The Road Trip Diaries : Whistler to Golden | Part One
A week or two ago I got my hands on another rental car to jam around in. The weather had been, and was looking to be pretty ace, so I decided to head over towards the Rockies for a few days to see what I could find.
I'm pretty spontaneous with most of my solo adventures, so apart from having the car booked a few weeks in advance, I only booked my accommodation for the first night of this trip the day before I left, and then I just booked the other nights as I went along.
Overall, the drive from Whistler to Golden (which is about 1 hour west of Lake Louise), is about 9 hours, but there's so many places to check out along the way that I made a few days of it. Golden itself is a super small town, about an hour West of Lake Louise. It's more of a stop-over town than anything, but I decided that it was about as far as I wanted to travel on this trip, and it was actually a pretty sweet little place to hang out for a night.
Being a bit of a car nerd I was secretly hoping the rental car dudes would land me with anything other than a Toyota Camry — the all-time classic rental car — which I got last time, and wasn't too keen on. So, I was mega stoked that they handed me over a brand new 2014 Ford Focus to fang around in. I totally fell in love with this car. It's awesome to drive, it's the perfect size, and it had a pretty insane sound-system — which makes road tripping just that much better. Basically — I wanted to steal this car and keep it forever.
This trip most defo reminded me of why I started combining travel with work. I was able to travel and explore for most of the day, and then jump on my laptop after a day of being in the sun or on the road, catch up on some work and get shit done — without the stress.
I travelled on the same route both ways for this trip, mostly because there were a few places I wanted to check out along the way, and also because you get completely different views travelling the same road in different directions up here. So the photos are a combo of my drive over, and my drive back.
This is the first post of two, with the second hitting up Revelstoke, Golden, and Lake Louise.
I headed North from Whistler and drove along Duffey Lake Road (which I posted about before, over here), to Lillooet, and from there over to Kamloops, through a place called Cache Creek.
Without a doubt, the drive between Whistler and Cache Creek was one of the best parts of the trip, just because of the awesome landscapes and the minimal amount of traffic. It's more of a back highway, and any time I've ever been on it, there's been barely any traffic, compared to the hectic Trans Canada Highway.
Back roads are where it's at — and anytime I'm out driving I go looking for them. It's just so much more chilled out, and its wayyy easier to pull over to the side to take photos when you don't have 1000 other cars on your ass.
Once you start heading out of Lillooet, you're out of the big mountains, but the landscape doesn't get any less epic. Just out of Lillooet, heading towards Kamloops, there's the some of most hectic canyons I've ever seen...
I think I get my love of driving & just being behind the wheel of a car from my old man. It runs in the family... We'd always go for random weekend or post-dinner drives, just for the hell of it. No destination. No real reason. Just 'cause.
Especially in summer when the days are longer, one of my absolute favourite things to do when I have a car is to go out for a drive after dinner. If you manage to time it just right and be out on the road when the sun is setting, it's pretty fucking ace.
For one of the nights I stayed in Kamloops I arrived kind of early, around 3pm or something, so I chilled out at my motel, had a nap, did some work, and had some dinner. I was pretty tempted just to go to bed early and rest up for another full day of driving, but I took a peek out my window, saw that the sun was setting, and decided to get amongst it.
I was on a mish to find somewhere ace to watch the sunset, but somehow I ended up on the Trans-Canada Highway, heading West towards Kelowna. I thought I might be able to find some random off-ramps that would lead me to some sweet back roads, and also make it easy to turn-around and head back (it was a big 6-lane highway, so you can't just make a quick & easy U-turn), but I quickly discovered that once you get a few km's out of Kamloops, there isn't a whole lot of off-ramps... So, as you do, I ended up driving about 20km West before I found an off-ramp to turn around.
I'd almost given up on finding somewhere sick to watch the sunset, and I was on the way back to my motel when I saw a random little hill that looked like it could be promising. There were stacks of cars in the carpark, but it seemed like somewhere you'd need to hike a good 30 minutes to get a decent view. The sun was almost gone, and the idea of hiking alone in the dark didn't get me too stoked. Again... I almost turned around and went home... Until I saw that the same road actually continued on a bit, so naturally, I thought I'd suss it out.
The road was a No Exit one, but it had the sickest little hill to hang out and watch the sunset from. So, after my little adventure in getting lost, I'd found the perfect place.
The funny part is, this random little No Exit road I found myself on, was actually where the local detention centre was. If I'd seen that on a sign at the start of the road, I defo wouldn't have gone down there, because... well... who likes driving down prison roads at night by themselves just for shits and giggles?
So aside from getting stuck on the Trans Canada and discovering that my perfect sunset watching location was actually just up the road from a prison, it was a good mish.
Go, get lost. See what you can find down seedy prison roads