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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June 8 to 11 were pretty much travel days. June 8 from Hinton, AB to Ft. St. John. That was a nice drive, I saw a couple of black bears, and a caribou but all were too far away for photos. By the time I got to the campground that night it was apparent that the fridge was not working when on propane gas. Temp had risen to the mid 40s. So I shut it down and had to trash all the food that might have spoiled. June 9 I tried without luck to find any help for the fridge so wound up investing in a cooler that is supposed to keep ice for 5 days. It is the 3rd day and most of the ice has melted, unfortunately not surprising.
June 9 drove north to Ft. Nelson in nearly constant rain, no critters to be seen.Good wifi at the visitor’s center and I was told I could park at the IGA for the night. I was the 2nd rv to stop there and by the next morning there were 7 of us, from large van to truck camper, to a class A. Free is always good
June 10 drive was mostly sunny and an interesting drive with very different scenery than earlier. And the animals were out in abundance. I saw 4 black bears, only got good shots of 2.
Was fortunate to come upon a cow moose feeding in a little pond near the road,
and saw quite a few Stone sheep. These must be related to big horn sheep, they are very similar.
Stayed at Watson Lake in an rv park so that I could connect to electricity to see if the fridge would work on that. Yeah! It does, so after some research all indications are that while the propane will ignite and stay lit the flame is not strong enough to heat the coils. Probably the gas jet needs cleaning. Whew! That will be simple.
June 11, got to Whitehorse, YT. Larger town with an RV repair place so Friday they will clean the gas jet for me. 2 nights in a campground with electricity and very limited wifi. But the visitor center has fast free wifi so I will use them. Some very interesting places to see around Whitehorse so I’ll stay busy on the 12th. Will leave town and head north Friday morning right from the RV repair shop. Will be good to have the fridge working again.
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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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Rolling hills in South Dakota
Crossing SD into Montana it was rolling hills country, some stock, usually Black Angus beef, and pasture with some cultivated land. Once I got into Montana I decided to take a couple of “back roads” which took me through farmland and up closer to the ranches and small towns than staying on the interstate highway would have. The roads were in excellent condition, straight and with speed limits of 70 I could easily maintain the 62 mph that I would have done on the interstate.
Interesting building in Lavinia, MT/
Would be really interesting to know the history of this building. I passed some very picturesque old barns but there wasn’t any way I could pull over and take photos.
On up into the hilly part of MT and then down into the prairie. I stayed at the Cracker Barrel in Billings, MT, after getting some last minute items at the Walmart in town. This morning, June 3, I was up and on the road early. Made such good time I crossed into Canada and was able to get a spot in a nice community campground for the night 2 hours north of the border. Border crossing was fast and easy, I think the man asked me 6 questions, most of which were answered with “no” and I was waived on.
I noticed once I got north of Billings the grain elevators were much different than the ones I’ve seen south of there, maybe because of the different grains stored?
Grain Elevators near Shelby, MT
Will be heading up to Banff NP on Wednesday. Weather has been a variety of rain, sun, cold, wind. Hoping for some nice weather now.
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