Summary: Facts & Opinions

There are 59 National Parks in the United States and 39 National Parks in Canada, land set aside for us and hopefully future generations as well, because of their natural beauty, unique geological features, and unusual ecosystems. Go see them! Go hike their trails, float down their rivers, paddle their lakes, and photograph their spectacular beauty! They will amaze you; they will recharge your senses, and they will connect you with nature, the most inspiring force of all. Continue reading

The Last Stop

We have had an amazing vacation and are ending it with a short stay with my sister Roberta, her daughter Corie, and granddaughter Amelia. My sister welcomed us with a lovely lunch,  which included a tasty peach and blueberry crisp with home made vanilla ice cream, and candles to celebrate my birthday. Amelia gave me a lovely fan decorated with pictures of the two of us that she made at day care, which she wrapped inside of a box that was inside of a box that was inside of a box. How special is that!! Continue reading

Rest, Relaxation, and Golf

After leaving Canada we made a one night stop in Kennewick, Washington, then crossed over the Columbia River into Oregon driving along the Columbia River Gorge, up onto the Columbia Plateau, and through the outskirts of the Dalles. Gone were the steep mountains, the dense forests, and the waterfalls. For miles all we saw was farm land until we were close to Bend, Oregon, which is located in the high desert about twenty miles from Sunriver Resort, my R & R stop, and Tom’s golf weekend.  Continue reading

Nelson, British Columbia

Driving from Banff, Alberta, to Nelson, British Columbia, took us on steep, narrow, mountain roads with great views of forests, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. However, taking photographs while on the road was not safe, as we were sharing the one lane highway with 88,000 pound lumber hauling trucks. Then to our surprise the highway ended at Shelter Bay. Continue reading

Lake Louise & Lake Moraine, More Than Beautiful Places!

Standing on the shores of Lake Louise and Lake Moraine I was mesmerized by turquoise waters reflecting snow covered mountains and steep tree covered slopes. These lakes are beautiful; they are exquisite; they are amazing! They also reflect the evidence of a dramatic story, a tale of violence, extraordinary transformations, and possibly the first form of “rock and roll!” Continue reading

Banff & Kootney National Parks

As we drove through these spectacular Canadian National Parks, we continually exclaimed “beautiful” or “incredible,” as our views of the mountains, valleys, and rivers were breathtaking. Unfortunately accessing some of the specific areas we planned on visiting, like Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, Bow Falls, and some of the less difficult hikes I physically am capable of doing, was impossible. Continue reading

Oh, no, we’re in Banff!

Driving from Columbia Falls, Montana, to Banff, Alberta, Canada continued to provide spectacular views of mountains, valleys,  forests, lakes, and the incredibly long Kooteney River with its milky blue water. And we continued to ooh and ah as we had been since arriving at Grand Teton National Park, a week ago. Then after seeing a herd of mountain goats and the rocky peeks of Mount Rundle we exited the highway and entered the town of Banff. Oh, no, what happened? Suddenly we were in crowds of people! Tomorrow I hope to return to the peaceful beauty of Banff National Park! 

Trying to cross the street!

More of Dramatic Glacier Park

Today off we drove to the east entrance of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park driving on narrow roads that provided dramatic views of broad U-shaped valleys, sharp peaks, and lake filled basins produced by massive ancient glaciers grinding over the bedrock. Not since driving through the Pyrenese Mountains from Southern France to Northen Spain have I been inspired to stop the car, jump out, and scream with amazement. Continue reading

Dramatic Glacier National Park

We arrived at our third national park and were excited it felt completely different than Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, which each have their own distinct ambiance. Here forested mountains dramatically drop to the shores of vividly blue McDonald Lake; billowing white clouds cast dark shadows over the green landscape; Trail of the Cedars cuts through a forest of five hundred year old red cedars shooting up one hundred feet; crossing Avalanche Creek provides commanding views of the lower Avalanche Gorge; and McDonald creek rushes like a river towards Mc Donald Lake. It was all breathtaking, all dramatic! Continue reading