This is gonna be hard as I've left behind my journal at Heather and Steve's in North Shuswap Lake!!!
I was totally fed up with trying to access WIFI at Tim's and also the Lakeview in Brooks so wasn't able to make contact with Kerry K but then maybe I had the wrong day also!!! Anyways I proceeded for Strathmore to meet up with Carol M from High River from the CdnQuiltSwappers online group and had a lovely lunch at the Roadhouse Restaurant, then stopped into the Red Carrot Gift Shop and found some lovely wooden Christmas ornaments for myself and for gifts. She's invited me for an overnight on the way back if it works out - will have to see. So on the road to Canmore for that awesome quilt shop everyone raves about.
Now it's been some dreary weather - varying from drizzle to downpours but not bad enough that the wipers did not do their job and I'd have to pull over. Thank goodness!
So I arrive in Canmore about 4:45ish and make a mad cell phone call to the shop I thought I was to visit only to find out I had reached Camrose (wrong shop and wrong town - dang)! Oh well guess onto Banff for the evening for a soak in the hot springs and supper! All I can say is the mountains even in the rain are just BEAUTIFUL!!! The hot springs were very enjoyable and helped relieve my tension and then I found a reasonable priced hotel for the night as I did not want to travel anymore. I checked with the clerk for a supper spot and then went for a walk down Banff Ave to the downtown and around the block and back up to my restaurant. Saltliks' gourmet burger (won 1st place in Burger Wars) was just awesome and the couple of ceasars finished off the relaxation part before heading back to my hotel. HMMM it's not that late just after 10:00 but not a soul on the streets - weird!!!
The next morning at breakie other guests from Lethbridge area confirmed there was a quilt shop in Canmore so I promptly checked out and backtracked the 32 km and had an AWESOME time in Sugar Pine Quilt Shop - doing a good number on my holiday account!!! Now I've got to scale back some for the upcoming shops! Then I got back on the hwy to Banff and picked up some lunch at Safeway AND a cinnamon brown sugar pastry at Beaver Tails (two of them here) for dessert before heading further west.
Traveled through Revelstoke no problem at all this time - hwys are a dream compared to my last trip 20 some years ago. Now I'm not sure the sequence as I've misplaced my notes, but the scenery is just spectacular! Kicking Horse Pass and that huge spanned bridge is just unbelievable across the gorge/valley from my vantage point at the rest stop chowing down an apple. Then I came across a whole bunch of people at another "point of interest" so I pulled over and asked what gives - "A train is coming!" Yeah so? Then I saw it way down below us and heard the comments about winding around and going through tunnels etc on it's way up and through the mountains. HUH??? Sure enough there came the engine out of the tunnel above the latter part of the train still going past us below. Then here comes the engine on a level above the tail end of the train - that's one long one!!! Spiral Tunnels - another wonder of the world - gotta google that when I get home for my scrapbook. I don't remember that from my first trip west!!!
So back on the road and I pull into Salmon Arm - what a beautiful place too! The first grocery store I stop at is the one my nephew if CEO of the chain of stores in the area (talk about flukie) but he's not there so I stopped at the Brew Pub for fish and chips before continuing to Heather & Steve's on the North Shuswap Lake. It seemed like forever to get out there , see I had to drive to the end, around and then all the way back up just about across from where I started from, but I can tell you I understand now why they travel the 14 hours to get there from Medicine Hat!!! It is just beautiful and so peaceful - the lake is beautiful surrounded by rolling hills - where did the mountains go to??? Heather wanted me to stay longer but I truly want to make Nanaimo so after a leisurely morning on their deck, I packed up and headed back to Salmon Arm and this time got to have lunch with Dean before continuing for Kelowna. AND I found out why Banff streets were deserted so early - see that have been bear and cougar sitings in town lately! Guess that was why the desk clerk said I should drive instead of walking! Oh boy - I was OK even if stupid!!!
I stopped into a few more quilt shops enroute but it was easy to restrict myself and one store I had a hard time finding something to buy - maybe I shouldn't have but I felt guilty as they let me take a couple of pictures. When I did get to Kelowna I tried to contact Cheryl B but she was not home - maybe on the way back. So onto the road again and about 7:30ish arrived in Summerland for a visit with Brandy M and her family. WOW relaxing on her deck with the lake right there is just awesome! OH and today was shorts day with lots of sunshine!!!
OK off to bed and another day tomorrow - it's like 11:30 pm here and not the 2:00 am as my computer clock says. Not sure if I'll head straight for Vancouver or stop in Maple Ridge first. Will figure that out tomorrow while driving!