We do seem to have a habit of rushing the seasons. Very often, we leave Canadian Rockies south Texas in Spring when the weather turns hot. Heading North, we arrive in beautiful parts of Canada which are largely still buttoned up and waiting for their summer tourist season to begin. This year, we each had projects to work on, so as long as we found comfortable quarters along the way we were not insistent upon being entertained.
We have, however, found interesting and beautiful places to visit. We entered Canada from Idaho, which found us in British Columbia among mountains and forests and clear-running streams--the same scenery which accompanied us all the way across Canada. It is glorious to see the miles of green forest, Fort Steele Town Gossip even though we also see heavily-loaded trucks filled with giant logs on their way to become, we think, telephone poles (although who needs telephone poles any more? or masts for sailing ships? It's a question!).
We stopped at Fort Steele, British Columbia, a reconstructed cavalry fort now a living history museum where we wandered through several shops accompanied by one of our favorite tour guides, "Mrs. Clark, the Town Gossip". Her talk is actually a compressed history of the town and covers such personalities as the bakery owner and the newspaper publisher. First class dining car
The following day, driving through Cranbrook, we noticed that, as in many towns, the former railroad station had become the town museum. So we stopped and were guided by two earnest young men who told us about the history of railroads in British Columbia. Cranbrook, by the way, has one of the largest collections of old railroad cars in Canada, an embarrassment of riches because they are all in need of restoration, and that work is being done carefully and beautifully, but with a small budget.
Before we entered Alberta, we stopped to admire the largest truck in the world, which was built to haul coal from a local mine. It was a great success until its owners realized that because it is unique, every time it Largest truck in the world needed replacement parts, each part had to be manufactured specifically for that truck. Built in the 1970s, it had a working life of about sixteen years before it was turned over to the town of Sparwood as a tourist attraction.
We also passed the site of one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian mining history happened. One of the large coal mines altered the structure of the mountain lying above it. The resulting rock slide buried the highway and railway and killed townspeople who were taken completely by surprise.
Between stories of the past and the scenery, alternating between mountains and prairie, we had a splendid ride.