Driving Through the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Winter
My drive is actually from Mile 83, British Columbia to Swift Current, Saskatchewan. While I did not stop to take any pictures, I have found some that depict the areas. It was winter and a long drive and was not easy to stop for photo ops.
Mile 83 is near to 100 Mile House in the interior of British Columbia. It is a blend of mountains, ranches, lakes and meadows. The summers are not that warm and gardening is a definite challenge. My father and his wife enjoy the hummingbirds every summer. In the winter the chickadees are always there. Otherwise, there are lots of ravens, owls, hawks, foxes, bears and game animals such as deer and moose. It is a very out of the way place to live. It is very much country life.
My father is almost 85 years old and still enjoys doing everything that he can. They also spend their vacations in Africa.
Along that road from Mile 83 to Kamloops it changes from more lush mountain to very dry mountain terrain. I am reminded of the time that my sister and father walked off the road to look at some ramshackled old cabin only to find a rattle snake.
The farms irrigate. Ginseng is grown along with many typical vegetables and even a vineyard.
You pass through the western mountain town of Cache Creek. It is so adorable in a rustic way.
Kamloops is a hub. It has all the shopping a country person needs. It has colleges and all.
The drive from Kamloops west wends through rough countryside. It is lush and productive land again and with some irrigation. There are towns with specialities like cheese and ice creams, fruits and vegetables and a lavender farm.
Kootenay Lake. You pass through Three Valley Gap. Although touristy, and I have never stopped there, it adds to the intrigue. I love the whole rustic hotel complex by the water. There are hot springs along the way.
There are a half dozen or so snow sheds to drive through.
I love the ancient cedars and hemlock groves. There are boardwalks built so there will be no impact on the environment. The trees are hundreds of years old and absolutely huge. I love the air in the forest. It is so fresh. I love the streams. And the solitude. You can truly feel connected to nature even on this tourist stop.
Revelstoke is another favourite rest stop. I have only once stayed overnight. It is so quiet and really in the mountains. Golden is the next stop. We always gas up there. Today they are building a lot of ski runs and resorts at Golden. However, my absolute stop is Field. It is a gem of a stop with mountains all around. The river passes right by the town and braids shallow but wide along the highway.
Emerald Lake. It is a must-see if ever in this part of the country any season. Actually you don't view it. You get a room and stay.
After Field is Lake Louise. There is nothing to see from the highway. But I love the area! It is my favourite ski hill. I is small and intimate. The Chateau Lake Louise overlooks the lake. It is one of those lovely old Canadian Pacific Hotels with lots of charm and character. Every winter there is a world class ice carving competition.
Three Second Peak. You can only see this Matterhorn-ish mountain for three seconds from the highway. I always try to catch the glimpse when I am on the road.
This pretty much sums up the trip through the mountains. Banff is world famous and what can a person say in a blog about this jewel of the Rockies. It is exquisite.
The landscape abruptly changes into ranch land and gently rolling foothills into Calgary.
Dinosaur Provincial Park.
We pass by the general landscape of Grasslands National Park and the sand dunes in Saskatchewan. This is where antelope roam.
And finally I am home! Swift Current is a little city on the Canadian prairies. It is winter and the driving was white knuckle. But I arrived home safely. Until next time...