ROAD TRIP! August 2015 Cover of the photo book capturing many of our memoriesRoute map: >4,500 miles in two weeks.First stop: Starkweather, ND, to visit Judy’s college friend Elizabeth Berg and her family on their farm“Assiting” son Nathan in the combineBeautiful barleyJudy and Jim Berg catching upNorth Dakota gothicReady to cross to Canada after looping back to the US side to dispose of our eggs from MinnesotaManitoba prairie sunsetCanola (yellow) and flax (blue) in beautiful juxtapositionManitoba’s banana belt?Arriving in Lake Louise, the mountains were shrouded in mistOur home for five daysRoad to Moraine LakeIndescribeable beautyBeware the local inhabitants. Visitors must travel in groups of four… Oops!We had the lake to ourselves because of the rainBreathtaking blue waterCataract rushing into the lake from the glaciers aboveImpossible to capture the ever-changing color of the glacier water–which isn’t to say I didn’t keep trying!Cotton candy clouds danced among the peaksWe had fun in the Lake Louise Village rock shop cracking geodes from MexicoIconic Fairmont Hotel on the shore of Lake LouiseLake Louise itself, without the hotelEnd of Lake LouiseLooking back toward the hotelHiking above the lake to a teahouse at the Plain of Six Glaciers… over ten miles roundtrip!We did it together……but it was a long hike!At the teahouse!Rewarded with a meal.Johnston Canyon side trip on our way to Radium Hot Springs… Judy said, “Not another waterfall. We have waterfalls in Minnesota!”But the trail was strapped right to the side of the canyon, so we followed the river all the way.Beautiful blue water.Worth the hike, even if there were a LOT of people.Am I right?At Radium, we also treated ourselves to a massage. Ahhhhhhh!The water is naturally heated to about 105º F.On the way back, we stopped at the border between two national parks; two provinces; and two watersheds going to two oceans.The ski lodge, built from trees on the national park.We bought tickets to ride to the top of the ski run, for the view, and hopefully to (safely) see grizzly bears.Right below our chairlift we spotted a grizzly feeding.We had breakfast at the lodge as part of our package.The view from the top of the chairlift. Lake Louise is straight across the valley.We took a hike above the chairlift to get to the top of the mountain……with the proviso that we exercise caution.The goal: Ptarmigan Valley Viewpoint.Halfway to the top. The view is even more spectacular.It is also a lot of work to get there.Spur hike called Pika Trail, but we came back when it started to go down.When we came back out to the road, there was a ranger truck informing us that a bear was active on the hill above us. We were advised to hike down making a LOT of noise; then he returned to drive us down when they lost sight of the bear.When we got to the chairlift, we were able to see the bear, right above the trail we would have hike out on. Phew!As an after thought, they closed the trail… after we were all safe.The trip down the chairlift.We drove to visit the town of Banff, right at the base of Rundle Mountain.Although the town was too touristy for our taste, we partook of the hot springs there as well.We drove up Highway 93 to the Columbia Icefields and the Athabasca Glacier.We paid to ride a special bus right out onto the glacier.It’s amazing to be on top of a moving river of ice as deep as the Eiffel Tower is tall.The road across the scree field descended at a 32º pitch.The vehicles cost $1.2 million EACH!The tires are HUGE and under-inflated for traction on the ice.The Andromeda glacier above.The glacial ice gives up very light light.Ice all the way to the bottom, almost 1,000 feet!A parking lot of ice.After the glacier, we followed the suggestion of a Jasper National Park ranger to take in several sights, including Athabasca Falls. (Judy was not impressed.)Just driving along Highway 93, the Icefields Parkway, reviewed by National Geographic magazine as a “crown jewel of western Canada.”Glaciers and lakes and peaks at every turn along the length of the Icefields Parkway–“Named for the Columbia Icefield and the squadron of glaciers visible along the route,” said National Geographic.Mountain goats beside the highway. They lick the rocks to get minerals.The fourth “must see” stop involved a side trip to Mount Edith Cavell. After the Falls, we weren’t sure…Mount Edith CavellAt the end of a winding dirt road, we were there. A short (but strenuous) hike brought us to the base, and the view of……Angel Glacier.See the wings?Mount Edith Cavell with Angel Glacier (right) filling the bowl below.Unlike the other three recommendations, this was well worth the drive and the hike.Cavell Lake in the valley below, another short hike off the road.B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L-!Continuing our drive, we came to an overlook above Highway 93 as it winds betweens folds in the mountains.Wow!The evening light on our return trip was enchanting.Back in camp: Parks Canada doesn’t sell bundles of firewood. They sell campfire permits for each day you want a fire, then provide a pile of wood so you can have as much as you want (under tarp) for each day you purchase a permit.Last meal in our camp before continuing our ROAD TRIP!Saying good-bye to Lake Louise Village.Winding road up to Yoho National park, which Rick’s family visited 50 years ago.It was all Rick remembered, including Takakkaw Falls.As we explored Yoho, we discovered the “Natural Bridge”: A lot of tour buses pull up and disgorge lines of people who walk to the viewpoint, take a picture, and leave.Emerald Lake, another driving destination, was aptly named, but the tour buses and crowds were again off-putting to Judy and Rick.Brazen raven3D map of the valleyJudy enjoyed sitting at the base of Takakkaw Falls. It was very misty.While waiting to check into the hostel, we took a hike up into the park.Laughing FallsWe passed evidence of bear activity, and noticed other hikers carrying bells and bear spray. Perhaps we were not being overly safe…Cooling the dogs after our hike.The water was VERY cold.Whiskey Jack Hostel was in sight and sound of the falls.The hostel, all that remains of a railroad lodge that was wiped out in a 1968 avalanche.Driving……sleeping.Breakfast in Field, B.C.Steep roadcut.Destination: Abbottsford, B.C. to visit Rick’s dad, Wayne, and his wife, Diann.Dad and the dog.Tea at Clayburn Village Store.Then on to Portland, OR, to see Rick’s mom. We visited the Jenkins Estate.Pretty fancy horse stablesJapanese gardenExploring the groundsBirthday celebration at sister Margaret’s house.Lunch out togetherTime to say good-byeSemi-obligatory stop for restroom and photo of iconic waterfall on the Columbia GorgeTraffic stopped after a windstorm obliterated visibility and several trucks and cars collided, triggering a fire, which spread in the winds. We had to take a detour of 50 miles to get around it.Berkeley Pit Mine in Butte, MT.Very deep, but they no longer pump out the water, so it has filled up.Drove through Little Bighorn Battlefield.Rather, drove in and turned around.Sleep……and drive.The garden was very happy to see us.