Jasper did not top Banff. We took a tram ride to about 7500’ but the view from the top was cloudy. The view from the tram was great. We also had a good time walking around town checking out the shops and train station. We also took some scenic rides. On the 27th we left Jasper and headed to Grand Cache. We were going to stop at the hot springs along the way but the weather was rainy and cool so we skipped that and continued on our way. We stopped at the visitor center going into Grand Cache. Nothing was happening in town but they had a nice exhibit there and the folks there as all the people working in customer contact jobs here in Canada were great. We parked at the Grand Cache muni park. For $30 if left a lot to be desired. Just water and electric, our surge protector shut us down a few times for low voltage, and the WiFi was down. Today we moved up to Grand Prairie. It’s a big town with around 50,000 people. It is very smoky here from the forest fire east of us. We went to Wal-Mart today and Best Buy to check on a camera since I dropped mine and most of the pictures are blurry. The prices were way to high and since Paula’s camera started working well stick with hers. We only bought what was really needed as the prices here are so high. Tomorrow we’ll head to Dawson Creek to the beginning of the Alaskan highway. We’ll stay there a few days and then get on the move. Carol said today we are only averaging 50 miles a day so sooner or later we’ll have to start traveling.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
The rain we travel in over to Banff NP stopped and we had a great time there. Downtown was very touristy but we had a good time walking around there. Our 1st stop was the visitor center where we picked up several maps including the most important , a trails map. The lady at the center marked all the trails that were suitable for us older folks. We did all the trails we were interested in. My favorite was the Cave & Basin. We went through marshy land feed by hot springs. In the 60’s as an experiment several varieties of tropical fish were placed in one of the warm marshy areas and they are still there. It was neat to look in the water and see Mollies swimming around.Several. On our 2nd fell day in the area we traveled about an hour up to Lake Louise. The visitor center had a lot of history of the area and was very interesting. The lake was still frozen and most of the trails were closed because of snow and avalanche conditions. We did walk part way around the lake. On the way back we took 1A a route with more scenic overlooks. We filled our days in the area with trails and scenic drives. One stop took us to an old mining town. Paula & I were very surprised to discover that they mined anthracite coal there. We always thought that hard coal was only mined in the area of the country where we are from.
Yesterday we traveled from Banff to Jasper about 180 miles but it took us over 8 1/2 hours. We traveled the Icefields parkway which is called The Most Beautiful Road In The World. And it probably is. It travel continuously through 2 national parks. It has many scenic pull offs of which we took advantage. As we were coming up one especially steep area next to us walking down was a mountain goat and here little one. In another area we saw cars pulled off the side of the road so I told Paula to get the camera ready. It was a grizzly not far off the road trying his best to find something to munch on. Further down the road was the Columbia Icefields. We stopped there to eat lunch and enjoy the magnificent glaciers. Our last stop before our campground was Athabasca Falls. I love water falls and this was a good one. We walked the trails all around the falls. We are now set up in Jasper NP and this morning we’ll head to the visitor center to get information on the area and decide what we’ll do and how log we’ll stay here. It’ll have a tough time topping Banff.
Yesterday the 4 of us went into Radium Hot Springs. Our 1st stop was the visitor center where the gal helping us was a wealth of info. From there we went to a bank a bank where we changed over some US money to Canadian. Next we made our way to the hot springs. It was within the Kootenay NP so at the entrance to the park we bought our annual NP passes. On the way up to the hot spring we passed several long horn sheep just walking up the road. The hot springs a view rock cliffs of Sinclair Canyon. Then came the spacious mineral hot springs pool. We soaked for a couple hours and at that it was hard to leave. We stopped in town to pick up a bottle of wine and headed back to the campground. We sat sat the picnic table for a few hours munching on crackers, cheese & sausage. A good day was had by all.
Today we moved over to a campground in Banaff NP in Alberta Canada. It was a rainy 90 mile drive with some 8% grades thru the Canadian Rockies. We had to be alert as we had deer & elk grazing all along the side of the road. We’re going to stay hear for 5 nights at least. It’s a long weekend here being Victoria day so the campgrounds will be very busy. A lot to do in this area hopefully the rain will stop
Today we began our adventure north of the border. We have been parked in Kalispell Mt. at an Elks club for a week. Carol & Ev arrived yesterday and we made some preliminary plans. The gas station across the street had a dump station and since we had been park for a week with no sewer I went over to check it out and found out the guy with the key wouldn’t be there until noon and we were ready to leave to we so we left without dumping. We were headed to Kootenay NP in British Columbia. They have a dump station so no problem. We had a very easy border crossing. A few questions and that was that. It was a very small border crossing and there was no facilities to convert some cash so we’ll just stop in a bank. Carol called Kootenay and was told they were doing construction there so they wouldn’t be open until June 1st so we decided to stop at Dry Gulch a Provincial park. It’s a small but scenic park. Only 9 of the 26 sites are open. We couldn’t figure out why they close most of the park since there is no facilities here, just a few pit toilets. Not even a dump station which we will need soon. Both of us had trouble negotiating the turn at the top but we made it. Tomorrow we’re off to the nearby town of Radium Hot Springs to soak in the hot spring. We will post when we get to a WiFi location
Sunday, May 15, 2011
We’re winding down our stay at the Elks club in Kalispell. We had a Italian buffet and a prime rib dinner at the club. Both were excellent. Carol & Ev are only 100 miles away and will be here on Monday. Hopefully the last of our pills will also be. They were mailed on Friday morning. Our mail is another story. It was mailed last Saturday from our mail forwarding service. We have a tracking number but it does not show up anywhere in the postal system. They say they will find it eventually and it will get here but they have no idea when. If it’s not here when my Plavix arrives we will just have it returned to sender when it does. The folks here at the Kalispell P.O. have been great.
We went to Glacier N.P. the other day and it was beautiful. The Road to the Sun was only open for about 20 miles as they’re still plowing snow from the road. It was a beautiful ride. Snow capped mountains (actually snow on the side of the road), beautiful lakes with the mountains reflecting on them, lodges, and rustic campgrounds. This is one of the most beautiful states we have been in.
The other day when we were riding around Paula spotted a car dealer that had some classic cars in their showroom. We stopped on the way back. Besides a few 30’s modified cars there was a 69 Camero RS/SS and a Beautiful 57 Vette. The 1st car I bought new was a 68 Camero RS and the interior of the 69 was the same as mine with the 4 speed and the instrument package. The Vette was an automatic with fuel injection 1 of just over a 100 made. The Camero was close to $40,000 (I paid $3200 brand new ordered from the factory for my 68) and they vette was around $80,000.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
We’re now parked at an Elks Lodge in Kalispell Mt about 80 miles from where we’re going to cross into Canada. We’ve driven 2150 miles since leaving Frederickburg Tx. Travel thru Wyoming was windy but Emily handled it very well. Our travels along side of and into the rockies has made it hard to keep my eyes on the road. The rockies are still snow capped and when we traveled thru the passes the snow was closer than I like it. You can always tell when the road was going to climb to a high elevation as there would be a place to pull over to install tire chains in colder weather. One day it was raining as we went thru a pass and I expected it to turn white any time. While we were camped in Deer Lodge Mt there was a winter storm watch on 10 to 14 inches above 6000 feet and 2 to 4 below. Not knowing what elevations we would be traveling thru we stayed put for 3 nights. We were happy we didn’t travel in the wet weather as today traveling up US 93 the scenery got even better. Pictures just don’t do justice. We’ll wait here for our mail and pills to catch up and for Carol & Ev to arrive. Then we’ll head into the Canadian Rockies. Tomorrow or the next day we’ll head over to Glacier NP. From what I’ve read there still plowing the snow off the roads so not sure how much access we’ll have.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
We left Medina Lake April 27th and went up to Fredericksburg Tx for a few days. We love all the shops on Main St.,the German restaurants, and Opa’s meat market. We ate at the Auslander and had an excellent German meal and we picked up Brats & Knacks & sausage at Opa’s. We also have some Boudin sausage in the freezer. The weather was windy but we decided to leave Frederickburg on the 29th. The coach did well in the wind so we made it to a Wal-Mart in Norman Ok over 400 miles. That's a real long day for us as we usually go less than 200 a day. I worry about storms this time of year going thru tornado alley so we were on the move. The next day we made it to Russel Ks about 330 miles and boy it was cold. It was in the upper 80’s low 90’s when we left Tx and now it was 40’s and below freezing at night and windy. This is going to take a lot of adjustment. Besides the cold and wind there were no storms in the forecast so we slowed down and only traveled 280 miles to to Chappel Neb. (a new state for us). We’re now in Cheyenne Wy. We’re visiting with Paula’s niece and kids. We went to an excellent Mexican restaurant last night. Today they want to have a cook out but it’s just about noon and only 45 degrees so I think it will be mostly a cook in. We were going to head to Casper today but they were calling for snow and I just read that they had icy roads. Tomorrow we’ll head to Casper Wy and then up into Montana.