Astoria

Back in Astoria, a place which has a real special feeling.

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Is it that it reminds me of Hamburg, because of the mighty river?

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Is it because of Astoria’s history?

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Is it because of the hospitality?

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Or what…?

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Watching a Viking Ferry from Singapore going up river…

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….and Canadian Geese taking in the sun shine at the beach…

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…as we enjoy our stay overlooking the promenade!

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Langley, BC

Another stay at a Holiday Inn Express, expecting the usual getting the unexpected, starting with a reserved parking spot near the entrance…

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…the most friendly and caring hotel staff we have met on this our Summer 2016 trip…

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…a suite…

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…comparable to what we would find in Vegas…

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…luxurious…

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…comfortable…

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…a practical, gas-fireplace included…

 

Kicking Horse

Surrounded by 6 national parks (Banff, Glacier, Kootenay, Yoho, Mt Revelstoke, and Jasper)…

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Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is situated in one of the most spectacular settings in the world.

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We got in the Golden Eagle Express, lifting us about 4000 vertical feet in 18 minutes.

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At 7700 feet above sea level…

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…nothing but jaw-dropping panoramic views for as far as the eye can see.

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Eagles Eye Restaurant, Canada’s most elevated dining experience at 7.700 feet is an oasis in a most dramatic, rugged setting.

It’s 18 minutes to get to the top in the Gondola…

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…and yes there is a lot more to Kicking Horse Resort…

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…aside from looking down at the Columbia River…

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…there are bears too, a few Grizzly Bears…

…and a lot of Black Bears too…

…yet one bear is very special this one is a Grizzly named Boo!

“One thing that sets Kicking Horse Mountain Resort apart from all other ski resorts is the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge. This is the largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat in the world.

The 20-acre area is the home of our resident grizzly bear, Boo. Within this natural mountainside habitat, Boo hunts, plays, forages, and explores just like his wild cousins. The interpretive centre is open daily during the summer and provides guests the opportunity to observe an adult grizzly bear going about his daily routine. Everyone who comes to visit Boo is fascinated by his strength, agility, intelligence, and personality!”

“And Boo is special, for why else would we drive from Monterey to Kicking-Horse?”

Lake Louise

One of the most beautiful Canadian lakes is Lake Louise…

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It’s the one with parking problems bigger than Yosemite Park on any weekend.

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We were lucky and got to the Lake early in the morning…

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…and we enjoyed our most leisurely visit at Lake Louise…

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…a lake fed by waters from Victoria Glacier.

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We also did visit one of the many restaurants…

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…and various shops at the famous hotel…

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…which has its own parking area…

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…including this gift-shop!!!

 

Jasper

Our trip is along the world-famous Icefields Parkway to Jasper.

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Waterfalls, glacier lakes and snow-capped mountains lined your drive, to the small but busy town of Jasper.

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The Parkway is home to elk, moose, bears, goats, sheep and caribou, so we are told. The scenery is most beautiful…, …never mind the wildlife of which we saw little…, …well we didn’t explore the back country as such.

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We are looking forward to a relaxing two night stay in Jasper National Park at our lodge on the banks of the Athabasca River.

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In the midst of the vast, unspoiled grandeur of the 4,200 square mile Jasper Park, Canada’s largest park, internet connectivity is very limited.

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Yet a cozy cabin overlooking the river, milky running waters straight from glaciers…

 

Sulphur Mountain

Our stay in Banff includes a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola.

A four passenger gondola got us to the summit at an elevation of 7,486 feet (2,281m) above sea level.

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The total ride takes just 8 minutes each way.

At the summit, we enjoy a 360 degree views of six mountain ranges comprising the heart of the Canadian Rockies

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The site has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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And we do explore the Summit Ridge interpretive boardwalk, a 1km long elevated board-walk that leads you along Sulphur Mountain’s summit ridge…

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…to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site of Canada…

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…and the historic Sanson’s Meteorological Station.

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Banff

After heading north through the beautiful Kananaskis Valley (road opened June 16th)…

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…we get to experience Banff, a vibrant mountain town.

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We took the Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of six mountain ranges.

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During our walk along the Bow river we had much company of birds…

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…and we made new friends on the Bow river (we, the two on the right to the guide)…

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..the Fort-like museum…

Our hotel is within easy walking distance to restaurants, taverns, shops and galleries, and on our second day in town, the 1st of July we celebrated with big crowds Canada Day.

Canada Day 2016 in Banff 

Bar-U-Ranch

The Bar-U Ranch is a Parks Canada attraction…

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and was a working ranch from the late 1890s.

What better way to get a glance at history…

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…to learn about the people who surveyed the land, made deal with the natives. Those who raised cows and a ranch the size bigger then some countries. And there was  also the  breeding of  purebred Percheron horses, once known as the true workhorse, extremely high in demand in Great Britain and France alike.

For more about our visit to the Pleins of Alberta click here!

Waterton

Waterton Lakes National Park…

Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks were established separately and are still independently managed, but in 1932 the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament declared that the parks be joined to commemorate the longstanding peace between the two countries…

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…one thing you are sure to notice is the straight swath of cut trees marking the International Boundary, but the the plants and animals here do not; they cross freely, as this is one large ecosystem and peaceful political boundaries do not effect the native flora and fauna.

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Here the prairies of Alberta meet the peaks of the Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park.

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Waterton- Glacier International Peace Park was  established in 1932 and became the world’s first International Peace Park.

Beautiful peaceful, a dramatic setting, so serene…

Summer 2016 in Waterton

 

The Road To Calgary

Calgary, where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains. Calgary is the closest international gateway to both the Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park.

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Calgary was founded in 1875 at the junction of the Bow and Elbow reverses a North West Mounted Police post.

The name Calgary was derived from the Gaelic phrase meaning “bay farm.”

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The Canadian Pacific Railway arrived 1883, and ranchers established major spreads on the plains surrounding the town.

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Incorporated as a city in 1894, Calgary grew slowly till the oil boom in the 1960 and 1970s. Most Canadian oil companies did establish their head quarters in the city.

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Relaxing private hot tub, after a long day…, …a treat, we feel we are worth it.

Glacier National Park MT

Going To The Sun Road on a “semi rainy day…”

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The “Backbone of the World” is the Blackfeet tribal name given to the greater Glacier National Park ecosystem

Red Jammer,” being the historical red buses that have been a fixture in that park since 1936 (weather and road conditions permitting).

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Originally built and designed specifically for sightseeing in the National Park System of the United States, these 25-foot-long vintage touring coaches were fully restored in 2000 by the Ford Motor Company and are the only remaining buses of their kind in operation today.

With a unique canvas roll back top and individual doors for each row, these charming open-air buses are ideal for absorbing the startling beauty of the high mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and cedar forests that surround the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun-Highway.

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The Going To The Sun Road is one of the main highlights in Glacier National Park but there are several options for places to go and things to see. Each location has it’s own charm and character.

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Lake McDonald Valley is the hub of activity on the west side of Glacier National Park. Once occupied by massive glaciers that carved this area thousands of years ago, the valley is now filled with spectacular sights, hiking trails, diverse species of plants and animals, historic chalets, and the grand Lake McDonald Lodge.Ten miles long and nearly 500 feet deep,

Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the park, is a direct result of glacial carving. High peaks surrounding the lake all show evidence of the power of glaciers to carve even the hardest of rock.

The powerful glaciers that carved the broad “u-shaped” valley that Lake McDonald sits in also carved smaller hanging valleys with wonderful waterfalls that are accessible by numerous hiking trails.

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Logan Pass is extremely popular with visitors, it’s summer yet plenty of now is found in the higher elevations.

Early morning light on the mountains provides excellent photographs and the chances to see wildlife are greater before the crowds arrive.

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Logan Pass is the highest elevation (6640ft.) reachable by car in the park.

Clouds start to darken the blue sky.

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Bordering the Blackfeet Reservation, Native American history and culture is strong in the St. Mary Valley.

For us it time to roll the roof back in place, as rain was coming our way.

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Gastronomical we are planted into the Swiss Alps…, …do they serve Bison Burgers there too?

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Young men in Bavarian Lederhosen, welcoming the visitors …

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Glacier National Parks

Crater Lake OR

The lake is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is one of the oldest one.

Great deal for older folks with the National Park passport.

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Keeping a distance to the rim is recommended…

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Crater Lake is said to be the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth…

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Visitors stand in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting. We too are amazed…

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The park is open, yet numerous roads are still closed at beginning of summer 2016, the reason, snow…

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Crater Lake Summer 2016

Volcanic Highway

Being spoiled by Cabrillo Highway 1, south of Carmel, I must admit that the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway is not only worth seeing, but need to be experienced.

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While much of the country sees hot summer weather,Mt Shasta, Lake Shasta, Lassen National Volcanic Park and the Volcanic Scenic Byway those are cool places, to spend summer days.

Monterey Bay

Summer 2016…

…and we are getting ready for this year’s road trip to the Canadian Rockies and back…

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Monterey in the summer is known for foggy days…

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Once the fog burns off it’s a different picture…

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Cabrillo Highway is one of the most scenic highways equally beautiful as the garden Route In South Africa, the Algarve in Portugal, Cinque Terre in Italy and any other picturesque byway along the ocean…

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And that’s were we start out from…

For more pictures from Monterey click here!

Monterey, CA

 

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…after a month on the road, finished off with most enjoyable stay at Tachi, in Lemoore, we returned back home, to Monterey!

 

  • Weather:  Sunny, until Oak Hills, here Monterey’s fog could be seen and soon felt too.
  • Travel time, about 3 hours
  • Roads were good, I-5 and on 152 over Pacheco Pass to Hwy 101 and Hwy 1.
  • Points of special interest, coming home always is special, yet after being used to lush green colors for weeks, the California style golden colors were most noticeable.
  • Good company, good food…, especially as we went back to our regular fare…
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  • In praise of the present day, a good time was been had…

 

 

Tachi, Lemoore CA

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After the 1 night in Laughlin we visited the Tachi Hotel Resort and Casino. Here we stayed the final night of our cross country road-trip.

 

  • Weather: Blue sky, temperatures 88 when leaving Laughlin and 94 arriving in Lemoore at the Tachi. En route we experienced 100 degrees outside, yet cozy 73 degrees in the Escalade truck.
  • Travel time 7 hours…
  • Roads were good, here and there some Road Work…
  • Points of special interest, first gas station we filled up in California on I-40, was in Ludow, at the price of $5.09 per gallon.
  • Accommodation at Tachi, very nice, truly outstanding.
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  • Excellent buffet selections…
  • In praise of today’s present, another most beautiful day.

 

 

Laughlin, NV

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…coming from a 4 night stay in Farmington NM which included a tour to Chaco Canyon amidst other historical sites, as well as having fun in Durango CO and Silverton CO, we were ready to enjoy the buffet at a hotel-casino.

 

  • Weather: Nice, warm and sunny this morning as we left NM, and at arrival in Laughlin NV it was 98 degrees, and a clear blue sky.
  • Travel time, just over 7 hours
  • Roads were good to excellent, 2/3 of the way was on I-40
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  • Points of special interest, looking back at those thousands of miles travelled this past 4 weeks, the gasoline prices in all states were less than $3 a gallon, wonder what the price of gasoline is going to be back in Monterey…!
  • Accommodation Tropicana 15th floor with a view over the Colorado River
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  • Another  most beautiful day.
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…and have a most beautiful day, every day!