Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Littleton, CO

I am camped at Chatfield State Park just outside Littleton. This gives me a great opportunity to visit with my sons and their families and reconnect with former lovers (hee, hee, If you believe that I have swamp land you might like to buy). I will be here until the 28th then on to La Veta for a couple of weeks where I'll clean up the casita, myself, Foxy and get ready to move on to Florida. I will post one more blog on the Alaska journey noting what I have learned along the way.

For now, enjoy the Colorado sunset and sunrise. OH, Carol is fine making her way from Vernal, UT. We join up in LV.








Sunday, August 24, 2014


Now I know where all the people in the world are. Geeze Louise, talk about crowded. Despite the crushing crowds I did manage to see Old Faithful and The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The Grand Canyon shows off a rainbow of colored rocks and the Yellowstone River far below. Pretty spectacular.

Here is a Bison taking his share in the middle!


The ranger told me about grizzlies feeding on a bison carcass. He said just look for the people so I drove out to take a look. People were everywhere with their 10 foot lenses, at least 25 rangers trying to protect the people from themselves by corralling them on top of a hill several hundred yards from the bears. I got a good look as I drove by. I'm sure the rangers are ready for summer to be over. I had planned to return to the site this am but thought better of it. Plenty of things to see and walks to take.

Yellowstone River

While Yellowstone is certainly unique it is also high. I had difficulty breathing so decided to leave around noon the next day and press co to Cody, WY. Where I stayed the night at a lower elevation.

Some photos of Yellowstone pools:















Friday, August 22, 2014


It was great to be back in the US. Glacier National Park sure looks different in the sun, although, it was very hazy from the Washington fires. We spent the night at St. Mary's campground and headed to Great Falls the next morning. Carol was worried about her brakes so she stopped in a small town to have them checked out. I drove on to Great Falls and camped at Headwaters State Park. Turns out Carol had to drive to yet another small town for her brakes. They told her her rear brakes were gone and the front almost gone. She had to stay there 2 days to have them fixed. We decided we might meet up later or for sure in LV.


My stay in Headwaters State Park was really enjoyable. The Jefferson, Madison ans Gallatin rivers come together here to form the mighty Missouri River. My campground site was on the Madison. Turns out that the town of Gallatin once stood here as an attempt to be a shipping center during the gold rush days. It didn't pan out and the below of the town hotel is all that is left.

In this area of Montana you can see forever. . . The hills, blanketed with soft grasses, are reminiscent of gentle ocean swells, rolling on and reflecting the ever changing colors of yellows, purples, blues and sienna. Towering mountains loom in the distance and the sky sports billowing clouds that cast their shadows below. This land is immense and it is no wonder Montanans call it Big Sky Country. I had to hurry out in the morning to catch the sunrise.

Once again I was awakened by the howling of one of my favorite animals the Trickster coyote. Just love their yipping. This is by far my favorite place to be. I think spending a good bit of time in Texas has something to do with that.

I was only about 88 mi from Yellowstone so I drove to Baker's Hole campground just outside of West Yellowstone and spent the day at the IMAX theater and Yellowstone museum. Tomorrow I'll head into the park for a couple of days.












Sunday, August 17, 2014

Robson national Park, BC

We made it to Robson Mountain campground. The mountain is quite imposing rising straight up from the plaines. Naturally, there is a glacier on top. The smoke from the fires is pretty bad making photography problematic. One night at Robson then we drive into Alberta. The further south we went, the worse the smoke. I took a couple of shots along the way. The images are of mountains very close to us but look faraway and out of focus due to smoke.

Eventually, we got far enough south that the air cleared somewhat.

The last two images are of Bow Glacier and lake, one of my favorite views. We ended up at Chain of Lakes Campgrounds in the Alberta prarie lands. I think if I lived in Canada it would be here with the gently rolling hills covered with thick grasses and high mountains in the background. I love the wide open spaces. Here is where I feel closest to the land and the warmth of home. The coming and going of the sun for some reason is a magnet that calls me to watch. These are sunset, something we didn't see many of in Canada and Alaska.

Today we will be in the US at Glacier National Park, Saint Mary's campground. Tomorrow we will travel on to Great Falls, MT where I have the oil changed in the car and go to the Charlie Russell Art Museum. Can't wait for that. It is raining softly, hopefully, cleaning out the air from smoke. Our route home will take us to Yellowstone for a couple of days then on home. Of course, any of our plans are always subject to change.









Thursday, August 14, 2014

Totem Poles

Last night we stayed at Seely Lake Provincial Park. I don't know why but I find these lakes so lovely. Perhaps it is because they seem so quiet and pure with very little wind to rumple them up so the reflections are quiet wonderful.

The next morning the sun was shinning and we headed down the road. For the next couple of says we would be stopping at old Indian Villages to see very old totem poles.Totem poles have no religious significance, however, show family ties to different clans such as the Bear, Wolf, or Raven clan.

The first village, Gitwangak, with a pop. of 405, had several totem poles and a museum that wasn't open. This village was more modern than the last one we visited and, consequently, more trashy. Litter was everywhere. It is a shame and seems to be representative of the poor. Not unlike poor small towns in Arizona or New Mexico on reservations. The Totems there were quite old and stood in their original locations. One can only imagine what the village must have been like.

The next village, Kasan, was definitely for tourists, manicured with large long houses and a museum. They even had a very nice RV park. These buildings are representative of how the Indians lived long ago. The paintings on the front of the long house represent the clan living there. About fifty people lived in each house, perhaps 5 to 6 families.

The weather has turned hot. We are officially out of the rain forest and in the interior where they have not had rain in some time. In fact, there are forest fires in several places. The next 2 nights we would stay on lakes in provincial parks. A lot of Canadians were enjoying the weather that would soon turn cold.

Tonight we will be in Prince George where we will stay in a commercial park with hookups. I need to go online and see where the forest fires are so I can plan a route home.











Monday, August 11, 2014

Kanaskan Provincial Park


We drove 170 mi to Kinaskan Park and it seemed like 370. The road is quite narrow, gravely with potholes. Consequently, we had to go slow. We were rewarded by a young bear nonchalantly crossing the road. He could have cared less about us; however, the road was far too narrow to stop for photos. Shortly after that a huge moose started to run into the road. He came out from behind a tree, saw me and swerved. Thank God, because I surely would have hit him. A bit frightening.

Kinaskan is a lovely place and once again we both had sites on the lake. The ranger was really nice to us and she only charged us half price to stay. I was out early to get a couple of sunrise shots and Carol managed to get some of a loon last night. The lake this morning was very still and quiet. We haven't taken many photos because the road is so narrow and there are very few places to pull out. This is a particularly wild area with services only about every 150 mi. Of course, it is quite beautiful. Mostly we see native people along here. The photos I posted earlier of the lake at sunrise were actually of Kinaskan Lake.

Last night I calculated that we have 975 mi to reach the Washington state border. It will probably take us 8 or 9 days. After that we will have phone service again. Most of our camping is dry camping (without electric) so we take bucket baths and our hair washing has to wait till we have elec. The commercial RV parks are typically on gravel and not very attractive. Most of the time you have to pay for showers, $2 for 2 min. I hardly get my hair wet in 2 min. Camping in the provincial is so much nicer as you are there in the quiet and with the wildlife. The only way to go.

I do have a camper shower, a plastic 2 gal container with a spray hose. You fill it up then set it in the sun to get hot. I threw it in the back of the truck to heat up while I travel. Now, if the sun will shine I'll be in business. Water is provided at the campgrounds but you have to use an old fashioned pump to get it.

A typical day for us starts at 5:30 or 6. I take Fox out then settle down with coffee to do some writing, not before checking the area for wildlife, however. There are often great photos to be had in the early morning. After coffee and breakfast we walk the dogs and prepare to get on the road. We travel pretty slow, stopping frequently to get photos or visit sights along the way. We stop anywhere from 2 to 4 in the afternoon depending on where our campground is. Every night we have dinner in my trailer. Carol is the salad and cornbread chef and I create whatever entree we are having. I make a lot of homemade soup. Last night was tortilla chicken soup and cranberry cornbread. After dinner we plan the next day's drive and where we will camp. The campgrounds are easy to come by since our map lists them all.

Time to get going!




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Boya Lake Provincial Park, BC

We are now driving the Cassiar Highway, very narrow and no shoulders. You really have to pay attention to your driving. Thank God there is very little traffic. This country is the epitome of wild. No gas for 146 mi and no real town for another 300 when we hit Prince George. We had been driving everyday for ten days and I was tired. Since I was leading I decided to pull into Boya Lake and spend the day resting. It was 10:30 am. Carol was all over that idea so we made camp and took naps.

Boya is a beautiful, glacier feed lake and the campground is very pristine. Both of us got sites right on the lake. Very peaceful and rejuvenating. I would love to kayak but every time I think of it I remember my torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and wince a little.

I am enjoying my coffee in bed looking out on the lake as I write this. Must get going and get on the road. The best time for us to drive is in the morning, in the afternoon we're pretty much cooked. Oh, at our last camp we met a lovely young couple WALKING to Newfoundland. They had a roller apparatus with a plastic bin affixed to it with their food and supplies. They are from Ontario but started their walk in northern Yukon and had been walking for 2 months. They told us they expected it would take them a year and a half. We told them to do it while they are young because we could barely DRIVE it at our age!

I did go out and take a couple of sunrise photos.

A little tiny bat.