2017 Snow and Lights – Update

Summer HeatWith the Sydney Summer temperatures edging into the 40 degree celsius mark, it is time to post something about the next adventure and get my mind off the heat.  This time next month I will be up to my Canons in snow and sub zero temperatures.  Now some of you might think that is not a good idea – my daughter Kylie being one of them.  But you know me – I love adventure!

She has threatened to cancel the Frosty Fun holiday and move it to Hawaii as where she lives in Oregon they have had snow and cold for the past 4 weeks.

Unusual for them at this time of year, but ever the optimistic adventure seeker I told her to put on her Yellowstone gear, head outside and play in the snow and get used to it.

Portland OregonI cannot tell you what she said, Just a hint – it had something to do with four letter words and rude gestures.

I will leave it to your imagination.

Moving right along, everything has been booked and finalised (I think).  The Multi Award Winning Five Star Stansbury/Clarke Travel Agency has once again outdone themselves.

Clothing has been purchased in the US and is awaiting me when I arrive as it is just too expensive to buy here.  Snow Jacket, Boots, inner thermals, mid thermals (with a pattern of bears and snowflakes – very haute couture), woolly ski socks, thermal skull cap and a wonderful woolly hat with a pompom on the top and long tassles – a bit like Ron Weasley’s hat but just plain grey.  The only thing left to get are my snow pants – I shall be a picture of sartorial splendour or, on the other hand, a replica of the Michelin Man.

As you know I hate having my photo taken but with all the gear I will have on, no one will be able to tell that it is me and that can only be a good thing.  Hint – the only way you will know it is me – I will be the one with all the NatGeo cameras and gear.

QANTAS 747It is only 3 weeks before I head out on my favourite plane – a Qantas 747 into San Francisco and then I transfer to Alaska Airlines for the final leg to Portland Oregon.  You will be excited to know that I have my journal packed and ready to write down all the flight details as we soar above the clouds.  Yes I have a window seat and yes there will be my world famous ‘wing out the window’ photos.

For you that follow me on Facebook, I have posted photos during the past weeks of upcoming things I hope to see – loads of snow; animals in Yellowstone; the Northern Lights in Whitehorse the list goes on and on and on.

Snow LodgeWhen we were looking at booking accommodation within Yellowstone Park we originally planned to go with the Western Cabins but after some careful thought, we decided to stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge that way our rooms, restaurants, open fires, bars etc are all under one roof and we will not have to trudge back and forth through the snowy blizzards. Yes, I hear you say that is a good idea, especially if we have a warming beverage or three.

We are at Yellowstone for seven days/nights doing loads of photography and special tours on dirty big snow coaches.  Much care will have to be taken with our cameras and lenses but I have read up on all of that so we should be OK.  Dragging ourselves away from my beloved Yellowstone we head back to Bozeman for an overnight stay.   We then fly back to Portland where we will sit in front of the fire enjoying more warming beverages before heading up to Vancouver BC Canada.

It is approximately a 6 hour drive so I hope the roads do not give us any grief.

Northern Lights ResortI love Vancouver but unfortunately we are here for only 1 night (we will long term park the car) before we fly to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory to spend 5 nights at the number 1 Tripadvisor rated Northern Lights Resort and Spa.  Only the best for us let me tell you. Their Facebook page is just chockers with photos that make me wonder at nature. I hope that we get to see the dancing ladies and I doubley hope that my photos will be just as great.

I have the Enzian Chalet all to myself and K&T have the Arnika Chalet.  If you feel your streak of jealousy starting to emerge just check it out on the link.

This is my chalet – there is a spa right next to it. That is for when we decide to don our swimmers; brave the snow and cold so that we can sit in the hot water, hopefully with a glass of wine – something not everyone gets a chance to do eh?

Enzian ChaletA class on how to photograph the Northern Lights will definitely be on the cards along with some dog sledding a la Sgt Preston of the Yukon for that who are old enough to remember.  I loved this show – everything was in black and white in my day and everyone used to gather around the TV, later there was colour – but I digress.  Hopefully there should be some good photos there – unless I upend the sled and do a face plant in the snow. Still, action shots are good too!

Our road trips usually see us drive through numerous states in the same time as this trip is taking.  I will say now that our road trips would put a Kontiki Tour to shame.  One the first trip in 2007, as we drove along I asked Kylie to tell  me how many states we had done so far.  She gripped the wheel with white knuckles and her exasperated answer was Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California. The state of exhaustion did not count.

All the journals are posted here so if you are not doing a anything for the next 10 years – – pour yourself a drink or just put a straw in the bottle and you can learn some stuff and have a few laughs.   I love my journals – I always go back and look at them and even better I can read about our travels when it is time for them to put me in a home.  I can sit there for weeks and just read.  I may not know what I am reading but still – – – – –

Victoria Ocean PointeAfter our little jaunt in the Yukon we head back to Vancouver to collect our car and then head to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal for the journey to Victoria on Vancouver Island where we will stay for a couple of days at the Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort.

Now you have to agree that is a great way to finish up.

This holiday is going to be different – even though there is a lot of travelling, the majority will be done by plane and snow coach.  The only driving is to Vancouver and back to St Helens.

It will be great to see my girl and Tyler again after a 3 year break while I jaunted off to Kenya.

Stay tuned for more excitement!