The Avery-Yates’s went over the mountain

Haven’t posted for a few days because we have been concentrating on driving—both on covering ground and on managing 7% descents with crazy corners and very fast-moving traffic. Ken bites his non-existent fingernails a bit while I am driving, but confessed he was more confident in my mountain-navligation by the 2nd day. I guess before that, he was worried that I would drive off a cliff or into a rock cut—two readily available options for death In this particular neck of the woods. We set off from Calgary with a good plan to take the Trans-Canada, somewhat thwarted by an almost immediate detour around Golden that took us 45 minutes to the south. Once we entered the Kootenays, we decided to stay there and travel to Vancouver Island through the Okanagan. We left the Atlantic watershed behind and flowed west with the rivers.

The Kootenays near Cranbrook are spectacularly green, very coniferous and lush. I think we’re still in Banff in the photo below, but the idea is there.

Camped at a lovely spot south of Cranbrook. It was a Friday night and the park was full of children—first time that has happened since we started out. Little boys speeding by on bikes, brothers telling little sisters to come and see the octopus they found, fellow t@g trailer campers eager to compare rigs. Nestled snug as bugs with these trees to shelter us.

Next day, we moved into desert.

I don’t think I have ever seen this area before—and the little microclimates that make orchards and vineyards possible seem like odd oases in barren ranch land. Got the chance to see lovely niece Amanda (my side of the family, finally) who showed us around the hot spots of Kelowna, including dinner at a great Thai restaurant and a tour of the brewery district before she headed to a twelve-hour shift at the local hospital.

Here she is at her great little place, where we camped on the street Griswold-style. No big deal in Kelowna, where living rooms are furnished with bicycles and everyone’s car has a kayak on top.

And the next day, after stocking up on apples and peaches, back into lush greenery as we headed toward Vancouver.

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