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Published: July 29th 2019
Today promised to be a feast for sore eyes, and it didn’t disappoint. Having a long drive ahead of us, and knowing that we would lose an hour when we crossed the time line on the border of British Columbia and Alberta, we were up at 5:30 AM and out the door by 7:30 and 60 degrees. (Seems we could do this faster, but with the dog and a required routine, that is about the best that we can do.)
We drove from Kamloops, the “Tournament Capital of Canada” to Calgary through the Canadian Rockies. We even crossed the Columbia River once again. And that had me scratching my head, but I discovered that the Columbia River begins in the Columbia Lake in British Columbia. Makes sense to me, I guess. I just never thought about it before.
These mountains are incredible. I took a lot of photos, but honestly, they do not do justice to what we were looking at all day long. That limited frame cannot give you a sense of the massiveness of these rocks towering over us. You really have to be there to get it. When you cannot see the top of the mountain
because it rises so high you have to open the car window and stick you head out to see the top…well, that is big. And I have to say that about a lot of the places we have visited. You really have to be there and have the 180 degree view that the human eye will give you, that a photo cannot, to take it all in and to feel the experience. It fills your senses. The mountains were all around us as we drove through the valleys and along the mountain passes carved out to make the roads. They make you feel so small. I left many cars in the photos to help give an impression of the greatness of these mountains as they reach to the sky and beyond.
Early in the day, the clouds hung low in the sky, hugging the peaks, often below the mountain tops, like a fluffy white blanket. And they created a shadow that made everything look very gray. But as the day went on, the clouds lifted higher in the sky giving forth the great variation of colors from gray to orange and tan. Trees provided a comforting cover to most
of these mountainsides as high as the air would allow them to breath, and from there, above the tree line, was only bare rock. The trees are tall and straight, as Douglas Fir will grow, interspersed with the random sprinkling of lighter colored trees, probably white birch. We saw large areas that had been clear cut and bare, and areas that had been replanted. It is difficult to understand how they choose these areas, for many are on very steep terrain high up on the mountain sides. And if you have ever watched Ax Men on TV, you know how difficult it is to harvest trees in some of these areas…difficult and very dangerous.
We followed the crystal clear Shuswap Lake for many miles as it snaked through the mountain valley like a river. And we saw rivers of glacial melt, as evidenced by their unusual tannish/bluish color. Their gentle movement through rocky riverbeds was almost mesmerizing. And we drove through Canada’s Glacier National Park, just west of Banff, and then through Banff. We arrived in Calgary after 5 PM and checked into our hotel, tired and ready for a good rest. Tomorrow we drive to Shelby, MT to
stage ourselves for another day driving the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
Lots of photos today. Check them out.
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