Avalanche Control

Sunday, January 16, 2011



Last Friday we learnt a little about road tripping in the Canadian winter. We left Calgary well before 10am, stopped at Lake Louise for a lovely bakery lunch around 11:30am and were 20km out of Golden just before 1pm. Traveling at this rate we'd be back in Revelstoke by 3pm but as we rounded a bend we came across a parking lot on the Trans-Canada. Turns out Avalanche Control were blasting about 10km east of Golden. They said the road could be closed for up to three hours so we settled down to wait. Nick fell asleep, I read a book in between walks to the loo about 500m down the road (why does the cold make me want to pee all the time?).

There were cars and trucks on the side of the highway as far as the eye could see. People taking walks or sleeping in the cars. Smokers gathering together in the cold. A lesson in patience as there was nothing we could do and no mobile phone reception. Three hours passed, then four, then five. We finally gave in and watched some 'Bored to Death' (appropriate for the situation). I'd been reluctant to watch TV and that would be giving legitimacy to the fact that we may need to stay overnight, but towards the end of the episode the trucks started moving!!

Another twenty minutes later and we were moving. A few kms ahead the road was down to one lane and they must have carted so much snow away. We decided not to stop at Golden and we continued to Revelstoke with a number of other cars and trucks. We cruised into Revelstoke at 8:30 Revelstoke time (9:30 Calgary time), 11 hours after our trip had begun. Next time we make sure our car is loaded with snacks for an impromptu roadside dalliance.

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