22 November 2010

From Waterton National Park to Frank Slide to Kaslo.

Waterton National Park - Frank Slide - Kaslo


The time has come to leave Waterton National Park. It is truly a spectacular place. Next time you are in Southern Alberta, make a point to visit, you will not be disappointed.

                                       View Waterton National Park to Frank Slide to Kaslo in a larger map

Frank Slide

We head out and set our sites on the town of Frank where Canada's most deadly slide happened "Frank Slide". "The town of Frank is in Southern Alberta on #3 highway about 24km from the British Columbia border.

In 1903 part of the village of Frank was covered by a rock slide.

Don't miss the Interpretive Centre, it is very interesting and so is the view from up there.

The Frank Slide happened at 4:10 in the morning on the 29th of April 1903. The side of Turtle Mountain let go and 82 million tonnes of limestone came down. At least 70-90 people perished.

Liz at the interpretive Centre

Frank Slide in 1903
The size of the Frank Slide is immense;  500 ft (150 m) deep, 1,400 ft (425 m) high and 3280 ft (1000 m) wide. The slide was like and avalanche of rocks and  took under 100 seconds, covering an area of 1.2 square miles or 3 square kilometers.

Frank Slide covering an area of 3 square kilometers
The cause of the slide was probably a combination of things. Turtle Mountain's unstable structure, the coal mining that was going on in the mountain, and the severe weather conditions.

Anders looks with amazement at Frank Slide
Turtle Mountain is still not very stable and is monitored for what more then likely will be another slide. It almost gives you an uncomfortable feeling. Liz's words, "get me out of here". You should not miss this part of Canadian History, it is really worth seeing.

Like in many disasters there are some miracles, and the Frank Slide also had a few, like the 17 coal miners managing to dig themselves out 14 hours after the slide, was one of them. For lots more information check out the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre website.

Liz said: "Get me out of here"

Crowsnest Pass

We get back in the truck and head west toward the Crowsnest pass and the British Columbia border beyond. Wonderful country to drive through. The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has lots to offer and is like a mini recreation capital of South Western Alberta. Here we fuel up and give everything a good check up.

Searching the web where the name Crowsnest came from, I have not found a direct answer. It looks like it did come from the Crow First Nations. One story is that the Crow Natives had been steeling some horses from the Blackfoot First Nation. The Crow were hiding out in the pass (nest) and the Blackfoot found them in their nest or hiding spot and massacred them.

We are back in British Columbia, just outside Sparwood.

The Kootenay First Nation or the Ktunaxa name for the pass is "Yakyaqanqat" or "way through the mountains". They used the route long before the Europeans came, it was their way across the mountains to hunt buffalo or bison on the plains.

Some people think the name actually originated because of all the crows that are nesting in the trees in the region. Not sure if we ever will find out.

Sparwood, BC.

Next stop is Sparwood, in British Columbia. Sparwood is a small coal mining town that is going through a transition from a wealthy mining community to a community mix of retirement, recreation and tourism. Sparwood just like Crowsnest is recreation mecca.


Wow, that's a big truck. Makes my Dodge Ram look pretty small.

Sure would love to drive one ....

Sparwood has lots of attractions, like the largest truck in the world...... Liz sure got excited checking it out :)

Liz, just so excited, yeah sure.....
For more information on Sparwood, check out the "District of Sparwood" website.

Creston

It was time for some serious driving. Driving through some incredible country, we wish we could stop at every town and city but we do have a deadline.... sort of.  We drive through Fernie, following number 3 Highway into Cranbrook and finally we pull into Creston.
On the way to Creston, BC

We camped at Pair-A-Dice RV Park & Campground. We get a great pull-through site with full hook up. This campground is top notch, everything is clean and tidy. Liz put up a couple of loads of laundry, cleanest laundry room around. Would definitely stay here again.

Creston and the surrounding Creston Valley, 1740 ft above sea level, is such a beautiful and quaint place. This little town of 5000 people is right in the heart of the Kootenays, surrounded by the majestic Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges. To the south is the USA and Idaho and to the north is the southern part of Kootenay Lake.
Creston Valley

Picking up some farm fresh eggs

Farming is a big part in the Creston Valley and more then 25,000 acres or 101 square kilometers have been reclaimed and protected by dykes. We only think that the Netherlands have dykes.... not so. But then again, 27% of the Netherlands are below sea level with one point being 23 ft below sea level.... Did someone say the sea levels were rising?

We took a small tour around the valley, picked up some farm fresh eggs and some fresh bread and we were set for the evening.

Kaslo

The following morning we got off to a late start, but we had lots of time. Our target this time was a campground just north of Kaslo, on the west side of Kootneay Lake

                                                                        View Creston to Kaslo in a larger map

We loved the scenic drive north along Kootneay Lake even in the rain. The ferry ride across the Kootenay Lake from Kootenay Bay to Balfour is free and very scenic. Once across the lake we continued north along the west-side of the lake. The road on both sides of the lake is in good condition but it is not a road to break speed records on. It winds along the lake: take it slow and enjoy the scenery.

The Purcell Mountains are hiding on the other side of Kootenay Lake

Kootenay Lake
Our end destination for the day was Schroeder Creek Resort just north of Kaslo. This part of the road is really windy, we are driving slow and Liz had white knuckles looking over the edges down to the water.

Arriving in Kaslo

Schroeder Creek Resort, north of Kaslo on Highway 31

Anders checking out the boats in the marina

We arrived just after lunch at Schroder Creek Resort and got a site with full hook up. This resort has a lot of people that come here year after year. Fishing and happy hour must be popular. Some visitors even have decks built around their trailers. The resort also has a marina.

We have of course pictures in our Picasa Webalbum, you can scroll through the pictures or watch the slide show.

Next blog, is "Kaslo to Vernon"

Cheers,

Liz and Anders

1 comment: