So where was I, before I was so rudely interrupted by no internet? I can’t begin to remember what day (of travel) this is. I can just barely remember what day of the week this is. And the actual date – now that’s really a stretch! Thank goodness for auto-fill on the computer!
But we have been quite busy since I last had an opportunity to post. I’ll have to do a summary, with just a couple of pictures since I’m so far behind, but I’ll let you know where you can find more pictures if you’d like a larger sampling of the areas!
Jasper –Columbia Icefields – Banff
These three areas all stretch together down the Canadian Rocky Mountains. While we hit a bad stretch of weather while we were in these Canadian National Parks, we still could see the beauty of the area. If you are a hiker or biker or climber or kayaker or shopper – these are ideal towns for you to visit. If you’re “Slightly Over Weight Early Retirees” (a humerous (?) explanation of SOWERs) there is still a lot of beauty to see. And all with just the right amount of hiking involved!
There was Mt. Helen Cavell – a lovely hike to the base of the mountain and the edge of Angel Glacier. The drive there was beautiful and the mountain and glacier were impressive.
Then there was Maligne Canyon and Medicine Lake – more incredible displays of God’s handiwork.
Before we set off for Banff the next morning, we visited Athabasca Falls. It was raining pretty hard, but you could still see (and hear) the power of those waterfalls. Quite a way to start the day!
The road between Jasper and Banff – the Icefields Parkway – is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. We started out in the rain, and ended in the rain, but along the way the clouds cleared and we could appreciate some of that acclaim.
When we hit the Columbia Icefields, the sky was beginning to clear and the sun was working its magic on the mountains around us. We did a Tourist Splurge, and took the Ice Machine ride up onto the Athabasca Glacier. It was incredible!
By the time we were pulling into Banff, it was pouring again. Bummer. Banff is a very lovely tourist town – shop after shop after shop. One of the reasons we were in Banff was to connect with a cousin that I hadn’t seen in almost 25 years. He was in town for a convention (that he was actually running) and he was able to break free long enough to treat us to an exquisite dinner at the Eden Restaurant. It was a six course meal (all the courses were “French Cuisine” size – small but mighty) and they were all amazing. I don’t think I have ever had a meal where the silverware was replaced for each course and our own maître de explained each dish as it was served. I’m soooo glad we didn’t come in our sneakers!
Oh, and we had a good visit with my cousin, too! 🙂 Thanks, Kim! It really was unforgettable!
OK, so that was Banff. I know we didn’t really do it justice, but the weather was just too miserable to do a lot of sightseeing, and there just isn’t any more room in our house on wheels for more “stuff”, so we tend to stay away from those cute little shops.
It was still raining the next morning as we set out for Calgary, but still we could envision the beauty that must have been just beyond the clouds. Before we knew it, we were out of the mountains and headed into Cowboy Country. And lots and lots of houses. And lots and lots of cars. Ooooo – city driving! We did stop at a couple of the small towns on the way into Calgary and ended up spending most of our day at the Millarsville Farmers Market and annual County Fair.
This was a great day! Lots of local color, as they say – from the farmers market to the rooster crowing contest to the vegetables, flowers, jams and jellies, cookies and pies (etc., etc.) judging to the livestock competition, talent show, pie eating contest, horseshow and tractor pull! Oh, and it also had a Fiber Arts (i.e. quilts) display and judging along with photography and art. It was jam packed with local talent and fun, fun, fun! We’re glad we made a day of it! (Even though one of the reasons we “made a day of it” was because once we got parked we pretty much had to wait until the parking lot cleared before we could leave! Ah, the joys of life in a big rig!)
The next day we checked out a historic ranch – The Bar U. Just so happened there was an “Old Time Ranch Rodeo” that day, and while it wasn’t quite the Calgary Stampede, it sure was fun! There were 14 ranches represented with great names like Quarter Circle L and Mesabi & Anchor P, and they competed in five different events. Our favorite was Wild Cow Milking. Here’s how it works –
There’s one cowboy on the horse and two more on the ground. In the arena are about a dozen wild cows. The guy on the horse has to lasso one of the cows and then the other two have to subdue the cow anyway they can and one of them has to milk it. It looks like this –
I think he’s signing up to be the guy on the horse next time!
Aside from the fact that twice in the middle of the show it started to pour (hence all of that nice mud!), it was great fun!
So that actually brings us to today – which I THINK is Monday, August 17. We spent the day doing some other historical sites –
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Fort Macleod and tonight we’re parked near the Remington Carriage Museum which will be our final stop in Canada tomorrow morning. (And as a bonus I have been able to get on the wi-fi from the nearby visitors center and finally get these pictures uploaded and this blog updated!).
OK – here are the links to more pictures
Banff to Calgary
Millarsville Fair Day
Bar U Rodeo
I did take some pictures today, but they are still living in my camera. I know I’m feeling a little pictured out – I can only imagine how you must feel! Maybe next time!
Next stop (well, after the Carriage Museum) – MONTANA!!!!!