Walking East from Crowsnest Pass

by bart on July 22, 2013

20130722-112911.jpgCrowsnest Pass is not just a mountain pass between the BC and Alberta border. It’s also the name of the municipality on the Alberta side.

It has very interesting and diverse geography. I spent my second night in Alberta in the town of Blairmore, with a fantastic view of Crowsnest mountain (see the previous post for a photo of the mountain).

Yesterday, before leaving Blairmore I was also interviewed by the local radio station.

A few kilometers east of Blairmore is the village of Frank. Its claim to Canadian history fame is the biggest landslide in the country. It happened in 1903, and 90 of the then 600 residents were killed. The slide covered three square km of land.

Today Hwy 3 runs through the debris, as well as the railroad. I don’t know how smart that is, as it’s predicted that there may be another slide, though no one knows when or how big it could be.

I kept walking east on Hwy 3, and as I passed the village of Lundbreck, the geography changed drastically. Suddenly the terrain became flat, with not a tree in sight.

The wind was very strong, and I had to walk against it all day. The only things taller than the grass in the fields were the tall wind turbines.

In the tiny village of Cowley I learned from a woman that this is the wind capital of Canada (sometimes exceeding 100 km/hr), with frequent thunderstorms in the summer. I didn’t know these things when I chose this route.

The wind was so strong that I didn’t think I could put up my tent. Especially since there are no trees, bushes or buildings to hide behind. So I kept on walking until I reached the town of Pincher Creek.

Yesterday I walked about 45km, a new record for me. It was also the first time I heard the word ‘coulee’ used in a sentence (by the woman in Cowley).

Today I continue to head east towards Fort Macleod. It’s about 52km, but I won’t reach it today.

I don’t know where or how I will sleep tonight as there is a whole lot of nothing between Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod. It’s very much like a grassy desert. And there are thunderstorms in the forecast.

I got an extra gallon water jug, for a total of two, and decided to just walk and see what happens. On my walk so far I discovered that when I don’t worry about what will happen, and don’t plan too much, things work out fine. I trust this trend to continue.

First photo below is of the mountain slide in Frank. 2nd photo below is looking east from Hwy 3, with the rock debris from the Frank slide in the center.20130722-113027.jpg
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