Kootenay National Park – British Columbia, Canada


Kootenay National Park
British Columbia, Canada

Completed: July 2017

Senior Friendly

Tucked into the Rocky Mountains, not far from the ‘rock stars’ of Jasper and Banff National Parks is Kootenay. After spending a couple days dodging the crowds of those parks I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this park. Shortly after entering from the eastside we stop at the roadside monument where the Great Divide Trail crosses the main highway through the park. This is a continuation of the Continental Divide Trail which is the US portion of a trail that connects the southern border of New Mexico to the northern border of Montana, and into Canada. It rained most of the afternoon and into the evening, limiting the opportunity to take landscape photos.

This program is considered Senior Friendly, as no age levels are given. Only five*activities are required to become an Xplorer. The activities include; check it Out, Create Your Own, Go Investigate, Join In, Figure it Out, Take A Walk, Try it Out, Take A Look, Go Play, Use Your Senses, Take it Easy, Go Meet, and Remember.

Check it Out – Your Destinations: While visiting I was able to go to Marble Canyon, Continental Divide, Vermillion Crossing, Olive Lake and the Kootenay

Try it Out – Haven off the Highway: while exploring Olive Lake I counted 14 bird sounds, which I identified as Baried Thrush.

Take A Look – Traveling Tracks: Matching six animals with their tracks.

Go Play- A Pathway to Paint: Using ochre (watercolor pencil) paint I ‘painted’ some animals seen in the park.

Use Your Senses – Natural Noise in the Park: Listing the natural and man-made sounds

Take it Easy – Natural Noises Word Scramble: From Tweet (wtete) to Growl, six animal sounds to unscramble

Remember -My Favourite Trip Tale: a short written memory about camping at Marble Canyon, experiencing an afternoon thunderstorm.

The next morning we enjoyed a delightful breakfast of fresh baked scones in the Kootenay Mountain Lodge at Vermillion Crossing before continuing west to Radium Hot Springs and the visitor center for the park. After reviewing my completed booklet the staff presented my with the dog-tag style award as a Parks Canada Xplorateurs. I guess I got the French language tag for this park.

*current web page indicates six activities

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay/activ/interp

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Glacier National Park -British Columbia, Canada

Glacier National Park
British Columbia, Canada

Completed: July 2017

Senior Friendly

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains is Canada’s Glacier National Park, just as spectacular as the one a bit further to the South and across the U.S. border. The glaciers, peaks and rushing rivers were magnificent! I was fortunate to be able to camp at Mount Sir Donald campground along the Illecillewaet River. Besides giving me some extra time to work on the Xplorers booklet I was able to explore along the river.


Dwarf Fireweed

Some of my favorite photos of the trip were taken here. Dwarf fireweed (Chamaenerion latifolium) was blooming in the riverbed, a gorgeous backdrop to Mount Sir Donald. Also while wandering along the riverbed I watched an American Dipper make trips between its nest, under the highway bridge and down to the river.


American Dipper

This program is considered Senior Friendly, as no age levels are given. Only three activities are required to become an Xplorer. The activities include; Find It, Take A Look, Go Investigate; Become a Tracker and The Scoop on Poop, Join In, Figure it Out, Find It, Use Your Senses, Get Moving, Try it Out, and Find It.

Completed Activities:
Find It – Bingo! I completed one full diagonal row to include Park Staff, Cedar, Mosquito and Red Squirrel, as well as Creek or river, Steller’s Jay, and Fireweed

Take A Look – Eye Spy Through The Park; some of sights I saw as we drove through the park includes; Canada Park, Trans-Canada Highway, Steller’s Jay, An avalanche path,Glacied National Park West Entrance sign,Waterfalls, The Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, The Robers Pass Summit Monument, Loop Brook Pillar, Train tracks, A Raven, and Mount Sir Donald (from our campsite).

Go Investigate – The Scoop on Poop! Matching seven animal’s scat description with the animal. I learned that bear scat floats because of all the wood they eat.

Figure It Out – Glacier’s Animals, a crossword puzzle based on the animals found throughout the park.

Find It – Scavenged Hunt; found a rock, moss, pine cons, fern (something alive), stump and (something dead).

Find It – Mountain Maze; follows a maze route through the Selkirk Mountains.

After a night of camping at Mount Sir Donald we stopped at The Rogers Pass Discovery Centre where my book was reviewed and I was given the dog-tag style for Glacier National Park.

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/glacier/activ/~/media/46569C22CC844D3C9209C58D7CF31D81.ashx

Mount Revelstoke National Park – British Columbia, Canada


Mount Revelstoke National Park
British Columbia, Canada

Completed: July 2017

Senior Friendly

Mount Revelstoke National Park is on the western side of the Rocky Mountains, near the busy town of Revelstoke and along the Columbian River. We entered from the west, along Trans Canada Highway 1, a busy cross-country highway which cuts through the middle of the park.

This was our first view of the red chairs, Parks Canada has placed pairs of the chairs in the parks. A place to sit and enjoy a special spot in the parks. I found this one along the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, an easy trail just off the highway.

This program is considered Senior Friendly, as no age levels are given. Only three activities are required to become an Xplorer. The activities include; Use Your Senses, Take A Look, Search For, Figure it Out, Get Moving, Try it Out, Figure it Out, Search For, Take a Look, Create your Own, Go Meet and Find It.

Most of those titles don’t give you much of an idea of the activity, so I’ll briefly describe the ones that I completed. We visited seven of the parks in a week, so not much time was spent in any one park. I appreciated that only three activities had to be completed and there was a great variety of activities.

Search For was a wordsearch for 24 plant names of plants found in this park. Figure it Out was a crossword about ski jumping, a sport with history at Revelstoke. For Take a Hike I walked along the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, much more pleasant than the name hints. Besides finding the red chairs I enjoyed the walk along sections of boardwalk and into a dense forest.

Search For has two options; find 100 animals in the park or find 12 animals pictured in a colorful graphic in the book. With my limited time I chose the easier and faster activity of finding the 12 animals. Overall the graphics in this booklet are excellent and really nice for this activity.

A scavenger hunt at Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk completed the activity for Take A Look. I saw quite a few of the items listed, however I did not see an American Dipper which I saw later at another park on our trip. I attempted Find It, a Bingo! Square, but was unable to complete a row of four. Almost, but not four in a row. It was fun to look for the items, I wished I could have found more along the way.

I brought the booklet to a visitor center in Glacier National Park. After reviewing the booklet and discussing my visit the staff signed the certificate contained in the booklet declaring me an ‘Official Parks Canada Xplorer’. I also received the colorful Xplorer dog tag. Even though I didn’t spend a full day in this park I found the activities a great way to experience Mount Revelstoke National Park.

Online:
https://pcacdn.azureedge.net/-/media/pn-np/bc/glacier/pdf/Xplorers/Xplorer_MtRevelstoke_English.pdf?la=en&modified=20130213223646&hash=EB441675D2658CB453FBC6185417446D317BDBF0

*The Canadian Encyclopedia