We finished the van a week ago but still haven’t driven across the border into the US. We are waiting on a part to arrive before we can leave so in the meantime we have spent the past week driving through BC & Alberta, staying in campgrounds and getting used to what will be our new routine. It’s already amazing how much I miss certain things. Warm, not even hot, running water to wash dishes. At the moment I’m currently heating water in a pot on our camp stove and pouring it into a bucket to wash everything. I’ve had to remind myself what it’s like to use communal bathrooms, carrying everything through a campground and hoping I didn’t forget anything once I’m already in the shower – underwear seems to be the main thing I forget. Showers that have push start buttons and no option to adjust the temperature can be amusing. Constantly having to push the button every minute or so to ensure that the water doesn’t stop running and the wind that gets through the shower curtain doesn’t freeze you in the time between the water stopping and pushing the button to restart it. One thing I’ve never had to deal with before is the risk of bears. Making sure we clean up every bit of food scrap, even putting away all cleaning products every night so that the smells don’t attract bears. One thing we always hear on our travels is how much people are scared to travel to Australia because of the dangerous animals and we keep telling people here that at least we don’t have bears to deal with. One night this week I had to go to the bathroom at about midnight so I told Mark and asked him if he would walk with me as it was in another row of sites. He agreed and after putting on our shoes he asked me to grab the bear spray. As we were walking back I was telling him it was a good idea to get in the habit of bringing the spray so that we remember it when we go on hikes. He looked at me and said “it’s not for practice, bears can walk around this campground”, had I not just been to the toilet I probably wouldn’t have needed to after hearing that. The view of our van couldn’t come quick enough and I was relieved once we got back inside. I don’t know if Mark just told me that so that I would make sure I don’t go again at night but it sure had worked so far!
The next day Mark drove for a bit before I took over and of course as soon as I took over we came across a flashing sign saying “Bears on highway” oh, of course, bears. I was cautious driving along at the beginning but there didn’t seem to be any bears in site until we turned a corner and there were a bunch of cars pulled over on the side of the road and there it was, a baby bear just sitting on the side of the road with its back to us. Our friend’s parents had told us to be wary of bear cubs because the mum was usually close by, and so we just kept on driving because there was a bear cub, with no mum in site (yet) and a whole heap of trees around.
We discovered that living out of the van is much more enjoyable when the weather is nicer so we followed the sun over the weekend and ended up at a place called Dinosaur Park which reminded us of Cappadoccia, Turkey and so we stayed for 2 nights to remind us of our time in Turkey and how amazing it was.