Across Canada in a farmhouse: Banff to Revelstoke

For us, the mountains have meant some lovely sightseeing in Banff and a somewhat strenuous tractor drive up the mountain to see Lake Louise. Molly truly was awed at the scenery, particularly Lake Louise. If you’ve not seen it, it is a travel destination that I can recommend without hesitation. It truly is spectacular. And with that high note, our time in Alberta came to a close.

Soon after crossing the British Columbia border (which was met with much excitement, as it is our final province), we came upon the town of Field. Within the confines of Yoho National Park, Field looks as though it consists only of a "welcome" centre and a gas station. But, as we try to do with many towns along our seven-month drive, we drove off the highway to see more. And was there more!

In town on a Saturday morning, we were primarily hunting for coffee when we pulled up to the small town’s new Farmers’ Market. Greeted with excitement and a hug, we were immediately made to feel welcome by the organizers and patrons alike.

The Field Farmers’ Market was operated this summer on a part-time, experimental basis. Led by an enterprising guy named Dave Kyte, who trailers in fresh produce, cheese, and other goodies from the Okanagan Valley, this experiment has been a smashing success and is slated to take place every Saturday next summer.

The market was already advertising organic turkeys for Thanksgiving. With their market incredibly popular in the town of about 3,000, organizers are already looking to expand to a weekly format.

The market had a lovely and personal touch to it that many lack. Samples of caprese salad, white flesh peaches, and perfectly ripe watermelon made the experience all the nicer. It is wonderful to see such enthusiasm in an area not exactly known for food production!

We ate breakfast at Truffle Pigs Bistro, part of a lovely hotel in town. If you are looking for a skiing holiday, but do not want the crowds and craziness of Banff, this spot might be for you. A hop, skip and a jump from Lake Louise, the cozy town of Field would certainly be my first choice for a ski trip.

But, as usual, we had to head west! Everyone warmed us of the drive into Golden, B.C., and we didn’t want to approach it too late. The windy, one-lane, steep downhill drive is certainly a lot better than I remember it being (you may be pleasantly surprised if traveling through this neck of the woods), but it still isn’t a route I’d like to take again in our little 1660. Pulling off to the side about every 500 metres to let folks pass us, we safely made it into the town of Golden.

Because of very heavy highway traffic on Sunday afternoon, we stopped early on in Glacier National Park so as not to hold people up over Rogers’ Pass. Striking out bright and early at six in the morning, we braved the snow sheds and the high climbs up to the top. Especially at that time of morning, the surroundings looked to be straight out of a movie. With extra flashing lights and some lugging we made it to 4,360 feet, and the beginning of our descent toward Revelstoke!

— John Varty and his fiancee Molly Daley are driving across Canada in an effort to speak to farmers about the issues that concern them, and to bring those concerns to urbanites. They’re doing it in an unusual fashion — towing a "farmhouse" behind a Massey Ferguson 1660 — and will post periodic reports here of their trek across the Prairies.

Related stories:
Farmland comes to an end for a while, Aug. 24, 2012
Cross-Canada tractor pull, July 26, 2012

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