SMOKE … BC Travels 2015, Day 1 . Memoir .

When you travel, you see everything in a new light. I was on this highway a year ago, and again I was in awe of the ever-changing grandeur of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Everything was the same, yet it was entirely different this visit. The faraway views were spectacular and ever-changing. Near views of sheer rock faces climbing straight up, only feet from our car, was breath-taking.

I landed in Calgary early in the afternoon from Ontario, lakeside, a short walk from the turquoise water of Georgian Bay. Now, after a four-hour plane ride, I was a different world.  We headed north and west on Trans Canada Highway #1. When we drove through Banff, the sun was kissing the mountains making them appear clear and colourful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky – a perfect August day to soak in the splendor of this incredible National Park. An hour further north-west, we crossed the Alberta border into British Columbia and continued through Yoho National Park.

The view began to change, almost imperceptibly. The mountain views, previously crisp with detailed colours and jagged edges, we’re now softened as if viewed was through a filter, a haze.

The smoke hanging in the air as we drive through Yoho National Park, British Columbia on TransCanada Highway #1
The smoke hanging in the air as we drive through the Rockies on TransCanada Highway #1, in Yoho National Park, British Columbia.

I commented on how particularly beautiful the misty view was.

Stephanie said, “That is smoke, from the forest fires. Can’t you smell it?”

With my sniffer alert on, the faint pungent odour was indeed discernible.

I asked, “Are some of the fires close?”

Steph answered that she didn’t know where they were now but a few days earlier they were raging in the Okanogan, a three or more hour drive south. I was incredulous that the airborne detritus carried this far away.

Continuing our drive, we veered into Field, B.C. with majestic views of Yoho National Park, now muted in a smokey mist in every direction.

The smokey haze visible In Yoho National Park at Field, British Columbia
The smokey haze visible In Yoho National Park at Field, British Columbia

Mountain roads cut into and around rock face are a wonder unto themselves.

We near our destination of Golden B.C., a town in a ‘mountain trench’ surrounded be the Rockies, the Selkirks and the Purcell mountain ranges and by five National Parks: Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Glacier and Kootenay.

So, approaching Golden is a visual treat. Roadside signs become more plentiful:

Approaching Ten Mile Hill“.    Really, a hill that long?

Test Your Brakes“.    Okay then!

Runaway Lane”.     ‘OMG’, I think. And there it is – a road veering off the highway, climbing a steep grade, only to stop abruptly at the mountain wall. Handy for those out-of-control transport trucks.

This Ten Mile Hill world becomes a circular, downhill kaleidoscope of images – steep mountains on one side of our car, unbelievable depths on the other, and the road winding out of sight behind each new curve up ahead. And so it goes, around every bend and every downhill mile, each one more spectacular than the last.

'Ten Mile Hill' on Trans Canada Hwy #1 nearing Golden B.B.
‘Ten Mile Hill’ on Trans Canada Hwy #1 nearing Golden B.B.

Finally the view opens to expose Golden nestled in its mountain cradle.

Golden BC from part way up the mountain to Steph & Jeff's home. On the far side of town, barely visible through the smokey haze is Kicking Horse Pass
Above & Below:   Golden BC  where a river runs through it – the Columbia River. Photo shot from part way up the mountain to Steph & Jeff’s home. On the far side of town, only partially visible through the smokey haze, are the Selkirk Mountains (part of the Rockies) and Kicking Horse Pass.

IMG_3645

Farther up, Steph and Jeff’s home is tucked in on the side of the Rocky Mountain range.

Steph & Jeff's patio & garden, Golden BC. Another mountain peeks through the trees. Steph's garden, to the left, is surrounded by a sturdy fence, protected from the deer who make themselves at home here. Her previously lush, colourful plants in pots & near flower beds have been chewed off leaving only subs of stems.
From Steph & Jeff’s patio & garden, Golden BC,  another mountain peeks through the trees. To the left, a sturdy fence protects Steph’s vegetable garden from deer who make themselves at home here. Her previously lush, colourful planters & flower beds were not as fortunate. The deer had a feast, leaving only stubs of stems.

We enjoyed ending the day with a glass of wine, dinner of Atlantic salmon (ironic since we are near the Pacific), asparagus, kale artichoke salad, & rice. Dessert was one of Steph’s delectable creations …

Stepanie's exquisite ROSE desert - apple slices dredged in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon wit a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Almost too lovely to eat!
Stephanie’s exquisite ROSE desert – apple slices dredged in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Almost too lovely to eat!

Last summer, I recorded my British Columbia adventure in my sketch journal. This year, I will blog my way through our daily doings.

Day one. Good night.

………………………………………..

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2 thoughts on “SMOKE … BC Travels 2015, Day 1 . Memoir .

    1. Funny you said that! Last nite I did the waltons’ schtick when I was saying my good-nights here at Steph’s. The boys didn’t know what was going on sonSteph & I had to explain about the program that was before their time. Thanks so much Kay for your follow. 🙂

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