M-A's Musings and Travels

A place where I can ponder and remember wonderful trips, camping excursions and hiking adventures.

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Location:Whitefish, Montana

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Day One - May 16, 2005 - NW Territories

Montana gave us a gray and rainy send-off as we began our trek north. However, the Canadian skies which greeted us as we crossed the border into British Columbia began to show patches of blue. We were waved on by the border patrol into Canada after many suspicious questions such as were we planning on returning to the US together? Did the man think Dale was on a “sell the wife” mission! Upon giving our destination as Yellowknife, the customs official wished us a good time in the Yukon! Not one very well versed in his own geography.

Crowstnest PassThe trip east on Highway 3 over Crowsnest Pass from Highway 93 coming from the US - Canada border is a very pretty one. It took us first through Elk River Valley to Fernie where we “loaded up” on beer and wine, and had lunch. Since there is a limit on what you can bring in to Canada, we hadn’t brought much in the way of libations. We always marvel at the high wine prices in Canada, about three times those in the US.

Big TruckNext, we stopped in Sparwood, the "coal valley country" to look at the huge truck on display along the highway and for some last minute groceries before we headed into the “wilds” of the Alberta mountains at Coleman. Here we caught Forest Trunk Road 940 in a northerly direction. This road is also called the Kananaskis Road, however, the portion through Kananaskis Country is closed to protect the elk during the spring season.

Coleman is situated directly east of Crowsnest Pass (the border between BC and Alberta) in a very pretty setting in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and with Crowsnest Mountain looming over the countryside.

We were warned that the road was not maintained and that we were “traveling at our own discretion,” a fact we already knew from earlier trips, but we should have taken the sign as an omen as we later learned.

Dutch CreekThe road climbed in altitude and soon we saw snow on the sides of the road and lots of deciduous trees without any buds. Spring was yet a week or two away at this altitude. We made our first stop at Dutch Creek Campground, one of the many rustic campgrounds along this forest road. We were able to sit outside in the afternoon, albeit in sweat shirts.


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