Monday, June 8, 2009

Canada is Incredible

I've driven through several different climates and one time zone since I left Vancouver Island on Saturday.

I left in a heatwave that was melting things in my car. There were points when I wanted to drive in my bra and underwear (of course I didn't). I then drove through dry hot desert like conditions and ended up in a one horse town where everyone stared at me in my fuchsia dress. Not sure why I was so incredibly conspicuous but I think it may have been because everyone else was wearing t shirts and jeans. I felt like I had "tourist" stamped on my forehead. It didn't help that I was toting my camera around trying to get a photo of the old western Saloon. There were a lot of dead pine trees in that area, which I'm assuming is due to the pine beetle ravaging Canadian forests. Either that or they didn't have enough water. Either way, poor trees!

After there I drove through mountains and ended up in Salmon arm. It was hot and green and beautiful with it's lakes. Children were swimming and people were lounging around on lake house boats. You could never have those on the coast because we have wind off the ocean. Those wussy lake boats would be flipped over or submerged by waves.

I slept in Sicamous which sounds like "sic a moose". I wonder if that is what the name is because other places around here are called Moose Jaw and Red Deer and Medicine Hat.

So I left Sicamous and began traveling through Revelstoke and finally Golden where I had lunch at Tim Hortons. There I found a quiet end of the road lake with a picnic table. There were reeds in the moss green coloured water and tiny birds everywhere.

Then I began driving through the high mountain passes. In the middle of nowhere there was a lake with a red roofed resort and a ghost town behind it. Signs offered Glacier Helicopter rides for $45 and I was seriously itching to do it. Unfortunately this trip is on the cheap because I don't have any money. There were snow packs up there and it was cold. It began to rain just as I left.

I continued through the Rocky Mountains and I realized why you can't just live there. There are mostly rock faces and at the bottom is where the avalanches land. There are few places that are safe from falling rocks and crushing avalanches of snow. Even the highway was often avalanche territory. I could see the slabs of rock that looked like they were soon to come loose. Some areas were so bad that they had metal meshing to keeps the rocks off the road and other parts that have tunnels. One tunnel I went through was still covered in a sheet of glacial snow.

Next I was in Rogers pass and I got out of my car in my green flip flops. The air was cold and felt like the top of the ski mountain I go to. It was dead silent with the sub zero wind. I gassed up there because the next gas up point wasn't for about 120km or so?

I made a second stop to take some photos at a highway rest point. Two ravens were hanging around my car waiting for hand outs.

This felt a little weird to me because in my mind ravens are noble creatures of mythology. They are mysterious and spiritual. In First Nations culture they are the trickster and also wise. When I was about to leave the outside world and be admitted into the hospital for my transplant (where I wouldn't be able to leave the ward for weeks) I was visited by a young raven. It flew right above my head on a low branch and just sat there a couple of feet above me. I felt it was a sign that I would be watched over and safe, that the cancer wouldn't beat me.

These two ravens just wanted my cinnamon bun.

I was a bad tourist and indulged them. It's actually illegal to feed wildlife because people hand feed bears not getting that they are wild and dangerous. It can cause a lot of problems for both wildlife and people.

A couple minutes after I left there it began to snow. I drove through about 10 minutes of it. I was terrified going 100km/hr while it was snowing!

I pulled off the highway when I saw a place called, "Dead Mans Flats". I thought, that sounds cool. Until I found that it was just a way to get lost and sent the wrong way back down the highway! I had to keep driving back until I found a way to get off and back around the right way. That added 16 kilometers onto my trip! Thanks Dead Mans Flats (not).

So, eventually I made it through the mountains to rolling farms and countryside. It's beautiful here in the Calgary area. But cold. I'm so glad I brought proper shoes and a sweater. I'll be wearing it.

Oh, and today I am in the fetal position exhausted. I think this will be as far as I go. I can't even get out to the car for the cord so I can upload my photos.


1 comment:

Daria said...

Yes it is gorgeous ... love Salmon Arm.