Glorious Drive over Highwood Pass!

I had the day off on Friday, September 18th and took a visitor from Britain on a run over the Highwood Pass. ˙He is the owner of a Morgan Plus 4 replica and confessed later that he had always considered the Miata a “Hairdresser’s Car” - thats “Girlie Car” in English speak, but he came away sutiably impressed with the handling not to mention the linear power delivery of the wailing supercharger. The interesting thing was, we found that my car actually gave better fuel economy with 50% more horsepower on tap than the 2.0 later normally aspirated Ford engine.

Friday was fantastic! There was hardly any traffic once we turned west at Longview and we were rewarded with fall colours along the riverbank with snow capped peaks and brilliant sunshine. My friend commented that there are virtually no roads in England that are so quiet. He also bemoaned the fact that they have now set up cameras on most roads that record your license plate number at each one and calculate your average speed between check points so that you will get a ticket even if you are doing the speed limit at the camera locations.

The gas gauge was indicating that we would be on fumes by Calgary as we went passed Eden Valley so we decided to stop for a splash at the gas station runs by a First Nations band. All the folks were very friendly but it was quite a laid back affair and a cultural revelation for my friend. We pumped our own gas on the honour system and were told by the folks to put a rock on the fuel shut off lever as the unit was broken.

We climbed the highway going North and were greeted by a family of Bighorn Sheep that were looking for handouts. They had absolutely no fear of the cars and one came within 6” of us sitting the Miata with the top down. He was so close that the final picture was too close for the camera to focus!

We continued to climb and the air got noticeably cooler, snow began appearing the trees and then by the side of the road. The road was bare and dry but there was two feet of snow at the parking lot at the top of the pass. This was a good reminder that we on the highest paved road in Canada at 2200 meters elevation. The clouds rolled in at the summit but as soon as we began descending the steep northern road towards Kananaskis Village we were back in brilliant sunshine and the temperature rose 5 - 10 degrees Celsius.

We stopped at the bar in the Delta Hotel for a late lunch of Sliders beef on a stick and had a pleasant view towards the ski hill. No snow there yet, but not too long now! Suitably fuelled up, we headed to The Trans-Canada Highway east to the Bragg creek turn off then Highway 8 back to Calgary. In all a loop of 350 km and not too bad a way to spend 5 hours, especially when most of the club members were hard at work in an office.

Happy Motoring! This really put me in the mood for the trip to Kimberley next weekend.