Mountain Passes, No Problem

Today was a drive through the mountainous terrain of the Canadian Rockies, with some spectacular vistas, pity about the rain, which degraded the scenery


Temp – 15 to 17C

Weather – Rain

Clox – moved ahead 1 hour, to Z-6 (MDST)

Distance today – 248 miles

Total distance- 509 miles


We left Viewpoint RV Park shortly after 09:00 and turned right onto the Trans-Canada Hwy # 1. Today was an easy one for Judi, the Ace Navigator, as we stayed on Hwy #1 to the Banff exit, which was only about 2 mls from the campground.

Departing Viewpoint RV Park

The day started about 08:00 with Judi having breakfast and Andy getting packed up, slides in and the coach disconnected from the services. Then the fun begins – how to get this semi size rig out of the site, through the campground and onto the highway. First Andy backs the truck through the low branches of the tree ahead to get connected to the coach, then back up about 100’. This allows some room to pull over to the right of the site, to miss the wall to the left and give the proper angle to squeeze between the adjacent motorhome and a tree. Success, we missed the wall by a foot (better than last time), the motorhome by about a foot and inches from the tree branches. Great start to the day.

The Detailed Voyage to Banff

Departing the campground it is about 145 degree turn, so we need to have both lanes clear to make the turn, fortunately only a short wait. Once underway it almost felt like we were floating, probably due to change in pin weight with some water in the black and grey tanks. Played around with the air bag pressure and finally found a sweet spot between 40 and 45 psi.

It started out being a beautiful day, with clear skies and temperature in the low teens. Going up the hill in Salmon Arm we noted the overnight rain had cleared out the pollution of yesterday, as we now had a spectacular view up Shuswap Lake. That’s the photograph I hoped for last night, but on a 6% incline and nowhere to pull over, another lost Kodak moment.

On clearing Salmon Arm we followed along Shuswap Lake heading towards Revelstoke. Again, very picturesque, but the Eastbound lane had nowhere to stop for photographs. They had stops on the other side, but with heavy traffic both directions it would have been a challenge getting back on the road.

The first stop was just after Revelstoke where we stopped in a layby along the Illecillewaet River. Bad timing as the previous light rain changed to a downpour when Andy was walking the dogs. Fortunately, Judi had popped the kettle on and made a nice hot cup of tea, so being a tad wet was but a minor inconvenience. Shortly after getting back on the road, we passed another Redwood, wow that is the 4th in about 2 yrs, not bad considering they have only manufactured about 3,000 so far.

It is a long slog between Revelstoke and Golden, up and down a couple of mountains. The scenery looked spectacular, even diminished in the almost constant rain, which was heavy at times. A couple of miles outside Golden we stopped in a layby for lunch. Judi made some sandwiches while Andy again got wet taking the dogs for a walk.

After Golden you have a steep climb out of town, initially on a new 4-lane road, but that quickly regressed to the existing 2-lane road hanging off the side of a cliff. Andy saw a semi ahead and figured if the semi can make it, so can we. For the next 10 mls it was slow going, with tight turns and minimal clearance, but we made it. Andy was glad we stopped just prior to this section, so he was fresh. The remainder of the drive to Banff was uneventful.

Took the first exit for Banff and had to go through the town, just prior to 14:00 on a Saturday. Needless to say, the roads were busy and people everywhere. We navigated safely through town without incident or delay, arriving at the campground almost exactly at our planned ETA of 14:00.

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