Sunday, September 9, 2012

On to Highway 395

We spent our first night at Nevada Beach. Surprisingly full.  We were near the back, but just carried our gear down to the lake.
William at lunch at the Beacon Grill at Camp Richardson

The geese were waiting for us

Me at the beach

William in Lake Tahoe
We took the June Lake cutoff to Gull Lake where we spent the night. Lots of LA money here.
Lots of wildlife here like ground squirrels

The Owner of the Dollar Tree chain built this little getaway place

The ducks are looking for a handout. I held out my hand and got my fingers chomped. Good thing ducks have no teeth

We saw a male, a female and a daughter.

William waded a bit. Even though the water was warn, it was murky and he washed off his legs.
We woke up in the morning to find that wildlife of another variety had invaded a neighboring camp.
When I saw this on the road I knew it was bear scat.
A couple of tenters a few spots down from us had left cans and boxes of unopened food in a cardboard box under a tarp.  There is a bear box at every site since this is a tent campground.  The bear easily opened the cans and boxes. Ate his fill and waddled away.  Now this campground and the houses around have a "problem" bear.  Poor thing.
We took another side trip to Convict Lake. Very pretty and very crowded at the edge.
In 1871 three convicts escaped from the Carson City State Penitentiary and were tracked to where they were holed up here.
On to the Alabama Hills

We spend the rest of the day here

William goes rock climbing and says he needs some rock climbing gloves for the Grand Canyon.

The clouds lift over Mt Whitney. The clouds have kept us cool today. Looked like there was a sprinkle of rain somewhere up there.

It is so nice to be back in the Pleasure Way with the world for our back yard.  After a mad dash down Lubkin Canyon Road in the early dusk, we arrive at Boulder Canyon RV park in time for a free salad buffet. We take our salads and desserts back to the RV and change for a dip in the spa. For once it is hot, about 104 degrees. Our salad dinner later is just fine.  On to Death Valley!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On our way again

After spending the night of the 29th with friends in Boise we just headed home.
One of Steve and Diane's cute cats
The dust in the road turned out to be cows.
A huge herd was crossing the road
Back home we played with Ben and then had a big family BBQ.
Ben took a picture of me after my haircut

I took a picture of Ben

Ben took a picture of Grandpa after his haircut.
We both wanted short hair for our next adventure.  We are leaving in the morning for Flagstaff.  We will stop at familiar spots along the way.  In Flagstaff the big adventure will begin as we will be floating down the Grand Canyon for 15 days.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On To Boise

We had fun camping on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille.
We did not realize that there was so much wheat and soybeans grown in northern Idaho.
Time to harvest the wheat
We camped on the Snake River above these cute cabins. I want one. William says maybe on the other side of the bocce ball court.

An interesting bluff above the Snake.  Lewis and Clark expedition  came through here.
On down through Idaho.
William stopped to swim in the Salmon River. Now he can say he has swum in the California Salmon and the Idaho Salmon.
William sans suit

Another ideal camping place at Lake Cascade.
All these places will be total mad zoos next weekend, but we will be home at our own mad zoo.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Radium Hot Springs and Fort Steele

Off to Radium Hot Springs for a soak this morning. It rained during the night and snowed on the high peaks. Getting ready for winter.
new snow

We stopped for a short hike at a viewpoint for the HooDoos. Nice view of the surrounding peaks and a vista back to Banff.

Looking back to Banff

Just as we stopped at the hot springs it started to rain. A chilly walk under the highway. The hot pool is not too very hot and full of children. We finally find a couple of obscure hot water delivery pipes and spend time by them. We chatted with a couple from Edmonton. They had a relatively mild winter. After a nice soak we head off to find a place to camp for the night and have a picnic lunch.
Radium Hot Springs

Our first choice of campground for the night is full, so we head back into an edge of the Kootenay National Park for the night. We have a nice quiet spot, but they were almost full. We got a leftover “short” spot by virtue of our size.
After we get a camp site at the Fort Steele Resort we head over to the Historic Town of Fort Steele.
The Entrance

The entry building was a brewery and this was a beer vat. Mmmm beer.
William and the brewery beer delivery wagon

Wm freaks in the territorial jail

We saw a cute melodrama about the fight to keep the railroad coming to Fort Steele. In reality the wiley developer won and the railroad went to Cranbrook. Fort Steele became a ghost town. Drat that Col. Baker.

A wagon ride about town

A trip on the railroad. The tracks were built for the town restoration.

Blowing off the steam to clear the boiler.

A view down from the high train stop.

William and old 1077

Sweeping up in the enlisted mens quarters

Boiled Mutton is on the menu

William and the log hauler

William by an old waterwheel that is now home to doves. We heard them cooing.

The old outhouses are boarded up. Unlike in Fairbanks where they are still in use.
We had a fun afternoon in Fort Steele.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jasper and Banff National Parks

By August 20th we had made it to just outside the National Park.  We stopped at an Info Center and view Mt Robson.
Mt Robson highest point in the canadian rockies
We stayed at a British Columbia Provincial Park, Lucerne, next to Whitney Lake. We had a lovely spot overlooking the lake. It looked like berry picking to me so I took my baggie and went on the hunt. I found low bush cranberries and then a huge bush of gooseberries.

 William came to help and we also found huckleberries and high bush cranberries. 
William with a handful of gooseberries
We also found the ubiquitous snake berries, deadly poison, and soap berries, an acquired taste. We met some people from Edmonton who told us where the beach was. William braved the cold water and went swimming. I just waded. 

 The train track is on the far edge of the lake.
A Canadian National Passenger train

 A black cloud was heading our way so we went back to the RV and arrived just before the deluge. The rain was short and we still were able to have a campfire. I saw a few more berries. Raspberries made a lovely before dinner snack. The other berries I cooked into a sauce for dessert.
Off we go on the Yellowhead Highway on toward Jasper.
 Then the fee station. We were not expecting a park entry fee here. We thought the fee would be after we entered the Icefield Highway. The fee is not cheap. Senior rate is $8.30 per person per day that you plan to be in the park. We would have bought Discovery Passes in Dawson City if we had known. Kind of a downer way to start our visit. When we visited Jasper in 1968 there was no park fee. The lady at the Jasper Museum said there were plans to raise the fees by quite a bit. I also found out that the Raven Totem pole, that I remember from 1968, was sent back to the village on the coast where it was carved because it was deteriorating. The village carved a new totem called two brothers and it stands in place of the old one.
The new two brothers totem pole
William at lunch. His beer is named after Bullet Nosed Betty.

William in front of Bullet Nosed Betty
We took the poorly marked old highway 93A all the way down to Athabaska Falls. Very impressive. Lots of water moving here from the Columbia Icefields all the way to the Arctic Ocean.
 Athabaska Falls

 We are camped tonight next to the Athabasca River. We sat next to the river a while until a black cloud started moving toward us. Drat the Rockies. No berries except snake berries and soap berries at this campsite. Lots of mushrooms, but I need to take a class. One mushroom looked just like oyster mushrooms. We met a bicycle rider who has been riding for two months from Quebec City.
The Icefield Highway to Lake Louise.
William remembers a lot more snow on the peaks when we were here in July of 1968. We stopped at the Icefield Centre, but did not do what most people were doing and that was buy a ticket on a huge bus to go up and drive on the glacier.
The view from the Icefield Centre
 In '68 there was a much smaller center near the glacier and we bought a ticket to ride on the glacier in a snow cat. This visit we parked in the place to hike to the glacier. The toe of the glacier was about at the current parking lot in '68 and the hike up to the glacier is quite an uphill slog.

At the   Athabaska Glacier

The trail was steep

Now we are driving to Lake Louise. We don't have campground reservations and it looks to be close as to whether we will get a spot.
When we arrive at the campground there is a line and the board notice says full. But we stay in line and are given a spot in the tent campground since we are small. We go over to check out the spot and it is really not level. But the spot next door is level and looks unoccupied. So we head back to the registration office and are able to trade. Great!
We head over to Lake Louise to hike the edge of the lake to replicate our '68 trip. We even found a parking place in the crowded parking lot.
When we walked over to the hotel and looked out at the glacier we saw what we thought was a waterfall coming from the glacier. Then we heard a loud boom and saw no waterfall. Then right away we saw a larger fall and then a louder boom. The glacier was calving at the edge of a cliff.
Victoria Glacier is much smaller and is now a hanging glacier.

The path to the head of the lake was a huge 8 foot wide semi paved path crowded with people when we remember a small forest path.

 We did walk all the way to the end of the lake and saw some rock climbers scaling the vertical cliffs, No big begging marmot this time, just a fair sized begging chipmunk.

We stopped for a beer in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel saloon. The patio has a pair of beggar birds. Clark's Nutcrackers.
Me at the  Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel saloon 

 Clark's Nutcracker

We wondered around in the hotel for a while before heading back to camp.
On the road to Banff. I wonder if the wildlife corridors are effective.

The Hudson's Bay Company since 1670

The Garden of Time looking back at downtown Banff

We admired the burl birch bridges in the garden
Lunch at the Maple Leaf Grill
And now a rush job on this blog at the local library.