hit the pool!

View From Hot Tub!

We had the entire pool to ourselves for over an hour!

The pool tired us all out and we shared some big laughs as we all took turns on the waterslide. There were memories made that will last a long time and for that I am so grateful!

Hot Tub!

We were all getting pruny, so we headed back to our room where we ordered food and watched Jurassic Park movies on TV. My daughter loves dinosaurs and kept correcting us all on the proper names as we guessed what they were.

I even convinced my Tweenager to get off the sofa bed and come join the cuddle puddle as I called it, on the king size bed.

It was a great way to start the New Year, and even better – it was basically Free with my Airmiles! They charge a $10 booking fee and you pay the tax, so I think I paid $35 total.

We also got to enjoy a free continental breakfast! They had a great selection of cereals, bread, bagels, juice, coffee, hot chocolate… they even had hot food such as eggs, sausage, pancakes and a Waffle Bar!! There were two types of batter to choose from, two styles of waffle makers, and all of the toppings you could possibly ask for.

The Waffle Maker was a hit!

This was such a great time and I felt like it was such a bonding time for my family. Sure we could have set up in the living room at home and watched the same movies, but being out of the house always makes it a little more fun.

There were more smiles, more hugs, more laughter. The only thing the kids asked for more of was the hotel – they said it would be more fun to stay for 2 nights! Maybe next time…

Now I’m ready to start my crazy full time college schedule and whatever else 2022 is going to bring!

Road trips don’t always have to take you out of town. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need!❤️

Even with all of the changes and craziness happening in our world, we can still get out and make memories, while staying local and staying safe.

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Exploring the old Thurston Correctional Facility Grounds – Chilliwack River Valley Series

Located 16km down Chilliwack Lake Road is the site of what used to be Thurston Correctional Facility.

This was a Minimum Security Facility used for prisoners serving time for petty crimes. I remember camping nearby as a kid and the bus would pull up and the prisoners would get out and start picking up garbage around the site. It was win-win, they got to spend time outdoors in this beautiful setting and the site was maintained.

A corrections officer that worked at the facility actually wrote a book called “Hoods in the Woods” sadly it is no longer in print and I have not been able to find a copy! I think it would make a great read and is probably full of interesting stories. Here is a link to the book By G.J.C. Hall.

The buildings were demolished in 2011 after the site was closed permanently in 2002, but if you search online you can find some photos of the old buildings before they were torn down.

There are signs posted stating that the area is not maintained and to pack out what you pack in. This area is also known for vehicle break ins so do not leave valuables in your vehicle.

Backing onto the Chilliwack River it is a beautiful setting now lush with trees, grass and flowers growing between concrete foundations and the remnants of buildings.

After all these years, much of the concrete is covered with moss and overgrown shrubbery but two sets of steps and a concrete path still remain, as well as what appeared to be some random drain pipes in the ground. It is not a place I would want to explore in the dark with random surprises in the ground, but still a beautiful spot to walk and explore.

The two sets of steps, the paved road and drain pipe in the ground. A large rock fire pit that is obviously still enjoyed.

A short ways away on a higher mound of ground is what I presume to be some type of well? I am really not sure.

We lifted the lid and I was going to reach in to pull the garbage out, but there was a mouse. I didn’t want to disturb it and decided against sticking my hand in there so we closed it back up… maybe it’s time to invest in a garbage picker handle.

If you walk to the right the path continues through some trees and into another forested area along the river. This is also a popular fishing spot, although the fishermen I talked to had not caught anything.

While researching the history of this place, I found a few stories of men who would get out and then do a small crime and be back within a few weeks. When asked why they did it, they said rent was too expensive and they hated living in the city after being immersed in nature 24/7.

I am grateful it is open to the public now, as it used to be fenced off with no trespassing signs. Now there is just signs saying it is user maintained and to pack out your garbage, which as you can see in some of the photos, not everyone is abiding by. This scenery is beautiful and I can understand why the parking area is always full in the summer.

Chilliwack Lake Road

Into the Forest I Go, To Lose My Mind and Find My Soul

John Muir

As always, thank you for reading! If you would rather watch the video version, you can watch it on YouTube Here:

If you enjoyed this post, let me know by clicking the Like button.

If you would like to see more posts like this, exploring and learning about the history of British Columbia, let me know by leaving a Comment below!

Featured

Exploring the old Thurston Correctional Facility Grounds – Chilliwack River Valley Series

Located 16km down Chilliwack Lake Road is the site of what used to be Thurston Correctional Facility.

This was a Minimum Security Facility used for prisoners serving time for petty crimes. I remember camping nearby as a kid and the bus would pull up and the prisoners would get out and start picking up garbage around the site. It was win-win, they got to spend time outdoors in this beautiful setting and the site was maintained.

A corrections officer that worked at the facility actually wrote a book called “Hoods in the Woods” sadly it is no longer in print and I have not been able to find a copy! I think it would make a great read and is probably full of interesting stories. Here is a link to the book By G.J.C. Hall.

The buildings were demolished in 2011 after the site was closed permanently in 2002, but if you search online you can find some photos of the old buildings before they were torn down.

There are signs posted stating that the area is not maintained and to pack out what you pack in. This area is also known for vehicle break ins so do not leave valuables in your vehicle.

Backing onto the Chilliwack River it is a beautiful setting now lush with trees, grass and flowers growing between concrete foundations and the remnants of buildings.

After all these years, much of the concrete is covered with moss and overgrown shrubbery but two sets of steps and a concrete path still remain, as well as what appeared to be some random drain pipes in the ground. It is not a place I would want to explore in the dark with random surprises in the ground, but still a beautiful spot to walk and explore.

The two sets of steps, the paved road and drain pipe in the ground. A large rock fire pit that is obviously still enjoyed.

A short ways away on a higher mound of ground is what I presume to be some type of well? I am really not sure.

We lifted the lid and I was going to reach in to pull the garbage out, but there was a mouse. I didn’t want to disturb it and decided against sticking my hand in there so we closed it back up… maybe it’s time to invest in a garbage picker handle.

If you walk to the right the path continues through some trees and into another forested area along the river. This is also a popular fishing spot, although the fishermen I talked to had not caught anything.

While researching the history of this place, I found a few stories of men who would get out and then do a small crime and be back within a few weeks. When asked why they did it, they said rent was too expensive and they hated living in the city after being immersed in nature 24/7.

I am grateful it is open to the public now, as it used to be fenced off with no trespassing signs. Now there is just signs saying it is user maintained and to pack out your garbage, which as you can see in some of the photos, not everyone is abiding by. This scenery is beautiful and I can understand why the parking area is always full in the summer.

Chilliwack Lake Road

Into the Forest I Go, To Lose My Mind and Find My Soul

John Muir

As always, thank you for reading! If you would rather watch the video version, you can watch it on YouTube Here:

If you enjoyed this post, let me know by clicking the Like button.

If you would like to see more posts like this, exploring and learning about the history of British Columbia, let me know by leaving a Comment below!

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Exploring From Chilliwack Lake Road to Ryder Lake – Chilliwack River Valley Series!

This was one of those unplanned adventures…

I left the house planning to take my dog down to the river, but ended up texting my husband that I was heading down Chilliwack Lake Road to do some exploring for my Blog Series instead.

It was overcast, the cloud cover was low and it was raining a little bit when we turned off of Chilliwack Lake Road onto Bench FSR.

Our first stop was Camp Foley Recreation Site, which you can read about Here.

After exploring the site and a quick pit stop at the outhouse, we were back on the dirt road and I was thankful for the pit stop after the first few dozen pot holes!

This drive is gorgeous and I love the scenery along the way, but there are so many pot holes in some areas, trying to dodge them is pointless! Just slow down and take your time, enjoy the beautiful yet bumpy scenery.

Next on my list were Chipmunk Peninsula and Rapids Recreation sites, just a few kilometres up the road, which you can read about Here.

Both are beautiful camping areas, and the Rapids Staging area is something I did not even know existed!

I had the whole place to myself on this December weekday, but I imagine it is packed full on Summer weekends.

Once I finished taking photos and checked all the sites off of my list, I stopped and pondered whether it would take longer to go back the way I came, or instead continue on and go up past the Elk Mountain trailhead and come out through Ryder Lake….

It didn’t take long to decide as I have done this drive before and know it’s a pretty well maintained FSR. Other than taking it slow for all of the pot holes and not having cell service, it was a low risk adventure.

The views on this drive are gorgeous and I like to turn off my music and listen to the river sounds getting farther away as I drive up and gain elevation with every hill and corner.

I passed countless waterfalls, crossed a couple of single lane bridges over the gorgeous river and got to truly enjoy nature in my own backyard.

Once I passed the Elk Mountain trailhead, I wondered if I had really saved any time going this route and wondered how annoyed my husband would be that I took this long….

I turned the next corner and wow! I was rewarded with the most glorious view I have ever seen! I snapped some photos and just sat to enjoy this view.

I was officially back in cell service and I felt a little bit sad about that. A good reminder to #unplug more often and to #explore outside as often as possible!

The views along the way were amazing and after being rewarded with that last view coming around the corner after Elk, I knew I had made the right decision. This drive soothed my soul and was exactly what I needed!

I hope this post has inspired you to explore in your own community and maybe even find some unexpected beauty in your own backyard.

As always, thank you for reading! I appreciate every single person that takes the time to read each post that I write.

Please Click that Like button if you enjoyed this one, or drop a Comment and let me know what you think!

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Exploring From Chilliwack Lake Road to Ryder Lake – Chilliwack River Valley Series!

This was one of those unplanned adventures…

I left the house planning to take my dog down to the river, but ended up texting my husband that I was heading down Chilliwack Lake Road to do some exploring for my Blog Series instead.

It was overcast, the cloud cover was low and it was raining a little bit when we turned off of Chilliwack Lake Road onto Bench FSR.

Our first stop was Camp Foley Recreation Site, which you can read about Here.

After exploring the site and a quick pit stop at the outhouse, we were back on the dirt road and I was thankful for the pit stop after the first few dozen pot holes!

This drive is gorgeous and I love the scenery along the way, but there are so many pot holes in some areas, trying to dodge them is pointless! Just slow down and take your time, enjoy the beautiful yet bumpy scenery.

Next on my list were Chipmunk Peninsula and Rapids Recreation sites, just a few kilometres up the road, which you can read about Here.

Both are beautiful camping areas, and the Rapids Staging area is something I did not even know existed!

I had the whole place to myself on this December weekday, but I imagine it is packed full on Summer weekends.

Once I finished taking photos and checked all the sites off of my list, I stopped and pondered whether it would take longer to go back the way I came, or instead continue on and go up past the Elk Mountain trailhead and come out through Ryder Lake….

It didn’t take long to decide as I have done this drive before and know it’s a pretty well maintained FSR. Other than taking it slow for all of the pot holes and not having cell service, it was a low risk adventure.

The views on this drive are gorgeous and I like to turn off my music and listen to the river sounds getting farther away as I drive up and gain elevation with every hill and corner.

I passed countless waterfalls, crossed a couple of single lane bridges over the gorgeous river and got to truly enjoy nature in my own backyard.

Once I passed the Elk Mountain trailhead, I wondered if I had really saved any time going this route and wondered how annoyed my husband would be that I took this long….

I turned the next corner and wow! I was rewarded with the most glorious view I have ever seen! I snapped some photos and just sat to enjoy this view.

I was officially back in cell service and I felt a little bit sad about that. A good reminder to #unplug more often and to #explore outside as often as possible!

The views along the way were amazing and after being rewarded with that last view coming around the corner after Elk, I knew I had made the right decision. This drive soothed my soul and was exactly what I needed!

I hope this post has inspired you to explore in your own community and maybe even find some unexpected beauty in your own backyard.

As always, thank you for reading! I appreciate every single person that takes the time to read each post that I write.

Please Click that Like button if you enjoyed this one, or drop a Comment and let me know what you think!

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Camp Foley Recreation Site – Chilliwack River Valley Series

So when researching this Recreation site it piqued my interest because I had heard of it before and had been up to Foley Lake many times but had never seen the sign for it along my way.

Well imagine my surprise when I found out it is literally just off of Chilliwack Lake Road and I have actually driven right past it multiple times! It is literally off the same FSR you turn on to go to Foley Lake!

Bridge over Chilliwack River just before the turn

Driving Directions: at the Vedder Bridge roundabout, turn right onto Chilliwack Lake Road and drive 26.5 km. Camp Foley is on the left just after the bridge.

Road to campground – blocked when closed

The group site is closed for the winter and the gate has been barricaded to prevent any vehicle access.

Garbage cans have been removed and this is now a pack in/pack out campground. There is an outhouse just inside the gate, the only one for the small group site.

This a group campsite, with 4 campsites set backing onto the banks of the Chilliwack River. It looks like the perfect place to spend a weekend with a small group of friends!

The only downside I can see to this gorgeous spot would be the traffic noise from the road, but maybe the river sounds would help drown that out.

There is a path between two large boulders leading to the river and the photos do not do the views any justice. It is beautiful and there are trails along the river all in behind the campsites so there is lots to explore.

Walking along the river listening to the sounds of the water, I couldn’t help but feel surrounded by nature and at peace.

My dog Zola found a few fish carcasses that appeared to have been pulled up from the banks of the river and busied herself peeing all around them.

As you can see from the photo above with my truck parked at the gate, that is Chilliwack Lake Road right beside it, so it would not be my spot of choice on a busy long weekend or anytime you know the main road will be seeing a lot of traffic.

However, it is a great option for campers with RVs that cannot go off-road but still enjoy the rustic vibe of a Recreation Site.

For more information or to learn how to reserve this site, Click Here.

As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post be sure to click the Like button and let me know!

I look forward to writing my next post for this #ChilliwackRiverValley series, thank you for joining me on this journey! If you are not subscribed, be sure to Click the Follow button so you get notifications when the next post is up!

Take the Backroads, Not the Highway.

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Camp Foley Recreation Site – Chilliwack River Valley Series

So when researching this Recreation site it piqued my interest because I had heard of it before and had been up to Foley Lake many times but had never seen the sign for it along my way.

Well imagine my surprise when I found out it is literally just off of Chilliwack Lake Road and I have actually driven right past it multiple times! It is literally off the same FSR you turn on to go to Foley Lake!

Bridge over Chilliwack River just before the turn

Driving Directions: at the Vedder Bridge roundabout, turn right onto Chilliwack Lake Road and drive 26.5 km. Camp Foley is on the left just after the bridge.

Road to campground – blocked when closed

The group site is closed for the winter and the gate has been barricaded to prevent any vehicle access.

Garbage cans have been removed and this is now a pack in/pack out campground. There is an outhouse just inside the gate, the only one for the small group site.

This a group campsite, with 4 campsites set backing onto the banks of the Chilliwack River. It looks like the perfect place to spend a weekend with a small group of friends!

The only downside I can see to this gorgeous spot would be the traffic noise from the road, but maybe the river sounds would help drown that out.

There is a path between two large boulders leading to the river and the photos do not do the views any justice. It is beautiful and there are trails along the river all in behind the campsites so there is lots to explore.

Walking along the river listening to the sounds of the water, I couldn’t help but feel surrounded by nature and at peace.

My dog Zola found a few fish carcasses that appeared to have been pulled up from the banks of the river and busied herself peeing all around them.

As you can see from the photo above with my truck parked at the gate, that is Chilliwack Lake Road right beside it, so it would not be my spot of choice on a busy long weekend or anytime you know the main road will be seeing a lot of traffic.

However, it is a great option for campers with RVs that cannot go off-road but still enjoy the rustic vibe of a Recreation Site.

For more information or to learn how to reserve this site, Click Here.

As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post be sure to click the Like button and let me know!

I look forward to writing my next post for this #ChilliwackRiverValley series, thank you for joining me on this journey! If you are not subscribed, be sure to Click the Follow button so you get notifications when the next post is up!

Take the Backroads, Not the Highway.

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Chilliwack Lake FSR in Beautiful British Columbia

Yesterday I decided to take advantage and do some solo exploring while my kids were at school!

Chilliwack Lake FSR starts right after the Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, located 150km East of Vancouver, 40km down Chilliwack Lake Road in the upper Chilliwack River Valley.

I am so blessed to live in a place where there are multiple exploration opportunities, all down the same road!

Chilliwack Lake Road is a favourite place of mine, especially in the winter. If we have yet to see snow at home by mid-December I usually pack up my kids and drive down to the Provincial Park to do some sledding!

This day there was just a light dusting of snow along the sides of the road, but enough to get me excited!!!

The Provincial Park is closed for the winter, gate locked. Lots of people park along the side of the road and walk into the park, so always watch for pedestrians.

I continued on past the Provincial Park entrance and on to the gravel FSR. I forgot how many pot holes this FSR always has! A bumpy ride but well worth it for the gorgeous views along the way.

There are several Rockfall Hazard areas along the way, so always use caution and keep your eyes open. There were a few rocks on the road that looked like they had recently come to rest there.

There are many waterfalls along the way. So many, in fact, that I did not even photograph all of them!

The forest blocks your view of the lake for the first little while, and then the trees open up to gorgeous lake views.

The road was still very bumpy and I let my dog out to run – she got way ahead of me through all the pot holes, but she stopped and waited like a good girl.

We continued along the FSR enjoying the low cloud cover across the lake and the fresh snow on the mountains added to the already beautiful view.

After the 5km marker we came to a small bridge over a fast moving river. After the bridge, off to the side was an old wooden structure that I think may have been the old wooden bridge…

From here the road continued, pot holes galore but nothing out of the ordinary, until we passed the 8km marker. This one was a little harder to spot!

From here I continued a short distance until – a yellow gate ended our journey. I thought you used to be able to drive further around the south end of the lake, but now there is a gate, which is always a sad discovery.

Since it was almost noon I decided against parking and starting a fire and headed back towards town so I would not be late for school pick up.

I took my time and enjoyed the scenery along the way though and it was so beautiful!

Finally, back at the pavement! Still no cell service, just a warning for those that expect to have it just because you’re back on the blacktop.

One of my favourite things about this drive is the low cloud cover along Chilliwack Lake Road. You feel like you are literally driving into the clouds, and it is such a surreal feeling.

There is nothing better to help me unplug and destress than a dirt road, no cell service, and driving into the clouds.

Some days my soul craves Solitude and No Cell Service. This was one of those days and it ended up being exactly what I needed!

I also realized that there are so many places to explore along Chilliwack Lake Road, I have decided to start a #ChilliwackRiverValley Series!

Check back next week for my next #ChilliwackRiverValley adventure and find out which FSR I explore next! I hope to post one new adventure each week in December.

As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post, Click the Like button to let me know. If you have not subscribed to my blog yet, Click the Follow button to get notified as soon as new content is posted.

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S’mores Cups

The Simplest. S’mores. Ever.

My kids love these and it’s a great way to enjoy S’mores as a family with a little less mess!

Bonus: They are easy to make at home too!

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Tart Cups
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips

Cooking Instructions:

  • Remove tart cups from package and thaw
  • Once fully thawed, add mini marshmallows and chocolate chips to the tart cups
  • Place on foil on a baking sheet or metal rack
  • Cook over campfire or in oven at 350C for 10 minutes, until chocolate and marshmallows melted

Eating Instructions: Dig in with a spoon to scoop out the delicious filling, or simply pop out of the foil cup and take a bite!

The bonus to these are you simply pop them in the oven or on the fire (we have a Coleman propane oven and love it) and check them in 5 minutes!

You don’t have a constant rotation of marshmallow roasting and assembling individual S’mores for all of the kids, they can fill their own cup and then the adults can cook them in the oven or over the fire. Voila! You’re done S’mores and ready to relax around the fire.

If there is a certain type of Recipe you would like to see posted next, let me know! I have quite a few in the works since road trips are not allowed right now.

As always, thank you for reading! If you have tried this recipe, drop a comment and let me know what you thought! If you enjoyed reading this recipe, be sure to click that Like button and let me know!

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Search for the Silver Linings

Dark times can be just that – Dark. Heavy. Even Depressing. But if you search hard enough, you will almost always find a silver lining in the darkness.

The Provincial Health Order makes it hard to see anyone outside of my immediate family and the news I might need knee surgery have further dashed my hopes of getting any hiking in this year….

Instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, I decided to explore where in my town I could go for a nice, flat walk but still do a good distance and enjoy some nature.

I remembered our dyke system and a quick google search helped me decide to park near Jespersons boat launch and walk down towards Gill road, one of my favourite places!

The weather was perfect, cloudy but no rain and the sun even came out for a little bit! It wasn’t overly busy either, a few cyclists and other pedestrians but otherwise Zola and I had the whole place to ourselves.

I love this lone tree in the middle of the field!

Then we started seeing Eagles and so many of them!!! We even got a fly over show!

This big nest caught my eye, but on the walk back I noticed there are two nests in this tree!

Eagles sitting in trees everywhere you look! Such a gorgeous sight and we usually drive to Harrison to see them, when it turns out they’re in our own back yard!

These two flew over us and then landed a short distance away – so cool to see and a great moment to take a deep breath and just appreciate this beautiful place I live.

We made it! Gill Road is a 5km walk from where we started. Now to turn around and walk back for a total of 10km!

The views were equally as gorgeous on the walk back and the sun even came out for a bit! I unzipped my sweater and enjoyed the warm sun on my face, and was able to forget about this whole Pandemic thing for awhile.

Yes, we are encouraged to stay home unless necessary. No, that does not mean you cannot go outside and get fresh air and exercise.

Even though I didn’t gain any elevation or see any mountain views by going for an intense uphill hike like I used to, I still saw many beautiful sights I would never have enjoyed otherwise.

Go Outside. Google your town name with “walking” or “trails” and see what you find!

You might be surprised like I was. I knew you could walk on the dyke but didn’t realize you could go all the way from Island 22 to Ferry Island! 12km in one direction might be a goal for next year, but I am still glad I know about it now!

When surrounded by darkness, look for the light. Even if it’s a tiny flicker, it’s there. The sooner you find it, the faster it can grow.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post be sure to click the Like button and let me know!

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Camping Mac N Cheese

My daughter loves Mac N Cheese so if we bring it camping, she is one Happy Camper! It is one of those comfort foods that is so easy to make ahead of time to bring a little piece of home on the road with you.

Non-Grocery Supplies:

  • 4 aluminum mini pie tins (found at most grocery stores)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Aluminum Foil

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Elbow Macaroni
  • 5 slices of bacon, diced (thick cut is my favourite)
  • 8 oz Jar of Alfredo Sauce (any brand)
  • 0.5 Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 0.25 Cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 0.5 Cup of Cheddar Cheese
  • 0.25 Cup of Half & Half Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. Rinse with cool water and drain well.
  3. Stir in Alfredo Sauce with the three cheeses. Add Milk and Bacon. Stir in Salt & Pepper.
  4. Spray the 4 mini pie tins with cooking spray, then divide mixture between the tins.
  5. Cover each tin with aluminum foil. Seal well.
  6. Store in freezer bag in cooler to prevent water from making them soggy.

To Cook:

Cook over fire, placing tins on a cooking rack 2-3 inches above the coals for 8-10 minutes. Remove from fire and serve immediately.

Alternately, Bake in oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted.

Another great thing about this recipe is you can always double it, serve half for a meal at home and pack the other half into the tins for camping! I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed making (and eating!) it.

Tips:

  • Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray before sealing tins to prevent cheese from sticking to the foil!
  • Label foil and freezer bag with a Sharpie so you know exactly what is stored where in your cooler.

As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this recipe please let me know by clicking the Like button and if you want to see more Recipes, be sure to Follow Road Trip Mama!

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Exploring Woodside FSR

I haven’t been posting much lately but decided to share this adventure from a little while ago. Social Distancing in our own vehicles with our own dogs, up the mountain we went!

We had planned for awhile to get out for an adventure together and neither of us had been up Woodside FSR so we decided to go explore!

It was a cloudy but dry day and the low cloud cover just added to the scenery.

The views were stunning no matter where you looked, with the bright fall colours, low clouds and mountain views!

The road was a good width and nothing too crazy, but a fun drive nonetheless! The higher we got the better view we had of the river below.

This would be a gorgeous spot to camp or even a day trip destination for a fire. It is not far from town and we had cell service for most of the time.

We decided to explore a side trail that was marked by a white arrow painted on a rock. We thought maybe this would take us to the hang gliders launch pad, but it did not. We turned around and stopped at a pullout with a nice view to let our dogs out and stretch our legs!

After a stretch break, we headed back down the mountain before it got dark. All in all, it was a great afternoon exploring with great company – at a distance! This is where walkie talkies are very useful for communicating while driving.

If the view was this gorgeous on a cloudy day I can only imagine what it would look like on a clear day! I will definitely be back to explore Woodside FSR again and hope to find the hang gliders launch point with the gorgeous view! Please note this is an active logging road so please bring a radio and drive with caution if you decide to go exploring.

As always, thank you for reading!!! Be sure to click the Follow button to get notifications when I post a new blog and click the Like button to let me know you enjoyed this one!

Take the Backroads, Not the Highway.

Disclaimer: Road Trip Mama is for information purposes only and is not liable for any damages or injuries incurred if you attempt one of the trips posted. Always do your research, go prepared, tell someone your timeline and trip plan, and have a means of communication in case you run into trouble.

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Solo Road Trip For the Soul – Fall Edition

Everyone has an activity they enjoy and do for their mental health. Mine is going into the mountains. Before I injured my knee this year, that used to be in the form of hiking for me. For now, it is long drives and gorgeous scenery from my truck instead.

Empty Road & Fall Colours

On a Sunday afternoon, most people were airing up their tires, loading up and heading home as I made my way up onto the FSR.

Sunday Afternoon=Quiet FSR Adventure

Today I chose West Harrison as my destination of choice, knowing there are some gorgeous lake views along the way, and the road is pretty well maintained.

1Km Up!

1km up! At this point I had not passed any other vehicles and had my radio turned up and my windows down, enjoying the fresh air and solitude.

Love the Fall Colours and Views on this road!

Fall in the mountains is so beautiful! Orange, red, brown, so many vivid colours that add to the natural beauty of this place.

Tempting Trails but not Solo

There were a couple side trails that looked like fun and were pretty tempting, had I not been on a solo run without many hours of daylight left.

I love anything water related!

A small waterfall on the side of the road, so pretty! I stopped to take a photo and a truck passed by, then backed up to make sure I was okay! I love the 4WD community in our area, I had a couple of people stop me and make sure I was okay before they continued down the mountain.

Another Tempting Trail, but Again, Not Solo….
Gorgeous Views Along The Way
As the Sky Turned Pink

As the sun started to set and the sky turned pink, the views became even more beautiful. I love this drive!

Another Small Waterfall
Stopped at a pullout and stretched my legs
Harrison Lake

I stopped at a pullout to stretch my legs and let my dog stretch hers too. There was a beautiful view of Harrison Lake and it was so quiet and peaceful. We stayed there for awhile and I debated starting a small fire, but decided to continue on before it got dark instead.

6km Up!
Those Mountains Though….

The sky was a beautiful colour, the pictures do it no justice! I love this time of day as the sun sets, the sky changes, and it was such a clear, crisp, beautiful day too.

9km to the bottom!

I turned around shortly after the 9km marker as it was getting dark quickly and the views were disappearing. I took my time on my way down and enjoyed the quiet and lack of traffic!

Heading Back Down

Even though this trip was only three hours total, it was a short adventure that was exactly what I needed to clear my head and have some solo time.

Short but satisfying adventure

This adventure started when my husband jokingly asked when I was going for a drive and I said now! He asked who I was going with and I said by myself, brought my dog and hit the road! I knew I was going to have a stressful next few days and I needed a chance to recharge/destress first.

I did not have a destination in mind when I left my house, but once I started heading for West Harrison I texted my husband to let him know where I was heading and approximately how long I would be out of cell service. He told me to be safe and I arrived back in cell service on schedule, as planned.

Always share your trip plan with someone including your planned return time, so they know when to start worrying if they have not heard from you and they know where to start looking!

As always, thank you for reading! Remember to take a Back Road instead of a Highway once in awhile and Keep Adventuring!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to click the like button!

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Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Located 38km North of Vancouver on Hwy 99 is an amazing place called Porteau Cove Provincial Park!

This is a day use park with waterfront camping. I brought my kids here a couple of years ago for a walk-in camping experience and it was amazing!

Low Tide

Emergency Ferry Dock

I actually came twice in one day! Once on my way through to Squamish and again on my way back home. It was very cool to see the difference at low tide and high tide, and watch the sun start to go down.

For more information on Porteau Cove Provincial Park and Campsite Reservations, Go to the B.C. Parks Website Here

Then I drove home through the clouds. Driving through Lions Bay at sunset was so beautiful! Watching the sunset through the clouds and driving through clouds at the same time was amazing! A stunning end to a great drive.

As always, thank you for reading! This was a Highway adventure instead of a backroad, although I did manage to find a backroad along the way! Read more about Cheekye River FSR here. The Sea to Sky Highway is a beautiful Highway, however it is also very windy with tight curves and lots of people not obeying speed limits, so always use caution when traveling through there, and make sure you have appropriate tires for the conditions.

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Shannon Falls Provincial Park

Shannon Falls is made of a series of cliffs, rising 335 metres above Highway 99, making it the third highest falls in British Columbia!

The waters of Shannon Falls originate from Mount Habrich and Mount Sky Pilot. This provincial park is located right off of Highway 99, making it a very popular spot! Parking is hard to come by, so I would recommend going early.

The sign is easy to spot from the Highway
Hikers have plenty of options to explore!

For your convenience this park has a concession and information centre located next to the flush toilet building, on the trail to the waterfalls. They offer snacks, park information and souvenirs.

Concession/Souvenir Shop
Watch for Bears!
Barely out of the parking lot and look at that view!!

The walking trail to Shannon Falls is an easy 350 metres through a beautiful forest of dense trees including Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar along Shannon Creek which leads to the viewpoint.

Such a beautiful forest!
Evidence of old logging practices still present- can you spot the notch for the springboard?

The viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the roaring falls.

Shannon Falls!
Gorgeous View but the Viewpoint was very busy.

After enjoying the view of the Falls, I made my way down to Shannon Creek and enjoyed the water and fall colours there for awhile. Wading in the creek or climbing onto rocks is not recommended at this park.

There are several informative signs throughout the park, as well as lots of picnic tables. It would be a great spot to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch on your way through!

Overall, this provincial park was a great place to stop and I definitely recommend making time to stop here if you are passing by! There are outhouses close to the parking lot, flush toilets closer to the trailhead, as well as a concession/souvenir shop. What more could you need? I plan to visit again once my knee is healed and check out some of these hiking trails! I wish I had spent a bit more time here, or had gone earlier because it was quite busy. As soon as I got in my truck, someone had their signal on and was waiting for my parking spot!

If you want to learn more about Shannon Falls Provincial Park, visit BC Parks.

This trip I ended up taking the Highway, not a backroad, but after visiting busy Provincial Parks I decided to get off the Highway and find somewhere with less people. I saw a sign for a Forest Service Road and decided to adventure up! I ended up going up Cheekye River FSR and you can read about that adventure Here.

As always, thank you for reading! This was an unplanned adventure and I just stopped at random spots along the way. I am glad I got to see Shannon Falls and plan to return with my kids to share this beautiful spot with them soon!

Disclaimer: Road Trip Mama is for information purposes only and is not liable for any damages or injuries incurred if you attempt one of the trips posted. Always do your research, go prepared, tell someone your timeline and trip plan, and have a means of communication in case you run into trouble.

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Cheekye River FSR

Just outside of Squamish heading North on Highway 99, I spotted a sign indicating a recreation site in a few hundred meters. I stomped on the brakes, turned on my signal and turned right. Recreation Sites are more my style and typically less busy than Provincial Parks.

It is obviously a popular spot, as I had to pull to the side right away and let a few trucks with mountain bikes in the back get past me. Then across the single lane bridge and up the mountain I went!

This Single Lane is just after the first parking lot (this is the view coming back down)

There was a gate sign at the 1.5km marker stating it was closed from 10pm to 6am, however there was no gate attached to the posts! I’m guessing that is an old sign but cannot say for sure.

Signs for Cheekye River FSR and Cat Lake were easy to see along the way. It was at this point I sent my husband a picture of the road name and let him know I was adventuring up a new mountain, by myself with my dog!

Signs were visible, though a bit battered

I arrived at the parking lot for Cat Lake Recreation Site but the lot looked full and there were even a few parked in the Overflow lot, so I decided to keep driving!

Full Parking Lot! Good sign to keep exploring

Up the mountain we went, and followed the fork to the right towards the Hydro Lines, only to dead end at what appeared to be a parking lot for a trail head. It was very full and a car was trying to get in behind me, so I backed down and turned around without checking it out.

Gorgeous scenery along the drive

I drove back to the fork and went straight, up a dirt road and around a few corners. There were plenty of mountain bike trails, dirt bike trails and people camping in a few spots along the way. It is definitely a popular place and I can see why, as the scenery is beautiful!

Gorgeous and Fun Drive!

Finally I drove past a few dirt bikers pulled over to the side, gave a friendly wave and came to a stop at an old logging site complete with a big burn pile. There was a trail going down that I thought about trying, but it was a bit loose and steep, so driving solo and not having weight in the back of my truck – I decided against it.

Big Burn Pile and lots of dry wood around it!

Once I turned my truck around, I grabbed my chair and my dog’s bed out of my truck and sat down to enjoy the view for awhile. What a view it was!!!

I sat there and enjoyed the quiet and the sounds of nature, until I heard a funny sound. I could not figure out what the sound could be so I got up out of my chair and turned just in time to watch a bald eagle fly behind us, not far away at all! I decided not to reach for my camera and fully enjoy this glorious moment of nature. It was a good decision as the eagle was gone in a flash and I likely would not have gotten a photo anyways.

Gorgeous View

I relaxed in my gravity chair and enjoyed the mountain air, the sounds of nature and the peacefulness around me. I heard dirt bikes in the distance a few times, but never saw anyone come up as far as I was parked.

In My Happy Place!

I always pack Emergency supplies, especially on solo trips and I texted my husband and told him if I had packed a thicker blanket and more dog food, I would be sleeping on my backseat air mattress and spending the night where I was. It was so beautiful and peaceful, it was hard to leave!

The feeling of peace that you can achieve while sitting on a mountain, with no other humans around, nobody asking you for anything, is amazing. I just wanted a day to be responsible for nobody else but myself and it was exactly what I needed.

On my way down the mountain I stopped at the Cat Lake Recreation Site parking lot and checked out the sign for the campsite.

It has outhouses, picnic tables and costs $15.00 per night. It looked like the sites were all walk-in and it is First Come First Serve.

There were signs warning of Bears in the area, an outhouse just off from the parking lot, and a map of the lake that someone had somewhat fittingly drawn to look exactly like a cat.

I would have loved to venture down to the lake but it was getting late and my injured knee was already sore. Besides, it gives me an excuse to come back and explore some more! For more information on Cat Lake Recreation Site, Click Here.

As always, thank you for reading!!! Be sure to click the Follow button to get notifications when I post a new blog and click the Like button if you enjoyed this one! I hope you enjoyed reading about this unplanned adventure and hope that maybe it will inspire you to go on a random adventure of your own!!

Take the Backroads, Not the Highway.

Disclaimer: Road Trip Mama is for information purposes only and is not liable for any damages or injuries incurred if you attempt one of the trips posted. Always do your research, go prepared, tell someone your timeline and trip plan, and have a means of communication in case you run into trouble.

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Camping Banana Boats

These are a favourite that take me back to my childhood, sitting at the cabin next door making banana boats instead of boring old S’mores like I made with my family.

I thought I had won the S’mores lottery!!

I had all but forgotten about them until recently, but my kids love bananas almost as much as they love S’mores so I decided to see if they enjoyed them as much as I did when I was a kid!

Ingredients:

  • Ripe, firm Bananas- one per person
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of chocolate chips per banana
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of mini marshmallows
  • Other toppings as desired- nuts, strawberries, caramel, etc.
Ripe, firm bananas
Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Mini Marshmallows

Cooking Instructions:

  • Cut 12 inch sheets of heavy duty foil
  • With sharp knife, make deep lengthwise cut along inside curve of each banana, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  • Open slit to form pocket.
  • Crimp and shape 1 sheet of foil around each banana, forming boats.
  • Hold the banana and fill pocket with chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows
  • Return each banana to its foil boat.
  • Seal top of foil, leaving 2 to 3 inches headspace.

Cooking Options:

  • Cover grill; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until marshmallows softened.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes in oven until marshmallows softened.
  • Can also place in campfire coals to cook or on a rack over the fire, cook until marshmallows softened.
After making a deep, lengthwise cut your banana should look similar to this.
Stuff banana with your favourite ingredients & return to foil boat.

Cook by preferred method. Remove from heat once marshmallows and chocolate chips are melted, and eat with a spoon! My son actually thought the marshmallows were whipped cream somehow… but he loved it!

Grab a spoon and dig in!

As always thank you for reading!!! Remember to Like & Share if you enjoyed what you read and don’t forget to hit that Follow button to be the First To Know when a new post is up!

Most importantly- if you try this recipe, let me know what you think and drop me a comment, even better include a picture of your creation!!

Easter at Fantasy Farms!

Located in Rosedale, BC, Fantasy Farms is a family run business that does all sorts of special events! One of which is their Easter Eggstravaganza!

Complete with visits from the Easter Bunny every 15 minutes, as well as a petting zoo with real bunnies to hold and cuddle, it is a great place to celebrate Easter!

Their famous train was running every 15 minutes (we rode it multiple times as it was my daughter’s favourite). Farmer Gary LOVES to do donuts, and we mostly rode in the last car so the girls could stand on the back and be daredevils!

They also have a game area set up with axe throwing, basketball, and knock the bunny down games.

We spent a full 3 hours there and I didn’t once hear “I’m bored” but we all left tired!

Fort Runamuk is every kid’s dream! Climb up to the watch tower, slide down the slide, or check out one of the little playhouses. This area also featured pigs!

In the barn, there were goats, chickens, and lots of smaller animals to see and pet. Outside the barn, Miss Moo and Pumpkin the Pony were hanging out saying hi to everyone.

A neighbouring farm brought a horse and a pony, and the girls LOVED their pony rides!

It was raining a little when we arrived, so it wasn’t too busy. We started off inside where there’s a bouncy castle with a big slide, and that’s also where the Easter Bunny comes to visit. It was a nice place to be when it started raining harder, but we were lucky the sun came out at the end!

There are 6 boxes hidden around the farm, and you collect one egg from each box, then put your eggs in the eggschange and return your bucket for your goody bag and colouring book! A great way to check out the whole farm, and enjoy all the Easter decorations!


$12 for kids, $6 for adults was a reasonable price, especially with all the activities! Pony rides are $10, but everything else is included in your admission price.

Guerilla Q food truck is on site selling their deliciousness, and the concession also sells freeze dried candy, which I’ve never seen before!

For more information on this Easter Event, check out their website here.

As always, thank you for reading! Happy Easter!

Solo Camping up Bench FSR – and it snowed!

I decided to get out for a bit before the end of my vacation week, and didn’t want to go too far! One of my favourite drives is down Chilliwack Lake Road, so I told my husband I was going to head down Bench FSR and gave him an idea of where I would be setting up, out of cell service!

A little over 1km down the FSR is a great spot on the corner, right on the river. It’s usually full, but arriving on a Thursday worked to my advantage and it was wide open! There’s another spot just around the corner, a little more in the bush, but nobody was there either, so it was nice and quiet.

I set up my tent and my tarp, enjoying the sunshine, but also knowing the hourly forecast called for rain starting at 2pm, and I arrived at 1pm. I lucked out, and the rain didn’t started until 6pm so I got to enjoy dinner and set up under a dry sky!

The sun went down slowly, and I was pleasantly surprised by how long it was light out – thank you daylight savings! I increased the size of my fire as it got colder, and my fur baby was like “forget this” and retreated into the tent (after sniffing all around it to do a perimeter check first of course).

The next day, I made a simple breakfast, shared with my fur baby Zola, and debated about whether to pack up or stay a second night. It was fairly cold the night before, and I had burned the majority of my firewood (which was surprising because I had brought a LOT of it). I decided to run down to the On the Way store, located on Chilliwack Lake Road, and purchased two bundles of wood.

I got back, decided to wait to build a new fire, and cuddled up in my tent with my dog, my book, and my heater. I ended up having a little nap (after turning my heater off, don’t worry!) and woke up to the sound of rain. I got out of my tent and realized it was snowing!

It went from light snow to big, heavy flakes in no time. I started a fire, roasted some smokies, and debated whether I was crazy enough to spend another night. I had lots of extra clothes and knew I could layer up.

Once the snow turned into large, heavy, wet flakes, I decided that I should pack up. My tarp was hung with twine, not the strongest stuff especially with the weight of the heavy snow that was falling so quickly. Right as I finished taking down my tent, one side of my tarp let go, and I knew that I had made the right decision.

Pack up didn’t take too long, although I still have wet tarps in my garage that need to be dried out!

Many people ask me “how do you have the courage to camp alone, especially out of cell service?” It’s something that I have gotten more comfortable with over time, for sure. My first solo trip was at Skwellepil Recreation Site, which I had been to several times with other people, so I felt comfortable going there alone.
My first off-grid solo camping experience was up West Harrison FSR, and there was a full moon lighting up the sky which was great for the middle of the night bathroom adventures, but I was awake until almost 4 a.m. listening to the wind rustling leaves and making noises that I couldn’t place. Now, I know to pay attention to the noises around camp before I go to bed, so I don’t feel as

One thing I can say is that the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel. I always bring things along to protect myself with, which adds to that comfortable feeling. My dog isn’t big, but is alert and is kind of like a built-in alarm system at times.

As always, thank you for reading! Don’t forget to take a backroad instead of a highway once in awhile!

Sudden Spring Adventures!

After visiting my Mom in Cultus Lake, I decided at the last minute to go for a little detour before I drove home.

When I was a kid, we set up base camp at a creek up the mountain and would spend the day dirt biking, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

I seem to get up here less and less as time goes by, but it’s always just as beautiful as I remember.

It hasn’t changed too much over the years, and I love the serenity of this place so I don’t share it’s location.

I didn’t have much time so turned around at the creek, but sat for a few minutes to soak in the beautiful landscape.

Next time I come I’ll bring my hiking boots and be prepared to explore this curious looking boardwalk that I haven’t noticed before, and see if it takes you to the waterfall, a path that has been overgrown for many years!

This is just another reminder to step outside of your comfort zone, take time for yourself, and fit in adventures when you can – even if they’re short ones! Thank you for reading, as always!

Solo Camping Tips

Simplicity is best when camping solo.

I want to spend my time enjoying the fire and the solitude, not prepping food and washing dishes. I also don’t need fancy meals, and usually try to pack my food from things I already have in my kitchen so that I’m not spending a bunch of money on food for my trip.


This has led me to adapt a few methods when going on solo trips:

  • Prep food at home as much a possible. (I’m talking washing, slicing, dicing, wrapping in foil ahead of time, etc.) If I know I’m going camping, I will make extra for dinner during the week and then put it in the freezer for my camping dinner.
  • Pack food in Tupperware containers, foil containers, wrapped in foil, or whatever you will be cooking it in. (If I’m only going for one night, I close up and throw the Tupperware back into my cooler, and deal with the dishes when I get home!).
  • Keep your bed simple if you can – lots of blankets are great when it’s cold, but if it’s raining I opt for my backseat air mattress so I don’t have to worry about packing up my tent in the rain and then setting it up to dry out when I get home.
  • Pack your camping gear in bins, so you know where everything is all the time. I have a 3 drawer stand that houses everything I need to do dishes, my cutlery, plastic wrap and tinfoil, and a large kitchen bin where our small propane tanks, pots and pans, and our little cook stove go. This makes packing up easy (as long as everything goes back in the bin after each trip!) as I just need my two kitchen bins, my bedding, and everything else is usually already under the backseat of my truck!)
  • Trust your gut! I always come prepared from a safety point too. As a woman camping alone, there are lots of recommendations out there (especially the naysayers telling you not to do it – don’t listen to them!).
    One time I felt a little bit weirded out in the middle of nowhere, but had already unloaded my kitchen stuff for the night, so instead of packing up and moving, I decided to sleep in my truck on my backseat air mattress instead of in my tent like I had planned, so I could lock myself in and feel secure. I was totally fine and didn’t see anyone the whole time I was there. The bottom line is – always trust your gut!
  • Be prepared to adapt, be prepared to defend yourself if you need to, but try not to go into it with fear, instead try to have a proactive mindset. I keep a large wooden baseball bat under my backseat, and also carry a large knife as well as a swiss army knife.
  • Tell someone reliable what days and times you will be gone and where exactly you will be (by reliable, I mean someone who will notice if you don’t return when you should, and will alert the appropriate people).
  • Let them know if you will or will not have phone reception, and provide them with your site host’s information if necessary. When camping at a campground, I always send my husband a link to their website, or share the location on Google Maps before I leave, so he knows exactly where I am, and who to contact if I don’t come home when scheduled.
  • Don’t advertise that you’re alone to other campers. I always bring a second chair and this is dual purpose – it makes a great foot rest, but also makes it less obvious to people passing by that you’re there alone. I’ve also read many women say they bring an old pair of men’s work boots and leave them outside their tent.
  • Be comfortable when you go to bed – have your vehicle keys, a weapon of some sort, and your phone (if you have service) nearby in your tent or sleeping space so they are within reach, and try to go to bed with a positive mindset, prepared for the rustling of leaves and sounds of little creatures scurrying around for the night. The first time I camped solo in the middle of nowhere, I didn’t fall asleep until about 4 a.m.
  • Remember that other people’s fears are not your fears – when you tell people that you are going/have been solo camping, you will receive many reactions.
    Personally, my mother was a little bit upset with me when I went on my first solo trip, but recently she admitted that she’s proud of me and thinks I’m a little bit of a badass for going on all of these solo adventures like I do!

My last trip was so last minute I took the chicken souvlaki I had just cooked for my lunches for the week, and then chopped up a Greek salad with feta. Then I sliced a potato and added slivers of red onion and topped it with cheddar cheese, and wrapped it in foil! That was a perfect combination for dinner.

Breakfast I try to keep simple and usually bring hash brown patties and cook them in my propane oven, or over the campfire. I usually bring an oven rack out of my old oven to lay across the top of the fire pit and enhance my ability to cook over the fire. Sausage patties are good too, but usually I opt for the precooked bacon from Costco! No mess and so good! This last trip I made eggs in a foil dish to save the mess, and topped them with leftover shredded cheese.

Camping coffee is one staple I can’t do without, and love my coffee in the percolator in the morning! Made on the propane stove, then moved to the fire to keep warm.

I have had many people tell me I’m crazy for camping alone, or tell me they’re concerned about me because I went camping alone. Everyone is different, and some of us crave time in nature, and time alone, more than others.

The best trips that I have had, have been solo.
As a Mom, a wife, a pet owner, full time employee, etc. there are so many responsibilities and demands on the daily that sometimes it’s nice to get away for a night or two and just be responsible for myself. Sometimes I don’t even bring my dog, because I literally don’t want to be responsible for anyone but myself, and it’s taken me time to realize that that is okay!

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my sense put in order.

John Burroughs

Going camping alone as a woman can help you learn how to trust yourself – your instincts, your abilities, and your body. Every time I come home from a solo trip, I feel stronger and more confident.

As always, Thank you for reading! Please comment below and share your favorite camping tips and tricks, especially if you are a solo camper/adventurer!

Crystal Springs Resort in Lac la Hache

Located just off of Highway 97 in beautiful Lac la Hache, Crystal Springs Resort is run by a wonderful couple named Larry and Gerry and located approximately 25km north of 100 mile house.

This resort offers Rustic Sites (no hook ups), Sites with Hookups, as well as Chalets and Cabins for rent. We opted for a rustic site for our tent trailer and got a beautiful spot right on the lake.
For more information on the accommodations available here, check out their website.

We were undecided on where we wanted to stop between Whistler and Quesnel, but when I showed my husband the photos of Crystal Springs Resort after telling him about camping here as a teenager, he said it looked beautiful and to call and book! I left a voicemail and Gerry called me back a short time later, booking us in to a rustic site. I was going to ask for a certain campsite because it looked like the best one on the campground map, and when we arrived I was pleasantly surprised we were in the campsite that I had wanted!

We debated between a serviced site and a rustic site. We don’t need sewer hookups, but sometimes it is nice to have water and power, especially on a week-long trip like we were on. I was glad we settled on a rustic site though, because being right on the lake was worth it.

We lucked out with Site # 46, a rustic site right on the water.

Tucked against a  small grassy hill, our neighbors to the left were up the hill out of sight, and our neighbors to the right were a bunch of empty spots! We were right on the lake with a gorgeous view and a small dock all to ourselves. We turned our tent trailer sideways so we had lots of privacy (which is usually hard to find in an RV resort) and the door was facing the lake, making for the best view when waking up!

They offer hot showers at $1 for 4 minutes, as well as washrooms with flush toilets and sinks, and a laundry room with coin-operated machines. They also offer boat and kayak rentals, as well as boat moorage. The boat docks made for the best swimming, as our little dock wasn’t deep enough to jump in from.

Located on the shores of Lac la Hache,  “The Lake of the Axe” as it translates to, was named, during the fur trade era, after the unfortunate incident of a French-Canadian voyageur who lost his axe head while chopping a hole in the ice. It is a town rich in history, as it sits along the Gold Rush Trail. There are many stories to explain how the lake was named; but this is the version I remember from years ago.

A popular fishing lake known for it’s Kokanee fishing, but Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Char, and Brook Trout fish are also popular. People fish this lake year round, and it is a popular spot for ice fishing as well.

My daughter wanted to go for a trail ride, and I looked up a nearby ranch, just outside of 100 Mile house, closer to 110 Mile, I found Spring Lake Ranch and was able to book a trail ride for the next day. We drove to the ranch and enjoyed the long drive down a dirt road. The views along the way were beautiful, and we saw a herd of cattle grazing alongside the side. You can read more about that “Here”.

We stayed an extra night making it three nights of paradise, watching the sun set over the lake, listening to the call of the loons, and seeing fish jump in the water, not far from the loons.

I have always loved the sunsets over this lake, and they did not disappoint, even 20 years later!

Lac la Hache Provincial Park is located across the highway from Crystal Springs Resort, and there is a pedestrian tunnel that goes under the highway so campers can safely get from the campground to the Day Use Area at the lake without having to cross the highway. The provincial park day use area is located just down the hill from Crystal Springs, and we went over to check it out. They had a small parking lot, a playground, and a swimming area.

This was our last stop before arriving in Quesnel for our friend’s wedding, where we were all camping on her acreage! So we made sure to take advantage of the warm showers, and cleaned up before heading up the highway for the last leg of our journey!

As always, thank you for reading! This trip was a good reminder that sometimes, it is good to revisit places that you haven’t been to in a long time, even if it has been twenty years!

Vancouver Island Bound As A Family of Four!

Typically when going to the island, we book a reservation so we know which sailing we will be on and not have to wait 2 hours for the next one.
When we have a reservation, we usually end up on an upper deck, so we’re able to remain or return to our vehicle during the trip.
This is useful for many reasons – if we have our fur baby with us, if we want to access our cooler for snacks or drinks, or just to sit in the quiet for awhile (my husband napped the entire ferry ride there).

This time, we decided not to make a reservation on the way there and try to make the 6 p.m. sailing after work, which didn’t work out due to highway traffic, but we got on the 8 p.m. just fine. There wasn’t much to photograph in the dark, but I got some nice photos on the way home on our midday sailing.

The loading process is always interesting. Ferries are fun to explore! There are many levels, with different seating areas indoors and outdoors. Indoor seating was busy so I didn’t take any photos, but there is a multitude of options, from comfy chairs in rows to small workstations with outlets, tables with chairs in the cafeteria area, tables with stools near the small cafĂ©. We usually try to sit at a table so we can play games.

The outdoor seating is usually at least partially enclosed, and on the ride back there was an extra curtain hanging and propane heaters blasting heat! So we spent the majority of the trip up there, playing games and enjoying the scenery and fresh air.

Typically traveling very early or very late gets you a discount, but sometimes when traveling with kids, the savings just isn’t worth the cranky kiddos.

In the summer, they often run educational programs for kids on the daytime sailings too!

Cell service can be spotty on the ferry, so sometimes we bring walkie talkies. Now that our kids are 10 and 13, they love their independence. So if they stay together and take a walkie-talkie, they can explore on their own and they love it! I always make sure when we get out of the truck, we make a note of the deck number we are on, as well as the sea creature on the closest stairwell (for example an orca) so we all know where we need to end up to get back to the truck.

We always pack games for the ferry ride. One time, my son and I had an epic round of Uno – we went through the entire deck twice! When we looked up, we realized we had a small audience assembled around us! He still talks about that.
This time, we’ve packed Uno, Yahtzee, and a Chess Board, so we have lots of options.

Coloring books, reading materials, and journals are also nice to have for the ferry ride. I keep everything together in a bag so it’s easy to bring on board.
I pack our own snacks in a bin for the truck so we have stuff to snack on during the drive, as well as avoiding eating the overpriced ferry food.

I love sitting outside on the ferry, on the upper decks. Wind in your hair, and ocean all around you, there’s nothing better.

The ferry also has a small gift shop, but is rather expensive so we usually window shop to kill time. There’s also many rows of brochures, usually divided into Island Information and Mainland Information, so no matter which direction you’re heading, you can find something about the place you are heading.

To look at sailing times or book a ferry, check out their website here.

As always, thank you for reading! Comment below if you have any ferry traveling tips and tricks!

Chehalis River Recreation Site

I decided last minute to get away for one night – by last minute I mean at 10:30 a.m. I said to my husband “Hey, would you mind if I went camping tonight?” to which he replied “You do you babe.” So food prep and packing commenced, and I was out the door by 1 p.m.

Solo camping is one of my favorite things to do now, and always leaves me feeling recharged and de-stressed.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained more self awareness and self confidence. I bring a knife, a baseball bat, and scope out the area before I set up, but so far I’ve never felt unsafe.

I’m not anti-social.
I’m pro-solitude.

Sharon Mammoser

When I arrived, the camp host asked if I had a site in mind and I said I wanted something preferably on the river, but if not on the river, something private as it was just me and my fur baby Zola. I lucked out with a spot that backed onto the river, and the fire pit was set far enough back I could enjoy my fire and the river view at the same time! There is just something so relaxing about sitting by a fire next to a river…

At $18 a night, this recreation site is a good option for those that don’t want to drive too far. You turn off the paved Morris Valley Road into the rec site, and park at the host. He helps you choose a site(if you don’t have a reservation like me), you pay, and you’re on your way, only to see him again if you need wood or something – my kind of camp host!


This is your typical Recreation site with pit toilets, bear caches, and you can drop your organic waste/food scraps at the host site, which is an option I haven’t seen before. Otherwise, it’s pack out what you pack in, and no running water. This time of year, it’s also BYOTP – Bring Your Own Toilet Paper! To read more about the rules and rates for this site, check out their website here.

The Host also let me know they had added a nice wide, mostly flat, gravel path that you can walk up to 4km on. I enjoyed exploring that with coffee in hand on Sunday morning. Someone is obviously a talented woodworker because there were several of these beautiful, new looking benches along the way! I can’t imagine the hours of work it took to create this beautiful path, but I enjoyed every step of it.

I got Site #45 which had a gorgeous view of the river, but some traffic noise from the road. If I went again I would try for one of the lower site numbers further from the road, but still on the river. But being last-minute on a Saturday afternoon, I was happily surprised to get a river site!

I liked that my fire pit was behind two large rocks, closer to the river meaning the campsite was plenty roomy without having to worry about how close you’re parked to the fire pit. It also allowed me to enjoy the beauty of the river sitting right next to my fire!

It was surprisingly busy for February, but I only had neighbors on one side of me which was nice.

Sunday morning I woke up to rain at 5 a.m. but when I woke up again, the rain had stopped. I walked over to the outhouse, got my fire going and started on my coffee and breakfast. I had to set up my stove because I had cooked over the fire the night before, but I don’t mess around getting my coffee done.

One of the things I love about solo camping is the simplicity of it. I had precooked chicken souvlaki the day before, so I chopped up a quick greek salad with feta and had everything in containers. Then I sliced up a potato and added slices of red onion, topped it with shredded cheese, and wrapped it in foil. That was my appetizer, cooked over the fire, and it was delicious!

I had these little foil cups that I have had forever, planning to use them for another recipe, but they came in super handy for reheating my chicken over the fire, and for cooking my cheesy eggs the next morning! They made for even easier cleanup too!

Not far from the camp host is a nice covered area with several beautifully designed informative signs about the area, some history on the Sts’ailes people and their land, as well as types of fishing in the area.


This looks like a very family friendly campground, as I saw several families on my walk and having cell service is an added bonus when traveling with kids.

Moments of solitude with Mother Nature is sunshine to a soul.

Anthony Douglas Williams

As always, thank you for reading! I’ll have more solo trips to post about soon, as the rain lessens (hopefully) and overnight temperatures start to rise a bit.