Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Canada - A Night to Remember...The Kootenay Pass

     OK...so we crossed the border with ease and were on our way.  British Columbia here we come!  The vistas were incredible and, believe it or not, quite varied in appearance.  Snowy mountaintops. green hillsides, fog, clear skies, ponds, lakes, rivers, dry cragged rock, etc.

Caribou!

Flowing right out of the
mountain as we drove by!



















$2, $1, $.50, $.25, $.10...no pennies
 in Canada

Plastic rainbow money...awesome
Impossible to fold though...lol
Our first adventure began as a slow gradual climb up what turned out to be the tallest year-round open pass in Canada.  It is actually often closed in bad weather for avalanche control and debris clearing.  It is known by a couple names...Salmo-Creston Pass and Kootenay Pass.  The journey to the top (5,823') of the mountain was a mixed bag.  The climb was a bit hard on the "Beast" (motor home) but the views were spectacular.  Just after reaching the apex, our brakes failed right as we were headed DOWN the other side.  There was a pull-off to our left across the road that Carl was able to stop the motor home on!  There was smoke rising up from the front end and when Carl got out to check things out, he saw the brakes were on fire and flames were shooting out from behind the tires!!!  He grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the fire out quickly.
After the shock and brief realization of what could have happened, we sat quietly feeling very grateful for being safe.
Little did we know what lay ahead!!!

Tow truck at 5,823'!!!
 With no service of any kind at nearly 6,000', we decided to take the car off the dolly, lock up the RV and crawl down the mountain at about 15 mph to try to find some civilization!  about 45 minutes later, we arrived at a small gas station/convenience store.  Carl was able to get service so he called Good Sam Roadside Assist immediately.  I ventured inside to ask questions.  A young man was kind enough to tell us about a towing service that ran 24/7 and a reputable garage less than a mile away.  Carl gave that info to Good Sam and we were told to go back up the mountain and wait by the RV for the tow truck.  Truth be told, my thought was 'You have got to be kidding'!  If you imagine that traversing this elevation in the dark as being more unnerving than in the daylight, you would be correct!  I read somewhere once that you never know how strong you can be until strong is your only option!  Also correct!  Up the mountain we went!  It was cold and dark at the summit as it was now around 10:00 pm.  The  tow truck showed up about 45 minutes after we did and it took another 45 minutes at least to get the Beast hooked up.  Carl stayed outside with the guy and I was in the car playing Scrabble on my phone and reminding myself that I know that I am always safe!
Finally, Carl and I followed the tow truck down the mountain at snail's pace and when we got to the garage, the guy lowered the RV to the ground, got in his car to go home and we got in the RV and went to sleep...right there on the lot!
The morning after....

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