Sunday, 3 May 2015

Meadows In The Sky

I'm at the Hillcrest Lodge, a hotel I have long wanted to visit, set high on the hillside overlooking the Columbia River valley at Revelstoke. This high mountain town, set at the junction of the Columbia and Illicillaweat Rivers began its life as a mining town, evolved into a rail yard town, and further evolved, becoming a winter and summer recreational tourist town.

I write this blog entry while sitting in the lounge, enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, looking out over the high peaks of the eastern Monashee Mountains. The hotel is on the east side of the river, set against the backdrop of the rugged Selkirk range. All of these are part of the Columbia Range of mountains, a sub-range of the Rockies, that great spine that divides North America, and particularly Alberta and BC.

This is a solo trip, of necessity. Katherine has to go back to work. I am once again a lone traveler on my voyage through the remaining days of my life. It seems I am destined thus, defined by my need to keep moving, either forced by circumstance, or driven by will. I miss her already, only one day out from Calgary. I miss her silly moods, her giant hugs and smiles, her willing helpfulness. I can travel alone; I know this. I don't like to travel alone; I know this too.

This road trip is different. For all of my life so far, Revelstoke has been a stop of necessity, either driven by failed or blocked roads, or demanded by exhaustion. Most times I grab a coffee at Timmies and push on through, making time and distance, headed for the coast. This time, however, I am stopping here for a couple of days, staying in a hotel I have long wanted to try out, exploring roads and sites that have intrigued me aplenty as I passed the road signs of their designated turn offs. I have never turned before; this road trip I will turn.

Today I plan on driving up the Meadows In The Sky Parkway. The name alone is enough to call me, to explore. It is a roadway up the steep slopes of Mount Revelstoke, winding through 16 switchbacks to make 26 kilometers along a road cut into the deep mountain forests, upwards 1000 meters in elevation to the alpine meadows above. That should be enough exploring for today.

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