By Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours Marketing Manager, Moselle Dibdin
What could be more rejuvenating than an opportunity to reconnect with adventure? The routine of our daily lives can leave us feeling bored or dissatisfied. When we reconnect with adventure out in nature, we feel revived and recharged. Another way to recharge your batteries is to spend time appreciating our Canadian history. We all long for a sense of belonging, especially during this pandemic, connecting with our cultural heritage can help achieve this.
What Does it Mean to be Canadian?
As a dual citizen of both Canada and the UK, I’ve spent half my life living in each country. Born in England, raised in Canada, after high school I moved to Oxford, England where I lived for more than a decade. As a Canadian living abroad, I spent a great deal of time thinking about what it means to be Canadian. For me, Canada represented the great outdoors, wilderness and adventure, as well as inclusion and diversity. Every Canada Day I spent living in England I would host a party for all my friends. I’d research all things Canadian: food, music, art, and even jokes. One year, we watched the I am Canadian: The Rant, a hilarious Molson Canadian advert from 2000.
This winter, with no end to the travel restrictions in sight, I’ve once again been reflecting on what it means to be Canadian and I’m finding new ways to reconnect with adventure.
The Ultimate Alberta Staycation
I embarked on the ultimate staycation, a stay in a log cabin at a remote front-country resort and a thrilling dog sled tour in Kananaskis.
I started my weekend getaway driving from Canmore, past Banff, to Castle Junction where we turned onto the Bow Valley Parkway 1A north towards Lake Louise. The total drive time from Canmore to our log cabin at Baker Creek Mountain Resort was around 1 hour. Baker Creek is located on a remote stretch of the 1A, a 15-minute drive to Lake Louise townsite.
Arriving at Baker Creek, I felt like we were at a backcountry lodge! Built in 1949, this heritage resort consists of 16 cabins, chalets and other room types. It looked like a photo from a history book about Canada’s pioneer days. We checked-in to our cozy 1 bedroom loft cabin, unpacked and popped a bottle of sparkling wine before heading out to explore. A network of trails connects the cabins, and there are 5 self-serve firepits scattered among the vast riverside property. Back at our cabin, we ordered a 3-course dinner from the Baker Creek Bistro which was delivered directly to our room due to current COVID-19 restrictions. After our delicious dinner, we grabbed some s’mores sticks from the front desk to toast on the outdoor firepit!
Cruising the Groomed Trails at Baker Creek
After a restful night’s sleep, we were ready to reconnect with adventure! Baker Creek offers groomed cross country ski trails perfect for guests to explore the area. We had a thrill cruising around the trails. We followed our skiing adventure with a fireside lunch from the Bistro in our cabin and topped off our afternoon with the ultimate Canadian experience: ice skating on Baker’s super cute homemade ice rink. We grabbed some hockey sticks and pucks from the front desk and had ourselves a little shinny. For dinner, we decided to use one of Baker Creek’s BBQs and then we spent the evening relaxing by the fireplace in our cabin playing some board games.
The next morning, we borrowed some snowshoes from the front desk and set off to explore some of the riverside trails. There’s so much to do at Bake Creek!
Dog Sled Tour with Snowy Owl in Canmore
After checking out, we drove to the Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tour™ office in Canmore, where we checked in for our 1pm Powder Hound Express tour. Our tour started with bus transfer up to Spray Lakes in Kananaskis, a 30 minute scenic drive with incredible views of Canmore. Once we were on-site, our guide Benny provided us with an educational 30-minute instruction. We booked a self-driven sled which meant we would take turns driving the team of dogs and riding in the sled. Snowy Owl also offers instructor-driven sleds for those who want to sit back and relax.
Ready to set off on the trail, all the dogs were going crazy with excitement, howling and barking, the drivers yelled “hike” and we were off! The first half of the trail is considered more technical, we enjoyed the 360 mountain views and the diversity of terrain. At the halfway mark we had a chance to stop and meet the other dogs, then it was back in the sled for the second half of the tour. The entire trail is 10 km in length and offers the perfect introduction to dog sledding.
Commanding our Own Pack of Husky Heroes
There’s nothing like the experience of commanding your own pack of huskies! It was exhilarating, thrilling and I couldn’t help but imagine that I was the hero in the Disney movie “Togo,” transporting valuable vaccines to remote communities. Something that is still happening even now. Knowing that dog sledding has such a rich history in Canada made the whole experience feel extra special and meaningful.
Our tour ended with hot apple cider by a roaring fire where we had the opportunity to chat with the guides and other guests. Snowy Owl also offers an add-on lunch option for their longer tours. Back in Canmore, we looked around the charming downtown before driving home.
The old proverb, “A change is as good as a rest” has never been truer. Taking time out of our everyday life and routines to reconnect with adventure and our cultural heritage is good for the soul! Our staycation left me feeling filled with joy and contentment.
Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours has teamed up with Baker Creek Mountain Resorts to offer our guests 15% off stays at Baker Creek! Direct booking by phone only.
Baker Creek Mountain Resorts guests save 15% on our tours! Reconnect with Adventure with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours™