Bill, Mary Ellen & Bowie - Newfoundland 2018 travel blog

Smoky drive through the Icefields parkway

Orange sun for the 8th straight day

August 23rd

It would normally have been a beautiful drive along the icefields parkway but there is so much smoke in the air you can only see the outline of the mountains that are close by and you can’t see anything in the distance. We stopped at the Columbia Glacier information center and looked towards the glacier itself which I saw when I was 15 years old when my parents Greg and I drove across Canada. We actually took the snow cat from what is now a parking lot over the glacier. It has receded so much since then it is shocking. Now you can drive where the glacier was and the glacial deposits are like mounds of gravel dumped at random. From here we head south to the turn off near Lake Louise and head west on hwy 1 to Revelstoke. The smoke is only getting worse and we see a helicopter through the smoke haze with a water bucket drop down into a lake beside the highway and pick up water. Just east of Revelstoke there are firefighters along the side of the highway and up into the surrounding hill sides looking for hot spots and fire. There are signs posted that this is an active fire area and to keep moving. It is distressing to be crossing back into our home province and see how bad it is up close and to breathe the very smoky air first hand. We chose a small campground called Blanket Creek on the hwy to Shelter Bay. The road into the campground is several kms long and as we descend down to the creek it is a bit surprising but the air gets a bit clearer. The smoke is not nearly as bad the lower we go. We are again reminded of being back in BC where the campgrounds are very well laid out and sites are large and clean with great big cedar tables. The other surprising thing is we are back into thick mosquitoes at this site and once again we are covered in bites on our legs especially. As we sit out in the early evening the cotton fluff from the birch trees falls like snow.

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