My route north from Yellowstone had to go through Bozeman this time meaning I would be taking some new roads. What an amazing state Montana is! I passed through many miles of wheat fields and pastures, not much traffic but what country to see.
After crossing into Canada near Glacer/Waterton NPs I went right through Banff, stopping at the Columbia Icefields Visitor Center for the night.
From there I made it to just north of Grand Cache where I found a very nice (and free) user maintained camping area. No designated sites as such, plenty of grass, a great spot to relax for 2 nights.
After that it was on to Dawson Creek and the Alaskan Highway. I stopped one night at a long rest area next to Muncho Lake. It was sunny then rained, then sunny and an rain again. Met some other folks traveling to AK, including one couple from France who had their small RV shipped to the souther tip of South America. They have been traveling from there north with a year and 4 months allotted for the travel. What an adventure! When I left that spot the next morning I saw a caribou, some woods bison, stone sheep, and assorted small bears, no grizzlies. When on the road even though I am always on the lookout it is very hard to stop to photograph the wildlife.
This trip I stayed in free spots(except at the ice fields), mostly larger rest areas with other travelers. The last night before I got to the Fairbanks area I had a rest area to myself, sort of. Around 9 pm I happened to look out the window facing the woods and saw a snowshoe hare….then I saw another one. The windows were really dirty so photographs were pointless. When they seemed to leave I went out and cleaned the windows. Then I checked again, they were back with their buddies. The day had been totally bereft of wildlife until then so I had some fun photographing the hares. They’re now in their summer coats, thought their feet are still white. I don’t know if they stay white or are just the last part to change color. Anyhow it was fun and of course the next morning when I walked the dogs they smelled the critters all over the place.
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Finally got a pretty clear night, with actual darkness, in Jasper so I went out to see if I could see the Milky Way. Jasper is recognized for its dark night sky and I can understand why. First place I went was right off a major highway and busy late at night, second place was much quieter but more clouds were moving in. Oh well, that’s the way it goes sometimes. I also went to Maligne Canyon and got a nice image of one of the large waterfalls there.
I left Jasper Thursday in the rain and it was a pretty wet drive with very low clouds all day and on Friday, too. Just south of Banff I got on Rt. 40, through the Kanananskis Valley, what a good road. What I could see of the countryside was lovely despite the low clouds and I know it would be really delightful in god weather. At Longivew I took 22 south, called the Cowboy Trail, to Pincher Creek. Another great road, through rolling hills, wide open spaces with cattle ranches, hayfields, very different from the mountains and glaciers!
Got into Glacier NP mid-day on Friday, overcast, wet and cold and it hasn’t let up any. I’m hoping for a break in the weather since the scenery here is spectacular but hard to see with the low clouds. Did get out to Many Glacier and watched a grizzly 1/2 way up a mountain with my binoculars.
Temps were in the high 30s when I stopped at the Icefields Center. Had to get this image with the Glacier in the background. Saw lots of snow on the drive from Banff to Jasper!
Once in Jasper I did a very nice drive in the Maligne Valley, very scenic spot showing the lake and mountains.I also went to the Athabasca Falls and was fortunate to capture a rainbow over the falls.
Saw lots of wildlife, elk are everywhere, had a moose run out of the woods beside me and then up the road in front of me for a ways until he went into the woods. It all happened way to fast for photos!
Am at the Walmart in Hinton, AB, tonight. Nice free & fast wifi. Sun is shining and I feel like I should get the solar panel out to charge this laptop.
It doesn’t get dark until around 11pm and then it isn’t really dark, so taking night images is pretty much a non event for a while on this trip.
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The mountains here are spectacular! Everywhere I look I see them towering above me. I’ve done the Bow Valley drive 2 times and have seen 2 black bears, 2 elk cows, 2 elk bulls, 2 mule deer, and 3 Big Horn Rams. Not all photographed well but the rams and the bear today were nice captures.
Drove out to Yoho Valley NP but the road into the valley was closed. There is still a lot of snow on the ground around here. Then drove up to Crowfoot Glacier on the Icefields Parkway. It was snowing up there!
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