Saturday, April 7, 2012

So Far, So Good

It's been a good trip so far, in spite of leaving Edmonton yesterday in a snowstorm that dumped 25 cm of heavy wet snow on our home town.  By the time we were an hour south of Edmonton, the roads were dry and bare and soon all traces of snow had left our landscape.  We arrived in Lethbridge to sun and dryness.

This morning we left Lethbridge and made our trek through the mountains to Osoyoos, in the Okanaghan Valley of BC.  Those mountains are such a tremendous barrier, effectively separating the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia with miles and miles of sharp peaked, snow covered granite...extending well into the United States.

Our trip took 9 hours today - five of which I drove.  As it happened, my 'shift' took us through the high mountain passes - the Crowfoot Pass and the Kootenay Pass.  When Lloyd wasn't sleeping, he grabbed the camera and tried to get some shots, but he missed the ones at the top of the passes where the snow was piled high on either side of the road, indicating where avalanches had been cleared away previously - pretty spectacular scenery.  Driving up the mountains we'd go from dry ground and sun into wet roads with snow on either side, going down long curving hills onto lower mountains misted with fog and snow.  At a few points we ran into wet snowfall, but those were few and far between.  I just wish there had been more places where I could pull over and get some really good photos, but there just wasn't room, or there were vehicles behind me.

Here are some of the sights from today's trip.

Beautiful snow covered moutain

I love the look of this one

A threatening sky as we climb

Curving up and then down through the pass

And around a sharp bend

Not much traffic from either direction

There were three of these runaway lanes down this one mountain.  I'd hate to be in the vehicle that lost control, or brakes, and had to hit the emergency area.

It's not really a lane at all - just a semi-safe space to get off the highway and stopped.

Finally far enough down the mountain to be out of the snow.

But we had to watch out for grazing animals now.

Still working our way through the mountains

To a city - Castlegar -  in a high valley

I don't know how safe I'd feel flying into that air strip surrounded by mountains


Lloyd almost missed this picture of two wild turkeys who ran across the road in front of us.

Signs told us to have winter tires or carry chains from October to April 30 on these roads

I was scared to take my eyes off the road so Lloyd could take this picture

Looks like we're going to drop off the face of the earth



It got misty with snow as we came down off the mountains

And finally to the foothills and farmland

Another farm


Our destination - Osoyoos - came into view as we drove down Anarchist Mountain


Our home away from home for three days - Spirit Lodge, Osoyoos

Surrounded by miles of orchards that make this Okahaghan Valley world famous.  They're just waiting for enough sun and heat to start blooming.  It'll be a very different scene this time next month.

We finished our day by going to Mary and Greg's place in Oliver to spend some time with our grandchildren and new grand-puppy, Maizie.  Pictures tomorrow.

Pat

8 comments:

Thisisme. said...

Wow! That was quite a journey you did there. Amazing photos with such stunning scenery. I'm glad you finally got there and can now relax and spend some wonderful time with your grandchildren. Living over here in England, it was lovely for me to see those mountains and so much space!

Granny Annie said...

I have such phobias of mountain roads and passes. You are my hero that you could drive in such conditions. And what's that about an avalanche? Were you also going through areas that could have more avalanches any minute? Yikes! Still the scenery photo are great and I guess I can see the plus sides to such a journey.

I am soooooo happy that we can once again be allowed to receive emailed follow-up comments. It is fun to see what others say and any comments you might make back.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What beautiful pictures of your trip. The mountains are amazing. Glad the roads were clear for you and you made it there safely. Enjoy your family time!

RoeH said...

Canada is just so beautiful! I've always wanted to explore it more. I've only been to the part of it above North Dakota where I used to live.

Mickey said...

Love your photo journey Pat! And oh what a distracted driver you are! -for a happy photo!
The snow banks show what an amt of snow they have had along that hwy.
We were out to the airport this am to get William & Daddy to catch a plane to another part of BC.
Wishing everyone a happy Easter. I'm sure there will be more photos to follow soon!.

Mickey said...

Love your photo journey Pat! And oh what a distracted driver you are! -for a happy photo!
The snow banks show what an amt of snow they have had along that hwy.
We were out to the airport this am to get William & Daddy to catch a plane to another part of BC.
Wishing everyone a happy Easter. I'm sure there will be more photos to follow soon!.

Magpie said...

What an amazing trip! The scenery was breath takings. I'm out of practice driving in the snow. I'm glad you travel safely. Enjoy your time away. Happy Easter.

Delena said...

Thanks Pat for sharing. It was so wonderful seeing photos of places that are just so familiar to me.
I always say to my husband, "can you just imagine what tourists must think when they see this beauty". I just never want to take it for granted.