Fort Steele

Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
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Trip End Aug 18, 2010


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Where I stayed
Mini Golf RV site

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, August 22, 2009

The next morning we had to leave this area of the Rockies and make our way down to our Dude ranch
across the border in Idaho. We drove out of the National Park but before leaving we stopped at the Paint Pots and took a walk to see where the Indians used to collect the iron ore for their painting of teepees and facial paint. The Iron ore is pushed to the surface so there are three large pools of terracotta colour. The indians only used what was necessary, making it into powder then storing into blocks and mixing with fat or oil for painting. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the white man who obviously saw a commercial opportunity and started to milk the natural resource until the area was designated a national park.

We had one night en route to our Dude Ranch at a place called Cranbrook We decided to stop at an attraction highlighted in our guidebook which said it was worth visiting. And it was. Fort Steele was named after a Mountie who was based here to resolve issues between the local aboriginal tribe and settlers back in the 19th Century. It is beside the river that the miners had to cross during the gold rush time and started to build on this geograhic position. However it was initially favoured as a stopping point for the railway network but this did not come off and the residents dwindled away and the Fort had become a ghost town. interesting enough my parents visited Fort Steele over 46 year's ago and at that time there were a couple of people still living here but that it was a ghost time and a time warp with the local buildings still standing. Now it is a cultural sight and the local people rather than let it go to ruin
had somehow kept it exactly in the style from its heyday and turned it into a
very tasteful local tourist attraction where tourists walk round and visit all
the locals attractions of a western town from bar room saloon to blacksmith's –
together with the current locals wearing the costumes of the day and giving the
whole town a fantastically realistic atmosphere. The kids loved it and
especially the local steam train, which went on a half a hour trip out to the
surrounding countryside. Unfortunately we arrived late in the afternoon and missed all the activities laid on during the day. This is a recommended stop especially as eveyone has worked hard to reconstruct the cowboy era.
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