Travelogue for Thursday June 30, 2022 through Tuesday July 05, 2022
For the first time in many months I had the opportunity to take my van camping. Unlike most trips, this time I had a destination in mind: Castledale, British Columbia and the 'Lowe Site' where two of my Sons plus Stephanie (Liam's Significant Other) were building a new chalet.
From Edmonton the drive took me to a site on the North Saskatchewan River near Drayton Valley, Alberta but the horse-flies were swarming there so no camp, and no photo. From Drayton Valley the trip took me down to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta and then West to Nordegg, Alberta and the Forestry Trunk Road 40. 32 Km South on 40 is the Ram River crossing and my camp site for day's 1 through 3
Day 1 & 2 were sunny and warm but by the end of Day 2 the clouds began to roll in. Mountain valley weather is unpredicatable and generally constantly changing but for all of Day 3 the Sun was invisible behind thick rain clouds. On the morning of Day 4 it felt like snow was approaching and so I packed up wet and headed back North up 40 to Highway 11 and then West towards Saskatchewan Crossing and the Jasper/Banff Parkway (Hwy. 93).
Field, British Columbia is a tiny town sitting on the far site of the Columbia River from Highway 1 (Trans-Canada). It was established during the construction of the railway and now serves as a crew change point and tourist attraction.
Golden, British Columbia is a town on the Trans-Canada which most people drive through on their way to somewhere else. For years I was in that situation until Days 4 & 5 of this trip when I got the chance to explore the town site. Golden was established to serve the railway, forestry and minining (hence the name) industries but has become a popular retirement area for many.
In Golden I had the opportunity to dry out my wet tarps, tent and gear at a gravel pit which I had found while sitting atop an embankment and checking out the scenery below. Above the gravel pit is Mount 7, a local massif that hosts a 'paraglide' launch site at its peak and wonderful hiking paths. Sadly the rain from Alberta had followed me to British Columbia but it did little to dampen my enjoyment of the time away.
On day 5, I drove South of Golden to the 'village' of Castledale, British Columbia (it's not on most maps), where two of my Sons were working on a new chalet for Ms. Lowe (their mother). Sean, Liam and Stephanie (Liam's Significant Other) were hard at work when the rain was not falling too heavily but before the end of the day the weather socked-in and we had to cover the wood piles and lock things up.
Sean returned to Calgary while Liam, Stephanie and I enjoyed a dinner in Golden on the evening of Day 5 and by 9:30 PM I was back on the Trans-Canada heading East, and home.
A warning to you should you want to travel the Trans-Canada through the Kicking Horse Pass; construction is on-going. That stretch of highway was constructed decades ago as a narrow ribbon of asphault clinging to the side of a mountain, some 1,500 Ft. above the valley floor. At some points the road surface is so narrow that there is not sufficient room for a suitable barricade and for years only a low curb prevented unwanted trips to the flowing water below.
At 4:00 AM on the 5th of July, I pulled up outside of my place in Edmonton, Alberta and found that I was not really that happy to be back. It's Wednesday the 6th today and the van has been cleaned, my gear has been cleaned and repacked so that I can get the heck out of Edmonton again tomorrow, the 7Th.