All Things Considered, How I Choose the Best Active Vacation
Each time I consider taking an active vacation there are some immediate questions and concerns that surface prior to taking the trip itself such as; have I chosen the right company, have I chosen the correct trip for me with regards to activity levels, geographic venues, style and levels of hotels, what will my group of fellow travelers/ adventures be like and, most important of all, HOW GOOD WILL THE TOUR DIRECTORS/GUIDES BE!!!
Prior to ultimately selecting the Backroads Canadian Rockies biking trip, I spent considerable time seeking answers to all my aforementioned questions.
I knew I wanted a physically challenging program that had multiple options for both longer & shorter days on the bike. I wanted (4-5) star hotel properties. I wanted nightly fine wine & dining opportunities. I wanted less travelled country roads. I wanted magnificent scenery and authentic wildlife encounters. I wanted moderate temperatures conducive to long days on the saddle. I guess you could say, like most folks, I essentially wanted it all!
And, Backroads and the National Parks of Canada didn’t disappoint and delivered it in style.
Reenie & Paul Enjoying Calgary
For six days we were treated to a buffet and endless stream of brilliant blue skies, iridescent, jewel-like lakes, majestic, craggy faced and relentless mountain peaks. Abundant wildlife like big horn sheep, elk, black bear, and yes even a mother grizzly bear! (YIKES!) They seemed to magically and strategically await us around each bend in the road.
The challenges of the daily distance and considerable elevation gains were a test of our collective wills, but whose attainment always offered the reward of a magnificent, scenic, visual dessert.
The guides were all incredibly energetic (they had no choice with all these ‘type A’ personalities) knowledgeable, personable, and unilaterally available. They somehow innately understood & catered to the uniqueness of each participant and, in certain select instances, when somebody climbing a mountain pass ‘ran outta gas‘ , provided a seamless ‘lift‘ to the top where they eventually toasted & celebrated our arrival.
The hotels were all ‘best in show’ in there respective locals. The service, accommodations, & cuisine at the Post Hotel was in a category second to none and would rival ANY US/European ‘best of the best’ property.
Because of our desire to be situated in a very remote wilderness environment, everyone understood that on certain nights the level of accommodations would be adequate but NOT exceptional.On those particular nights the level of service, food , charm ,and dinner conversation offered by the inn keeper and his staff more than compensated us for the utilitarian accommodations.
What a privilege it was to bike & physically experience this hidden gem, pristine and well preserved wilderness area. This experience, like the endless rewarding scenery & wildlife of Calgary, will provide lifelong memories for all fortunate enough to have participated!