What Was New: September 21, 2003

Lethbridge, Waterton Lakes, Montana, Alberta

(Gregory Melle's Web Diary / Blog)
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School is over and the next job is yet to start -- I am certainly not playing hard to get. It is time to include some of my previous careers in my job search. I have made some hotel applications and taken a provincial Food Safe course. I am also brushing up on my old first-aid skills with a new Occupational First Aid course.

I took a few days off from the job search and did a summer road trip in August. We concentrated on the dry warm and windy parts of Western Canada and USA. We camped a few days and spent a few more in motels. The number of forest fires in well-settled areas is quite amazing this year.

We did manage to see a few mountains in non-hazy places. These are at the top of Rogers Pass, BC.

View of Rogers Pass BC View of Rogers Pass BC

These shows the Columbia River mountains north south of Golden. A fire is clearly seen in the second view.

View of Bugaboo Mountains BC View of Rocky Fire

We stopped at Fairmont Hot Springs and window shopped in Invermere. One advantage of the smoky skies was that the tourist crowds were far lighter than expected in most places that we visited. We passed through Crowsnest Pass and the Blairmore Fire. We camped beside the lake in Waterton Lakes Park. Fierce winds were blowing smoke across the border from the fires in Montana's Glacier National Park.

View of Blairmore Fire View of Waterton Lakes, Prince of Wales Hotel View of Cameron Lake Alberta

The next morning Brenda was pleased to get in a morning trail ride near Mountain View. Later we drove across southern Alberta to Medicine Hat and the Cypress Hills. The second photo shows the University of Lethbridge.

View of Brenda and Spud View of Lethbridge University, Alberta

Then a quick trip across Northern Montana and Idaho. Major camera problems and smoky skies meant few photos. After returning to BC, we camped just north of Nelson, BC. The fire there deposited ash on our tent during the night.

View of Nelson Balfour Fire in BC View of Nelson Balfour Fire Smoke in BC

Writing August 19: With extensive damage north of Kamloops -- and current blazes threatening Grand Forks and Chase -- this will be a record busting year in this part of the world.


A week later: We had little idea just how flammable it was this summer. My brother -- and almost 30,000 other people -- have been evacuated from their Kelowna area homes. Almost 300 houses have in this province within the last six weeks.

It is strange how much emotional effort can be stored in our homes. Houses are built by hand, monitored with tender attention and decorated with love. They become far more than a bunch of planks, nails and paints. Even those able to return home will have many sleepless nights in the next year.

As children we learn that our personal small dwelling can catch on fire. In Vancouver we worry about earthquakes. But fires that destroy cities are something that we thought was left behind in an earlier century. This summer we learned that is not so.

September: The Kelowna fire destroyed more than 250 homes but is now well under control. Most of the evacuees are back home. It will be interesting to see the damage when I make my next visit there. As a native Vancouverite this is one of the first times that I am happy to see local rain.

Also visit my Maine and NB page.

Corrections, useful comments and interesting opinions are always welcome.
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