How to cross something so impenetrable. Everyone, from First Nations to the railway to the highways followed the rivers, but rivers drop down from summits, and there is always a point where the mountains must be crossed. The railways drilled long tunnels through mountains, the highways that followed eighty years later couldn't and so we have a series of rather heart-stopping passes throughout BC: Roger's Pass, Crowsnest Pass, the Creston-Salmo Highway, the Coquihalla, the Hope-Princeton. One approaches them gingerly and with great respect.
On this drive, three thin lines: the CPR, the CNR and the Trans-Canada are the only visible signs of our occupation of these huge landscapes. In the winter there is little traffic, campsites and viewing spots are all closed and under 10' of snow, radio is inaccessible, one can drive for miles without seeing another car. One is thinking of absolutely nothing other than driving and the road. It is remarkably calm. Then a truck hurtles by, throws a rock at your windshield and the rest of the trip has a big silver crack across your view.