We are Nico and Marlies Wobben and in February 2008 we moved from the Netherlands to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada! Nico is an RN at the General Hospital and I (Marlies) work from home, as an administrator at Canada Life and for my own web design business Feel The Fire. And we have 6 cats!

Wij zijn Nico en Marlies Wobben en in februari 2008 zijn we verhuisd van Nederland naar Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada! Nico is verpleegkundige in het General Hospital en ik (Marlies) werk thuis als administrator bij Canada Life en voor mijn eigen web design bedrijf Feel The Fire. En we hebben 6 katten!
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Rockies Photo Albums Online

After a lot of hours of sorting, selecting and adjusting, I finally put a selection of our Rockies photos from last September online in 2 photoalbums!

» photo album 2008/ROCKIES

Last Days Jasper, Driving Back

We’ve already been home for a week and a half, but here’s the last part of our Rockies trip

» photo album 2008/ROCKIES

September 21st (continued)

We concluded my birthday with a sweet Greek supper at Palisades in Jasper and spent the evening watching tv in the cabin.

September 22nd

A bit cloudy still, but all in all a pretty nice day! We went to some smaller lakes near Jasper, like Lake Annette and Lake Beauvert where the Jasper Park Lodge is. We heard elk bugle, far away!! The elk by our cabin doesn’t bugle for some reason, so we drove to the Icefields Parkway, hoping to find elk there. We saw a young bull by the Yellowhead highway where we again heard the bugling far away, but didn’t see or hear anything anymore on the Icefields Parkway. Back in Jasper we had a good lunch, bought some souvenirs and around 6 we drove east, almost to the border of Jasper NP, where we saw bighorn sheep – this time the males with the really big horns!! Then we drove down the Maligne Lake Road, hoping to see more wildlife at dusk. It was still fairly light on our way down, and we only saw a deer. On our way back it got darker pretty fast, but we had more luck, we saw a moose!! A beautiful male one!! We also saw a porcupine.

September 23rd

Bow Lake in light snowWe drove all the way from Jasper to Calgary, back over the Icefields Parkway (the mountains were whiter and we had some flocks of snow at some places) , only stopping at Saskatchewan Crossing and Morley. In Calgary we visited our friend Derek and spent the night.

September 24th

Time for the big drive back. Again it was a pretty pleasant drive, never thought we’d say that of a appr. 750 km drive! We got home at 4.30pm where Spooky welcomed us ๐Ÿ™‚

From Banff To Jasper

Quick update from Jasper Soft Rock Cafe, we didn’t have internet for several days and we don’t have internet access at our cute log cabin at Patricia Lake.

» photo album 2008/ROCKIES

September 14th

Takakkaw FallsWe went for a 400+ km round trip through Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Part Bow Valley Parkway, part Highway 1 to Lake Louise, then to Yoho NP where we walked to the Takakkaw Falls for the first time. Absolutely gorgeous and the Yoho valley itself too! We went back to the Highway 1 through Yoho until we arrived in Golden. The last part was very steep and rocky, very impressive. We also saw bighorn sheep there, unfortunately still none with the actual big horns.

In Golden we stopped for lunch and took the Highway 95 south to Radium through the Columbia River valley. A very wide valley with lots of wetlands that took our breath away! There were more bushes and trees than I expected and the colors were so beautiful! In Radium we stopped for coffee and then continued our trip back through the mountains again through Kootenay NP. Again beautiful scenery with red rocks, beautiful valleys and a parkway where you can often see wildlife – but of course not when we are there… Back in Banff we drove to the Vermillion Lakes and saw Mt. Rundle in the last bit of sunlight.

After a rest at the B&B we went out for a late supper. The Mexican cantina Magpie and Stump stays open late, and we had a nice meal and beer there in a cosy atmosphere.

September 15th

Lake LouiseNico wanted to go to Lake Louise to walk the trail up to Lake Agnes and the tea house there. As it is 3.4 km up hill, I preferred the lake shore trail to the end of the lake, 2 flat kms ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course I had to wait quite a while for Nico to return, he had needed 1 hour and 25 minutes for the way up and still over an Lake Agneshour back down as he felt his knees and got cramps in his legs. He can be proud he did it though! I was happy with my little hike, although maybe I should’ve gone just a little bit further on the trail to the six glaciers, just to peek around the corner of that big rock ๐Ÿ˜‰ Afterwards we went for ice cream, some groceries and a latte in Lake Louise Village and drove back to Banff. After a long rest and a hot bath we went for supper at the Old Spaghetti Factory. When will they open a restaurant in Regina?!

September 16th

Bow River, BanffAfter again a wonderful breakfast by Barbara and Vic and some chatting with them and the other guests, we relaxed in the room a bit, watching tv, napping and sorting out pictures. At lunchtime we went to Melissa’s, then drove up the Norquay mountain to a viewpoint where you can look over Banff (unfortunately we had the sun in front of us, so bad light for good pics), to the Bow Falls and the golf course, and took the Tunnel Mountain drive to eventually end up back in town around supper time ๐Ÿ™‚ Again to the Old Spaghetti Factory where we got a table by the open window, that was awesome as it was really nice out today! Totally felt like vacation ๐Ÿ™‚

September 17th

Time to leave our wonderful hosts Barbara and Vic, we had a great time at their b&b! And in Banff! The nice things about being in the Rockies for the 3rd time is that you don’t feel the need to visit all the classic highlights anymore, we left out some (like the gondola up Sulphur Mountain) and did other stuff instead (more drives around town, hiking near Lake Louise).

Next stop: the David Thompson Resort at the Abraham Lake, east of Saskatchewan Crossing. We took the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise (village), only stopping at Johnston Canyon to visit the coffee shop and gift shop. When we got to Lake Louise, we drove into the Valley of the Ten Peaks to Moraine Lake. Beautiful as ever, but the pics didn’t come out as incredible as the ones from 2004 when we were there very early in the day (different lighting during the day makes a lot of difference). Then it was finally time to hit the road… THE road… the mother of all roads… the Icefields Parkway! With both camera’s in my lap, hoping to see wildlife, but either way it’s the most gorgeous drive ever. We stopped at Bow Lake (one of my favorite spots) and a couple of viewpoints (again leaving out some classics we stopped at on previous visits) until we came to Saskatchewan Crossing.

We turned east on the David Thompson Highway and it was again a beautiful drive! Very different, a wider valley (Kootenay Plains a.o.) and then there is Abraham Lake. After several viewpoints of this big lake we drove through forest again until we reached the resort. It’s a campsite with motel units, store and restaurant. It all looks a bit run down, but everything in our room worked well. Except the (not free) wireless internet unfortunately! The store was way too empty (end of season?), but the restaurant was OK. But the location is awesome. All in all not bad (esp, when camping I guess), but for the price they charge (still 110 for a motel room) they should put a bit more TLC in – and include free wireless, ha!. Anyway, we settled in, walked around the campsite (to find out that we weren’t exactly at the lake shore, it seems pretty far down still) and just chilled.

September 18th

Crescent FallsWe wanted to have a lazy day, but since the resort wasn’t all that close to the lake, we went for a drive to see if we could find a spot at the shore to sit and chill out. We didn’t, but we found some great viewpoints (boy that lake is huge and gorgeous!), visited the Big Horn dam and drove to Nordegg. The valley really is beautiful! We saw a sign saying Crescent Falls 6 km and decided to have a look. After a stunning view of a canyon (not a narrow one like the famous ones, but wider) we reached the falls a bit later. Nice surprise for a lazy day! In Nordegg we had lunch and when we got back to the motel room, we spent the rest of the day with lazy things like reading and napping ๐Ÿ™‚

September 19th

Athabasca FallsExcited to go back to the Icefields Parkway again, we woke up early and hit the road when the landscape was still waking up to the rising sun (read: the sun finally coming over the mountains). We saw some deer in the valley and stopped at the motel at Saskatchewan Crossing for breakfast. We continued on the Icefields Parkway and again enjoyed the stunning views. We stopped at the Rampart Ponds, the Weeping Wall, the Sunwapta Falls and the Athabasca Falls. The latter being a classic we could’ve skipped, but I’m glad we didn’t! There was way more water then we’d seen before and it was again so impressive to see this massive amount of water being forced into this small canyon! Around 2 we arrived in Jasper where we walked around and had lunch. At 4 we went to Patricia Lake to check in at the bungalow park. The park is gorgeous and right by the lake. We had booked the last cabin available and now found out why it wasn’t on the website: it’s a private cabin, the cutest possible log house cabin!!! We could not have wished for a prettier, cosier and more romantic place!!! And even before we unpacked, we had elk in our backyard! We went to get groceries, made supper in the cabin and enjoyed our evening there.

September 20th

Elk bull near cabinOur 12th wedding anniversary! As it was supposed to be the last nice day and rain has been predicted for tomorrow, we went up The Whistlers mountain with the tramway (finally – 1st time, 2004 it was too cloudy, 2nd time, 2006 it had closed for the season). It was hazy, but still pretty up there. The views are amazing as you are really high up! After that we went to Maligne Lake, for all the scenery of course, and because the Maligne Lake Road is the best road to view wildlife on. We did see a coyote and a deer, but still no sign of a moose or bear. Back in Jasper we picked up some fast food to eat at the cabin and were getting ready to watch the Riders game when the elk showed up again! They are so magnificent that you just can’t stop watching them. Do I watch the game… or the elk??? The Riders unfortunately lost again from the BC Lions when I was sure they’d beat them on their own turf. Oh well, it was a good and exciting game to watch! When I was getting ready for bed, just before midnight I peaked outside (as I’d every now and then do in case I’d miss a passing bear ;)) and the elk were in our yard again, just meters away from our cabin! At midnight Nico congratulated me with my birthday and I thanked him for arranging the elk to be at our doorstep as a present ๐Ÿ˜‰ He also gave me my real presents, a DVD series of the BBC about our planet, history and such. Beautiful!

September 21st

We woke up to an overcast day, but it was still dry. We decided to stay in the cabin for a bit, having breakfast with the banana bread and coffee we still had. Nico had another nap and I wrote the text for the weblog (oh yeah, no wireless here either and the internet access is so limited you can’t open your own files on your USB stick, only good for checking web mail pretty much). At lunchtime we went into town, by now it had started to rain. Nice timing to seek internet access and do laundry in town.ย Of course we hope the weather will be a bit better tomorrow for our last full day here –ย on Tuesday we drive to Calgary, on Wednesday we drive back to Regina. But for now we still have 2 days of Rockies to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚ Today it’s been 2 years ago that Dave passed and 45 years ago that I was born… so we’ll have a beer on both of us! Cheers Dave, we’re not forgetting you – and happy birthday to meeee! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lake Minnewanka / Banff

ยป photo album 2008/ROCKIES

After 10am we drove to Banff through the beautiful foothills. We didn’t go straight to the town, but went to Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake first. Around 4pm we went to the b&b in Banff, A Wit’s End, across the river. We settled in, went for supper at the Keg and had a quiet night at our home away from home, watching the Riders game. Yes, we’ve become football fans and the Saskatchewan Roughriders had to play the BC Lions in Vancouver. Luckily we have TSN on the TV here, so we could see an exciting game, although the Riders unfortunately (just barely) lost.


ยป photo album 2008/ROCKIES

Vacation time! We are going to the Rockies for 12 days!
Today we drove from Regina to the Anew Horizon bed & breakfast west of Calgary. Our longest drive ever, about 780 kms and it took us (including 1.5 hour for breaks) around 10 hours to get there. Lots of prairie! It went well and it’s a cool drive, but now we’re tired anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ Tonight we caught up with Debbie and Richard (and their friend Darlene) here at the b&b and tomorrow we’ll drive to Banff (our itinerary is 4 nights Banff, 2 nights Abraham Lake, 4 nights Patricia Lake, 1 night Derek/Calgary).