“PADDLING TO BANFF 2017” A journal of trip planning

On this page we will update you on the progress of the planning for our trip to Banff area in September of 2017. This will be our longest expedition to date ( 3 weeks), and it will also be the longest road trip !

What we have done so far….

1. Selected the location….we have both  been to Banff many, many years ago…me for skiing in 1980, and my husband on a family road trip in his youth. Social media has offered us amazing views of the lakes and peaks of that area…especially the great paddling opportunities. If we are going to take a big trip, it should be to someplace special..and the Banff/lake Louise area is certainly special.

2. Checked resources…what are camping and paddling options, and what areas are dog friendly? Books, websites, and inquiries to social media contacts have helped us decide on our itinerary.


3.Select the dates…. I am retired, but my husband still works for our state, so it is with great pleasure we announce that he has been granted 3 weeks of leave time. We definitely do not want to deal with peak season crowds, but we also need to not go so late in the season that paddling is problematic. Again, asking folks who live in the area has helped, and we have decided to target Banff in mid-September. Also, since Canada’s 150th birthday celebration is 2017, there are many enticements to visit the parks in 2017. This is good ( admission to parks is free), but also may create larger than normal crowds. But we love Canada, and will be happy to participate in a celebratory year!

4. Decide on travel route…this is important because in order to get the desired campground locations in Banff area, we needed to make reservations on January 11th! So we have our Banff week scheduled, and a rough draft of our travel plans to get there. We are anticipating a week of travel, through Ontario, down to the UP of Michigan, and then Minnesota to dip our paddles in the Boundary Waters, and on up to Manitoba ( where we hope to meet up with our friends Kev and Andre). Then it will be the long slog across the plains until we hit the Rockies….return trip route will be TBD!

5. Equipment Preparation…at this point, we know we will be towing our new Sylvan Sports GO tent trailer. I have to get a tow hitch installed on my vehicle, and then we can go pick up the trailer in the Adirondacks in April. One we have it, we can work on gear storage options, decide what add-ons we may need, and certainly take it on a few shake-down trips.

6. Odds and Ends: We have ordered commemorative t-shirts, and decals for the car/trailer.We have licensed the dogs for 2017,and will be speaking with our vet to be sure they are all prepped before we go. Our passports will be sent in now (early) for renewal, since it takes 4-6 weeks to get them returned to us from the State Department. Hard copy maps and guide books are sitting on our table…we will continue to work with our social media contacts to answer any questions that develop. Our Parks Canada  Free Discovery 2017 passes have been ordered. In March, we can make the next set of campground reservations, so that will help firm up our travel plans.


February 2017  One of our Canada Passes has arrived! These passes will permit us to enter Canada’s National Parks for free in 2017…Happy Birthday Canada! canada-pass

March 2017  We now have reservations at Sawbill Lake, in the BWCA. We also have reservations at a Manitoba park, which will be a quick stop, but looks like a nice spot to check out.  We pick up our GO trailer next month, and we are quite excited to give it a trial run.

April 2017 The dogs received nice scarves,and we have new hats, for our presentations at the NE PaddleSports Show! I hope to have a blog article about the show posted soon….

We have made the reservations for the  final reservable campsite on our itinerary. There are two areas where campsites are “first come, first served”, but since we will be mid-week,in September, we feel confident we will have a place to stay!

Our “GO” trailer is registered, we  just have to get over to Old Forge, NY to pick it up. That should be happening soon, and we plan to give it a test-run at a camping area near the dealers, on the day we pick it up…that will give us a chance to have any questions or issues answered in person.

Getting psyched for paddling season…just need to wait for ice-out!

VPP hats and scarves

April 22,2017  We picked up the GO Trailer, an gave it a test run at a campground in Old Forge,NY. We think it is going to be such fun, and it is an amazing addition to our camping stuff….