A silver lining of ice Aug25


Related Posts

Share This

A silver lining of ice

The couple with whom we had shared a table in Vancouver told us that Kelowna was a beautiful destination. Now, not all recommendations we get are in line with our wants & desires, but this one was spot on. Okanagan Lake is huge and Kelowna’s artistic community is positioned right along the shores. I kinda wish we’d had another day to explore, oh well, there’s a lot more to see where we were going.


As usual, before leaving Kelowna, we plotted our day’s route. It was to be an easy 3.25 hours drive to Glacier National Park, Canada. But about 75 miles in, just past Sicamous we came upon a road sign warning us of severe traffic delays. Having no other plans to stop and sight see, we decided to queue up and wait our turn. This would leave us well positioned once traffic was allowed to travel again. We found our place in line, turned off the engine & made sandwiches. People were milling about their parked cars and the radio informed us that a severe accident had occurred and it was likely to be a couple of hours before we’d be moving. My entrepreneurial spirit kicked in as I began thinking about how much PB&J and bread we had left and what I could reasonably sell them for. The price would surely increase the longer we waited. Now, if only I could find someone willing to part with their milk – we could make a killing.

Glacier was another 3 nights of dry camping and we were feeling a lot more prepared than each time before. Food – check, bottled water – check, propane & water tanks full – check, other tanks empty – check, wine – wait whose job was it to check the wine levels. Crap, that wasn’t on the checklist.

Mission accomplished

Mission accomplished

About a 1/2 mile back I had seen a restaurant /package store. I don’t know what they call them in Canada, but liquor in flashing letters is universal. Contemplating this for about 90 seconds I decided I could walk back & fetch wine supplies. There was a road turn off just ahead of us, so we established a back up plan in case traffic started moving and then I headed off. Instead of walking ahead toward that aforementioned road, I evaluated the slope of the ditch separating the freeway from the side road and decided I could carefully make my way down & up the other side, saving me a good 10 minutes. Moments into my errand, the cars started moving so I hightailed it back to the ditch where I’d again cross to rejoin Lin. This time I wasn’t so lucky with my elevation change / slippery soles calculation and thump I landed on my bootie and slid to the base of the ditch. Snafu and all I managed to rejoin Lin before it was our turn to pull forward…about 6 car lengths. Turns out that a few cars had left the line and the remaining cars were just shifting into their new positions. This time I waited a good 5 minutes before deciding that I could make better use of my time by biking to the flashing lights. And so I did, returning with ample supplies for at least 5 days.

Finally moving again and now on Route 1, Lin was at the wheel and chanting wilderness, wilderness. Feeling parched, I made a routine walk to the fridge to fetch a soda. A trail of spooge was running across the floor from under the cabinet to the fridge. Odd, because I’d been past that exact spot just minutes before and no slimy ick was present. A quick sniff proved it wasn’t harmful & Lin could continue rolling on down the highway. But, what was this mess, which smelled of citrus, no wait, that’s not right, but then what is it? What is was, was too big a mess to clean while bouncing down the freeway.

Traffic congestion continued and continued and it was several hours more before we landed at Glacier National Park. The ranger informed us that we got to pick our site and then return to fill out paperwork. It was then we learned that we were required to purchase a $120 Canadian Park pass. Ouch. Well, at least it’s good for a year.

IMG_1178 IMG_2140

After using every block we had to get nearly level, Lin had already been bitten about a dozen times by mosquitoes. Her wilderness chant now had a second verse “the place where I’ll offer myself as mosquito food.” Meanwhile, I was able to investigate the mess on the floor in hopes of discovering its origin. Turns out, a bottle of basil dish soap had tipped over under the sink and oozed underneath the cabinets and across the floor. There I was on my hands and knees cleaning up handfuls of slime from under the garbage and beneath the bottom drawer when I turned my head sideways and gazed out the door to see a glacier perfectly framed by the trees. Wow, what a change in perspective.


From the midst of mess there was a silver lining, and this one was covered in white glaciers and surrounded by cedar & hemlock trees. When I finished mopping up the mess I stood in the doorway to get an upright view of the glacier, and it was nowhere to be seen. I guess the clouds had parted just long enough for me to catch a glimpse in the midst of my Cinderella chores.

The next day was drizzly & burr chilly, but we were determined to get a closer look at those glaciers. Now I’ll admit I didn’t really know exactly what a glacier looked like, but I sort of envisioned an icy blue hue covering the entire mountain. Maybe that was the case 1,000 years ago or just something I’d seen in an Acme cartoon.

glacier glacier small

Maybe this is still possible in Antarctica

We learned that in the mid 1880’s the Canadian Railroad established rail service to this area and thus brought with it tourism, the establishment of Glacier National Park and the construction of a popular alpine hotel. Not too long into our hike through the mud and damp wet conditions we passed the remains of the hotel’s foundation along with a few signs describing the events of the time. We didn’t poke around long as our sights were set on higher ground.


Up, up, up we went chasing the best view of the glacier. Although it wasn’t the big blue glob of frozen ice I had imagined, it was another first to add to the list and another magical moment on this magical journey.




That's it, the best view of the glacier!

That’s it, the best view of the glacier!