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As much as I love the Hudson watershed, getting into other watersheds is essential. Two recommendations: see the Canadian Rockies and read “Cold Rush” by McKenzie Funk in the September issue of Harpers. We just got back from an exciting trip to western Canada, and can’t wait to return. In the short section of the Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary to Shuswap Lakes, we crossed the Continental Divide and touched water from three major watersheds: the Fraser, the Columbia, and the Saskatchewan.


Lake Louise, northwest of Banff, fills with glacier melt and drains into the Bow, then the Sakatchewan, the Nelson, and finally Hudson’s Bay.


Less than 20 miles to the west is Field, British Columbia. Kicking Horse River flows ultimately into the Columbia.


Over a hundred miles farther to the west lies Sicamous and Shuswap Lake.


Workboats are there, but really Sicamous is the houseboating capital of Canada.


The houseboat on the left sleeps 24! Does that mean 48 or so if you’re really chummy? and 96 if substantially uninhibited?

Shuswap Lake eventually drains into Vancouver via the Fraser River.

Which returns me to the Funk article in Harpers. A statistic Funk gives is the percentage of the world’s fresh water found in Canada ? 20%! The US largest supplier of oil? Canada. A serious impact of global warming on Canada? I quote Funk: “More than a fifth of the world’s undiscovered oil and liquid gas is thought to be hiding in the Arctic. The less ice there is, the more oil there is within reach.”

All fotos except 2 and 3 by Will Van Dorp. Thanks to my relatives for warm hospitality in these fabulous watersheds.

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August 2007
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