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Canada 150: Somewhere Near McBride

Update: My friend tells me this field is along Barrett Station Road near Houston. The mountains are the Telkwa Range. Oops! I was only off by some 500  kilometres.

On the Travel Bucket List of every Canadian should be two trips: (1) a road trip across Canada and (2) the same by train. I’ve almost completed both.

The train trip I’ll save for another post; the road trip was done in several legs, several years apart. (Since Canada is such a vast country, it is my opinion that it is not cheating if you break these trips down into manageable chunks.)

Leg one of my cross-Canada road trip was completed the summer I moved from Vancouver to Toronto. I packed as many of my meager belongings as I could fit into the back of my Honda Civic hatchback, kissed my parents good-bye, got into my car and headed … north.

North? Why not? (What’s a 24-hour detour when you’re about to spend days driving across Canada?)

Yes, I started my trek east by driving north to the Bulkley Valley where some friends of mine were living, and it was only after that visit that I pointed my trusty little car east towards the Rockies.

I took this photo somewhere along the Yellowhead. My foggy memory tells me it was near McBride, but, truthfully, it could have been anywhere between Houston and Jasper. The hay bales are what made me pull over to take a photo.

I love hay bales.

Highway 16 Hay Bale

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Canada 150: Kamloops Lake

It’s not often that I travel to Alberta by car, but when I do, I am always struck by the diverse landscape of the province where I live. In just one day’s travel, you drive through the flat delta of the Fraser River, head up the narrow gorges of the Fraser Canyon or the steep incline of the Coquihalla Pass (depending on which route you take), then it’s through the grasslands and forests of the Interior before crossing a mountain range or three.

This photo, which I took from the Trans-Canada Highway during the summer of 2009, is of Kamloops Lake. I love the landscape around Kamloops. It’s got mountains, it’s got valleys, it’s got deserts.

And look. It’s got trains, too.

Kamloops Lake