Alberta Trip Day I
As I mentioned a few days ago, we took a little driving holiday last week. We enjoy car trips which allow us the flexibility to stop and enjoy whatever catches our interest (within some time limits of course) and have a picnic lunch somewhere along the way. We have lived in BC for a lot of years and still haven’t seen all of this province, nor that of Alberta, our destination. It has been a couple of decades since we drove the scenic Crowsnest Highway from Hope (east of Vancouver) all the way to Lethbridge, Alberta. British Columbia has several mountain ranges running north south with valleys in between, so the road does wind up and down until we cross the Rockies into Alberta.
Whenever we travel in BC, we take along our now dog-eared copy of the Beautiful British Columbia Travel Guide (1994) which was published by a magazine of that name (now called British Columbia magazine). While my husband drives, I read out loud the interesting history and facts about the communities along our route. The Crowsnest website is as interesting as the book, with much more detailed histories. I’ll just mention a few highlights of the day’s journey.
I was thrilled to see the wild rhododendrons in bloom in Manning Provincial Park, three hours east of Vancouver. This species of rhododendron is similar to the Himalayan ones, and is found in just a few locations in North America. (I wish I’d written down the information from the park.) This was the first time we were there in June to see them in bloom. We have fond memories of several cross-country skiing holidays in Manning Park when our family was younger.
Osoyoos is located on Canada’s only desert – the northern most tip of the Sonora Desert. Situated in the heart of the South Okanagan, and boasting the lowest annual rainfall and the highest average temperatures, this is appropriately called BC’s Desert Wine Country! It’s too hot for me, Spanish/Mexican looking, and popular with families and retirees. Some cool day I would like to visit the Desert Centre here.
We stopped for the night at Christina Lake, a pretty little town with cottages rimming the lake. It will be very busy in July and August but now it was still quiet, without fast food joints, hotels or fancy restaurants. These tired travellers found a lovely spot to unwind on the public beach by the quiet waters surrounded by mountains before retiring to a motel.