Our second day on our Moose tour saw us doing a lot of driving through a lot of mountains. We stopped at four sights along the way — some historical, some natural, and some just downright awe-inspiring (picture me standing on a rock overlooking an ice blue river with my jaw dropped).
Our first stop of the day was at a place that holds a very important role in our country’s history: Craigellachie, BC, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. As we were taking pictures a CP freight train passed the station, acting as a reminder of why we were there. Considering I had just gotten off a cross-country train only a few days prior, this stop meant a lot to me. It not only reaffirmed the importance of our national rail system, but our visit in a way acted as a pilgrimage to honour the many men who had gone through numerous months of hardship and tough labour just for the benefit of this country.
After Craigellachie we continued our route through the mountains of BC, stopping to pay homage to some very old trees. Located in Mt. Revelstoke National Park, the Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail is a half kilometre trek through an old growth forest. Apparently some of the trees have grown here for five hundred years. This forest can put you in your place, reminding you of just how small you really are.
We carried on our drive deeper into the Selkirk Mountains, passing through both Rogers Pass and Kicking Horse Pass. There was a few avalanche tunnels that we drove through along the way, reminding us of how dangerous the road conditions can be in winter. We made another stop at Emerald Lake (the view was amazing and we had the whole place to ourselves) before we continued on to see the natural bridge in Yoho National Park. This was where my jaw dropped. The view and the river were very humbling.
I don’t know why but for some reason my favourite constellation has always been Cassiopeia. It can be hard to see at home in Toronto, but I used to always look for her when I was camping in Algonquin Park during our summers up north. I was standing on a bridge overlooking the river and happened to look to my left, where I saw some of my tour mates taking pictures in front of the river. The way they were positioned reminded me of Cassie (yes, I have a nickname for the constellation), so I snuck in a shot when they weren’t looking. I love this picture. I didn’t even have to try for it, they helped me without even realizing what they were doing.
Our day was coming to an end but was capped off by an elk sighting. There was a whole herd by the side of the road with a lone male keeping watch. We couldn’t get too close though because it’s mating season and the males are a bit rambunctious. Our final destination for the evening was Banff, where we got settled into our hostels and rested for the big day that was to follow.
P.S. I took some videos from the van to try to share with you what it was like to drive through the mountains. They’re not the best quality and may look a bit shaky at times, but I’m hoping they’ll give you some sort of idea. The first video has some commentary from our guide, John, and the second video shows us going over a bridge in Kicking Horse Pass. Enjoy, but you may want to turn your volume down a tad.