"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle
Saturday, August 20th, 2010. The second day of our journey took us along the Yellowhead Highway through the Rocky Mountains. Again, a route we’ve travelled many, many times through all seasons and all weathers, and again, as in my previous post, a familiar route made new by the smoke from B.C.’s wildfires.
The familiar rocky, snow-capped peaks were completely hidden, as they are when the clouds are low and rain or snow is falling. But unlike these familiar phenomena, there was no variation in the density. Clouds are more whimsical, allowing the occasional peek through them; drifting, changing, forming and dissolving.
The smoke was not like that. It was an even mass, turning the forests into pop-up books, every draw between the trees creating the space between the seemingly two-dimensional stands of forest. The effect was of driving through a fake landscape of a rather poorly rendered computer game with manufactured perspective.
We saw several dauntless bike riders, although probably not as many as might have been. I can’t imagine what breathing must have been like. I can’t imagine having the breath or the legs to climb the long, long hills as it is, doing it through the smoke must have been much like smoking a pack of cigarettes at the same time.
Sometimes you’ll see Bighorn Sheep on this corner, especially in the winter, having made their way down the steep and rocky toes of the mountain to lick the salt from the road. We saw very little mammal-life this day. I wonder how they coped with the smoke.
This is Moose Lake on the west side of the Alberta-B.C. border. It looks like an ocean here, but there are mountains in the distance.
I took all of these through a not-so-perfectly clean windshield; luckily I could focus through it. It was frustrating not to have the time to stop and take real advantage of this intriguing effect. I did very little post processing on these – rendering them from the raw and cropping in Picassa, which is what I use to organize my pictures. I will go back to some of them when I have some time, but for now, I just want to record the journey here. In my next post I’ll continue down Highway 5 as we make our way through Kamloops and to Sicamous – our destination.