Rocky Mountain High

Rocky Mountains

I am totally WOWed!!  I’m in the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, Canada and……..WOW, I’m on a Rocky Mountain high!

Banff National Park Gates

My daughter Nellie and I arrived in Calgary yesterday and met up with my Ex to make the drive through the Rocky Mountains for our son Robin’s wedding on Sunday.  After picking up the rental car, we got out of Calgary within a half an hour and headed west.  At first it was just like driving along any old 4 lane highway in Ontario except those huge mountains looming ahead of us.    As we got closer to the mountains, their significant presence became more and more spectacular.  This is the first time I have ever driven through the Rocky Mountains.  The Trans-Canada Highway was extremely well maintained and very busy on this Friday afternoon.  Before long, we arrived at the gates of Banff National Park, Canada’s first National Park established in 1885.  After purchasing our daily pass, we continued on westward driving through several arch shaped wildlife overpasses covered with grown trees and vegetation built to “allow bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer, moose and other wildlife park residents to safely cross the highway” www.pg.gc.ca/transcanada.   There are five untouched National Parks in the immediate area.  We did not stop at the town of Banff as we were trying to meet up with the rest of the kids already waiting at Fairmont Hot Springs, BC.  Most of them had spent the week camping in Kootenay National Park in the back-country and their base camp while my daughter Kristi and her family ‘roughed it’ at a hot springs resort.  The kids went for day trips to the Continental Divide (where the waters in North America flow east or west from that point), Marble Canyon, and hiked in to the Stanley Glacier where they stood right beside that magnificent hunk of ice.

Nellie -Picnic lunch @ Banff National Park

Once we left Banff National Park, we drove straight into Kootenay National Park jutting from north to south for 106 km through exceptional majestic mountains and diverse landscapes of avalanche-flattened trees, standing swaths of Pine Beetle destroyed trees, charred trees from recent wildfires, pristine bogs and waterways, and did I mention the mountains EVERYWHERE ……ahh, I could go on and on.  We spotted a very active wildfire in the distance up on a mountain – we could even see the flames roaring up and tons of smoke.  The drive through this Park was gourmet to the senses:  the scope of these heaven-touching mountains was mind-boggling, the blue-green glacial rivers and lakes was breath-taking, and the winding mountain-climbing highway was amazing.  I felt like a very small part of this universe in the presence of such magnificent, raw, untouched Canadian wilderness.   Near the end of Kootenay National Park, we drove through Sinclair Pass where two mountains barely allowed the two lane highway through – you could touch the side of the mountain as you drove through, it was that close!  The town Radium Hot Springs appeared quite touristy and seemed very busy with visitors going straight to the hot springs pools where you could RENT bathing suits and towels (sorry, but rent, yuck).  However, we continued down the highway since we were on ‘a mission’ to get to the rest of the family.

Rocky Mountains

Arriving in Fairmont Hot Springs, we met up with Kristi and Darin and went to their resort where we just hung out for a bit.  My boys, Darin and Taylor, and their Dad left for the next leg of the journey west through the mountains.  We bought pizzas and breakfast supplies and just vegged out at Kristi and Mike’s resort overlooking the golf course at the base of the mountains where we saw a Momma deer and her two babies just feet away.  Then we headed to the cabin I had rented for the night – a lovely 2 bedroom with a stone-clad wood fireplace and a covered porch:   my kind of accommodations!  Marty and Melvin stayed up long after the rest of us went to bed…..

Just Chillin’ in our Cabin

So today we’ll all head out after breakfast and ‘convoy’ it together down through the mountains westward for another 2  1/2 hours.  You might be wondering why the heck I am writing this blog when I’m in such an incredibly visually amazing place:  well I’m still on Ottawa time and my body says it’s 11 a.m. NOT 9 a.m. like the clock says, so I’m wide awake, enjoying a cup of tea in the embrace of the Rocky Mountains ……… while everybody else is still sleeping!

More to come………

Our little Rocky Mountain Cabin

More amazing photos by Marty @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmellway/page1/

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 03:20:53

    What an awesome description of our majestic mountains!!… Have a great time my beautiful family… Congrats Nici and Rob!!!… Love ya’s!!

    Reply

  2. Rob
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 04:04:49

    Wow you are having a gypsies summer. All the best. Congrats to Noci and Rob.

    Reply

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