Let’s play a little game. How many of these terms are you familiar with?
- Big West
- Island Explorer
- Sea to Sky
My first guess is many of you scored 11 and here’s why: according to my blog stats from the past month, of the 1,300 some Canadian visitors to this blog (not counting those who read from smartphones, RSS readers, Facbook or anything else), 90% of them are from western Canada. Alberta and British Columbia in particular.
And, believe it or not, all these terms are are of scenic adventure tours available throughout western Canada on the Moose Travel Network.
But wait a minute…did you really recognize them all? Because I’ve lived in western Canada nearly my entire life and I only know about half of the names as things I could do, types of animals I could see/eat, or places I’ve been around here.
It is true that we’re rarely tourists in our own backyards. But we should be, and here’s why:
This is just one of the many lunch stops on the Moose Travel Network.
“Not a bad view to enjoy a fine PBJ if you ask me!!!” Said sales and marketing representative Eric Rupert of Moose Travel Network West. He sent me this photo after we chatted about Ride the Moose and all the Moose Travel Network has to offer to the backpacker, independent traveller, or otherwise.
So, what is the Moose Network? I’m glad you asked.
Well, departing from Vancouver daily when in season, the Moose Network is a hop on hop off network of mini buses (complete with tour guide/bus drivers) who will take adventure-seeking sightseers to places they couldn’t and/or wouldn’t find by any other, shall we say, more conventional ways to travel.
Let’s say I’ve got some time on my hands and I feel like taking a little trip to Banff. Well, normally I’d hop in my car and do a weekend roadie taking the #1 for about 10 hours, or for about 1.5 hours if I’ve decided to fly to Calgary first. Then I’d walk around for a while, maybe check out the hot springs, shop a little, and go out for dinner. Then I’d go home. At least, that’s what I did last time I went to Banff.
Now let’s moose it up (did you see what I did there? I think I should patent it). If I decided to purchase the Hoodapus pass, it would take me from Vancouver to Banff, and then through the Columbia ice fields through the Rocky Mountains to Jasper and back again. Now, I normally skip this since it costs, like, 15 bucks to drive on the ice fields highway. But let’s say I sucked it up and decided to go all out.
- First, I’d look at what I get to do with this “Hoodapus pass” (whatever that means), which will take me through 2,300 kilometres of mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, as well as give me adventures like wilderness camping, moose-spotting, and of course discounts on additional activities and attractions like white water rafting and sky diving.
- Second, I’d figure out when and for how long I want to be gone for. I already know this trip includes seven days with the Moose Network, but since it’s hop on hop off, I can take as long as I want to use those seven days so long as it’s in between March and November.
- Third, I’d have to get over the fact that I didn’t know about this really interesting travel network before I decided to Greyhound it across the country. That might take some time. I’m still getting over seat sores from that trip…two years ago. OK, 18 months. But still!
Of course this trip takes a lot longer and costs a bit more, but probably the Moose t-shirt you get when you go on a tour makes up for it.
Oh, plus you can, like, get off the bus in between Kamloops and Edmonton. I remember I couldn’t do that when I bussed cross country, AND they confiscated my knitting needles. And, bonus, you don’t have to go to Edmonton. No offense. But I still can’t find anything to do there.
Not that I’m scarred for life or anything.
I have a lot more to say about Moose Travel Network and Eric, the sales guy, had tons of fun stuff to say about riding the moose and insight into which tours you should do if you’re Canadian (or in Canada) and looking for something a bit random to do this summer.
Stay tuned (not like the Tale of the Devil’s Antlers kind of stay tuned, where I pretend I know something about native mythology and then I never talk about it again. I really have more to say about this). It’s going to get crazy. Moose crazy.
Ride the Moose!
Other Moose Network posts: