Epic Canadian Roadtrips: The Kootenays

This has been an awesomely road-trippy summer for me, and it seems like it’s the same across Canada for lots of people I know. In the absence of tons of cash for long distance travels, many people I know have been doing the short-distance drive, whether near to their home or farther afoot. For me, a summer is not complete unless I visit the land of my birth, the Kootenays region of BC. I still have family there, so it’s a cheap trip: once I get to the Kootenays themselves (which, I admit, is a bit of a haul), I know I’ll be taken care of.

This time, I came to town for my grandma’s 95th birthday. And that meant, among other things, many, many family members from across the country and North America were in town to celebrate. Which was awesome and fun, and it meant that I haven’t paid for anything yet, save a few bottles of BC wine. Sweet!

The best part about taking a road trip to a place you’re really familiar with is that you end up spending more time deepening your understanding than you do learning about things in general. That usually also means you’re walking around, taking in the sights as opposed to spending tons of cash trying to create “authentic” experiences. The other day, I took my cousin and her boyfriend from Chicago on a hike around the back side of my sister’s house and was able to spend an afternoon telling them about the trees and wildlife and playing tour guide instead of hitting a bar or driving into town to entertain ourselves. Bonus!

If you have some time and are inclined to see a lesser-known part of BC, I must recommend the Kootenays. I’m totally biased, for sure, but it’s full of lakes, sunshine, and wildlife, and people that you won’t forget. Plus, you can stay and play for much cheaper than other parts of the world.

Not to mention, last night I saw a sky full of stars for the first time in months and months. And, maybe more importantly, I witnessed a man cooking bacon over a fire…on the tongs of a pitchfork. Seriously. Cheap, beautiful, and bacon-ful: There’s no place like home!

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