A Travellerspoint blog

Paula and Paola Play in Glacier Park- Thursday and Friday

From Rain to Sun

Thursday broke a bit cool with rain imminent . We tried to secure the tent against bad weather by adding my rain poncho to the tarp canopy.
We headed to the camp store and bought wood and a much thicker waterproof sleeping pad.By Friday morning, Paola learned the English phrase "It was worth every penny I paid for it.
Better Have a Fire Tonight

Better Have a Fire Tonight


We drove to St Mary's and took the shuttle bus on the Going to the Sun Road to Logan Pass. Here, the flags of three nations fly: USA, Blackfeet, and Canada
Three Flags Over Glacier-001

Three Flags Over Glacier-001


Paola and Paula

Paola and Paula


At Logan Pass

At Logan Pass


We walked the trail to Hidden Lake - Paula did about three or four miles; Paola did the entire six miles.
Cloud Cover

Cloud Cover


No Blue Sky Today

No Blue Sky Today


We were glad for the cold air and rain, The previous day it was almost 90 degrees. I don't think I would have been at all interested in traipsing along in the blazing sun for that many miles.
Low Clouds

Low Clouds


Sheep Not Goats

Sheep Not Goats


The Vagabond

The Vagabond


Talking with Young Hikers

Talking with Young Hikers


When we returned to camp, we discovered what had been a misty drizzle on the pass had been a steady rain in the campground. The tarp aand poncho had sagged, but kept the tent dry, With a bit of bailing, we were able to get the overhang taut again.
This was no night to cook on the Coleman. We went to the Lodge for dinner in a rather cacophonous dining room.
I checked the weather and it said it should stop raining at 9:30 PM.
We walked out of the dining room at 9:31.
The rain had stopped. When has the weather report ever been that accurate.

I am not sure I would have been as light hearted as Paola having to sleep in that dreary, damp campground. I was pleased to have my cosy bed in the van
Friday dawned sunny but cool.
Dry Inside the Tent

Dry Inside the Tent


We tried to build a roaring fire to get the day off to a good start, but were not too successful.
Our Measly Morning Fire

Our Measly Morning Fire

We headed to Two Medicine Lake for kayaking.
In the Kayak

In the Kayak


Then we went back to the lodge where we had phone and internet access. Paola had been trying to reserve a week of work/study at the Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York. This scheduling entailed two flights, two round-trip bus rides, and an all night taxi service in addition to two contacts at the ashram.
Hours of Scheduling To Do

Hours of Scheduling To Do


Paula assisted with the interpretation and internet location. Paola got flustered. Paula got irritable,
We stopped for a picnic lunch. When we checked the time, it was actually dinnertime at 5 PM. We had missed lunch.
Picnic on the Lodge Lawn

Picnic on the Lodge Lawn


Three Flags Over Glacier

Three Flags Over Glacier


(Here, the three flags include US, Blackfeet, and Park.)

It was a nice evening for our last night in the campground I asked the help of a neighbor and he used my little hatchet to create some nice small pieces of wood for a wonderful fire.
Minnesota Nice Made Us a Good Fire

Minnesota Nice Made Us a Good Fire


No Rain Good Fire

No Rain Good Fire

Posted by pscotterly 13:33 Archived in USA Tagged montana glacier_natl_park Comments (0)

Paula and Paola Play in Glacier Park- Wednesday

A Walk Around the Lake

Wednesday morning broke bright and sunny. Paola quickly learned the breakfast and wash-up routine and we decided to take a walk around Two Medicine Lake.
We Are Not Climbing That

We Are Not Climbing That


Let's Walk to That Side of the Lake

Let's Walk to That Side of the Lake


I thought I would turn around and return to camp when I felt I had gone half as far as my arthritic legs could take,
Starting Out

Starting Out


Paola Likes Thimbleberries

Paola Likes Thimbleberries


Paula Prefers Huckle or Serviceberries

Paula Prefers Huckle or Serviceberries


Don't Eat These Berries

Don't Eat These Berries


Bird in the Bush

Bird in the Bush


At lunchtime and a fork in the trail, the signage indicated we were almost half way, I decided to continue to the end. Paola walked slowly just for me and we stopped often to look around and chat.
Lunchtime

Lunchtime


Twin Falls

Twin Falls


6 Miles Down 3 To Go

6 Miles Down 3 To Go


At about 6 miles, we met some backcountry campers who told us a very large moose was near the trail ahead of us. We crept along quietly hoping to catch a glimpse off the trail. Paola rounded a corner and then returned - wide-eyed, gesturing, and mouthing "He is VERY large!"
Then she crept ahead to try to take a close-up picture. I was adamant she not approach it and insisted she get off the trail in case he came in our direction. I cowered behind a tree and blew my whistle to head him away,
To Paola's disappointment, my actions made us safe but only gave us a distant picture.
Moose Rump

Moose Rump


We Love the Scenery

We Love the Scenery


A Little Red Bird

A Little Red Bird


Marble Tree Trunk

Marble Tree Trunk


Odd-Shaped Growth

Odd-Shaped Growth


With about two miles to go, a swaying footbridge appeared. I was sure I was going to have to crawl on my hand and knees to cross it.
OMG

OMG


There were several other hikers in the area and only one person is allowed on the bridge at a time. I was too embarrassed to crawl in front of all these young, healthy strangers. I walked across with only a bit of a fuss.
I Made It

I Made It


None of the strangers seemed surprised that I had made it and did not offer any high fives in my honor. Paola was sufficiently exuberant for me, however.
Just before we arrived at the camp store, we saw a cow moose.
Female Moose Rump

Female Moose Rump


By the time we reached the opposite end of the circular trail route, we had walked more than nine miles. We still had a mile to get to our campsite. I flagged down a car and asked if they would drive me. The husband driver asked his wife and she shook her head "No."
I made it, but please, folks, if some old lady in a National Park asks you for a short ride to her campsite, fear not. Go ahead and give her a ride.
Americans Love Their Flag

Americans Love Their Flag


Upon our return, Paola went for a swim in the lake.
Paola Goes for a Swim

Paola Goes for a Swim


9 Hours and 9 Miles Later

9 Hours and 9 Miles Later


I had a vodka and tonic.
Even Paola Needs to Rest

Even Paola Needs to Rest

Posted by pscotterly 07:14 Archived in USA Tagged montana glacier_natl_park Comments (3)

Paula and Paola Play in Glacier Park

Ready and Willing

I flew into Calgary Sunday night after 24 hours in Denver. I spent the night in the same campground outside Fort Macleod, Alberta that I had 48 hours ago.
Next on the itinerary was Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. My friend Paola, from a rural area near Mantova, Italy, was going to meet me for a few nights of camping. I met Paola while Couch Surfing in 2012. She visited me in Denver in 2013. This year, she was coming to Chicago to study at an institute for Italian teachers of English and decided to head to the "wilderness" and join me on my road trip.

I drove at least two hours out of my way to find a Walmart. I knew I would be in pretty remote country after I crossed the Canada/US border at Del Bonita. They probably get one crossing an hour and seem to find it important to make you wait at the gate until they approach the window from some distant backroom.
La Bonita Border Crossing

La Bonita Border Crossing


We were very friendly with one another until I wanted to take a picture of the "Welcome to the United States" sign. Because it was within the fenced area, I was denied this opportunity. Security, you know,
I threw a hissy fit. Instead, I had to shoot the Lions welcome sign that was down the road.
Home of the Scared

Home of the Scared


A couple hundred more miles driving through the flat plains of the Blackfeet Reservation, I finally arrived in Glacier National Park.
Nice Spot for the Bed in the Van

Nice Spot for the Bed in the Van


I was quite relieved to find a campsite in Two Medicine campground. In case you haven't heard, camping is always at a premium in Glacier and this is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Camping alone over all the many miles I have traveled is a breeze. I drive the van in and pull out the Coleman stove. Sometimes I eat at a fine restaurant and skip the Coleman supper.

Preparing camp for an Italian campguest who is not a camper put me in quite a tizzy. Additionally, the van was a dirty mess.
By Monday night, I was totally exhausted.
What's Wrong with This Tent

What's Wrong with This Tent


Campsite Ready for Company

Campsite Ready for Company


Exhausted after my long drive, shopping, and camp setup, I struggled to make it to the Ranger talk and learned a lot about mountain goats vs sheep due to the ranger's whimsical but very informative presentation.
Start of Ranger Talk

Start of Ranger Talk


Ranger Plays a Mountain Goat

Ranger Plays a Mountain Goat


I spent all day Tuesday lounging in the hammock and in a chair by Two Medicine Lake.
Two Medicine Lake

Two Medicine Lake


At 6:45 PM the Amtrak arrived at the East Glacier station.
Here Comes Paola

Here Comes Paola


All Aboard

All Aboard


Paola took her home for the week in jovial stride.
Paola's New Home

Paola's New Home


She quickly picked up the knack of keeping a clean camp that does not attract bears.
Paola Takes to Washing Dishes in Camp

Paola Takes to Washing Dishes in Camp

Posted by pscotterly 20:21 Archived in USA Tagged montana glacier_natl_park Comments (0)

Denver Hysteria

Quick Trip for Some Good Music

Grandson Bazil studies at one of Denver's Schools of Rock,
I promised him I would return to Denver for his end of term concert at the Soiled Dove Underground -thinking it would be in September when I would have returned home.
Surprise! Around the first of August, I learned it was on August 13. While on Pacific Daylight Time, I booked an early AM flight from Calgary to Denver returning to Calgary the following afternoon so I could continue my journey.
On August 12, I arrived in Calgary. I spent the night at an airport hotel, checked my Google Calendar for my flight time. My Google Calendar said the flight was at 7:30 AM.
Oh No  I Missed My Plane

Oh No I Missed My Plane


I arrived at the airport at 6:15 to discover the system would not let me print a boarding pass!
If you use Google Calendar, it is important to remember that the STUPID calendar changes all your appointments to reflect your changed time zones: 6:30 PDT was 7:30 MDT! I must remember to always set the timezone on any scheduling I do while traveling. This has happened to me in the past, but it was never this important.
At first, flight service said there was not a flight that would get me to Denver in time for the 4 PM concert. Then, she found a seat for me. I think she might have bumped some United employees to get me a seat.

I arrived in Denver, grabbed a cab, and arrived at the venue a 2 PM.
From backstage during the soundcheck, Bazil spotted me. He came to my table where I sat alone waiting for others to arrive in about two hours. "Did you bring your knitting?" he asked. "It will be a long time before we start the show."
This is a grandson who knows his grandmother is not very patient at just sitting doing nothing!
I did have my knitting, but decided not to get it out. Recently, his mother told me she didn't like it when I knitted at her performances.
Let's Get This Show on the Road

Let's Get This Show on the Road


There were five drum students in this summer's British Invasion class, so Bazil played in four songs.
I left my program in Denver, so I can't recall the titles of the first three songs.
First Song

First Song


Second Song

Second Song


Third Song

Third Song


Bazil definitely enjoys making music, but he recently asked to help with some chores stating "I need to learn to be manly." So, he can hold the old Rundgren ethic and still make his way in the world!
I Just Want to Play on the Drum All Day

I Just Want to Play on the Drum All Day


I definitely remember the name of the finale: Hysteria!
Getting Ready for Hysteria

Getting Ready for Hysteria


The group finished the show with this tune and he put his heart, soul, and strength into it.
Getting Going on Hysteria

Getting Going on Hysteria


Getting Down on Hysteria

Getting Down on Hysteria


Harder into Hysteria

Harder into Hysteria


Really Getting Hystrria

Really Getting Hystrria


Still Hysteria

Still Hysteria


Hysteria Ending

Hysteria Ending


The concert was excellent! You would have enjoyed it even if you weren't a grandparent of a performer.
Class Takes a Bow

Class Takes a Bow


Laura and Bazil Happy at His Performance

Laura and Bazil Happy at His Performance


Bazil stayed at my condo on Saturday night. We walked to Hornet to share a sandwich and a salad.
Thumbs Up on Life

Thumbs Up on Life


We skipped Sweet Action for ice cream because the line went all the way around the block.
Laura and Bill met us for breakfast at Waffle Brothers and returned me to the airport to return to Calgary for more on the road adventures.

Posted by pscotterly 11:53 Archived in USA Tagged denver bazil Comments (1)

Crossing British Columbia

Into Alberta

With an almost healed arm, I can maneuver Ol' '95 along the Crowsnest Highway over the pass, across the continental divide and into Alberta.
The world changes with each kilometer.
East of the Divide

East of the Divide


Out of BC

Out of BC


One of the first scenes that made me turn my car around for a closer look was the site of the Frank Slide.
Frank Slide

Frank Slide


In 1905, a 90 million ton cliff of limestone cracked off the side of the mountain and buried the town of Frank. Over 100 years later, the sight is still overwhelming.
Boulders

Boulders


There's a Town and a Coal Mine Under There

There's a Town and a Coal Mine Under There


Abruptly, I am in the prairie and the mountains are to my back.
I Can See Clearly Now

I Can See Clearly Now


My heart and spirit soar at the wide open spaces. The dreary gloom of the towering cedars is gone.
Wind Farm and Hayfield

Wind Farm and Hayfield


I did a double-take at this metal art along highway 2 in Pioneer. Some artist has plenty of time in the Alberta winters!
Real or Not Real

Real or Not Real


Horse Roundup

Horse Roundup


Cattle Drive

Cattle Drive


Welcome to Fort Macleod-001

Welcome to Fort Macleod-001


I decide to stop off in Fort Macleod to visit the historic fort.
NWMP First Location

NWMP First Location


Musical Ride Is NOT a Carousel

Musical Ride Is NOT a Carousel


Four in a Row

Four in a Row


Historic Fort Macleod

Historic Fort Macleod

Climb to the Lookout

Climb to the Lookout


I LOVE This View

I LOVE This View


I Promise to Behave

I Promise to Behave


I could have spent more time poking in all the nooks and crannies, but I noticed two spots of interest across the street.
$25 Dinner and a $50 Pedicure

$25 Dinner and a $50 Pedicure


Ginger Beef at the Silver Grill in Fort Macleod

Ginger Beef at the Silver Grill in Fort Macleod


I also noticed more gulls in this playground and on the roof of the grocery store than I had on the entire Vancouver Island! Go figure.
More Gulls Than On Vancouver Island

More Gulls Than On Vancouver Island


I decided to stay at the Oldman River Recreation Site and do some more visiting on the following day.
Only One in the Campground

Only One in the Campground


Until 150 years ago, this exact spot was a First Nations' camp after a buffalo hunt. They did not have to listen to the constant roar of traffic along Route 2. Perhaps that is why only two more campers joined me that night. Well, perhaps because there is no water source is another reason this beautiful spot doesn't get much business.
Dusk on the Prairie

Dusk on the Prairie


Sunrise on the Prairie

Sunrise on the Prairie


I was so glad I stayed over to visit the Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Site. (There are 18 Heritage Sites in Canada; 5 of them are in Alberta.)
What a Logo

What a Logo


I had expected a cliff with a placard or two. Fortunately, the guide in the Fort told me there was much more to see.
I Spent 4 Hours Here

I Spent 4 Hours Here


Well, I didn't spend 4 hours in this tipi, but all around the site.
The name of the site comes from the story about the young boy in the early 1800s who wanted to watch the jump. He positioned himself beneath an overhanging rock below the cliff. After the jump, they found him buried under dead buffalo,
Bison Stampeded Over This Edge

Bison Stampeded Over This Edge


Although I was quite familiar with the principle and use of buffalo jumps, the presentations on these grounds are so impressive, artistic, factual, and well-presented that everyone will learn something new.
The building is so beautifully designed. The media productions are first class.
Styllized Media Art Production

Styllized Media Art Production


The grounds and view are superb.
Wildflowers

Wildflowers


Where's the Bee

Where's the Bee

Here's the Beef

Here's the Beef


In the Grass

In the Grass


The entire staff are Blackfoot. They are proud of their job, this site, and their heritage. Everyone took the time to answer questions, discuss history, and make you feel welcome.
You can also get a fine lunch of bison stew and bannock - which was a new food for me.
Bison Stew and Bannock

Bison Stew and Bannock


Over 30 years ago when I worked for the Lakota College , I said when it was time for my body to give up its spirit I would drive my 68 Ford panel truck to a remote corner of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and let go. I have found another spot where I could drive Ol' '95 and wait out the few remaining hours.

The only bad thing about the prairie: interesting things are so few and far between. I don't know why it gets so tiresome so quickly. The trees might be oppressive, but they don't hypnotize you like the prairie.
I had to stop for coffee and a milkshake when I started to doze. Then I had to wait out a rainstorm - have I mentioned my windshield wipers don't work properly....
I am now in a Hampton Inn near the Calgary airport. I will fly tomorrow for 24 hours in Denver.

Posted by pscotterly 23:51 Archived in Canada Tagged alberta Comments (0)

Crossing British Columbia - Day 6

I Want to Stay in a Hotel

M y body aches from my fall. My previously torn rotator cuff is acting up. I have to drive with one hand and that seems a bit treacherous on the mountain curves.
I want to stay in a beautiful hotel room with a spacious balcony overlooking these beautiful mountains. I want to rest for two days and then go on to Calgary.
An internet search and brochures at the Visitor Center identified the Island Lake Lodge as a premier spot with balconies, a spa, and fine restaurants.
A phone call lets me know there are no balcony rooms left.
I am in no mood to be anything except 110% satisfied.
I tell them "I'll keep you in mind," and continue the 3 hour drive to Fernie, a former coal town turned resort mecca.
Phone calls and cursory looks at several other places in town don't move me out of my slump. Had I felt better, I am sure I would have found museums and buildings to tickle my fancy.
I head up the mountain to the Island Lake Lodge.
On the phone, reception had warned me that the location is not ideal to just "look at a room for consideration."
She was right, it is 15 km of one-lane dirt road to the lodge,
Tamarack Lodge

Tamarack Lodge


4 Small Lodges on the Property

4 Small Lodges on the Property


I decided to stay one night. I couldn't see resting in that dim room for two days.
What Small Windows

What Small Windows


Some People Get a Balcony

Some People Get a Balcony


Ha, Ha! It rained almost my entire visit. I am glad I didn't pay the price for an unused balcony.

The lodge has an interesting history and a good tourist ethic. I had to check on line to make sure I knew what catskiing really is. If you don' t know, you can right click this link.
Cat for Catskiing

Cat for Catskiing


I had a wonderful lunch, a very good facial, a delicious dinner, a very good night's sleep, and a delicious breakfast included in the room rate.

I skipped the$125 + $85 mani-pedi. Knowing I could pay less than $40 in either LA or Denver, I couldn't convince myself it would be worth it.
Views, Hike, Bike, Catski

Views, Hike, Bike, Catski


Most guests come for the outside activities and not to lick their wounds. I guess the lack of view rooms and plenty of common lounges is not a big deal for most of them.

In the morning, I was refreshed with hardly a sore muscle and ready to see what I would find over the next pass.

Posted by pscotterly 19:55 Archived in Canada Tagged british_columbia Comments (0)

Crossing British Columbia – Days 3 and 4 and 5

From Someplace to Someplace to New Denver to Someplace

Breakfast on the Lake

Breakfast on the Lake


In my cozy van bed by the lake, I had been dreaming for some time that I was in Denver at my grandson’s rock band concert. The music was not very good and the bass and drum were too heavy. In my dream, I kept worrying how I would tell my grandson about this after the concert. About 4 AM I awoke realizing the music was real and not a dream. From the window by my bed I could see a pickup with a paddleboard overhanging the tailgate. I did not recognize the music, I think it might have been a recording of the driver’s garage band. I decided to get up and out of the van. Shortly after that, the pickup decided to leave. It was as if once he decided he had awakened at least one person, his work there was done.
I dawdled at the rest stop I had used as a campground enjoying the view. No one else commented on the music. When I was packing up to leave around 8 AM, the same truck returned. The driver unloaded his paddleboard and headed for the lake. He was approaching 50 years old-old enough to be mature enough to know better. Maybe he works nights.

I drove into the charming lakeside town of Peachland. I could stay here for a month of summer! There was a very good art show of local talent.
The gallery worker had been born and raised in the Denver area. After working in the oil fields of Texas and Calgary, they retired to Peachland. She misses the blue skies of Colorado. From November until May, the skies are overcast; the sun sets at 4:30 and does not peek over the mountains again until 8:30.
Summer Wild Flowers Everywhere

Summer Wild Flowers Everywhere


But, oh, the water of the Okanagan Valley! This is such beautiful country. I don’t think I took enough good pictures of the fields, produce farms, vineyards, mountains, and lakes.
Perhaps because shortly after leaving Peachland you get in a stream of traffic stop and going at traffic lights. Imagine South Colorado Boulevard stretching for about 30 miles (or any LA street at rush hour for the same distance). Then have 25% of the traffic be motor homes and big RVs
I had planned on stopping and enjoying the small city of Kelowna, but strip malls are not on my list. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. The lady at the Peachland Visitor Center told me there would be similar traffic enroute to Banff and that Banff would be quite crowded with tour buses.
At Vernon, decided to head away from the crowds and take a cable ferry across Lower Arrow Lake at Needles.
In Line for Another Ferry

In Line for Another Ferry


Waiting on Another Ferry

Waiting on Another Ferry


After leaving the ferry, there are Osprey nests on the power poles. At one point, I saw three fledglings’ heads sticking up out of the nest. There was no place to stop and take a picture. At the first pull-off, I confirmed the sighting on an information sign and with a carload of traveling retirees from Calgary.

We studied the upcoming events board at some length. I kept pondering what the activity of slopitch might be and thought I would stop and try to find out. Then, I decided it must be slow pitch softball! Which I now discover is called slo-pitch in Canada. What a difference a hyphen makes.
I'm Coming for the SlopItch

I'm Coming for the SlopItch


I decided to keep driving and just enjoy the scenery.
Monashee Summit

Monashee Summit


Hope I Can Find a Place to Camp on This Lake

Hope I Can Find a Place to Camp on This Lake


I saw a small sign for Box Lake Recreation area along the road. I pulled in and drove a narrow dirt road down the mountain side for about three miles.
Maybe Down This Road

Maybe Down This Road


I'll Take This Spot

I'll Take This Spot


This primitive campground was a true find. I hear the plaintive call of a loon. I only saw one and don’t think I hear one respond. The camp host told me there was a family of four that lived on the lake.
This is Where I Fill My Kettle

This is Where I Fill My Kettle


This is Where I Fix Breakfast

This is Where I Fix Breakfast


This is Where I Go

This is Where I Go


This is Where I Wash

This is Where I Wash


Everyone in the campsite slept VERY late – except me. I had to wait a long time until someone woke up and opened my jar of peanut butter for me.
A Visit to New Denver

A Visit to New Denver


I spotted a dot on the map labeled New Denver with a biking/hiking trail. I knew I had to stop here.
I was not disappointed. The original Caucasians of the area dubbed the town New Denver in 1891 because they were convinced it would prosper to be greater than Denver. Today, it has fewer than 1000 residents.
1896 Catholic Church

1896 Catholic Church


Pretty Yards

Pretty Yards


Sew Much More

Sew Much More


Time To Do Some Laundry

Time To Do Some Laundry


The museum sold a pamphlet that had been compiled by the 7th and 8th grade classes in 1944. It was interesting to see how they described the changes in their town and to see the changes that have occurred in my lifetime. It is only now that I am looking up these sites that I learn there is a Japanese Internment Memorial in New Denver. Sorry, I missed that. When the pamphlet was written, it described the "accommodations with the attractive view" the relocated Japanese had been given, how industrious they were, how they respected education and set up a school within the compound for their children, etc. Of course, this was written midway through their internment.

Several visitors I met had been raised in New Denver and returned for their vacation each summer to visit family, swim, and enjoy catching up with old friends who did not move.
That's Canadian Dollars

That's Canadian Dollars


Most residents' homes are in the 100-250 K. Some homes were listed for up to 700K, but I am sure those were vacation homes. I don't think many folks who live and work here can afford that for housing.
A Special Show Tonight

A Special Show Tonight


After hiking, biking, and enjoying the town all day, you could have attended a special show in town just for the night.
This was a magician and assistant traveling in a modified rig that is home and billboard. As small and messy as my van gets, I will take it any day over living in this rig with a python, rodents (both for magic purposes and as a food supply I imagine), and other Houdini-type regalia.
I thought about sticking around for the show, but decided to get out on the trail.
Rails to Trails

Rails to Trails


I soon discovered the Galena trail was not at all like the Galloping Goose or the Lochside on Vancouver Island. This was a serious mountain biking trail. I decided to take a little hike instead of a bike ride.
It's A Mountain Bike Trail

It's A Mountain Bike Trail


This had been a narrow gauge track for trains supporting the mining in the area. At many times it was now about 18” of crushed rock hanging to the side of the cliff. I was glad I had I left my bike with the van.
That's a Raging River Down There

That's a Raging River Down There


Nice Views

Nice Views


And then…
Tripped on That Root

Tripped on That Root


I stumbled over a root in the path. Fortunately, it was in a wide place in the trail.
As lay there stunned and unable to move, I thought of a passage I had recently read in a book Bazil gave me for my birthday:
….One reason that some elderly can’t get up after a fall is that they actually been down on a floor for years!
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Katrina Firlik

As my arthritic knees and hips have stopped moving over the last two years, I keep limiting the yoga, Pilates, and other exercises. I vowed to start in again. I also recommend if you don’t exercise, at least practice getting up off the ground at least once a day.

The only thing broken was my new MP3 player that I had purchased the same day I bought my new camera to replace the one I dropped in Victoria, which, fortunately, was still in working order.
My whole right side was bruised and sore. My wrist and arm were slightly sprained from trying to stop the fall 1## pounds.
I had walked only about a mile, so returned to the van.
My right arm was so sore, I could barely turn the steering wheel.
I drove about 30 miles to take another ferry ride – as part of the Canada transportation system, this is the longest fee ferry ride in the world.
Little Ferry on the Longest Free Route

Little Ferry on the Longest Free Route


Sister Ferry

Sister Ferry


Spectacular Scenery

Spectacular Scenery


Guess I'll Just Stay Here Tonight

Guess I'll Just Stay Here Tonight


I struggled with the van until dusk started to descend and I found a marina on another beautiful lake or river where I spent the night with only two deer and a small flock of Canada geese.
Doe and Adolescent

Doe and Adolescent

Posted by pscotterly 15:41 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Crossing British Columbia – Day Two

From Hope to Lake Okanagan

Starting the Day on the Fraser River

Starting the Day on the Fraser River


I drove less than 300 miles (close to 400 kilometers when you are in Canada). It is not the miles you cover, but the scenery along the way.
Before I ever started the van, I checked out the campground and talked with fellow travelers.
Only One at a Time

Only One at a Time


Then I rode my bike around the town of Hope.
Hope was a thriving town on the Fraser during the gold rush days and on through the timber era.
The main industry now seems to be tourism.
Tourists from All Over the World Stop Here

Tourists from All Over the World Stop Here


Not Sure Why

Not Sure Why


Maybe to Attend a Conference

Maybe to Attend a Conference


Or Go to the Movie

Or Go to the Movie


Probably for the Wood Carvings

Probably for the Wood Carvings


In the Line of Duty

In the Line of Duty


Clouds on the Mountaintop

Clouds on the Mountaintop


While on a walking tour in Vancouver, a lady from Missouri asked the guide where all the churches were in Vancouver. He seemed a little puzzled and later pointed out an historic church. I chatted with her and said that I had also noted there were not dozens of churches in every town as found in the USA. Here in Hope I saw only three: a storefront Pentecostal, a Catholic, and this historic Anglican Church of England
Historic Christ Church in Hope

Historic Christ Church in Hope


It was the first one built in British Columbia in 1861 during the gold rush. Built in the high English style, it was meant as a message to the Americans that this was an English settlement. They still hold services there, but I wanted to be on the road before it began.

Just outside of Hope the mountainside shows the results of the great landslide of 1965. Because it is outside of town only three people lost their lives when they were caught on the road. The quake-caused slide completely filled a large lake at the base of the mountain.
Landslide of 1965

Landslide of 1965


This Was a Lake

This Was a Lake


You cross an unnamed pass and suddenly the world changes. My heart rushed. It looked like western Colorado.
Suddenly, you see ranches, cattle, and then orchards become prolific.
Starts to Look Like Colorado

Starts to Look Like Colorado


I stopped in Princeton to visit the museum.
From Fossils and First Nations

From Fossils and First Nations


to Settlers

to Settlers


to the Typewriter

to the Typewriter

Don't Get the Mac 'n Cheese

Don't Get the Mac 'n Cheese


Also learned that mining for copper was still an industry here. Gold and coal had also been big mining industries. Coal mining stopped when the railroad no longer needed it to power their locomotives.

I stopped for gas in Kenemos and debated over which direction to take:
- South to Osoyoos on the dessert border with the USA
- North to Kelowna on the lakes
I liked the name of both. Checking online, I found that both were big tourist areas and all campgrounds appeared to be full. I decided it might be more pleasant heading north and there were also several boutique hotels and B and Bs.
After driving about 60 miles through fantastic orchards and vineyards, Skaha Lake appears. Between Lakes Okanagan and Skaha is an easy flowing inlet – a natural easy river! You can rent a tube at the top at Okanagan and float down to Skaha. It looked like such fun – one of the few times I regretted traveling alone as this seemed it would be more fun with a companion.
I found a rest stop with a swimming beach.
Hanging Out on Lake Okanagan

Hanging Out on Lake Okanagan


What a perfect place to spend the night. The campgrounds were probably full, so I decided not to budge.
Cottonwood Trees

Cottonwood Trees


Whitecaps and White Cliffs

Whitecaps and White Cliffs


Rays through the Storm Clouds

Rays through the Storm Clouds


A handful of others had the same idea, so there was the opportunity for a bit of interaction. As usual, one of my fellow campers needed to talk about Drumpf. I queried him about why none of the Canucks ever talked about local politics and he said “we are not as exciting.” I am beginning to wish we were a bit duller.

Posted by pscotterly 10:18 Archived in Canada Tagged british_columbia Comments (0)

Crossing BC – Day One

Mission to Hope

I tried to navigate my way out of Vancouver by paper map and mind instead of Google GPS.
Wrong idea. I did get the opportunity to drive over several of the bridges that I had previously seen only from the bus or on the bike path. Highway 1 is the only transcontinental highway that goes entirely across Canada West to East. It starts at the bay in Victoria, goes Up Island, and then transfers to a ferry line! You pick it up again in Vancouver and can drive all the way to the east coast.
Although it is only two-lane in many areas, I still wanted to take some less-direct routes – even though all routes in British Columbia are rather meandering along rivers, through valleys, and over mountain passes. I decided to follow the Fraser River.

I headed for Mission to stop by the visitor center and see what they might suggest for visiting the area.
She misunderstood when I said I had a week to get to Calgary and thought I wanted to spend a week in Mission. Once she understood, she narrowed down the best of the best to these three:

1. Fraser Valley Historical Park
Flowers in the Foundation

Flowers in the Foundation


This site housed a Native Residential School from the late 1880s until the 1960s. It has finally dawned on me why I haven’t see as many historic buildings as I do in other parts of the US. They were all built of wood! For example, Denver had no trees suitable for building structures. As soon as possible, brickworks were founded. Here, they definitely have plenty of trees. But after a couple of decades of neglect, wooden structures must be razed; there isn’t even a pile of bricks, just the stone foundations.
Photo Shot in the Old Mission Foundation

Photo Shot in the Old Mission Foundation


No Visitors to This Cemetery

No Visitors to This Cemetery


In the early part of this century, developers wanted to build modern housing on this site. I don’t recall who owned the land at this time – it might have still been the Order of Immaculate Mary or another religious group. As in cities and towns across the continent, a group of local citizens felt the historic value of this area should be maintained. They raised the money to turn it into this delightful park with placards describing the original structures and experiences.
Little Shrine on the Hilltop

Little Shrine on the Hilltop


I could see this restored shrine on the hill, but didn’t understand until now that I could walk the path up to visit. I thought it was part of what I would see when I moved on to number 2.

2. Westminster Abbey
A Few Beautiful Flowers

A Few Beautiful Flowers


I am not sure why the Benedictines chose this spot in 1954 for an abbey. Originally, I thought it was a continuation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who had the Native Residential School, but I don’t see any proof of that.
Church Steeple

Church Steeple


Church Was Locked

Church Was Locked


Apparently, the church has some beautiful artwork and interior splendor. It was locked, so I have to accept the word of the brochure.
They did provide a nice half mile path around the hill where you had a splendid view of the Fraser Valley.
A Walking Path

A Walking Path


View of the Fraser Valley

View of the Fraser Valley


For 10,000 years the First Nations of, I think, the Sto:lo lived in this area. Then Mr. Fraser paddled up this river and realized the value of the timber.
Site of the Fraser Gold Rush

Site of the Fraser Gold Rush


Holy Smokes! There was also some gold. Europeans and Chinese came up from San Francisco; this was closer than going all the way to Alaska. They panned on the sandbars evident in the photo.
Soon the gold petered out and the timber was cleared. The land was prime for agricultural settlers. The great fertile plains continue throughout the valley today with crops of corn and produce.

3. Stave River Power Plant
What An Experience

What An Experience


Get Ready for the Experience

Get Ready for the Experience


The most interesting thing I learned on this excursion was why it was called Stave River. I had been wondering about that when I saw it on the map and signage. Along this river grew the type of pine trees the Hudson Bay Company used to make the staves for shipping barrels. Crews worked cutting the trees and floating them down the river to the mills where the planks were cut and eventually made into staves.
A Two Hour Tour Was Too Much for Me

A Two Hour Tour Was Too Much for Me


I have often said I wanted to return in another life as a civil engineer. After visiting the power plant, I thought perhaps I was wrong. Although an 8 year-old-boy and his grandparents were fascinated by everything on the tour and discussed at great length the generators and all the whirlygigs for getting the water forced through to make electricity, my interest waned shortly after the review of how the special train and crane enabled the construction.
I enjoyed the photos of the town life that was generated around the 24-hour manned plant and the marketing required to generate enthusiasm for the use of electricity more than I did the actual generation of electricity!
My knees were aching so bad that I couldn’t even generate enough enthusiasm to take a nature walk along the former railroad track.
I have had enough touring for one day, so I headed to find a place to camp for the night.
I think I am beginning to get the history of these First Nations and settlers down pat. Wonder what else I will find across British Columbia. I headed towards the famous Harrison Hot Springs. So did everyone else.
No Room at Harrison Hot Springs Campground

No Room at Harrison Hot Springs Campground


I found a resting place in Hope.
I'll Stay Here in Hope

I'll Stay Here in Hope

Posted by pscotterly 10:46 Archived in Canada Tagged british_columbia Comments (2)

One Last Day in the City

Hanging in My Hood

It was my last night in Vancouver. I received an email from my AirBnB host offering me another night on the house,
My Rooftop Garden

My Rooftop Garden


In the morning, I decided to spend one more day here - no touring and no driving through the BC country - just enjoying my Vancouver neighborhood the West End.

My Neighborhood

My Neighborhood


My Neighborhood Coffeeshop

My Neighborhood Coffeeshop


Spend Time on the Bay

Spend Time on the Bay


A-maze-ing Laughter is a sculpture near my house. It was designed by a Chinese sculptor - one description states in response to Tiananmen Square.
Even though it is only one of many public art pieces throughout the town, almost every tourist to Vancouver comes here to take photos . You can see why.
Almost the Full Picture

Almost the Full Picture

Amazing Laughter

Amazing Laughter

More Laughter

More Laughter


The striking thing about this great part of Vancouver - there are NO single-family houses. There is this one next to my shabby condo building. It is even shabbier - even I did not dare to go past this hedge.
Behind This Hedge Is A House

Behind This Hedge Is A House


"Oh yes, there are!" I was told to go to Mole Hill, the highest point in the city of Vancouver. It is about 300 feet high above sea level and about one mile from my condo. Sure enough, there was one block of single family houses. I think there are a few more and many of them are multi-family units. All are preserved from 1930s era properties.
One Block of Houses

One Block of Houses


I found another "historic" duplex a few blocks away,
Oh Here Is Another

Oh Here Is Another


Apparently around the communities of Mount Pleasant and the University of BC area there are more houses, but this is the only city I have ever visited that did not have at least a small area of the original homes. Almost everything has been razed to create the City of Glass,
The population of Denver and Vancouver are similar - just a bit over 600,000. With the density of all these high-rise buildings, I would have thought Vancouver had many more than Denver. I love Denver's preserved neighborhoods. I also love Vancouver

I could spend a month here.....But time to hit the road and leave the city.

Posted by pscotterly 07:22 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

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