12/8/13 – Revelstoke, BC

After many miles traveled, M, Moose and I have made it to Revelstoke, British Columbia, which is in Canada for those of you who may not recognize the name.  We left Frisco on Friday and drove to Billings, Montana which is a surprisingly big place, but more on that in a bit.  For those who have never driven up I-25 very far, let me be the first to tell you that the word barren doesn’t even come close to describing how empty the country-side is along that particular route.  A colleague of M’s told her it would be beautiful with “all the rolling hills.”  The problem with rolling hills is that they all look the same, and they look even more the same with a nice coating of snow.  Driving 500 or so miles through rolling hills covered with snow is like driving on a treadmill.  You feel like you are sitting still and the landscape outside the car is moving as opposed to the other way around.  I could go on about how boring it was but that would make this email much like our trip to Billings.

As I mentioned above, Billings has quite a lot going on.  I am not sure of the population, but we were surprised by the amount of traffic and the sprawl of the area.  I think this is mainly due to our apparently misguided belief that only 7 people live in Montana. 

We stayed at a Residence Inn that completely spoiled us.  Our room was spacious, clean and very modern with at least a 42 inch flat screen television.  It also came with a full-sized fridge, stove top, microwave and various other nice amenities.  Moose found the couch in the room to his liking, but he enjoyed the bed even more, thus ensuring a battle for which one of us got to sleep on the bed.  After much growling and snarling, I prevailed.  For those of you who haven’t heard me growl it is quite impressive.

Saturday we drove through the coldest weather I have ever known.  At one point the thermometer read -32 degrees F.  The warmest temp we saw all day was -16 give or take a degree.  We managed to muddle through the cold and made our way to Okotoks, Alberta, which is just off the A-2 outside of Calgary.  Okotoks is a sneaky town.  If one were to just continue on the main road toward Calgary, which is basically just MORE rolling hills, one would never know Okotoks existed.  We turned off the main highway we had been travelling on for many miles and headed deeper into the rolling hills.  At the crest of one hill we came upon Okotoks all brightly lit and looking rather like suburbia that one would see around Denver.  Every modern convenience is available and in fact one could be spoiled for choice as to restaurants, banks, groceries, car dealerships and whatever else one might need.  Except for nice places to stay that accept dogs.  I forgot the name of the place we stayed already, so clearly it made an impression.  The pictures on the internet made the rooms look spacious and modern.  Of course we all know that everything on the internet is true!  Our room was about 15 feet long by 8 feet wide with at least 17 walls.  We longed for another night back at the Residence Inn.  “Free” breakfast though, so the place had that going for it, “which is nice.” (nod to Caddy Shack)((that is a movie)).

Fortunately we awoke to a warm (+6!!) day as we readied to make the last leg of our journey.  My brilliant driver had planned well so that this last driving day would be our shortest.  In stark contrast to the beginning of our trip, the scenery changed from forgettable and boring, to unforgettable and exciting.  I woke from my nap in the car and as if from nowhere, huge mountains swept up from the valley floor forming massive, snow-covered granite monoliths and spires.  There were tightly packed evergreens flowing up the flanks of the mountains, providing a nice green contrast to the white snow and gray rock.  Being a proper tourist I now have too many pictures of mountains in my phone.  It is hard not to transform into John Fielder, at least in my own mind, when around every corner is a vista more beautiful than the last. 

After much wonderful scenery we arrived at Dr. Lennon’s house in Revelstoke, and I do not exaggerate when I say it must be the nicest house in the neighborhood.  We could have invited all our friends and still had plenty of elbow room.  There is even a large deck for Moose. 

I have to end this portion of the blog now, but I will report again after we have explored the area a bit.  Please email back with questions and other blog topic ideas.