A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: A-RPoulton

Home again

semi-overcast 10 °C

We spent Sunday Feb 19th with our granddaughter and her partner in Calgary. The weather was not as stellar as we would have liked but we went for a walk along the Bow River anyway.

Bow River near Kaitlyn's

Bow River near Kaitlyn's


It was good to have some time with them.

We set off for home on Monday, Feb 20th. We traveled through thick fog from Calgary to the Gleichen turn-off. The fog lifted and made driving easier. Unfortunately, the fog returned near Bassano and kept us travelling in a grey cloud until near Brooks, AB. We were surprised when we were not travelling in fog that the ground was brown and free of snow. We also saw some gophers playing near the highway. Reta decided to get a picture of the gophers when her turn at driving was over but we did not see another gopher when the camera was ready to capture that scene.

We stopped in Maple Creek to visit an aunt and her husband. Our aunt lives in an excellent long-term facility attached to the hospital there. We had coffee and cookies with them and went out to the parking lot. We took this picture as we left the hospital. We are looking south toward the Cypress Hills. There is no snow to be seen, even on the Cypress Hills, which can have elevations as high as 1390 metres or 4560 feet.

No snow on the Cypress

No snow on the Cypress

We passed Parkbeg, SK, home of Gainer, the gopher, a mascot of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Team, and not one of his relatives hopped out to see us.

We continued our drive to Regina and saw only a few patches of snow along the way. We were surprised when we found snowy and icy streets in Regina.

We must admit that there is far less snow in our yard than there was when we left. Our granddaughter and fiance who were looking after our house and yard said that there were many snow falls but a recent week of above-freezing temperatures helped melt it away.

Here we are, home again. The laundry is going and we have been out to get groceries.

While we had many comfortable overnight stays during our travels, there is no place like home.

We sign off for now but will start another blog in early September when we plan to tour the British Isles.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:36 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Day 41 - Sicamous to Calgary

semi-overcast 4 °C

When we went into our hotel room at Sicamous we were almost the only vehicle in the parking lot. We opened our door in the morning to find the parking lot packed with large trucks with snow sleds or snowmobiles. There were even some trucks with trailers full of them. There may have been between 50 and 60 snowmobiles in that parking lot. The one that surprised us most was the one backed into the motel and almost into our door. We had to dodge the back of the snowmobiles to walk down the sidewalk.

Sea of snow sleds

Sea of snow sleds

What met us outside our room

What met us outside our room

The breakfast room was full of hale and hearty young people, mostly men but some women. These folks all seemed to be excited about getting out onto the snow. By the time we finished breakfast many trucks were leaving the parking lot. We had no idea where they were going. Some of them passed us as we started driving toward Calgary. We were only driving the speed limit and these folks were too impatient to reach the snow slopes to dawdle along behind us.

We had good road conditions all the way to Calgary.

We stopped at Craigellachie where the last spike was driven to complete the CPR railroad across Canada.

Last spike sign

Last spike sign

Caboose

Caboose

Diorama

Diorama

Small station building

Small station building

Amusing garbage can

Amusing garbage can

Reta was driving so Art was the photographer from Sicamous to Golden, BC where we stopped for lunch. Art took many fine photos of the mountains. We are just posting the best of them.

Mountain peaks

Mountain peaks

Rogers Pass

Rogers Pass


We crossed the Rogers Pass with ease.

Just after the Rogers Pass we found a semi truck that had gone off the road. It was strange because it was on a straight and level stretch of the highway. We could not see the truck cab as it was likely that far down the mountain slope. There were many workers there hand bombing the boxes out of the distressed trailer and into one sitting on the shoulder of the road. There were at least three or four very large tow trucks at the scene. We have seen these tow trucks on the television but this was the first time we saw them in person. They are very large.

We stopped at the BC Visitors Centre just outside of Golden. We ate our picnic lunch and then went into the centre. The lady there told us about the new highway to be built between Field and Golden. This highway now has only one more stretch to complete. She also told us that the semi truck and trailer had gone off the road the day before. She gave us a free pass for the Canadian National Parks. These free passes are available as part of the 150th anniversary of Canada which is being celebrated this year. People can order these free passes online. We were just fortunate to be at a place where they were being passed out.

Art took over the driving and we continued on down the highway. We certainly appreciated the new straighter stretch from Golden to Field, once we got to it.

Reta was amused by the little snow caps on the fence posts. This fence was built to discourage elk, moose, bears, wolves and other wildlife from crossing the highway and becoming sad statistics.

Snow caps on fence posts

Snow caps on fence posts

We drove through Mount Revelstoke National Park, Glacier National Park, Yoho National Park and then Banff National Park. We drove past Lake Louise townsite and Banff townsite.

We had noticed many frozen waterfalls along our drive but Reta was finally able to catch a good picture of one.

Frozen waterfall

Frozen waterfall

These pictures are of mountains in the Banff National Park.

Mountain near Banff

Mountain near Banff

Another Banff mountain

Another Banff mountain

We drove on to the foothills and said goodbye to the majestic mountains of the Rocky Mountain range.

The sky became more cloudy as we approached Calgary and by the time we reached the city limits there was snow/rain falling.

We drove to IKEA and had a quick visit then drove to Kaitlyn and Brad's apartment in the centre of Calgary.
It was certainly good to see Kaitlyn and Brad. We had a great dinner at a small local Italian restaurant. It was a great day.

Posted by A-RPoulton 08:38 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Day 40 - Driving the Coquihalla

semi-overcast 9 °C

This morning, we left Vancouver and drove to Sicamous, BC.

We drove the Coquihalla Highway Route which follows the Coquihalla River through the Canadian Cascade mountains. The summit of this route is between Hope and Merritt. This summit is called the Coquihalla Pass. This summit is 1,244 metres high (4,081 feet).

This route, while being very steep in places, provides a shorter route to Kamloops, BC from Vancouver. This route is very popular with the trucking industry. This highway was closed last week due to heavy snowfall. This highway is also highlighted on the television program "Highway Thru Hell". We had a very good drive but the television program features accidents which happen due to poor road conditions and maybe poor driving.

We do not have pictures of the Coquihalla route because Reta was driving.

We stopped at a visitor centre just outside Merritt, BC.

Merritt BC from the Visitors Centre

Merritt BC from the Visitors Centre

BC Visitors Centre

BC Visitors Centre

Snow and mountains

Snow and mountains

We noticed a young man who appeared to prefer causing yellow snow rather than visiting the washroom in the visitors centre.

Admiring the view or answering nature's call

Admiring the view or answering nature's call

We drove on from Merritt and passed the Shuswap Lakes. This photo is the best of the photos taken of reflections in one of the lakes.

Reflections on a Shuswap Lake

Reflections on a Shuswap Lake

We are spending the night at a very comfortable hotel in the small community of Sicamous, BC.

Posted by A-RPoulton 21:24 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Day 39 - A walk in the rain and visits

semi-overcast 12 °C

This morning we went for a walk in the rain.

Our hotel is on the Lougheed Highway. Our across-the-street neighbour is the "Vancouver Skytrain". Even though it seems to run 24/7 it does not make enough noise to wake us at night.

Reta found this photo online of the Skytrain near our hotel.

lougheed-at-madison

lougheed-at-madison

After lunch we drove out to Abbottsford for a visit with cousins Martyn and Irene. It was fun catching up with them. Martyn is a car collector and told us a story about selling two of his vehicles to a man in the Czech Republic and the process they needed to go through. It all worked out well for both vendor and purchaser.

We then drove to North Vancouver to visit with Jody, Dylan, Aiden and Ian. We had a great dinner and enjoyed visiting with them all. The children are full of fun and vitality.

Tomorrow we begin our drive back home.

Posted by A-RPoulton 21:49 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Day 38 - Visiting with cousins

rain 11 °C

Today we had a quiet day. The weather is cool and rainy.

We spent the day visiting with Art's cousin, John, and his wife, Joy. It was wonderful to have some time with them and to catch up on family news since our last visit.

We were treated to supper/dinner at the White Spot which is an iconic Vancouver restaurant.

White spot

White spot

We are told that Vancouver has had snow on the ground for about a month and the rain we are having today is starting to melt that snow. This is the first year in eight years that there has been snow in Vancouver.

We had a great day.

Posted by A-RPoulton 20:44 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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