September 11: The big mountains

Elaine at Kicking Horse Pass, near the Spiral Tunnels

Elaine at Kicking Horse Pass, near the Spiral Tunnels

We approached the Kicking Horse Pass and the Rogers Pass with some trepidation, but the trusty truck pulled the trailer up with some gear changes.  Coming down we changed down, and applied some trailer braking to keep us from running away.

Fascinating, beautiful, and above all, impressive.   Coming down the East side of the Kicking Horse Pass the road follows the old “big hill” that so challenged the Canadian Pacific Railway builders. 

This was where massive locomotives were needed to go up, and runaway trains were a feature on the downslope.   Then the CP people went to Switzerland, to see how they did it.  Aha … tunnels that spiral inside mountains, so they built a couple and reduced the drama of that dreadful grade.

Elaine at Canyon Hot Springs Campsite, near Revelstoke

Elaine at Canyon Hot Springs Campsite, near Revelstoke

Then the Rogers Pass and another big climb and descent.    This brought us to Canyon Hot Springs, and we decided to stay the night. 

“It’s a double expense,” I told Elaine. “First they hit you for the camp site, and then the outdoor hot pools are extra.”   We did not hesitate!   The cool pool was 84F and the hot one was 104F.   Amazing to loaf around and look in all directions at the mountains.

Railway essentials at Canyon Hot Springs

Railway essentials at Canyon Hot Springs

The noisy trains have followed us right across Canada, so we have become immune to them.  Fortunately this time we were a good way from the tracks, which was as well, since Canadian Pacific decided to work all night replacing rails.  In the morning I went to inspect and found that they have their own answer to toilets on the train … two portables on their own little truck!

Rafters (not us) on the Kicking Horse River, BC

Rafters (not us) on the Kicking Horse River, BC

Another time zone, and now we are in British Columbia.

John

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