Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, August 30th, Clearwater, BC


Driving from Jasper, over Yellowhead Pass to Tet JeJune, and south to Clearwater, I could just hear John Denver signing Rocky Mountain High.  Fortunately, he was drowned out by Old Blind Dogs, Paul Simon, Tracy Chapman, and Three Dog Night as we bid farewell to the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.   

Thoroughly immersed in the geology of the Rockies, we plunged even deeper by purchasing a huge tome at the Mount Robson Provincial Park Information Center.  I hope you'll all forgive us for gushing over with fresh knowledge of the wonders of the earth's plates and glaciers.  (Pat says "This is Gregory speaking").    It's just so fascinating to see the results up close of millions of years worth of Super Bowl mega-battles between the ground, water, and temperature.
After a night here on Dutch Lake, surrounded by Labor Day Weekend campers with oversize rigs, we'll head on a beeline to a Kamloops, and on to a Casino RV Resort in Washington.  Then another in northern Oregon, thence to Ashlund (nod to Shakespeare) for a couple of days, and then home.  

Here's the link to Friday's photos.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday, August 29th, Jasper, Alberta


We're sitting in a booth in a Tim Horton's in Jasper on Thursday afternoon, both of us making frozen lemonades last as long as possible to get in on their customer wifi policy.  Pat's answering emails, and I'm trying to upload two days worth of photos, and three videos produced by the new app produced by two of the founders of YouTube (Chad Hurley and Steve Chen).

At the end of this blog, I'll hopefully be able to include links to Tuesday and Wednesday's photos.  Today's photos were also great, but those will have to wait until we get to an RV Park with wifi tomorrow.

The video link is just an beginning try at an app which turns your IPod Touch, or better yet IPhone, into a video capture, editing, and online publishing system for free.  Check it out at

It appears that I just can't catch up as quickly as I want to, wifi bandwidth being so slow so far north.  We are about at the edge of reasonable access, but it's because the views are so beautiful, that I just ache not being able to show them.

We're having so much fun, and you'll here about it when we get back.  And I'll keep trying to send photos to the web.

Here's Tuesday's photos photos, Wednesday's Photos, and Thursday's photos.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26th, Canmore, BC


We drove east of the Columbia Mountains on Monday, down the Rocky Mountain Trench, and up into the Rockies to Banff and south to Canmore.  We visited Lake Louise yesterday and Lake Morraine, and I have been having fun with a new App ( that the founders of YouTube have produced.  It turns your iPhone/Touch into a video studio, and is capable of producing short videos using either your stuff or in combination with everyone else's on the net.

I think it's going to be a lot of fun watching it roll out to young people with a story to tell.

We'll be visiting Banff today, and then heading on to Jasper tomorrow.  Here are the photos we took yesterday (Monday, August 26th, Canmore), and stay tuned for a video if I can find enough strong wifi.  We're now having breakfast at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Company in order to use their wifi.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday, August 25th, Whispering Spruce RV Park, BC


About 80 million years ago, when the Pacific plate (led by the Farallon plate) headed down under the North American plate, all of western North America east of Nevada was lifted up about 20,000 feet.  What was to become the Canadian and American Rockies started out as the western edge of the bottom of an inland ocean reaching from near the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico.  Sedimentary rock layers containing fossils from before the extinction of the dinosaurs headed for the sky with a fury.  We’re talking Tibet high mountains, which erosion has used the time since to beat down.

The western edge of the Canadian stretch bent the existing 100 million year-old  mountain range sideways, creating a deep rift valley between it and the new higher peaks.  And it took the source of the Columbia River 40 miles north. 

It’s so much fun to poke around looking at history that dramatic. 

To see all of the photos we took today on the way from Revelstoke to Golden, click on Sunday, August 25th.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22rd, Pierres Point, Salmon Arm, BC


Yes, the wifi reaches all the way to the beach.  The upper portion of the Okanagan Valley is like a long skinny (warm-watered) Lake Tahoe surrounded by the Central Valley.  We're headed next to Revelstoke to make it our base for some adventures into three national parks in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.  Expect to be out of wifi soon, and back again in a week or so.

And just to assure my golfing friends that I'm staying in shape, I thought I'd show the tough putting challenge I face.

  To see the other photos click on Thursday, August 22nd, Pierres Point. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday, August 21st, Osoyoos, BC


Canada, between Vancouver and Lake Louise, was a mystery until today.  Who could have guessed that the western half would contain high craggy peaks with Ponderosa pines, alpine meadows, and marmots - while the eastern half has sage-brushed deserts surrounding lakes filled with jet-skis and vacationers? It feels a little like the Western U.S. has been turned around.  Colorado is where California is, and vice versa.  We can't wait to see what northern British Columbia looks like.

To see all of the photos we took in the past two days, click on Wednesday, August 21st 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18th, Bellingham, Washington


Whenever we wonder where we'd live if we didn't live in Sonoma County, northern Washington State alway comes up among the top five.  Hanging out until our passports arrive via UPS, we drove around this weekend on the islands just west of Bellingham.  Checking out the seafront homes on Fidalgo, Whidbey, and Camano Islands, we enjoyed some beautiful scenery.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Sunday, August 18th, Bellingham

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16th, Portland Fairview RV Park


Breakfast at Wolf Creek Inn was terrific.  Thanks to Steve Diverde for suggesting it.  We even got to see a photo of his old gang from the commune there in 1973.  The Veggie and Western Omlettes were scrumptious.

Two hours ago, headed north on Highway 5 in Oregon and listening to CBC (Canada) on the radio, I asked Pat "Did we bring the passports?"

Moderate panic and consternation followed.

Deciding whether to continue driving north or turn around - was not easy.  Twelve hundred miles of extra driving is not something you want to do if you can avoid it.  Could we get across the border without our passports?  Do they let you across with just a California DMV license?  Could we get ahold of Steve Diverde at our house, and get him to send us our passports to a location two days north of us at the border?

We decided to stop and find a place for the night where we could explore our options.  Clear, powerful wifi, and the possibility of multiple nights were the priority.  We found a big, established RV park outside of Portland.  Once there, we researched UPS Next day air service.  We called (on Google Hangout) Steve, and organized a longer discussion for tomorrow morning.

Now relaxed, with a decent plan, we're heading north tomorrow for Bellingham, Washington, where we'll explore the Puget Sound and wait for the UPS package.

A little bit of chaos can be fun if it gets resolved well.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday, August 20th, Ashland, Oregon


Three hundred plus miles north on Highway 5, we’ve stopped in Ashland, Oregon.  With barely enough wifi in the RV Park to maintain a steady connection, we’ve settled in, and are snacking on organic corn tortilla chips, mediterranean hummus dip, and iced tea while we answer emails and play computer games.  The warm mountain sun is bathing the smoke-filled sky (a local fire we drove through on the highway) while the neighbors swim in a small pool near our space. 

We love the views of Lassen and Shasta on the stretch of California we just drove through.  The Cascade Mountain range so powerfully displays the might of the collision of the Pacific and American plates, and the eruption of magma from deep within the Earth’s crust so many millions of years ago.   Let’s  hope we don’t live to see it come to life again. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thursday, August 15th, Canadian Rockies Airstream Trip


Today, we're leaving on an Airstream drive up into British Columbia, to explore the eastern section of the province.  We'll head north on Highway 5 to Bellingham Washington, which should take us about three days to get there.

Hope is our first destination, beyond Abbotsford, south of the Frazer River.  The Trans-Canadian Highway passes through Chilliwack and Laidlaw, between the Coast and the Cascade Mountain Ranges. (three days)

From Hope, we'll drive to Nicolum Creek Provincial Park and the Sunshine Valley.  The scenic Highway 3 takes us through Skagit Valley Provincial Park, Cascade Recreation Area, and the Manning Provincial Park.  Then we'll head north to Princeton, along the Similkameen River. (five days)

Turning south into the Bromley Rock and Stemwinder Provincial Parks, we follow the southern stretch of the Similkameen River to Keremeos and Crater Mountain.  Our southern most destination in this part of Canada is Osoyoos, near the Pocket Desert. (three days)

We then head north up Highway 97 to Penticton, and along the Okanagan Lake to Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm.  Kekuli Bay, Ellison, and Kalamalka Provincial Parks populate this stretch. (three days)

Our trip heads east to Revelstoke, where Mt Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks await on Canadian Highway 1.  Golden lies just across the time zone, near the entrance to Yono National Park.  Crossing up into the Rockies, we'll stop at Lake Louise before we may head south to see Banff. (three days)

The road north out of Banff skirts the Alberta/British Columbia border through the heart of the Canadian Rockies.  We cross back into British Columbia at Jasper, and decide whether to drive further north to Prince George or go south on Highway 5 to Kamloops.  Arriving back at Hope, we'll retrace our route home from there.  We need to be home by September 9th for a series of important meetings.  (nine days)

The drive can be made in 10 days, and we've got 26.  That's plenty of time to spend seeing some of the most beautiful mountains, rivers, and forests Canada has to offer.