Sunday, August 01, 2010

Oh! Canada...

This post is being brought to you from the Tourist Information Center in Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada! (Refer to the Map to see where that is... north of Route 16, about halfway to Grande Prairie on the road not shown.) I'm now into my third full day in this beautiful country and have managed to travel a little over 500 miles. It is a gorgeous day. Sunshine and blue skies, though a bit hazy but with no clouds.

When I arrived at the Roosville Port of Entry (north of Kalispell, Montana on US 93) at 4:20 pm on July 28th, there were a dozen vehicles and two motorcycles in line ahead of me. Fortunately the wait wasn't long. Fifteen minutes and a few questions later I was in British Columbia, Canada. The questions? Was I carrying: any firearms, anything I was going to leave behind in Canada, currency of any type valued at more than $10,000 Canadian, any alcoholic beverages? He also asked where I was going and what route I was taking to get there – it's a good thing I finally got around to figuring that out before I crossed the border!

According to the map I have, there were several Provincial Campgrounds within the first hundred miles. I stopped at the first one, called Kikomun Creek, about 20 miles from the border. It looked to be more like a resort since many of the RVs had decks or patios alongside them. I was quite relieved when the nice lady camp host said she had a spot for me. It was a nice place with friendly people. The sun was shining and it was in the upper 80s but there was a nice breeze and my camp site was in the shade. Ya can't ask for anything better!

It started raining just after sunset along with some thunder and lightening and then it rained most of the night, but I didn't care since I wasn't out in it! However, there were scattered showers along the 200+ miles I drove on Thursday. Cloudy skies with intermittent rain and a bit of sunshine. The scenery more than made up for the weather!

Upon entering Kootenay National Park at Radium Hot Springs, the sun was shining once again. This view of the Kootenay Valley is about half-way through the park. (Please, double-click on the images to view a larger version.)

This is half of Two Jack Lake, near Banff, taken between rain showers. I think it is the west half but my sense of direction got totally confused with the drive up there! At Two Jack Lake there is a lakeside campground and then there is the other one. The former was full but there was plenty of sites available at the other one, which is where I spent my second night in Canada.

Shortly after leaving Kikomun Creek Campground I saw a moose with her calf crossing the highway. There were a lot of deer grazing alongside the road. In Kootenay Park there were a group of about a dozen mountain goats, several quite small, near one of the pullouts on the other side of the road.

The drive through Banff and Jasper National Parks was amazing. I'll have some more pictures later (very slow internet connection) but they aren't all that great since the weather wasn't cooperating. It was cloudy and overcast most of the two days I spent there.

Photographs taken on July 29, 2010.


Janet Iles said...

Welcome to Canada. As always you have great photos. Enjoy your time here.

Michelle Goodrum said...

Spectacular pictures!