Thursday, November 9, 2017

Enjoying the Tetons--Fall Break 2017

I should admit that since Roland and I are retired, there really isn't a fall break from it. However, we shared this trip with Brian, Norma and Sierra on their fall break. We're so glad they invited us to join them!

I truly love our National Parks, and while I've been to the Tetons in the summer, never in October. It was wonderful to see it in October.

Teddy Roosevelt said in 1904:  "Surely our people do not understand even yet the rich heritage that is theirs. There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, its groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the canon of the Colorado, the canon of the Yellowstone, the three Tetons: and the representatives of the people should see to it that they are preserved for the people forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred."

Here's what we explored!
Here you can see our first sighting of wild life. Just look at those antlers!

It was cold, but fun and so beautiful.

Leigh Lake

Leigh Lake--horizontally. : )

These pictures begin our second hike for the day.  This is String Lake. We hiked all the way around it in the snow and in the wind, and had a lot fun!

Looking for fish in the stream

We headed over to Jenny Lake. Now you can see that the sky is turning gray and getting ready to snow--which is always better than rain!

Sierra and Norma beside Jenny Lake. A beach vacation!
 I think they're contemplating getting their feet wet at the beach.

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake--strikingly beautiful--and a bit cold.

We had planned to go to Hidden Falls from Jenny Lake, but the trail was being worked on so we opted for the trail to Inspiration Point.  We made it to the top, but the view didn't allow us to see far, but its quite inspiring.

Brian and Roland lookin' out over Inspiration Point.

Takin' time to be inspired up here.

Norma and Brian enjoying a moment together.

On our way down! See the flakes--snowflakes, I mean!

A moose! We saw him on our drive home.

The next day Roland, Norma and Brian had a fishing expedition. We all joked about how much fish they would catch, but none had their hopes too high. It was a cold, windy day and while they set out to go fishing, Sierra and I headed over to the Visitors Center. We found a pretty pinecone 24k gold dipped necklace in the gift shop and I bought my lifetime senior pass for all national parks. We also saw a cool display of Indian Art along with historical information about the park. Then we headed over to Jackson Hole. We enjoyed hot chocolate and chili at a quaint little restaurant and then headed over to a thrift shop right across the street. Sierra found a cool jacket and I found a pitcher. Maybe I'll work on adding to my collection--I lost several of my pitchers in the move--but that's another story. Regardless, I really liked the pitcher and the price was right.

This is some of the scenery we got to enjoy on our way to Jackson Hole. We stopped on our way out of the park to take this picture. These mountains just come straight up out the plains!

It was so cold, and Sierra and I feared that it was much too cold for the fish to bite and felt sorry for those who went fishing. While it was very cold, you can see that it didn't stop the fish from biting! All three of them caught their limit--that's eighteen fish!! And they are big uns---all measuring at least 18 inches.

Norma is looking real pleased.
Pure delight!
And then they had to carry all those fish out--it was quite a hike for them with all that fish. Roland had injured his wrist, so Brian and Norma carried out the approximately 30 pounds of fish.

Hiking around Ocean Lake, we saw footprints made by bears. This the footprint of a black bear. Pretty big--but not near as big as a grizzly bear's.

And look at this coyote running along side of our vehicle!

We had a great time and got a chance to use our long johns, winter coats, raincoats, hats and mittens. We also had chance to enjoy hot chocolate and trout. Plus, we got to enjoy viewing wildlife--moose, foxes, elk, deer and coyotes. And its surely an adventure to see the park dressed in snow instead of grass and wild flowers.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Glacier National Park and Banf, 2017

Glacier and Banff National Parks are parks that Roland has talked about wanting to go to for a very long time--and before he started talking about them, I wasn't even aware that they existed! So I'm not sure who was more delighted and excited by the beautiful scenery provided in these parks. What a wonderful trip we had! It was a hiking trip in which over the course of a eight days, we hiked 76 miles!

Tuesday afternoon, May 30, we arrived at West Glacier. We flew in to Kalispell, Montana, and rented a car and were ready for adventure! At the recommendation of our wonderful host at Glacier General Store and Cabins, we headed into the park for a little hike around Avalanche Lake. We also got to the see the magnificent McDonald Lake.

The folks who took this picture of us were sure that we were newly weds  Being in such a beautiful location made us feel like we were, too!

The was our first view of the beautiful blue hues of the lakes formed by glaciers. What striking, beautiful hues of blue we saw at McDonald Lake.

Day 2, Wednesday, May 31  In the morning, we found our way over to hike the Many Glacier trails (7 miles) and in the afternoon, we hiked a much less scenic trail at Two Medicine Lake. We hiked this trail all in an effort to reach No Name Lake. But we missed a turn in the trail and never made it! We had to turn back so we could get to our car by nightfall. But we added another 7 miles to our tally and had a great time together. I took pictures of the second trail, but nothing too interesting, so I haven't included them here.

Fishercap Lake

A second view of Fishercap Lake

Red Rock Falls

Another view of Red Rock Falls

Roland and Red Rock Falls

The water is so clear as it falls over the rim!

The elevation got higher and we found snow.

Here I am in my sandals--in the snow! We eventually had to stop and turn around. That's just the way it is in late May and early June. But the good thing about going this early is there are fewer folks with whom to share the trails.

You can see how the trees have grown bent over because of glaciers that slide down the mountains right over the top of them.

These big horn sheep were running toward us on the trail. I felt the need to move off the trail so they wouldn't run over us! But at the last moment, they went around us.

Here they are back on the trail and running at top speed. We learned that they reason they hang around the trails is to avoid predators. People shield them from danger.

Day 3, Thursday, June 1 was a rather rainy day and we decided to stick close to our cabin and hiked a fun 6 miles along McDonald Creek. Though we got a little wet, we never needed our rain ponchos.

Just one of the many cute creatures that Roland saw and held.

I love this view of McDonald Lake. The reflection in the water is so very artistic!

In the evening we drove to a place the locals enjoy going in the peak of the tourist season called Wild Horse Reservoir??

What a choice experience to see an eagle's nest!
Day 4, Friday June 2 we drove to a very isolated area of Glacier called Polebridge. Here we hiked 15 miles (7 1/2 miles each way) along the Bowman Lake. After taking the first view of the lake, the scenery seemed rather uninteresting and then the rain came and we were getting very wet from not only the rain, but the moisture that was on the brush on the trail. We decided to go the whole length of the lake because we were so far away from anything else. And besides we needed to see what was at the other end of the lake! It was a very memorable and beautiful day.
This place is "off the grid" and our host back at our cabin suggested we stop here for breakfast (pastries) before starting our day a Polebridge.

Aww--how does Nature do it!  So beautiful!!

This little baby squirrel must have fallen out of his nest. I hope his mama found him.

We stopped here to eat on our way back to our cabin. I don't remember what I ate, but it was good.We were really tired and hungry from our day of hiking.
Day 5, Saturday June 3 we left our cabin and headed for Waterton, which is the border town between Canada and the U.S. We arrived in Waterton just in time to take our planned trip on a boat the length of Waterton Lake to Goat Haunt, then we hiked the 10 miles back to our car in Waterton.

This is a view from our boat as we headed over to Goat Haunt where we would turn around and hike back. We actually had to take our passports to have them stamped!

You can see the line where the trees have been cleared. This is the border between Canada and the U.S.

Another view, with a nice monument to friendship between our two nations.

After a full day of hiking, we were glad to find a hot dog place to eat and then head to the bed and breakfast we were staying for a couple nights. I need to clarify--this hot dog place was really, really good--and not just because we were hungry.

It was a lovely room. But a little small. There was no place to put our bags, so we left them in the car trunk and just brought in a change of clothes and our toiletries. I must admit I felt a bit claustrophobic while in this room. The good thing is we weren't there to stay in the room. And they also had very nice muffins and juice for breakfast.

Day 6, Sunday, June 4 we took it nice and easy. After muffins and juice, we headed walked over to church to enjoy sacrament meeting and meeting Canadian members of the church. Waterton is a very small town. In the winter, less than 50 people live there, but during the tourist season, there are a few thousand. After church we walked around town and saw big horn sheep enjoying the comfort and safety of town life and the Prince of Wales Hotel. What a magnificent and historical hotel which provided great views of Waterton Lake. Then in the evening when the animals come out, we drove a couple of highways where we had been told we would probably see wildlife. While traveling the highway, we took a walk through Red Rock Canyon.

And the big horned sheep enjoyed roaming the streets of Waterton.
A waterfall that was just a short walk from our B & B.

This is one of my very favorite pictures from the whole trip. Here is Waterton Lake as seen from the Prince of Wales Hotel

This is the lobby and brunch area of the Prince of Wales. What a view!

The Prince of Wales Hotel

We were rewarded with this black bear on our Highway Drive!  We actually saw three bears, deer and a fox.

Red Rock Canyon

You just can't get away from majestic views!

Day 7, Monday, June 6 we traveled several hours to Canmore, Alberta, Canada. We stayed at the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge. Canmore is just outside of Banff. After arriving we found a trail to hike just outside of the park. It was called Grassi Lakes. Here we hike 5 miles.

Another one of my very favorite places!

And we spotted this molting mountain goat!

Same goat--a different shot.

 Day 7, Tuesday, June 6 we entered Banf National Park and drove along the Ice Field Highway to so we could see, at last, real glaciers--the ones that haven't melted away from global warming.  Along the way we stopped to hike 5 miles to Bow Glacier Falls. Then we reached our goal--Athabasca Glacier and hiked a mile to view it.

A panoramic view of Bow Lake.

Bow Lake

Bow Lake

Bow Lake

Bow Lake--another of my very favorite views

Bow Lake

Views hiking up to the Falls.

Rushing, vibrant, blue water.

Hiking up and up

Looking down

At the base of Bow Lake Falls


A wider view

Athabasca Glacier

Standing in front of Athabasca Glacier

On our ride home, we were rewarded with this view of a big horned sheep. There were several along the highway. Notice the barrier behind this sheep. He was closest to me, but not as close as it looks! 
Day 8, Wednesday June 7, we drove through Banff, east to west and into Yoho National Park where we hiked around Emerald Lake, and up to the falls and Emerald Basin. These waters come from Emerald Glacier. Here we hiked 9 miles. I forgot my camera that day, so I need to get the pics from Roland's phone.

Day 9, Thursday, June 8