A favorite quote:

Make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone can and will do your work for you!!!" Ken Beebe (Dr. Play)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Windy, Frank Slide and Cranbrook Walmart...

What a great ride, while it was incredibly windy from Nanton to Fernie, it is some of the most amazing scenery a person will see. I have seen just about every highway in Western Canada, except the Crowsnest. Traci has seen most in Alberta and BC, but this was the first time for both of us on the #3.

The Windmills in and around Pincher Creek are just spectacular. We get fairly close to a few of them, and the sheer size is amazing. As mentioned the wind was blowing ferociously, so we saw them in all their glory, fins bent trying to generate as much power as possible.

I guess the theme of this day is 'never seen it before'. Less than 2 hours from Calgary is Frank Slide. I have seen tv and magazine articles on it, and heard much about it, but to see it in person is CRAZY. What a path of destruction. This slide happened in 1903, and it looks like it could have happened 2 days ago, that much destruction and debris. 82 millions tons of limestone came crashing down in 100 seconds. CRAZY.

We stop in Bellevue for supper, Andrew wakes up, he has been sleeping the entire trip so far. The supertruck(truck earns nickname on 8-9% grades on next day of travel) is very comfortable for all occupants. A great little diner has fantastic burgers for Traci and I, and am able to order 1 chicken strip for Andrew. which he devours along with some fries. We hook up the seatback DVD player for the first time ever, and Andrew really likes watching his Backyardigans for the rest of the trip to Cranbrook. The Dogs enjoy a nice walk and some tasty slurps from Lost Creek which runs next to the diner.

Next on the neverseenit theme is Fernie, nice town, very built around the ski hill obviously. Driving through we are imagining 10-20 feet of snow piled up everywhere. That is the other consideration to this trip is 'holy crap, who'd want to drive this road in the winter' and we haven't even seen the kootenay pass yet.

The little town of Wardner is pretty neat, it is south of the highway about 1/2 hour from Cranbrook. When you first see it it looks like it is stranded over there, then we drive a bit and find the access road to go over there. A quick check on the map and we are driving next to the very north arm of Lake Koocanusa. Koo-taney -- Can-ada -- USA. Cool huh?

We stop for a stretch break at a great little rest stop about 45mins from Cranbrook. It is one thing that BC does better than anywhere else I have been, is rest stops. Spacious, clean, terrific picnic areas, usually near a river or lake, flush toilets that are clean. All in all we really enjoy spending some down time there to stretch and water the dogs on this trip.

Cranbrook. uh huh. not that pretty at all. Wasn't really impressed at all. for the largest municipality in the kootenay region, it wasn't that nice. 'nuff said 'bout that tho. We were only using it as our overnight stop at the Walmart. heheh. We had some trepidation about staying in the parking lot, but a call ahead to the store the day before made us feel welcome enough to try it. We arrived at 8:15 with about 10 other units arriving before us and by 10pm there were 6-7 more. There was even a person sleeping in their car. I guess it is probably the safest place to stop if you are beat tired.
Well, it turned out surprisingly well. We spent about a hundred bucks on supplies there, so the equivalent of 4 nights camping anywhere else (this is protocol at the wal-marts. Shop there and they will continue to let campers stay overnight as an extension of customer service). We were all very, very tired by this point, so at about 10pm we all konked out and rose at 7:30, rested and relieved that we weren't stolen or violated in any way. Tim Hortons was just around the corner, so obviously we had a very nutritious breakfast and headed on our way. A really nice option for long trips.

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