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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:

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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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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!!

Mother Daughter Camping By The River

On Thursday, we were invited to visit or join my daughter’s friend’s family on their camping trip by the river. We were going to pack for camping in case we decided to stay, and then I decided it would be silly to pack everything and not stay, so we made a decision to camp.

We packed up for one night in a matter of about an hour, then we said Goodbye to my husband and son and hit the road!

On our way to join them, I took a different route and drove up through Ryder Lake, past the Elk Mountain Trailhead, and down Bench Road FSR. We found them set up right on the river, not far from Chilliwack Lake Road.

It was a beautiful spot and the sound of the river drowned out the passing trucks and cars, except for the occasional loud logging truck.

We had our own little spot just down from our friends, so I set up our tent and a little kitchen for our overnight adventure.

We could see the river from our tent and the sounds and views were gorgeous!

In the morning, we listened to the sounds of the river and snuggled in bed for awhile, until my daughter actually fell back asleep – that never happens!

I got up and started preparing my morning camping coffee, fighting with the propane adapter on my very well-loved(AKA old) Stove for at least 10 minutes… I finally got it hooked up, trying to be quiet as I was the only one awake. When it finally started percolating I had to do a little happy dance! I love my coffee, okay….

I took my coffee down and sat at the river for awhile, until the kids started waking up.

Serenity, tranquillity and coffee… it doesn’t get much better than that.

Our friends brought their bows and arrows as well as their target, so my daughter and I got some lessons!

My daughter was very proud to hit the target 4/5 times her first try!! She also thought it was hilarious that I didn’t hit it once… I came close though!

Overall, this was a simple, fun, one night adventure. As my daughter and I cuddled on the air mattress falling asleep, I thanked her for adventuring and camping with me. She shrugged and said she “figured it would be good to get out of the house, plus girl time is always fun!” We agreed to keep ‘Girl Camping’ as the years go by, even when she’s a grown up.

Camping with kids is great, because outside of the house, there is a different dynamic. There are so many great conversations and memories made, it is always worth it in the end.

We had the kids do an all around clean up in the morning and I told them I had a special prize for whoever collected the most trash! After the kids ran away excitedly to collect garbage, the other adults asked what my prize was. I shrugged and said “I guess they can choose between a hug and a high five….” We had a good laugh and the kids weren’t even upset when they found out (for the most part). The kids played games, I brought glow sticks and they played in the tent and made up their own games after dark. Essentially, they had a lot of fun together!

One plus side of a two-person trip is a lot less packing, plus a lot less laundry when we got home!

This short trip was a great reminder to embrace these last minute opportunities. In a little over an hour, we were packed and on the road. When we got home, we were unpacked in a matter of minutes and a few loads of laundry later it was like we never left. It was not that much work, and we had a lot of fun, made some great memories and had some good conversations.

As always, thank you for reading! Always take the back roads when you can, fit in the adventures, and never stop making memories!

Rapids Recreation Site – One Peaceful Night By the River!

I wrote about this Recreation site previously when I visited during the off season and the site was closed. To read more details about it you can see that post Here.

I took my non-camping friend away for a night to celebrate her birthday early. We wanted to leave cell service, but not go too far from home.

We decided to check out Chipmunk Peninsula Recreation Site first, but most of the sites had Reserved signs and it was fairly full, so we drove down to the Rapids Rec Site to see how busy it was.

We were pleasantly surprised to find it empty. We had the entire campground to ourselves so we picked a spot close to the river, not far from the outhouse, and with a great view. Site 17 was a large spot and made for a nice spacious set up.

Around 9pm another vehicle arrived and set up camp across the road from us, otherwise the place remained empty the entire time which was so peaceful, but surprising!

We listened to some music and played a few rounds of crib, then turned the music off and listened to the birds and the river for awhile.

There is a fire ban across British Columbia right now, so I brought my propane fire pit to enjoy after dark. It always gets a little bit cooler along the river, so it was nice to sit by a small fire and enjoy the stars before bed.

What’s a camping trip without camping coffee & Baileys?

I Loved the views from this site; from the morning sun shining through the old, mossy trees to the bright stars twinkling overhead on a backdrop of a beautifully dark, inky sky, it was a gorgeous spot to sit and drink in nature.

As always, thank you for reading! With the current Forest Fire situation in British Columbia I will not be going on any big adventures in the near future, but will be sure to share the little trips and adventures with you still!

Stay Safe and Keep Adventuring!

Green Lake 2021

Our first time visiting Green Lake as a family was in 2015 and it was the opposite weather from this time.

It rained nearly the entire trip, my husband had told me I packed too much bedding as we were loading up and I assured him that I did not, as nights are cold in the Caribou! We ended up warming rocks by the fire and putting them in the tent before bed, trying to keep warm. You can read about that trip here.

This time, we experienced the opposite weather during a heat wave. The forecast for Green Lake had predicted overnight temperatures of 19C which seemed reasonable… and was much cooler than overnight temperatures at home. I checked the forecast again on our drive there and it had changed to 29C overnight! Not as cool as we had planned for, but we had frozen water bottles, Gatorade, Kool Aid Jammers and Juice Boxes and we were well prepared for hydration.

We definitely stayed hydrated and packed lots of drinks, fresh fruit and vegetables and tried to stay in the shade as much as we could.

The first day after setting up camp and inflating our floaties, we spent three hours at the lake. I sun-screened my kids but forgot to do myself and I burned to a crisp. The next day we brought our shade tent down to the lake and put it in the water. We tied off to the tent and floated in and around the tent. We also set up chairs under the tent in the water and enjoyed lunch at the lake.

The views on this lake are gorgeous and never get old. We stayed at the Sunset View Campground at Green Lake Provincial Park and the sunsets definitely did not disappoint!

It was hot while we were there, so one evening on my walk back from the outhouse I wandered down to the lake and stood knee-deep in the water to cool my body. It felt amazing and I was treated to the most beautiful sunset, plus this little loon popped up in front of me.

We headed home the next day, packing up slowly and taking our time heading home. Now we have experienced Green Lake during a heat wave, as well as the cold Fall temperatures. Our kids suggested we come back in Spring sometime so we can enjoy normal temperatures next time… they might be onto something!

As always, thank you for reading! Until next time, keep adventuring and exploring!

Weaver Lake Group Camping!

I got invited to tag along on a group trip to Weaver Lake South Group Site, so I drove up by myself on Monday and spent two glorious nights out of cell service. Located off of West Harrison FSR (one of my favourite places to drive), Weaver Lake is accessible by 4×4 vehicles only.

I arrived, set up my tent and my little kitchen table and sat down in the shade to relax! It felt a little bit strange to only have myself to care for…. But easier to relax!

Taco Tuesday was a great success, I made nachos and two others did a taco bar! We all roamed through the stations sampling the deliciousness of dinner and I will definitely be recommending Taco Tuesday for future group trips!

The group site has some amenities like an outhouse – big enough to be used as a change room, with a small mirror and hooks to hang things. There was a group fire pit area with benches (that we didn’t use due to fire ban) and a covered area with picnic tables that would be great on a rainy day.

There was also a trail down to this small creek, which was so tranquil and beautiful! The trees provided shade and it was so much cooler down there. We brought our camping chairs and put our feet in the water for awhile, it was so relaxing.

The sunsets here were also gorgeous. I am an early riser and a few of my walks to the outhouse in the early morning I wished I had my camera. The pinks and purples in the sky were beautiful. No sounds of other people, generators, or anyone else to worry about outside of our group was also a definite plus.

The stars were so bright at night, I stayed up much later than usual just enjoying the bright stars against the inky dark sky.

The photos do it no justice, but being in the mountains at this gorgeous lake was so good for the soul. I was too busy floating or swimming to get any photos of the lake unfortunately, but I do recommend this rec site for anyone with a 4×4 to get to it!

There are two group sites and everyone said the South Group Site was less ideal than the North Group Site they had stayed at previously. I had no comparison and thought it was great for group camping and not having to worry about bothering other people.

For more information on Weaver Lake Camping, check it out Here! There is a regular campground with single and double sites, as well as the two separate group sites. I definitely plan to go again as it was a beautiful spot. As with all Rec Sites though, there is no running water and you are required to pack out your garbage.

As always, thank you for reading! Keep on adventuring and don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone!

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Anonymous

Fitting Adventures in Amongst Errands

The other day, I went to pick up a new desk for my daughter’s room. It was located down Chilliwack Lake Road, one of my favourite drives.

So, I left early, brought my camping chair, a few pieces of firewood and drove a little ways past my pick up destination. Once I got on the Chilliwack Lake FSR I found a nice little pullout with a rock fire pit and made myself a little fire. I dragged my camping chair out, enjoying the view of the lake and clouds hovering around the mountains while I kept my fire going. Sadly, I discovered that my hatchet is very dull and needs to be sharpened, so I made due with the wood that I had and what was around the firepit.

Mother Nature had other ideas and it started raining. No problem – I grabbed my Soccer Mom umbrella from my truck and enjoyed my chair and fire… until it started downpouring! I eventually gave up and kicked my fire apart, letting the rain fully extinguish it as I started packing up. I was soaked in just a few short minutes!

Before the rain, I was enjoying watching the birds flutter through the trees and watching the wind come up in gusts, breathing life back into my dying fire.

It was a great hour spent beside Chilliwack Lake, enjoying the fresh air, the beauty of the place even on a rainy day, and just sitting in nature taking in the silence and the sounds.

I have recently done some reading on Forest Bathing and really believe our bodies need to spend time in Nature, disconnected from the Internet, Screens and Apps. Take off your FitBit or your Apple Watch. Instead, put your hand over your heart and take some deep breaths. Feel your heartbeat. Be Still. Take in the Silence. Feel your heartbeat slow, your blood pressure lower. Your stress level come down. Push that To Do List out of your mind. The thought that “I should go because I have to do 1, 2, 3” is hard to ignore, but do it. Be Present With Yourself. Take the Time For You.

As always, thank you for reading! I have had a lot going on in my personal life and have not had time to get out as much, or write as much as I would like. This little trip was a great reminder that we don’t have to plan these big full-day adventures, we need to make the most of the time we do have! I hope to share another adventure with you all soon. Until then, keep adventuring!

One Year Blogversary!

Wow… I cannot believe that I have been on this journey for one full year!!

I’m going to annoy you with some numbers for a minute :

71 Blog Posts! 3,500 Views! 2,100 Visitors! 461 Followers! These Stats blow my mind…

When I started Road Trip Mama last year, I mostly just wanted an outlet. A place to post about my trips; my thoughts and feelings about driving solo, 4x4ing and road tripping either with kids or alone.

I didn’t think anyone would actually read it….

That first month I was shocked at how many views my blog had, and I feel even more so now! Seeing that people found my blog on Google or WordPress Reader and then took the time to Like or Comment on my post, is surreal.

My biggest moment was running into an old friend who is also a Mom and her telling me that she was packing up her kids and taking them camping without her husband for the first time and that I had inspired her to do it! She had read all of my blog posts as “research” and I have never been so flattered!

My first post Solo Road Trip was more about me expressing my need for solitude, and normalizing Moms taking time by themselves. I was off work with PTSD and dealing with a lot. I just wanted to drive with the windows down, music up and be alone with thoughts and feelings, without worrying about one of my kids watching me break down.

One of my favorite posts was Crawford Bay RV park. They shared my blog on their Facebook page and it kind of blew up! It is a popular spot that we are obviously not the only ones who fell in love with. From one of the Shares of my post, I also found a cousin I had not seen since childhood. Such a small world!

Another one was Skwellepil Creek Rec Site – Mom & Kids Style! This was a trip that my husband couldn’t come on and I was nervous about my chronic pain and knee injury and packing/setting up/taking down camp without him. My son was 10 at the time and really stepped up to help, he now knows how to use a ratchet strap too! Stepping outside of your comfort zone with your kids, usually helps them step up a bit more than they normally would, I have found. Both of my kids stepped out of their comfort zone on that trip, and we all learned a thing or two about ourselves. It was definitely one of my favorite trips so far.

I could go on, but I would say those are my top 3 Posts so far! I have lots of Blog Posts in Draft mode, and as soon as I am healed from my knee surgery I plan to start checking them off my list. My surgeon also likes to 4×4 so of course at my post op appointment I gave him some tips for getting out with his two year old!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs, for Liking, Sharing, Commenting, and helping me get my Blog out there. I was nervous to step into the blogging community, to put a piece of my soul on display. But so far this first year has been nothing but encouraging and has helped me grow in so many ways. It all means so much, and I appreciate it more than you know.

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Neale Donald Walsch

Thank you all for reading and supporting Road Trip Mama along this journey.

Mother’s Day Adventure 2021

This year was a little different, both because of Covid and because I am 2 weeks post op from knee surgery!

I am healing well and have good range of motion, but am still pretty sore and need to take it easy. Certain things (like putting on socks) are still a challenge and have helped me strengthen my ability to ask for help.

My daughter made me this super cute Jam Jar full of “Reasons why I love my mom”. Some of them were funny, cute, and some tugged at my heartstrings unexpectedly.

My son is in Middle School this year, so no cute crafts from him but I did get a nice card and some flowers too!

Mother’s Day for us is usually spent up a mountain and I always tell the kids they are not allowed to say the word bored on Mother’s Day! This year the bumpy road would be too much for my knee so instead we took lunch to a local fishing hole and had a picnic lunch.

Daytons Pool

We have a designated sleeping bag for picnics, so we brought that and my daughter brought her fishing rod. I brought a chair to sit in since the ground is a little too hard for me to get up from right now, and we enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine!

We set up on the water and enjoyed the gentle breeze and warm sunshine.

We got to see hummingbirds, butterflies, and fish. Several people passed by in kayaks until one group brought their boats on the beach and discovered a frog in one kayak!

This is such a beautiful spot that I drive past all the time and have never stopped to enjoy. It is so nice to know this little piece of nature off the slough is being preserved and access remains open for the public to enjoy.

As always, thank you for reading!

McDonald Park Dark Sky Preserve

McDonald Park Dark Sky Preserve is a beautiful setting, both during the day and at night. This park is located on No. 3 Road, just over the dyke, making for easy walking access to the Sumas River dyke trail.

The Fraser Valley Astronomers Society had McDonald Park officially deemed a Dark Sky Park in 2000 and it is run by the FVAS at night. You can read more about that process and see when they host Dark Sky Events on their Website Here.

This park has some great features, including Flush Toilets, a Playground, Picnic tables and Fire Pits, as well as a large covered area with BBQ. I also noticed an area to play horseshoes as I was leaving!

There are several benches off of the dyke trail along the way, so one can rest if needed or just sit and appreciate this beautiful place.

These rustic old farm houses and equipment added some character to the scenery along my walk. It was such a gorgeous day too, hot, sunny and beautiful blue sky!!

Since Covid restrictions have been in place, I have been meeting one of my oldest friends here after dinner and we walk the dyke as we chat and catch up once a month from a safe distance.

It is the perfect meeting spot because I live in Chilliwack and she lives in Abbotsford and No. 3 road is pretty much right in the middle. The park is located right off of Hwy 1 and is a very convenient pit stop for anyone passing through.

Being there in the middle of the day was a whole different experience with a packed parking lot, a line for the bathroom and people everywhere! I got lucky and took my dog Zola to one end of the dyke and we only passed a few people. The other end of the dyke was packed with pedestrians and cyclists as we came back, so I was glad we went the direction that we did.

It was also nice to see everything in the daylight, because usually we are arriving as the sun is starting to set, and end up walking by flashlight for most of the time. It is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset!

We frequently walk by people setting up telescopes or fancy looking cameras just as the stars start coming out. We choose one direction and if we are still chatting and feeling good, we walk both ends of the dyke for the full distance of 8.4km.

In the daylight you get to see these rustic old farm buildings, the lush green fields, the mountains and the beautiful blue skies. In the dark, you get the bright starry sky above you on an inky black backdrop with Sumas Mountain acting as nature’s amphitheater and the city lights way off in the distance.

Basically, there is never a bad time to visit McDonald Park. If I had to choose a time, I would go for sunset though and stay awhile to enjoy the stars twinkling overhead.

As always, Thank You for reading! Remember to keep exploring, even in your own town or city. There are always little parks or new trails waiting to be discovered somewhere nearby, you just need to get out and explore to find them!

Solo Adventure to Find the Mt. Woodside Gliders Launch Site

I have explored Mount Woodside several times, and I enjoy the gorgeous views along the way every time! I have driven different trails and the main road, yet had never discovered the Gliders Launch Site in my travels.

On this day, I had a rare opportunity where my husband was home from work and available for school pick up, so I filled my truck, grabbed my fur baby, and headed out for a day of beautiful sunshine and midday adventure!

I had texted a friend asking for any directions for the Gliders Launch and she suggested to google map it! Great idea – except the directions were WAY off! Google told me to turn left in 200 meters, but there was no trail in sight. So, I decided to go blind and just try to get closer to the pin location. Turns out the location was accurate and it was kind of fun trying to get closer and figuring out the trail networks to get there!

This was dead end number one! I got turned around easily enough and made my way back down. Onto the next trail! Which was also…. a dead end.

I found another trail that seemed to go in the right direction and gave it a try, but…. it also dead ended! It did look like it would be a great little camping spot though.

Then, the third time was success! I found a trail with a piece of flagging tape and decided to check it out. A few fresh pin strips on my truck later, we made it down the steep hill and behold – we were at the Launch Site!

Although the trail had several large rocks and I was a little nervous to attempt this alone, I decided to go for it. Next time, I’m definitely airing down first! haha.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an outhouse structure at the parking lot for the Launch Site, but my surprise led to dismay when I opened the door and found a broken toilet seat and vandalized outhouse instead. I ducked behind the outhouse to pee and was greeted by used tampon wrappers and all sorts of grossness!!

Please practice Leave No Trace when enjoying the great outdoors!! We want to keep these places open to enjoy for years to come and need to stop trashing them before we lose all of our access.

I was shocked to find I had the Gliders Launch Site to myself when I got there. My dog was busy sniffing around and after taking some gorgeous scenic photos, I sat down and just breathed in the fresh mountain air for awhile.

This is bliss….

After awhile, a couple hiked up to the Launch Site and I offered to take some photos of them so they could get the scenery in the background. Of course, Zola photo bombed almost all of their photos, but she won them over with her cuteness and they were okay with it. I decided to head back down the mountain and let them enjoy the launch site to themselves like I had.

Almost down the mountain again, I felt unready to return home yet and found a pullout to park at. I stopped and did some writing while sitting on my tailgate and Zola relaxed under the truck in the shade with her water.

While parked here, we were passed by several vehicles heading up, and I felt grateful for my unplanned midday, midweek adventure. I only passed two vehicles on my drive up and that was great. It’s often good peace of mind to know there are others on the trails with you, however it is also nice to have the road to yourself and enjoy stopping anywhere you like without worrying about other people pulling in and crowding you.

The other nice thing about Mount Woodside is you have cell phone service most of the time, so if you do get into trouble that you can’t get yourself out of, you can still call for help.

This trip was about a week before my knee surgery, and I knew I was going to get cabin fever being unable to drive post op, so I wanted to get out for a good, lengthy drive by myself. Not only to clear my head, but so I could feel like I got out for some good long drives in this great weather before my surgery.

My fur baby Zola and I enjoyed the gorgeous views, the mountain air, and the beautiful blue sky during our adventure.

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this new view from Mount Woodside as much as I did and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you all soon!

Don’t forget to click the Follow button to get notifications when new content is posted, so you don’t miss out!

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, know the conditions, tell someone your timeline and trip plan, and have a means of communication in case you run into trouble.

Twenty Mile Bay – April Version!!

My first trip to 20 Mile Bay was last June and it rained all day. We still enjoyed ourselves and the drive, however the clouds definitely obscured some of the gorgeous views. To compare that trip to this one, read my former post Here.

We stopped a few times to take pictures, stretch our legs, and take in the view.

We stopped in this same spot last year and took photos, comparing the difference was crazy! We could not see the mountains because the clouds were so low last year, but there was also a forest fire last summer, so the lush green vegetation is all gone and the charred remnants are left for regrowth.

We were greeted by this large bird – I believe it is a hawk but am entirely unsure! If you know what it is, let me know in the comments!!

32km later, we were greeted by the 20 Mile Bay Rec Site sign! We made it.

The Day Use area features several picnic tables and fire pits, as well as one pit toilet. I am unsure how well they are maintained this time of year, the pit toilet was not in the best shape.

Considering it was a hot, sunny Sunday afternoon I was surprised to see only a few people on the beach.

Compared to when we were here last June, the beach was totally different! Last year there was no beach when we stopped here! What a difference two months can make in the water levels!

After putting our feet in the frigid water for a few minutes, skipping a few rocks and soaking in the sun for awhile, we headed back to the parking lot.

Back down the dusty road we went, another 32km to get back to pavement. I enjoyed the drive back much more as there was far less traffic on the road, the sun was getting low in the sky and the lake was out my window for much of the drive.

I am a sucker for a dirt road with a view, what can I say!! Even better was that everyone was driving down as we were driving up so lots of spots were open to pull over and enjoy the view.

One last photo stop on our way down!

Everything inside and outside my truck was coated in a thick layer of dirt by the end, but it was definitely worth the intensive cleaning required the next day!

One extra note of caution when traveling on dry Forestry Roads, is that when you pass someone at high speeds you not only have the potential to kick rocks at their vehicle, you can also create near white-out conditions with the dirt and dust.

We had a few close calls on our way up, including a few trucks coming around corners in the middle of the road!!! The third truck was towing a small trailer, over corrected and luckily I slammed on the brakes or his trailer would have hit us as it swerved back over!

Just another reason it’s nice to head up later in the day sometimes and enjoy less traffic on your way home!

As always, thank you for reading!! It was great to see 20 Mile Bay again and just goes to show how much of a difference a change of season can make. Also a great reminder of how much can change in less than a year!

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Stay Safe, Stay Local, Stay Kind!