I decided to delay my trip to Western Europe and do some travelling in Western Canada to make my North America trip a coast to coast journey.
My first stop was Vancouver and I drove there from Calgary in a single day, but I did manage to take a few pictures along the way.
This first picture below is somewhat special to me. It is the first close up view I had of the Rocky Mountains since my long trip out east and I sure was glad to see them.
The following is Cascade Mountain as seen from the Trans-Canada Highway as one passes by Canmore. Anyone who's been to Banff before has seen Cascade Mountain, but the early morning lighting and the interesting cloud hanging around Mount Rundle on the left is not something you don't see very often. This cloud was quite interesting in that it made Banff dark and gloomy, yet the Trans-Canada Highway passing to the north of the town was bright and sunny.
I took a short break from driving at the Spiral Tunnels.
They are located just a short distance west of Lake Louis.
If you never saw them before you must stop here for a visit some time. The tunnels inside the mountains are used to reduce the grade for the trains. What makes them interesting is that the trains usually cross over/under themselves on their way out of the tunnels due to their length relative to that of the tunnels. This is really interesting to see and I did have a chance to see one train going through the tunnels when I stopped, however I didn't have a chance to take any good pictures that really show what is going on. The photo below should give you an idea of what goes on.
On the highway around Rogers Pass (half between Golden and Revelstoke) you see several tunnels like that below. These structures reduce the impact that avalanches have on the highway in the winter months (ie the snow just slides down over top of these things, at least that's the theory).
The following is just a shot of one of the Glaciers to the south of Rogers Pass.
As you approach Kamloops, the landscape changes from the rugged Rocky Mountains to this almost desert like terrain.
The drive from Calgary to Vancouver was mostly uneventful (just the odd tourist in a rental vehicle blowing by you like a bat out of hell), but after I passed Hope all that changed. Shortly after Hope the traffic slowed to a snails pace. The first traffic disruption was due to folks rubber necking the fire in this semi.
Once I got passed the semi fire, traffic returned to normal, at least until just past Abbotsford. After Abbotsford the traffic slowed right down to basically a stand still due to a problem with a truck on the bridge crossing the Fraser River many kilometers away. After sitting in that traffic for over an hour and getting almost no where I found an exit and took a detour down around the airport. It was definitely the long way into Vancouver, but according to the traffic reports on the radio it was clearly the quickest way. This all set the tone for my entire time in Vancouver as far as traffic was concerned. It seemed like I was always waiting somewhere in traffic in Vancouver.