Knee deep in Canadian snow wearing nothing but a t-shirt, jeans and converse ballet flats. My four-year-old old daughter, Daisy, trudges ahead falling over every few steps into the snow while shouting out excitedly: ‘adventure, mummy, adventure!’. Her Dad guides her along the rough terrain, while he balances each step on the slippery ice and lugs 20 kilograms of camera gear on his back. Sheer hilarity. What were we thinking?
An easy 5.5km stroll around Emerald Lake in the sunshine had turned into a 3.5-hour (& counting) tough mudder! Halfway around the lake we realised that the remaining half was covered in ice and snow and so we decided to continue on our ‘abventure’, not realising that every step we would literally sink knee deep into snow, muttering expletives under our breath, all the while smiling to our four-year old and telling her a big fat porky… ‘not long now! Just around the corner is our lodge!’ Eventually wet, tired and hungry after 4.5-hours of non-stop walking we made it up the last hill to our accommodation and, after pulling off our wet, soggy clothes, collapsed in fits of laughter! An adventure indeed!
This is precisely why I love travelling with kids. You just never know what is going to happen next and the challenges you face soon become heroic travel tales, adventures and plights of courage (albeit in hindsight) that you laugh about over dinner each night. Funnily enough it’s amazing how resilient kids can be and if you treat everything like one big adventure they will follow your lead and soak it up! I still laugh at how our four-year old conquered 5.5 kilometes of walking her little legs off through the snow with no jumper or jacket and not cry once. My hero. But, seriously, where else is better to have such an adventure than in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Here we were at Emerald Lake, British Columbia, Canada – on the shores of the famous pristine lake, surrounded by some of the Rockies most impressive peaks. Never have I felt so paralysed by nature, so humbled in its presence, so enriched, so empowered, yet so overwhelmed at the same time … it really is nature in its purest form.
We had dinner at the main lodge each night then sat out by the communal fire pit and watched the stars. Magic. To top it off we would wander back to our cabin and put Daisy to sleep then curl up in front of the log fire with a quality local red wine. A walk around the lake is a definite must on your trip (5.5km total) and a photographers dream. Perhaps do it when the lake has melted? Or if you’re up for a laugh, perhaps do precisely what we did! Oh and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for brown grizzly’s and black bears, elk, mouse, wolves, bison and deer. It’s a haven for all creatures big and small.
OUR TIPS FOR VISITING EMERALD LAKE
• We visited during Spring and got a great deal where, if you booked direct through CRM Resorts you pay for 2 nights and get the 3rd free. Bonus!
• Ask for a cabin overlooking the lake.
• Be prepared to switch off as no Wi-Fi in rooms/cabins only in the main lodge, which is only a short 5 min walk.
• There’s no TV so pack your books and red wine for the open fire. • Bring your warm jackets for the cold night air and walking shoes, as terrain can get slippery.
• Don’t forget your bathers for the outdoor hot tub, which overlooks the mighty Rockies.
• We flew into Calgary and hired a car and drove to Emerald Lake (2.5 hr drive)
• If you have time be sure to include the drive along the Icefields Parkway for awe inspiring mountain views and ice fields, and the Bow Valley Parkway near Banff for your best chance at spotting bears, mousse, elk, eagles and other Canadian wildlife.
Check it out : Emerald Lake Lodge-https://www.crmr.com/emerald/