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The Rockies
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May 2009

by Murray Lundberg

Page 1: Whitehorse to Calgary
Page 2: Calgary to Whistler
Page 3: Exploring the Whistler Area
Page 4: Whistler to Whitehorse

May 12, 2009: From the Prairies to the Orchards

I left Calgary this morning and am now in Kelowna for 4 days visiting a sister and her hubby, my parents, and a friend from high school.


My first stop was Cochrane, which not that many years ago looked like the cattle ranching and petroleum centre it was. Now, although scenes from those days are still easy to find (the first photo show cattle in front of a natural gas processing plant), the 2nd photo below shows you modern Cochrane, with homes of all types being built by the hundreds.

Back into the Rockies! I got off the 4-lane as soon as possible, over to the quiet 2-lane Highway 1A where I could enjoy my surroundings.

I spent 40 minutes or so hiking up the lower falls in Johnson Canyon - I really wanted to keep going to the much higher upper falls, but there was just no time. The steel and concrete catwalk bolted into the canyon walls here is very impressive - I imagine that this place is extremely crowded in the summer!

“If you’ve seen one mountain you’ve seen them all.” I don’t think so!

There’s a lot of highway construction going on. The police were using this 20km-long section near Golden as a fund-raising project, with their radar bringing in a large number of double fines for speeding in a construction zone. No, my beer money is intact!

I stopped in Revelstoke for a short visit and dinner with my next older brother and his family, then continued on to Kelowna (Westbank, actually), arriving just before 10pm. As you can see from the photos, the weather wasn’t great, but it was a very good day regardless. My odometer now shows that I’ve travelled 3,152 km (1,970 miles) so far - that should be about halfway.



May 14, 2009: My Kelowna View

I woke up to rain this morning, which I used to hate when lived in Vancouver. Now I rather like it because I see it so seldom. The sun is coming out as I type this, but look at the view from my parent’s deck - that’s snow low on the mountains!



May 16, 2009: Down Memory Lane at 100kmh…

I took the long way around from Kelowna to Abbotsford today, and as usual, I wished that I had more time. I’d really forgotten how much time I used to spend along the Hope-Princeton Highway and the southern Okanagan, but as location after location triggered memories I stopped quite a few times. Old cars always turn my head, and Parson’s Fruit Stand at Keremeos has some particularly good photo ops.

Over the years I’ve taken many photos of St. Ann’s Catholic Church at Chuchuwayha, located just east of Hedley.

I just couldn’t resist a detour up the Hedley Nickel Plate Road ….

…where the views are stunning….

…and the residents such as this marmot are quite friendly.

One of the mines that I used to love exploring was the Hedley Mascot, located high above the village.

The Engineers Road, built in 1861, has been a favourite stopping place for my family and I since about 1955.

The massive Hope Slide came down as a result of 2 earthquakes in 1965 - my first look at it was about a month later. Somewhere under that rock is a fuel tanker that was never found (and 4 people who were also never found).

Today, Dave & Jan, friends of mine since high school, took me exploring, including stops at a couple of antique-car collectors’ yards. Back in the 1970s I gathered quite a number of Studebakers
One of the stops was Fort Langley, for lunch at the Fort Pub and to see what’s become of a community that I was very involved in. It’s hugely gratifying to see that our dreams for downtown revitalization worked better than we ever imagined possible. Among my projects was the restoration of this CNR train station (I was Project Manager).



May 19, 2009: Starting the Day Out Right

Our last trip to Fort Lauderdale convinced Cathy and I that upper-end hotels are worth every penny they cost (we spent one night in a real dive, the Wish You Were Here Inn, there). I decided to stay in Richmond last night to avoid rush hour, as I’m picking Cathy up at the Vancouver airport at 10:30 this morning, and got a very good price on the Hilton Vancouver Airport by using Hotwire.

By the time I had checked in I knew it was a good choice, and that feeling has been reinforced many times. I’m in a suite on the 18th floor, with a great view, true high-speed internet access, and my car is in a secure parkade. As soon as I post this I’m heading down to the fitness room, then the jacuzzi. After a leisurely breakfast I’ll go to the airport and Cathy and I will make the spectacular drive up to Whistler. It’s going to be a particularly fine day   Edit/update: the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict at Carmichael’s, the hotel restaurant, was exceptionally good.

Whenever I have a bit of time to spare, I drive down to the Coast Guard Station at YVR to see if a particular piece of equipment is there so I can get a photo. This morning I finally got lucky. Back in 1997, the crew of this hovercraft very likely saved my life when I crashed the plane I was flying.

When I picked Cathy up she said that the aquarium was the one thing she wanted to see before driving to Whistler, and it was an excellent choice. The Vancouver Aquarium is a world-class facility, and the 2 ½ hours we spent there was about an hour less than a proper visit should be.

Sea otters are Cathy’s favourite sea mammal.

This year-old beluga whale calf is gray now but will turn white when she matures.
The shark feeding show attracted a huge crowd, but we were there early and had a good viewing spot.

The spectacular Sea to Sky Highway is being upgraded for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The final photo of the day shows the view from our suite at the Delta Whistler, where we’ll be for 4 nights.


Page 3: Exploring the Whistler Area