Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Great Canadian Rockies

The Great Canadian Rockies

I believe, there is no greater scenery on earth than the Canadian Rockies.
We flew from Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. My Buddy Dave was there at the airport waiting to drive us to his house. He and his wife Mary would be joining us on our vacation, a drive from their home in Calgary through the Rockies to Vancouver Island and back to their wilderness cabin in the Kootneys of British Columbia.

Calgary was cold when we left the following morning, snow was on the ground. By the time we reached Banff the snow was gone accept for snow capped peaks. What a magnificent place Banff is, but quite the tourist area and we were just passing through. On to Lake Louise our next stop. There is a eye opening view of a huge ice glacier at the end of the lake. Make sure you have a camera when travelling the Rockies.

First night we stayed at a Bed & Breakfast located just outside Salmon Arm. My first experience at lodging overnight in a B&B. The beautiful Log Cabin home made it a wonderful adventure and the breakfast prepared by the German lady was excellent.

You will want to make sure you keep gassed up when traveling through BC. Highways are excellent but sometimes it is miles between stops other than scenic lookouts. Every bend, every turn in the highway is a new breathe taking view.
When high in the mountains you will see towns below, they may take close to a hour to drive through. Wildlife sightings are common. Be extremely careful when leaving the vechicle to photograph. There seems to be no sound of approaching cars and they are usually travelling at a fair speed and no doubt taking in the sights. I had the scare of my life when Dave called out to warn me of a approaching vechicle, it was almost on top of me. I am sure the driver never seen me.

We stopped here many times during our travel to try our hand at stream fishing. A special place for me was just outside Grand Forks. Where I managed to catch a walleye in a stream and witness deer crossing the river. I had visions of buying a few acres for retirement. By buddy Dave was interested in property on Lake Christina . luckily he made a much better choice when buying in the Kootneys.
The biggest blight on the landscape is the logging. Whole mountain sides stripped of their trees, then the brush is burnt. Supposedly to promote new growth.. There are few giant trees left, But you will only find them on protected crown land. Trees so big that a car could easily park in them. But with so few of them left there is no longer safety by numbers. We witnesed a forest hit by high winds that toppled many of them.

Another highlight of our trip west was whale watching on the northern coast of Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island is a trendy spot. Lots to see and do. We were disappointed in the rules and regulations regarding fishing. They have so many different fishing licenses that it costs too much to enjoy.

We motored back to the interior of BC and to Dave and Mary’s hideway. A beautiful cedar 3 bedroom cabin in the wilderness. All the comforts of home even hydro when the generator is fired up, otherwise it is cards by candle light or early to bed. The views are breathe taking when out in the boat. Surrounded with mountains some of them snow capped.
We past the days with boat rides and a shore picnics, hiking and mushroom hunting are what we did when not fishing.
Simple life but very effective.

We always have fond memories when we leave. Dave and Mary are such gracious hosts.

No comments: