Back to the good stuff

Friday came and so did our time to leave Rossland. I awoke with a bit of a sore head after the previous night’s activities (they were however a little more restrained than you might think.) got my stuff together and went out to where we had left the van to start packing up. On opening the door I saw some random with a tank of something on the back of a pick up spraying the top of the van. I was suffering a little so I chose not to ask and went back inside for a cup of tea.

The van has the sort of problems that you would expect from a vehicle that’s nearly 30 years old, a couple of the windows are held in with Duct tape, it smells a bit, the heater makes a funny noise, the transmission is a bit cranky, it burns a bit more oil than it should, it’s not exactly economical and it won’t win any speed contests, etc etc. There was one other problem though that was perhaps a little more serious, the old skylight on the roof was missing and had been replaced by a bit of plastic which was held in place with some tape. Who knows when this had been done and by who, it is suffice to say though that it was no longer watertight and that travelling on the rear seat of the van required that the passenger wear a wetsuit and snorkel.

What I had witnessed was actually an act of good will by one of the hostel guests. He was working on the condos that are being built up at the hill and had offered a solution to James. His solution was to tar the roof of the van. Not a bad idea you might think, and other than having attempted to waterproof James as well it looked as though he had done a good job. We loaded up and drove out of town.

I was sat in the back facing the rear surrounded by luggage but able to spread out a bit so apart from watching everything in reverse was quite content. After a little while, say about 10 / 20 miles out of town fragments of tar started falling from the roof, I flagged this to the others but we weren’t too concerned. What little we knew, shortly the rest of the tar disappeared from the roof leaving a gaping whole which, considering it was raining needed to be fixed fast. We stopped at Castlegar where we found a Canadian Tire (A cross between a Halfords and an outdoor store of some description.). We ended up buying a clear storage container and some Duct tape (If it can’t be fixed with Duct tape you’re not using enough and all of that…) and fixing the roof up properly.

We were on our way again and once the rain cleared up we were afforded some magnificent views, particularly when during the ferry crossing. I’ve uploaded some pictures from the crossing which can be found here, they don’t really do it much justice though unfortunately.

As we approached Revelstoke and the start of Roger’s Pass and Glacier National Park sadly the sky clouded over meaning that visibility was pretty terrible. Still, sat in the back and facing out I was able to observe a couple of things, firstly, the whole pass looked as though it had seen a lot of big slides recently, there were so many deposit areas it was scary, it certainly brought home some of the warnings that Harry our avalanche awareness course instructor had given about the size of these things. Secondly, the articulated lorry drivers in this country don’t like slow vehicles they would let you know this by driving as close behind you as possible without parking on you, now, you can imagine that when you’re facing out of the back windows it’s quite scary when all you can see is the radiator grill of a very big lorry doing somewhere in the region of 60 mph. One even went as far as sounding his horn for us to get out of the way. I was somewhat relieved when Rob obliged.

Anyway, the conditions here at Kicking Horse are excellent, we’ve had 2 new dumps in the last couple of days meaning that we’ve been riding powder again which is nice. The intention is to ride again tomorrow and then to relocate to the Banff area either tomorrow night or Tuesday.


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