So, driving towards the mountains is always a stimulating view. Driving towards them in your living room looking out a big bay window is PRICELESS!
Our drive into the Rockies was not a long one from Lethbridge to Crowsnest Pass. It was a beautiful drive as we entered the foothills and as we got closer to the Pass the mountains grew. We settled into Blairmore, Alberta for a couple days and it was time to explore. The first thing we did was drive over to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. The Frank Slide is very visible today as the #3 Highway or Crowsnest Highway goes right through the middle of the debris. The slide happened in 1903 early one morning when one of the peaks of Turtle Mountain broke away and slid down the mountain as if the stone was water. It ended up wiping out half the town of Frank, killing everything in it’s path.
Later that day, back at our campsite along a mountain stream, we were visited by a mother deer and her fawn as they walked along the opposite side of the stream. It was a very nice vision to remember as we laid our heads down to sleep that evening.
What do you do when you see a mountain? You find a trail and start to head up! We got our hiking poles, our backpack full of water and our newly purchased bear spray and drove the Harleys to the trail head ( where we were met by a deer ) at the other end of the village and started to go up! Up and over and around boulders and rocks we went. The “walk” to the top was 3.1 km long with an elevation change of 780 metres. There was no actual rock climbing required but a lot of scrambling over rocks and stones as we went higher. About 1/2 way up a Golden Eagle decided to keep a close eye on us as it soared just above. The level of difficulty was listed as a double black diamond and the effort that it took to get to the top was rewarded tenfold! The view was spectacular, although a little hazy with smoke drifting south eastward from the BC forest fires. There was even one of those “little free libraries” at the top, just in case we wanted a book!
As we continued through the Pass we crossed into British Columbia and settled at a small hamlet called Jaffary, BC. This part of the Rockies is a meadow plateau area surrounded by the mountains. At our RV Resort here there was a nice little 9 hole golf course. So, we got our home set up and pulled out the golf clubs and went for a walk. It was scenic and well maintained, so a very enjoyable round of golf. There was also some nice cycling in and around Jaffary exploring some of the roads that went back into the mountains. Here we had our first view of some spectacular sunsets caused by the smoke in the air from the forest fires.
Our next stop through south eastern BC was Cranbrook. We were not overly impressed with Cranbrook but after talking to the local bike shop we were told of the old train rail that is now a paved path up to Kimberly.
. This turned into a great cycle that was about 30 km each way and on a clear smokeless day the views would be spectacular. On our day it was very smoky so we lost the view of the mountains. However, on our way
back to Cranbrook we were joined by some Mule Deer and then some White Tailed Deer as we went along.
Our final stop in the Canadian Rockies on this leg took us to Yahk, BC. This is a very very small hamlet about 15 km north of the Canada US Border. No grocery store, basically no nothing, they were however, very proud of the there 3 liquor stores! It was VERY remote and we think there were only 5 other RV’s in the
campground. Not even a cell signal! So, being disconnected from society we
got set up in the campground that went along the river and went for a hike. A nice 6.5 km round trip up to the top of the ridge. Our elevation change today was 200 metres and on the trail we did not see any animals. Even without seeing them we knew we were not alone along the trail we saw tracks of deer and mountain lion. It would be really cool to see a Mountain Lion in the wild, but very scary as well!
This took us to our last night in Canada before heading south to Oregon for the Solar Eclipse so it was time to get our lists ready for US Customs and our border crossing in the morning!