Our 19th summer for Vagabond is behind us. Except for some smokey days off and on, it was a good one with some great guests from around the world. We didn’t get to play as much as we would have liked to but just living here is pretty special. We know how lucky we are. We did finish off the summer with our traditional end of summer hike and picnic with friends to the top of T2 at Kicking Horse Resort. It was a perfect day to the end of summer.
Now a much needed break until we reopen for the ski season. Already our winter bookings are solid with not many dates open. If you are thinking of joining us book direct from our website or email us at email@example.com and we will try to fit you in.
The summer is winding down for Vagabond Lodge. We are open for a few more weeks with our last guests leaving September 21.
And it also is time to take advantage of some of the great weather we have been having. We have been very fortunate in our area with enough rain to not be worried about wild fires as has been the case for number of other areas in our province. Our hearts go out to those who have been effected.
One of our favourite things to do is kayaking on some of our mountain lakes.
Bow lake in Banff National Park is a pretty special spot and along with some friends we were able get out for one more paddle this summer. It was a perfect day with very little wind and clear skies.
Our area is a mountain biking mecca. The resort itself is known for the downhill biking where you take your bike up to the top of the mountain on the gondola and then you ride on a variety of trails to the bottom. Not for me but it seems popular.
And not far away there are a variety of single track trails through the woods. Some are very demanding and beyond my capability or attraction. But very popular with a certain crowd.
What appeals to me is exploring and enjoying the scenery. That is my kind of mountain biking and the trails are endless. The nordic ski trails just a few seconds away from Vagabond are awesome with over 40km of loops.
But just below us is an old rail line that was used by a logging company a long time ago. We call it the 2% because it has very little slope to it. And except for a few old bridges used by the snowmobilers it is absolutely a hidden gem.
Along with friend Patrick we went for about a 2 hour ebike ride. You can take a variety of routes to get to the trails from Vagabond. This ride is just a few of our favourites and has all sorts of side roads you can explore too. One of our many hidden gems.
We have two rivers running through the town of Golden; the Kicking Horse and the Columbia. And what an amazing treat they are, especially on a hot day.
After a bit of a break, I managed to get back on the Kicking Horse that runs right through downtown Golden and eventually flows into the Columbia. The Kicking Horse is fast flowing and has some challenges with big rocks you need to be aware of when the water level starts to go down, and a few different channels along with some minor rapids. On most days, you get wet on the Kicking Horse.
Then when you hit the Columbia it is a nice leisurely float with all sorts of things to see.
So great. The video is from a few days ago with friend Patrick. We usually see bald eagles and more recently a couple of black bears along the river bank.
It is our go-to treat on a hot day and we may even take a couple beverages and find a sand bar to stop on, and enjoy the scenery.
Despite some of the media reports, we are not burning up in BC. Yes there are some fires in the province but nothing in our area. Every so often there is a slight haze in the air. But beyond that, it has been a great summer. We have also been lucky to get some nice rain storms that have come through every week. Everything is pretty green and lush in our area.
It was a long time coming. We had about 4 or 5 days of steady rain at Vagabond. Something we haven't had for quite a while. We have had a weekly rain storm that has come through which was great. But this was more than that. The highs were about 8C and that meant at the top of the mountains, snow. In the Jasper area they had snowfall weather warnings. and some of the highways in that area were impassable with snow. When the rain finally stopped and the clouds lifted the mountains were absolutely stunning.
Also after the rain stopped I finally went to the top of the mountain for a hike to T2. It is my go-to place both winter and summer. And as you can see in the video there is some snow. Usually there is snow from the winter at this time of the year but the snow I walked through was from the recent storm pattern. But one thing that is consistent are the views in every direction.
Kicking Horse resort is now open daily for the summer with the gondola, grizzly bear refuge and mountain biking.
Vagabond Lodge is back open for the summer season with our first guests. We have a couple from England who were here last year and another couple from Phoenix.
After a long hot spell we are back to normal, with some new snow on the mountain peaks' over the past few days along with rain off and on. More rain is predicted in the next few days and cool temperatures at night especially hence the snow in the higher elevations.
The change in weather is awesome.
Oh yes...Canada is not burning up as you may see on social media and on the internet. I am not saying we don't have some wild fires but it is not as serious as you would think. There are some in Northern BC and in Northern Alberta.
We have nothing of note locally with a couple days of some light smoke in the air.
We have had certainly worse over then past 5 or 6 years.
It is business as usual here.
We did take advantage of the hotter temperatures last week when it was reaching close to 30C and did an amazing bike ride to Takakkaw Falls and then a kayak on Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. We aim for the bike ride just prior to the road being open to car traffic and it was magical.
Beautiful asphalt road with no-one except us and a few other bike riders and hikers on it.
Along with friend Patrick we then put our kayaks into Emerald Lake for a couple hours paddle. Again..magical.
Wow. Summer is here already. Usually we don't have any heat until into June but not the case this year. The daffodils are up and blooming, trees are green already and except for a few spots in the trees the snow is gone around Vagabond Lodge. There is still snow in the upper elevations on the mountains.
Kicking Horse Resort opens on May 27 for the sightseeing gondola with everything else such as downhill mountain biking getting going later in June.
Vagabond Lodge will open for the summer on June 15 with our first guests arriving.
We have had a chance to take advantage of the quiet time and great weather to do some playing. One of our favourites is kayaking on either the Columbia River and the Kicking Horse which are both within a short drive.
Friend Patrick and I had our first kayak trip on the Kicking Horse a few days ago and as usual, outstanding. We start just upstream from Golden on the Kicking Horse and then end on the Columbia so we get the best of both worlds. Some whitewater to start with(nothing serious ) and then have a gentle float on the Columba. This is just one of the many things you can do in our backyard.
It is hard to believe we have just completed our 19th winter owning and operating Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Resort. Wow
It has been a wild ride. If you want to find out more detail about how it all came to be click HERE
Although Vagabond Lodge shut for the winter a week ago, the resort was open until April 16th. We had a good chance to play for the final week and we did just that.
Along with friends Ken and Patrick we managed to go for one more adventure off the resort to see what we could see.
The conditions on the resort was late not ideal, with winterish at the top, then some hard packed and icy about half way down and then it was softening up at the bottom. A real mixed bag and tough on the knees.
Our final adventure on the second final day April 15th was really good until about 2/3 of the way down the mountain. As from the video we had untracked powder.
But nearing the bottom, it was not much fun with crust, you could break through with jump turns and then crust you could not break through. It made turning a real challenge. But we made it in one piece.
Vagabond Lodge will reopen for the summer on June 15 until about September 17th.
You can book your stay direct from our website or email info@vagabondlodge.
Ken and Lori built Vagabond Lodge in 2003 and have been operating it since. It is the centre piece of the amazing Kicking Horse Resort near Golden BC Canada