Whistler, BC, Canada
23.09.2011 - 23.09.2011 25 °C
The night at Emerald Lake was enjoyable. We had dinner in the restaurant with the view to the lake until the sun disappeared. On our return from dinner, I took the opportunity to light the fireplace. As you would know, we don’t have much call for fireplaces in Queensland. However, we lit the fire and before we knew it the room was full of smoke and the smoke alarm went off. Ross was madly fanning the detector and I was screaming at him to shut the door as I was sure that that was the problem. After a short time, there were footsteps running to the room above us then a knock at our door. “Fire Department” was the call. Apparently the whole four rooms in our block would have had the alarm go of at 9.45pm. Whoops!! Anyway he was a lovely young fireman from the Gold Coast and he helped us get rid of the smoke in our room so we didn’t suffocate. No one said to open the flue to put some warm air up it!!
We woke a little later than expected but with no heater on, we slept sooooo much better. Once we checked out we headed off. Of course we had to be ferried back to the car to the overnight parking area. We did a quick check at Field and then headed west. Today was to be a non-stop trip. We left the pine forests of Yoho National Park at around 9.30am. We finally exited Kicking Horse Pass and found some flatter driving. Those mountain engineers need medals for the roads they create. We continued through Glacier NP and Revelstone NP, both worth looking at more closely but we didn’t have time. We eventually passed a section of lake area, one spot showing the floating log technique. We followed this lake for many kilometres and saw that water sports and river boats were a big attraction .
It was interesting to see that as our drive took us towards Kamloops, the more arid the landscape became. We were meant to stay at Kamloops but thought we would try to make Whistler. Buying fuel is a challenge. You have to pre-purchase it so when I went in at Kamloops Husky, not really knowing how much I would need, I took the option of $50 on the cc. Of course that didn’t fill “the tank” so I paid the first amount and then told the woman I needed more. Gee I was pleased we were not stopping there as she was not at all sympathetic to my case. When in Banff the young boy just took my licence as a security. We bought coffee at Tim Horton’s and the young girl asked if we wanted the sweetened or unsweetened latte? Alleluia, now we know why the coffee has been so sweet.
Now on the other side of Kamloops heading west, the land is dry, bare, rocky and arid. However there was a lake and at one point a golf course. Unbelievable! This landscape continues but instead of golf courses, farms appear. It is quite remarkable and reminiscent of the Okanagan Valley.
We eventually had to turn and head south. Now this was an extreme. The roadway north of Lillooet was unbelievable. The Frazer River from the north has carved a canyon. This canyon was mostly bare, deep and rugged. Farms hung off some flanks. As you near Lilloet, the road continues its tight curves and steep descent. The other side of the township shows little change except that you begin to climb. Those windy roads are not what you call fun… and the speed limit is annoying!!
After a slow and methodical trip we rolled into Whistler at 6.30pm BC time and it was raining (10 hours travel). We had done what they said could not be done and that was to drive from Emerald Lodge to Whistler in a day. We checked into Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The young guy accepted that I had seen quotes on the net and honoured those prices. We do have to pay$30 per day to park the tank as there is limited parking in Whistler. Breakfast is complimentary. It has been raining here for the last few days so we hope we can bring some sunshine to this area of the mountains. Whistler looks like a very interesting and modern place to be. We had dinner at a bistro close to the hotel and it was great.
It was interesting to note that our journey started in the pine forests of Yoho, travelling across desert and then reaching pine forest again. What a diverse and fascinating country this is!!