This was a Jamie Oliver recipe that took 3.5 hours to make. We made a stop at Cioffi's, an Italian deli/market in Burnaby that had the most amazing variety of meats, where we bought a four pound lamb shoulder. We then roasted it for two hours. then put it in the pot with a layer of couscous and raisins at the bottom, then a layer of chickpeas and onions stewed in balsamic vinegar, then the roasted lamb, and then covered the sides and top with the couscous. The whole thing was then roasted for another hour.
We ate that with cilantro and yogurt mixed with the roasted lemon. I personally think it was one of the best dishes Leonard and I have ever made - it was sweet, salty, and sour, all in one bite.
I found a great deal online for condo rentals at Kicking Horse Resort in Golden, which is a ski lodge in the winter. I booked 3 nights, we brought along some food in the cooler (we had a full sized kitchen, even bigger than the one in my own condo), and we were on our way to Golden!
We left Vancouver at 6am, in anticipation of the 8 hour drive. It was beautiful and we saw lots of trains and mountains.
We spent the day going east to Alberta. Yoho National Park was on the way, so we did an easy hike to the pretty Wapta Falls.
Takakkaw Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Canada. It is also in Yoho National Park (a bit of a drive off the highway, but only a short walk from the parking lot).
We arrived at Lake Louise in the afternoon. What a magnificent blue, and look at that glacier.
We did our second hike of the day - a "moderate" trail up to Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive.
This is a glimpse of Lake Louise halfway up to Lake Agnes:
The Big Beehive from Mirror Lake. We went up all the way to the top of that beehive later!
The view of Lake Louise from the top of the Big Beehive:
Needless to say, we were pretty tired by the time we got back to Golden. Those two hikes were in preparation for the big one, for day three...
Glacier National Park has some amazing hikes. The park ranger suggested that we do Abbott Ridge, because of the full views of many glaciers at the top. It was one of the most difficult hikes listed on the park pamphlet, as it is a 7.5 hour hike with a 1060m ascent over 7 km (14km round trip). I was nervous!
It was very steep. The first third of the hike was in the forest, up to Marion Lake. It reminded me of the Grouse Grind.
View of the valley and the highway running through it, from Marion Lake.
Two-thirds of the way up, we arrived at the alpine meadows and the views of the mountains and glaciers started opening up. The views got exponentially better as we hiked higher and higher.
We had 360 degree views of glaciers and mountains at the top. You can't see any of these from the highway on the valley floor. Definitely worth it!
We embarked on our drive back to Vancouver. We took the long scenic way, the Crow's Nest highway, adding an extra hour and a half to our drive. It rained heavily as we drove to Revelstoke.
We did a bit of wine tasting in Kelowna before hopping back in the car.
We ended up being on the road for almost 12 hours....what a long day!
2000 km driven in four days with three hikes - this is the most intense road trip I've ever been on! Thank you Leonard for driving all but 150 km :)
Leonard and I went to Mount Baker to hike the Chain Lakes Loop, which was listed as "easy" on the hiking website. The day didn't start off very well - we were stuck in traffic on the highway due to an accident, and we had to wait awhile at the border crossing. By the time we got to the trailhead, it was 2pm, and we were wondering if this hike would be worth the 4 hour drive we had just done.
The hike turned out to be amazing! There were views during the whole hike. No boring switchbacks in the forest, just wide open views of Mount Shuksan/Mount Baker/Table Mountain/many lakes/alpine meadows. The view changed constantly as we walked through the trail.
We underestimated the distance and time it would take for us, so when 6pm came and we realized we still had at least another hour to go, we sped it up, since we didn't want to be driving down the mountain and countryside in the dark. We even managed to hitch a ride from someone from one parking lot to the other.
Bagley Lakes - the very beginning of the hike:
Can you spot me?
Mount Shuksan in the background:
Our lunch break at Herman's Saddle. To the right we had Mount Baker.
To the left was a view of Mount Shuksan.
Iceberg Lake, Table Mountain, and Mount Baker:
Leonard's favourite spot, because of its zen-like natural beauty.
We couldn't find the trail from one parking lot to the other so we walked down the road instead.
It was my birthday recently, so my friends and I went to Bowen Island for a day trip. We ate well (Shika is awesome - it is owned by the sister of the owner of Basho in Vancouver), drove around the island, relaxed, and enjoyed the scenery and weather.