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Old 21-06-2015, 10:20 AM   #51
nev
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Default Re: Welcome to Boring, Oregon.

Columbia Falls is on the western edge of the Glacier National Park. There is a road which runs through the national park and into the high mountains, with apparently spectacular views, but again, the penalty for coming so early in the season is that the road is not yet open and they are still snowploughing it. So we can go the length of Lake Macdonald, but then we must come back the same way and run the loop around the southern and eastern edges of the park.



some time for something more than point and shoot photography








On the south east corner of the NP there's a little squiggle which hardly shows up at all on maps, but it was a gem of a road views and corner wise, although the road condition itself was quite poor in places.





Back on the Hwy the road improved. Would love to come through here in summer on something a bit sportier..





Some wild horses



Chief Mountain.



We turned off the main hwy onto a more minor road and crossed the border into Canada on a Sunday around lunchtime. There was noone in the queue ahead of us. Living my life in Australia crossing borders is something that you do at an airport with a stern looking official scrutinizing you. Life is much different on a road crossing into Canada. Flipped up the front of the helmet and handed my passport to the man in the booth. We weren't asked to take our helmets off. I think I was a little too relaxed about the whole thing because he warned me that I was being evasive in my answers which were probably a little too informal for the occasion. Apparently the answer to "where are you going?" is not "we're just riding around for a few days mate". So anyway I gave him some city names of our planned itinerary and I was through. Jo got through the same process with the answer "I don't know, I'm just following him, it's a mystery ride".



Alberta looked like this



and it was a windy windy windy windy place. A few miles north of the border, we crested a hill to see a string of wind powered generators from horizon to horizon. Canada is a windy place, and they are generating a large percentage of their energy needs from wind.



A good friend of ours originated from Alberta before she moved to Australia, and years ago had told of a place called Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump, where the original inhabitants of these lands had hearded buffalo over a cliff to kill them and to butcher them for their meat and skins. It cost a few bucks to get into the visitor centre/display here, but it was amazing. 5 levels of displays built inside the cliff, and even a bus to save you the 200metre walk up and down the hill to-from the carpark.





This site was also the first professional archeological dig in Alberta. In 1948 a team from a US university uncovered several thousands of years worth of habitation by nomadic tribes as well as an earlier permanent civilisation.

We stayed the night in Fort Macleod. Fireworks seem to be the main selling attraction at the local milkbar.

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Old 23-06-2015, 11:40 AM   #52
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Default Re: Welcome to Boring, Oregon.

The following morning was another highway commute for about 100km or so. Then a loop around the outskirts of Calgary, and into the Canadian Rockies.

I believe that most of Alberta looks a lot like this



Then you get to this



In Canmore, there are spectacular mountain views even when you're stopped in traffic



The main street of Banff



Stopped at the local brewery I don't think there's been a single place we've gone on this trip that hasn't had a brewery.. coincidence ?



BYO snowplough



Jo stalking the not so wild life.

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Old 23-06-2015, 06:21 PM   #53
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Default Re: Welcome to Boring, Oregon.

Next day was a short day from Banff to Jasper. I have to prefix this with a warning. After this day, the rest of the RR will be shit by comparison. You might want to stop at the end of this post because there is no way the pics can get any better. The road from Banff to Jasper is known as the Icefields Parkway. The road follows a valley which runs through what is without doubt the most spectacular scenery I have experienced. It's a case of every time you go around a corner you need to stop and take a photo, and then you get around the next corner and you have to stop again because the view around that corner is even better than the previous corner. I can only imagine how much more spectacular this trip would have been if they'd experienced a cold winter here and not the very mild winter which kept snowfall down to almost record low levels.



























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Old 23-06-2015, 08:27 PM   #54
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Default Re: Welcome to Boring, Oregon.

From Jasper we headed southwest.



Stopped for breakfast near Mt Robson





At Blue River we passed a sign advertising 1hr river safaris. We stopped a couple of km further down the road for fuel, and Jo said "lets go back to the river safari". So back we went. Had to wait a little while till they had a full boat, but soon we were off with a boatload of Germans and the guide who was steering, spotting, explaining etc.

They had a good fleet of boats so they must get a decent number of visitors when it's busy.



Donned lifejackets which no doubt made us more appealing





Guide spotted a black bear walking along the bank.





Followed this bear as he scavenged along the bank looking for food. Although the boat was just a few metres off the bank and full of people wearing red lifejackets the bear really paid it no attention and never even looked up at the boat

.

Saw another bear swimming across the lake from a small island back to the shore. THat bear looked at the boat as it swam, presumably because it felt quite vulnerable while swimming.

Stopped in the next town for a burger at the pub.


Once we got out of the mountains the temperature climbed again quickly. FOr most of the previous few weeks we'd had daily tops around the 15c mark, and dressed for it. Today the temp hit the mid 20s so the jacket liners came out.

Stopped for the night in Kamloop, British Columbia.

Something about this place reminded me of what was waiting for me at home.

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Old 23-06-2015, 09:11 PM   #55
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Default Re: Welcome to Boring, Oregon.

Some breathtakingly spectacular pics, and then they just got more betterer.
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