The End of Another Trip
It's sad that our trip has ended but good to see friends and family again. As always we'll start planning the next trip soon --- the snow will fly before we know it and we'll want to be somewhere warmer.
A boat coming into the Canadian locks.
Zaph got lots of hugs from 13 month old Aiden.
Boats going through the locks.
Zaph clowning around with some of the locals.
As we head east we know we have definitely left the prairies behind ---- we drive past lots and lots of trees, rivers and lakes as we drive through Minnesota and Wisconsin. On the 26th we head into the upper Michigan peninsula stopping at Marquette for the night. We've stopped early enough that we have time to drive around Marquette and check the town out. In the misty morning of the 27th we drove along the lake away from town to see what that area was like. In the afternoon, we were on the road again heading to Sault Ste. Marie and Ontario.
Zaph in front of the memorial to seamen.
A view of the harbor. The bell is from the original fire station that was built in the 1880's.
The bike paths at the harbor park were lined with over two hundred doors in the exhibit --- "Grandma Doors". Artists decorated their doors honoring their grandmothers.
An out of use ore dock.
A breakwater --- it was quite misty so you can hardly see the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater.
The Lake Michigan shoreline.
The Mighty Mississippi
We continue driving east and see more corn fields. About a third of the way across Minnesota we turn right and start heading south. Ed had read about Itasca State Park in Minnesota and decided that we should drive the 25 miles to visit the park. As we head south we start to see more trees and more water .... Minnesota is after all the land of a thousand lakes. Itasca is Minnesota's oldest state park --- the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more than 100 lakes. Itasca Lake is the source of the Mississippi River. As it is still very hot we decide to stay here for 2 nights.
Zaph is having a hard time focusing on getting his photo taken as the water is only 10 feet away.
Ed and Zaph walked across the Mississippi River. Zaph and I walked it as well!
Heartwaters - Caretaker Woman to watch over Mississippi headwaters.
The Douglas Lodge was built in 1905.
This boat will take you around the lake from the lodge to the headwaters.
The sun was starting to set and reflected nicely off the lake.
The Center of North America
Highway 2 passes through the geographical center of North America.
Zaph is waiting for a stone to be thrown --- he swims to the spot where the stone hit the water.
This beautiful stone and log structure is a picnic pavilion that was built in the 1930's by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp).
We've started the journey east towards Ontario and home. After some debate we decided to drive highway 2 across the northern states to Michigan and will cross into Ontario at Sault Ste. Marie. We crossed into Montana at the Wildhorse border crossing where for the first time the boxes in the truck were opened and so was the cargo bay. Yeah, the fridge and freezer were also checked for beef and fruits and vegetables. The border guard got the same answer I get when he asked the question I always ask "Why so many tools? Ed's answer is "I like tools".
The first day we drove from Havre, Montana to Glasgow, Montana past lots and lots and lots of hay fields. The second day we drove from Glasgow to Minot, North Dakota and saw more hay fields though we did see a bit of "bad lands" when we crossed into North Dakota (we were about 100 kms north of the official North Dakota bad lands). When we arrived in Minot we had trouble finding a campsite --- the first two campgrounds were full and luckily the third one had 3 - 20 amp electric sites left. As it's been in the mid to high 90'sF we really wanted to be able to turn the air conditioner on so we took one of the sites (the air conditioner needs 15 amps to run). When our neighbors arrived we explained we were passing through and wondered why it was so busy in the campgrounds .... they laughed and said it was the first weekend of the state fair and we were lucky to find a campsite. Hearing about the state fair and never having been to one we decided to see if we could stay another night. We could so it was off to the fair on Saturday. The fair was pretty big .... we certainly didn't manage to see it all and it reminded us of the Toronto CNE back in the olden days (the late 60's).
Count 'em .... 12 wheels ---- OK you can only see 6 wheels but there are 6 more on the other side. That's Ed (in the cab) playing in a big boy toy.
Quilts were one of many crafts on display
Ride 'em cowboy ....interesting choice for a horse.
Give daddy a big hug. These tigers were born in captivity and have had human contact each and every day. The Marcan Tiger Preserve is located in the Panhandle in Florida. Each summer some of the Bengal Tigers go on the road to promote the preserve. To keep the tigers stimulated and thus "happy" they are trained to do certain behaviors on command.
The air conditioned arena hosted several equine events with lots of other events scheduled over the duration of the fair.
Snort rolling the barrel across the stage.
This piglet is on his way to fame and fortune .... I believe this little guy is only about 8 weeks old and he is starting to learn tricks
Nellie --- the world's smartest pig. These 3 pigs are part of Valentines Performing Pigs. Nellie has been on TV a number of times including Letterman, the Tonight Show and Animal Planet.
The midway. They had a ride I haven't seen been before ---- two people are strapped into an orb and flung into the air similar to a sling shot action. Lots of screaming and interesting words from that ride!
Sunset from the campground.
Cypress Hills Provincial Park
On our travels we met several people from Medicine Hat. When asked what we should see in the area the response was always Cypress Hills Provincial Park, which is about an hour south west of Medicine Hat. As it was on our way, we stopped to see if we could get a site. We could, so we decided to stay for 2 nights much to the delight of Zaph as there was a lake just made for swimming. The park is quite large with much of the activity centered around the "town site" and lake though there are several other lakes and campgrounds in the park.
The world's tallest TeePee in Medicine Hat
One of the "hills" of Cypress Hills.
A wild sunflower (I think)
Some of Alberta's wild roses.
One of the lakes --- Zaph said the lake was fine for swimming.
Leaving Dinosaur Provincial Park we headed to Medicine Hat where the truck was given a much needed oil change. On the way to Medicine Hat we stopped at the Brooks Aqueduct that CP railway built around 1914 to provide water for south eastern Alberta. The aqueduct was used till the 1960s when it was replaced by a canal.
One last hoodoo photo.
A portion of the aqueduct was removed here, but you can see how it went on and on and on .....
The aqueduct went underground to cross the railway tracks --- they didn't want to take the chance of the aqueduct collapsing 0n the tracks.
Rattlesnake in the Campground?
This was the only climbing we did on our hike.
I find the badlands to be incredibly beautiful.
A view in the "valley of the castles". Glass Tiger shot part of a music video "Diamond Sun" here.
A hoodoo in the foreground.
This is a vertebrae that was just lying on the ground.
Those log like rocks in the middle of the photo aren't rocks .... they're petrified wood. You could see the base of the tree further up the hill.
This is the famous camel hoodoo with a pyramid in the background. We heard a lot of bad hoodoo jokes like this one "what do you call a hoodoo with a bush growing out of the top of it" --- "a hair doo"!!!!
Each evening at the park we attended "the show" at the amphitheater. The park interpreters wrote shows that related to the park and preformed them with volunteers from the audience --- they have some great imaginations. Kyle managed to find himself two great dinosaurs who got right into their roles tonight.
This rattlesnake was found outside our neighboring trailer at 10:30 pm one evening --- I wasn't impressed.
Hiking in the Heat
Most of the rock here is sandstone which is easily eroded but there are also layers of iron stone. Iron stone is much harder than sandstone and thus does not erode as quickly causing some of the beautiful formations.
This exhibit is found at one of the trail heads. Occasionally, bones are left in place for public viewing (the bones would be from a commonly found dinosaur). A building is erected over the bones to protect them from the elements.
The Red Deer River creates a Riparian environment. This Cottonwood Tree is over 200 years old.
The bones that are found in Dinosaur Provincial Park are taken to the Royal Tyrrell Museum for study. The information center at the park is also a Field Station for the museum. This guy is a Chasmosaurus or open lizard.
A Glyphstone. Natives are thought to have recorded information on stones though the meaning has been lost.
Hmmm, Dinosaur Soup
Zaph thought he was going to get to eat Dinosaur Soup NOT be it. (this photo was taken at the campground in Drumheller)
Sunset at Dinosaur Provincial Park.
A Tyrannosaurus Rex --- I wouldn't want to meet this guy while I was out for a walk.
This is what they think a giant Beaver would have been like. Can you imagine the size of trees he could have taken down?
Luckily this mock up of the first oceans is 12 times the original size. The floor was glass so it looked like you were walking over many of the sea creatures.
Ed was fascinated by the idea that the T. Rex is related to today's chicken. The idea makes you look at chicken differently.
A pair of Dimetrodon bask in the Permian sunlight.
A Mammoth being attacked by a "cats".
Zaph and I enjoying a view of Horsethief Canyon.
As you drive through this part of Alberta you see lush green fields and bright yellow fields. The yellow fields are Canola in bloom. I like the double oil connotation of this photo.
Another view of the fields. The Red Deer River is the split between the two fields.
The Bleriot Ferry --- one of only seven remaining cable ferries in Alberta. The operator must go back and forth across the river hundreds of times a day taking one or two cars at a time (the ferry can hold 15 cars).
Looking down at the Red Deer River from the Orkney viewpoint. If you looked straight down you got a great view of old appliances that had been dumped.
The Rosedale Suspension Bridge. There were no sides when the miners used it.
Looking down on the Rosedale Suspension Bridge.
These "Hoodoos" are less than 20 feet tall and are continuing to erode.
A coal saw at the Historic Atlas Coal Mine.
One of the few remaining tipples at the Historic Atlas Coal Mine.
A view of Horseshoe Canyon.
Live Long and Prosper
Zaph's hoping that Scotty won't beam him up.
The tourist information center and yes they do have stars from Star Trek come to visit.
The giant dinosaur at the tourist information center.
Zaph standing in front of Drumheller's Little church. The church seats ten thousand people .... just 6 at a time. This church was first erected by a local contractor, in co-operation with the Ministerial Association in 1968 and was reconstructed by inmates of the Drumheller Institution in 1991. It was designed as a place of worship and mediation and not just a tourist attraction
We think this is a falcon. There was a marmot lying on the cliff edge sunning when this guy flew over and decided the marmot looked tasty --- I think the marmot was as large as the bird. The bird dove at the marmot a couple of times before the marmot decided to evacuate the area.
"The cliff" at the buffalo jump. Over the thousands of years the cliff was used the land below the cliff has slowly risen .... in part due to the bones left piled at the bottom of the cliff.
The interpretive center building is a work of art and literally blends in with the landscape --- a portion of the building is actually underground.
Fort Macleod is known for it's Mounted Police fort. As we had Zaph with us, we didn't go in but did watch the Musical Ride.
Four of the mounties ready to begin there ride.
One of the maneuvers was riding in a tight circle.
The town site from Bear Hump.
The Prince of Wales hotel from Bear Hump.
Zaph and I on Bear Hump.
On the drive to Cameron Lake we came across some stopped cars --- they had spotted a black bear with two cubs.
A closer view of one of the cubs.
The first discovery of oil in the Canadian west was made here at Waterton National Park.
Looking down Cameron Lake
Back to Montana?
Everyone enjoyed the cool lake breeze as we cruised along.
The border is marked by a cut swath following the 49th parallel.
The interesting shape of this mountain was made by the passing of several glaciers.
One of our fellow passengers spotted this cute black bear on the side of the lake. The captain of the boat brought us in close to shore so we could get a good look at the bear.
A view of the lake from Goat Haunt --- that's the cruise boat tide by the dock.
From the town site there is a hike to Bertha Falls. Zaph and I admiring the view at a rest stop along the trail.
Zaph says "Best Day So Far"
Red Rock Canyon. The gray rocks in the foreground were carried here by the water.
The Prince of Wales Hotel --- another fabulous old hotel. When you walk in and look across the lobby you see an amazing view of Upper Waterton Lake.
Zaph and I are outside of the hotel enjoying the view.
Zaph saw this chocolate lab swimming and decided to join her. The water was very cold but it did stop the dogs.
There were a lot of ground squirrels in the camping area of the town site.
Deer roam freely around town. We saw a couple of fawns laying by the front door of one home, others stared at Zaph, decide he was harmless and came down to the water for a drink.
Cameron Waterfalls on the edge of the town site.
Back in Canada
After walking around the visitor center area we headed out to Hidden Lake overlook, a mile and a half trail made a lot more interesting by the snow that covered a large portion of the trail.
On the drive to Logan's Pass we stopped to look at Wild Goose Island --- the little island in Lake Mary was named for some Canada Geese found on it.
Another stop was to view Jackson Glacier.
The road was open but there was still work to be done. You could see the remains of slides and missing road done by the winter storm when you drove near Logan's Pass on the "Going-To-The-Sun Road".
The meadow at Logan's Pass was filled with Glacier Lilies.
The trail to Hidden Lake overlook --- we were glad we were early as there weren't very many people about though it did make following the trail a little harder.
Almost there. This handsome old goat did Zaph's job and posed for us.
Made it .... and it was worth it. The view was unbelievable.
On our hike down we noticed some people hiking up the snow covered hill in the middle of the photo --- they were packing skis. We waited hoping to watch them ski down but they disappeared over the top probably to ski down the other side.
On the hike we saw Hoary Marmot .....
"You talking to me" --- goat with an attitude..............
..... cute baby goat following his mom.....
.... Columbian Ground Squirrel begging for food (he was about a foot away from me and I was mean and didn't feed him)
and the rare snow boarder.
An Osprey nest at the visitor information center in St. Mary.
Close Encounters of the Bear Kind
The second hike of the day was suppose to be the 2.3 loop hike around Swiftcurrent Lake. As we are wont to do to took a side trail and walked to the end of Lake Josephine and then continued to Grinnel Lake. By the time we were done we had walked around two lakes and had walked to a third covering about 8 miles. A lot of people hike to Grinnel Lake but they take two boats to cross the lakes!
This is one way to bring all of your toys with you. The people with this truck are camped at the same campground as us --- they have a fifth wheel trailer and a motor bike as well as the truck.
This isn't a very good picture but it shows that we did see a grizzly. As he was less than 10 feet away from us, Ed really didn't want to get any closer to try to get a better shot.
Looking down over Redrock Falls.
A young male moose just reached the other side of the lake.
Looking across Lake Josephine from the boat dock.
Another kind of wild flower.
Waterfalls from the Grinnell Glacier seen from Grinnell Lake
Hidden Falls. The couple we met during the bear encounter told us that they had visited the park more then 30 years ago and family photos showed a wonderful waterfalls call Hidden Falls. There were a lot of trees down and lying in the water so I don't think the falls is a spectacular as he remembered.
Looking across Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier Lodge another one of the grand lodges in the park. This lodge was built to look like a lodge in the Swiss Alps.
The fireplace in the lobby of the Many Glacier Lodge.
Happy Canada Day!
A view of St. Mary Lake.
Paintbrush -- it comes in a variety of colours
We saw several deer as we hike a trail --- this one was walking down the trail towards us and stepped a couple of feet off the trail to go around us and then came back onto the trail. She couldn't have been more than five feet away from us.
St. Mary waterfall, the first waterfall on the hike.
Virginia Falls, the second falls on our hike. Ed and I think this was the most beautiful falls we've seen in the park so far. There is water fall from the top that goes all the way to the bottom, then there are some smaller cascading falls behind it.
The end of St. Mary Lake, Virginia Falls is a break in the trees in about the middle of the photo.