Tuesday, August 5, 2014

British Columbia and Alberta

Fall colors in Canada, who would have thought


We took a road trip to British Columbia and Alberta in October (taking a chance they didn't have an early snow.)  The weather cooperated and even got in three rounds of golf.  We stayed in timeshare condos in Invermere , B.C. and  Paradise Canyon Golf  Resort in Lethbridge, Alberta.  Both resorts were nice and were excellent locations to travel both provinces.    Our first day we checked out the  town of Invermere, very quaint.  We stocked up on groceries and   were surprised to see how expensive groceries are in B.C.  Their cheapest bottle of wine was $15.  In fact when we crossed the border we declared we had two bottles of wine and they pulled us over  and had to go inside to declare the wine. (You would think we were smuggling drugs, ha ha)
The next day we decided to go to Banff to see Lake Louise, it was a little overcast so we couldn't see the reflection in the water like you see in most photos,  but here is my best

Also a great picture of Lake Morraine
We decided to continue on to Jasper National Park and the glaciers and lakes were well worth the drive,  It was getting late so we decided to stay in a hotel in Jasper and come home the next day.
I traveled to Jasper in the 1970's and what I remember most is seeing Elk right in town and , Mountain sheep and bears along the highway.
The whole trip we did not see one wild animal.  I asked around when we were in Jasper and the locals told me that someone decided they should set off fireworks one year, needless to say the animals left and never returned to the town.  I was quite disappointed.   Also they put up fences along the highway to keep animals from getting killed so that also contributed to the decline.  Here are some beautiful pictures from the trip to Jasper
On the way back from Banff we crossed the continental divide (here is an interesting fact the water flows west on one side of the divide and East on the other side)
When we were at the Visitor center in  Invermere, they had a little doggie that I just had to take a picture of, he was so cute
After looking for wild animals in the National Parks I finally saw some big horned sheep right in the middle of town
After leaving British Columbia, we went to Alberta, stayed on a beautiful golf course.  Went to see the Smashed Buffalo Head National Monument.  The Indians would corral the buffalo and chase them off a steep cliff and then use the buffalo meat and hides for the whole winter.  This seems cruel but necessary for their existence.  They used every part of the buffalo, including the bones for tools.
We went to Atherton National Park (which is the Canadian side of the rockies of the Glacier National Park in the U.S.
On the way home through Montana and Glacier National Park I took many pictures of the beautiful trees, here are a few
The trip back home took us along the Columbia River and I really recommend taking the scenic route into Portland, lots of waterfalls and the salmon and sturgeon hatchery at the dam.
One last note on our way up to Canada, we made a special stop in Lind, Washington.  My parents lived there when I was 1 year old and I had never been to this part of Washington.   This is a little rinky dink town in the middle of nowhere.  I had to take a picture of this sign.  The big event of the year is the World Famous Combine demolition derby (how exciting is that I ask you)
All in all this is one of my most memorable trips, I have never seen so much natural beauty in a three  week period of  time.  I can't wait to return.
Happy trails to you.