Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yikes 20 Below

I landed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada this morning just shy of 10 am.  And damn it was cold, -20 below Celsius, which for the Americans reading this  is -4 Fahrenheit.  I'm glad l brought my gloves this time.  It was so cold the trunk of the rental was almost frozen shut and took a bit of finessing to get it opened.

I landed in Calgary, but l am heading to Creston, British Columbia, 6 hours away.  It's a bit of a drive but with the scenic mountains to drive through, l didn't really mind, and l wasn't disappointed.

[caption id="attachment_235" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rocky Mountains"]Heading to the Mountains[/caption]

On the road, still on the Alberta side l was flagged down by a desperate guy with crutches on the side of the road.  His leg was in a boot cast, hood of his van up, looked like he was in need of some help, so l stopped to see what l could do.

His van wouldn't start.  He had pulled over to sleep and left his head lights on and killed his battery.  He had cables sort of, which isn't saying much. The cables that he had, had alligator clips on one end, and just a circle connector on the other, like l said, sort of.  They wouldn't fit from his van to my rental car.

Two other guys stopped to help, no cables either - and of course, none in the rental l was driving.  They had been hunting and had a deer in their truck; we went over to take a look.  Not a big one, but enough to feed them for a winter. It was kind of sad, the deer had been shot in the head and had been gutted.  I guess it was better that way then being hit by a car and being in agony on the side of the road.

Between all of us, we got the van started and all went on our way.

The mountains were beautiful here, and went on and on.  There were more trees on the mountains then on the mountains down in Colorado, and more snow too.

And one point l was driving and noticed a bunch of boulders piled high on both sides of the road.  It looked like huge dump trucks had dumped load after load.  I've never seen so much loose rock, it was strange.  Then about 500 meters down the road, it was all explained to was the deadliest rock slide.


[caption id="attachment_240" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Boulders piled high"][/caption]

This is what Wikipedi had to say about the Frank Slide.

"Frank, Alberta is a coal mining town in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 90 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the east face of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometres of the valley floor. The slab of rock that broke free was approximately 650 m high, 900 m wide and 150 m thick.[1] The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2 km of the Canadian Pacific Railway, destroyed most of the coal mine's surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903; it is estimated that 90 of the roughly 100 individuals in the path of the slide were killed."


[caption id="attachment_241" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="View from the top"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_243" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Theres a hole in the top of the mountain."][/caption]

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