Yesterday we departed Polson, MT on Rte 200 headed for northern Idaho. Most of the trip was through a beautiful serene valley with cattle ranching, following a winding stream crossing it occasionally and then back again to the other side with the Rockies to the west as we headed north.
Don, Deanna & Carol
The folks we visited, Don & Deanna, had moved about a year ago from San Francisco to his grandmother's home in Clark Fork, a wonderful little town of 500 or so people situated on the Clark Fork River which feeds into Lake Pend Oreille, a large lake, one of the largest if not the largest in Idaho. This is a very beautiful area and they took us on a quick tour of the area on our way to dinner at an eclectic old ice house overlooking the lake. We visited a beautiful stream, called Lightning Creek, I think. after dinner we toured the 'upper class' area.
A Cold One at the Ice House Restaurant
of homes on the lake and saw many deer.
Don and Deanna are in process of building an addition to the old homestead and renovating the original structure. They had a lovely large yard fenced in and the 'dales loved the freedom of this wide open space. Don is a third generation iron worker/supervisor and works large jobs all over the world with a specialty in suspension bridges. Deanna is a former airline stewardess for Delta who has interests in Airedales (they have two along with a Pug), gardening and many other things. They are in process of purchasing the local feed store so will soon sink deeper roots into Clark Fork. We had a wonderful respite with them.
Today we traveled north westerly through Sand Point and Bonners Ferry Idaho, really gorgeous country with forests, ranches, streams and mountains crossing the border into British Columbia where they confiscated Carol's (animal defense) pepper spray, but asked no questions about the dogs and their vaccinations. We followed Rte 95, then 93, then 3 and 2 through magnificent territory with wooded slopes racing up to steep snow capped peaks all through the southeast corner of B.C. at one point a dozen deer croosed the road in front of us and shortly afterward a dozen elk were scrambling up a steep bank into the woods. Lots of game her enad I'll bet the fishing in the Elk River is also good. We followed the Elk for many miles and just before crossing into Alberta the area has become a coal area mined by the Elk River Coal Company.
Crow's Nest Pass Continental Divide & Border of Alberta and British Columbia
With such high, beautiful mountains around us I expected that the pass into Alberta would be tortuous and difficult, but Crows Nest Pass was mild compared to most that we have taken. This is both the Continental Divide and the border between Alberta and B.C. The roads in both B.C. and Alberta have been superb, much better than their U.S. counterparts. Immediately after crossing Crows Nest we were on the Alberta Pririe with wheat farming and cattle ranching. This area seems an extension of Montana to the south, but appears more prosperous.
On the rolling praries are hundreds of huge windmills, the type that Vermont is twittering its energy debating one tenth of what Alberta has already installed. Somehow they seem to 'belong' on the prairie, more so than on the mountains. Interesting that Alberta with ample energy supplies of natural gas has chosen to move into wind, too.
We are in a somewhat barren RV park situated by a river in Fort Macleod, but the restrooms are clean, if not fancy. Quite a difference from Montana's highest rated in Polson.
Tomorrow we will be in Calgary visiting an Airedale breeder in the afternoon. Tonight's shower felt especially good after Carol whipped up a macaroni special with bison meat sauce. Yum!