Waking up unexpectedly in Cranbrook was much better than I could have predicted.
I got one of those cheesy tourist guidebooks for Canada. This was mostly to be sure to have some “sure thing” restaurant choices along the way.
My guide book describes Cranbrook as an “uninspiring” service town. But our breakfast at the Best Western was delicious! The blackout curtains did just that. And we set off bright and early to complete our winding mountain road journey.
Most scary moment: passing the hull of a burnt out car on a hairpin turn.
We made it through the West Kootneys and into the South Okanagan Valley in time for dinner.
It was 36 degrees, dry, and sunny. We spent most of the rest of the daylight hours (and then some) in my cousin’s pool in Osoyoos.
And even though I could only see them from the wrong side, I could definitely tell that those were “my” mountains on the horizon.
It was the perfect antidote to an extra day in the car.
The best laid plans often leave you stuck in the Rockies. No? Well maybe it’s just me.
We left Calgary bright and early and headed down The Cowboy Trail. There are just two highways that connect Alberta and British Columbia. We chose the older, southern route.
We crossed the Alberta-British-Columbia border and stopped to see an old coal mine and eat lunch.
The next stop in the East Kootneys was to see the Titan (a giant mining truck) in Sparwood.
We headed back to the highway and about 15 minutes out of town there was an accident. It was only 600 m ahead of us. But sadly, there was a fatality and the police closed the highway for several hours to do an assessment.
There is only one detour for this route: backtrack 10 hours through Banff. The highway ahead wasn’t expected to reopen for 3 hours.
Unfortunately that meant that we couldn’t get through the mountains during daylight hours. And the roads are treacherous, winding, single lanes that make it feel like you are driving off the edge of the world.
So we decided to stop half-way and book a hotel in Cranbrook. We tried to upgrade to a suite, but in the time we waffled, they all sold out. Doh! Seems we weren’t the only ones thinking about safety first.
So we didn’t get to Osoyoos that night as planned, but we were still very lucky so I can’t complain too much.