Sunday, May 28, 2006

Friday and Saturday in B.C.

Friday was overcast all day and raining for most of it. First day like that since Ottawa, so no complaints, and it presented some new looming images of the mountains, the pictures don’t do it justice.

For that matter I’m not feeling like the words are covering it either. Counting Saturday, which I'm about to write up as well, we’ve now had 4 days of touring through the mountains. Long uphills, long downhills straight or winding, rain and sun, up to 20 degrees down to 7 but always this great imposing presence. Soaring thousands of feet immediately above or plunging below or distant peaks that go on forever. It’s been great. Anyway, we head north from Golden along the western shoulder of the Rockies looking across at the Selkirk range of the Columbia mountains.

The trench between continues all the way south to Mexico even though the Columbia river runs north, curls around the Selkirks and only then goes south to the US in the next trench to the west.
The Selkirks are home to Glacier National Park and it’s famous Roger’s Pass. We stopped at the information centre in the middle of the pass and and got an amazing description of the railroad, the constant huge avalanches and the remote back country full of glaciers. These are all at least a half day hike up the mountains. My excuse is either the rain or that it would have been to much for Elly. As we head down the western side of the Selkirks we stop at a couple of old growth forests. They are interior temperate rainforests with beautiful huge Redwood and Hemlock trees.

We arrive in Revelstoke early enough to tour the railway museum. We’ve basically been following the rail line since Ottawa so it’s become more significant and interesting every day.
Sarah and Rory, and their kids Nelson and Alexandra, welcome us for dinner and a room for the night. Norah has stickers and for the kids and books to read and so immediately wins their hearts.

Revelstoke is another town with a really comfortable feeling. This time we have the advantage of touring the downtown farmer’s market with Sarah, Rory and the kids as companions. This is the first place since Ottawa (well maybe Winnipeg) with what I’d consider normal urban plants. Almost, but not quite Halifax. Seems to be all ahead of Halifax but maybe (I hope) that’s just because we’ve been gone so long. Feels like we’ve been in wilder green spaces for quite a while now.
Back on the road we’ve decided to head south. Roughly following the Columbia river with the highway switching over to the smaller Slocan valley for a while. Beautiful mixed softwood forests reaching up almost to the tops of the slightly less forbidding mountains.

Down by the rivers or reservoir lakes we’ve started to see some rich looking farmland along with luxuriant forest. We lucked into to a dog loving motel owner here in Castlegar. She looked Ely over, approved and gave us her special unit with a picture window lookin in to the woods and down to the Columbia river. On to the Okanogan tomorrow.


Blogger Norah said...

Note that this blog was written by Chris - hence it is a much better traveloq. I do have to add that we really enjoyed our time with Sarah and Rory, Nelson and Alexandra. What a beautiful place and great kids!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Kaila said...

Sounds awesome, as usual. And I know exactly what you mean by not being able to make the mountains look or sound remotely close to the impact they have in person. But as Graham said once, if the pictures did it justice, there wouldn't be a need to actually go see it!

Talk to you soon :-)

9:35 AM  

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