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Willie-O BS: Crossing Canada: car or train? (78* d) RE: BS: Crossing Canada: car or train? 10 Aug 11

There is a tendency to drive all night across the prairies, and it's not such a bad idea. Get a bunch of Ian Tyson CD's for this part of the drive, regardless of what time of day. Last time I did it I spent the night driving in the August meteor shower listening to "18 Inches of Rain" twice over...a truly western experience.

Consider the southern route in southeastern BC, through the Kootenays and NElson, then across to Alberta via the Crows Nest Pass (which is less steep than the main Trans-Canada route farther north--less prone to early snow, although the same can't be said for the Kootenay Pass between Nelson and Creston. You can take the Kootenay Lake ferry route and avoid the pass if you'd rather.) If you go this way, at the ALberta-BC border you will see lots of info about the Frank Slide which buried the town of the same name a century ago. If you keep your eyes open, you will find the turnoff to the Hillcrest Mine Cemetery, a few kms east of the Frank Slide displays--this is where the victims of the Hillcrest Mine disaster, commemorated in James Keelaghan's song, are buried. Well worth a thoughtful hour or two side trip (just a few minutes drive from the highway) and not all touristed up.

The mountains, needless to say, are best driven in daylight :)

One bonus of October is motels are post-peak season cheaper.

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