Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
We are staying here in Chetwynd, BC (60 miles from Dawson Creek) for two nights. Dorothy and Dave have moved on to spend the night at Tumbler Ridge. We are to meet them later this weekend in Dawson Creek.
Our trip here took most of the day yesterday. On the way, we saw 7 bears (one mama bear and her two cubs) and a large moose by the side of the road. I had my camera ready the whole time, but didn't get even one picture. Instead, Jerry grabbed his Nikon 200D and, without looking through the view finder while driving the RV, was able to capture three shots of one of the bears that we saw. But, after looking at the pictures he took, he erased them. Our goal is to get a really good picture of a bear and put it on this site.
Chetwynd is known for its wood carving artistry. They have an annual festival in the middle of June. See picture of the town's welcome display below.
Today, the four of us took a side trip to the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. The Bennitt Dam is one of the largest-earth filled hydro-electric dams in the world. The dam's embankment stretches 1.25 miles across the top edge and is nearly 600 feet tall. See the small white patch at the bottom of the picture? Those are cars -- gives you some perspective of how large this dam is. We were able to take a trip down into the tunnel underneath the dam where we learned more about this impressive man-made structure that utilizes natural rock to hold back the water.
Next stop: Mile Zero of the Alaskan Highway!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
But, the peace and quiet -- and the beautiful views from mountains with snow, valleys, lots of trees, water falls, pristine lakes, perfect climate in the Banff and Jasper Provincial Parks -- is priceless and definitely worth giving up the internet.
Banff, Alberta was everything we could have asked for and more. Stunning scenery, temperature in the 50s and 60sF (they use Centigrade here), and Dorothy (my sister from Minnesota) and her husband, David, joined us on May 22. We will be making this trip with them. Here you see Jerry grilling our first meal together after they arrived.
Dorothy and I spent the next day walking the town and visiting all the wonderful shops in Banff. Later that evening, we all decided to go out to eat at a local Italian restaurant. We spent two days in Banff before moving on to Lake Louise.
Lake Louise was somewhat disappointing to Dorothy and Dave who had seen it twenty years earlier. They remembered the clear turquoise water. Instead, Lake Louise was still somewhat frozen over. Jerry and I were impressed with it, though.
We spent Sunday night (May 24) in a Lake Louise. We were being warned about having to share the parks bears, moose and elk. Even so, Jerry and I decided to bike on the bike path for a bit. We also enjoyed ourselves just sitting by the running river reading our books. (See Jerry with his Cambria Coffee Roasting Company mocha and Chanti.) By the way, we travel with roasted whole beans from the Cambria Coffee Roasting Company which we grind each morning -- the best coffee anywhere!
We also saw the Athabasca Glacier in Columbia Ice Fields.
The one night we spent in Jasper, it rained. Jerry would start a fire, get it going quite nicely, then the rain would come and put it out. When the rain left a few minutes later, he did it again -- only to have the rain put out his fire again. The good thing was that the firewood was free.Today, we drove for nearly six hours to get to Prince George. We are now back in Pacific time, so we gained an hour. The drive was full of scenic views and we even saw two bears and a large moose.
Since pictures tell a better story than our words, see the pictures below.
Thank you for following our blog. We will update it again when we get to the next wi-fi spot. Everyone stay healthy and enjoy your life.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Our drive from Montana to Lethbridge, Alberta was a bit hectic. The winds were easily 60 miles per hour, hitting us from the left side of the RV. That caused the awning on the left side to unroll while we were traveling down the road. Not just once, but so many times we couldn't count! The way Jerry handled it was to slow down the RV, and the awning would automatically roll back in. After doing this for numerous times, we sighted some grain silos beside the left side of the road. He drove to the right of the silos to block the wind. Then, with a little duck tape and bungie cords, we were set to go without any more incidents.
We've been in Lethbridge for three days now and will leave tomorrow to join up with Dorothy, my sister, and Dave (her husband) who will be making the rest of the trip more or less with us in their camper. We are looking forward to the experience.
We've been using a device called SPOT, a GPS tracking device to let family and friends know (by cell, text, or email) where we are, or to get help, if necessary, or to dial 911 in the event of something serious happening to us. The device also pin points on the Google Map the exact place we are staying. We will update the Google Map below with each new posting.
Until next time -- we repeat -- live the life you love!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Getting here from Salt Lake City was somewhat of a challenge. When we left SLC, the temperature was in the low 70s. By the time we got to Deer Lodge (with one night stop at Black Foot, Idaho), the weather was 38 degrees F. Not only that, but the winds were at over 40 miles per hour with rain (and some snow flakes) falling. Jerry had to work extra hard to keep the RV on the road as we kept getting hit with strong wind spurts. See pictures below taken while we were traveling to Deer Lodge.
Friday, May 8, 2009
We certainly had one of the best RVing weeks ever. The State of Utah has some of the most exquisite scenery around. As we mentioned before, we traveled off of Highway 12 to the Kodachrome Basin State Park about 20 miles from Bryce Canyon. It is a relatively small area, far from any civilization and surrounded by red-orange natural rock towers ranging from six to 170 feet in height.
We stopped for a bit, took some pictures and then moved back on to Highway 12 to Escalante, Utah where we planned to spend four days. The first day, we walked to the Petrified Forest about 2 miles from camp. We climbed to the top of a hill (remember, the altitude is still over 7,000 feet) where most of the petrified rocks were. Again, another day of good exercise!
However, we couldn't get the peace of Kodachrome Basin out of our mind. So we packed up and drove back 30 miles to the Basin -- only to find that all 27 camping sites were taken. But, lucky for us, the host offered us the Host Site, the only one with electricity and water. It was set away from the other 27 sites, so it was if we were alone out there -- no cell or internet coverage. This was our back yard behind the RV.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
After leaving Las Vegas, we spent the night in Mesquite, NV. With one of the two main casinos in Mesquite closed down, the place was not a den of activity. The weather was in the high 70s. We wore shorts and I wore my sandals as we left Mesquite.
But, somewhere along the nearly 4 hour drive to Bryce Canyon, the temperature dropped into the 40s as we were at almost 10,000 feet altitude going over Highway 14 pass. We were surprised to see snow along the highway.
After descending from the summit, we headed towards Highway 12. An article in The Tribune before we left Cambria stated that Highway 12 in Utah was a "must see before you die." Thus, we wanted to include Highway 12 on this trip. And are we glad that we did! So far, we have seen Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon. We are spending 5 days at an RV park just outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon.
We rode our bikes into the State Park. It was a bit of an up hill ride, and being at 8,000 feet altitude didn't help our breathing. Of all the people visiting Bryce this week, we were the only two (plus a dog) riding bikes. It was a real workout, but well worth it. In this slower mode of travel, we were able to take in more of the scenery and wild life -- because we didn't zoom past it in a vehicle.
We had fun taking lots of pictures and have put together a short slide show for you. See also a couple of pictures below the slide show. Enjoy!