Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hyder, Alaska

We did see a few other people (cars) in Hyder.  Nobody checked our passports when we crossed over into AK, but we were checked on the way back into Canada a few hours later.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hyder Harbor, Alaska

Hyder, AK is just across the border from Stewart, BC.   The two towns are at the end of a long narrow saltwater fjord (called Portland Canal) that is 90 miles long!  It is possible to drive directly out onto the harbor.  There was virtually nobody around when we arrived.  It was gloomy and overcast during our time there, but we did spend some time exploring the area.

Above Hyder, there is a remarkable bear observatory - we followed road signs that led us to a wooden stand built high above the stream (Fish Creek) below.  Observers are safe from the bears who are feeding on the spawning salmon, and there is a ranger on duty there every day.  This particular southerly location has a late salmon spawn and we were told the viewing would be better in September or even October (than late June, when we were there).  I think this would be a worthwhile trip to make in September.  By then, the fall foliage would be colorful - and there are hundreds of miles of driving through deciduous forest with a lot of deciduous undergrowth.  This might be something we will do another time.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Mail Art, September 28

 I've been making and mailing these mixed media postcards for the past two years, but have not been posting them to my blog consistently, so am now reviving the weekly postcard post.  Every Monday, I mail postcards to selected friends and family.  Currently, there are six people on my mailing list.
 Today's quote (these are added to the back of the postcard)

 "Every life has a measure of sorrow, and sometimes this is what awakens us." - Steven Tyler-


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bear Glacier, BC, Canada

Bear Glacier was our first glacier of our roadtrip through Canada and Alaska.  This was a short detour off the Cassier Highway.  We thought since we were so close, we would go to Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK - neighboring (almost ghost towns) on the Alaska - Canada border. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Junction at Gitwangak

This sign is one of the few sights at Gitwangak - where the Yellowhead Highway junctions with the Cassiar Highway.  At this point, our westward travel shifted to northward travel. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Farewell to Mount Robson

A last look at the mountain in the rearview mirror.  Our goal this day was to get as far down the road as possible.  The nice weather through Banff and Jasper National Parks slowed our progress significantly, but well worth it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mount Robson - Tallest Mountain in the Canadian Rockies

We have tried to see the top of Mount Robson in the past, with no success.  We were so delighted to be able to view the entire mountain on this day.  12,972 ft. elevation.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Coffee Break at the Columbia Glacier

We stopped off at the Columbia Glacier Center parking lot to soak in the views. Joe decided he needed a little lift, so decided to brew a cup of coffee.  Our rear hitch carrier makes a great roadside "kitchen".

Monday, September 21, 2015

Columbia Icefield View

This was our second day on the way to Alaska.  Beautiful warm weather - even at the highest point on the Icefields Parkway. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hector Lake Overlook, Banff National Park

 We had such an amazing day in Banff National Park.  We have been her twice in the past - always rainy and overcast.  This June day, the temperature was 93 degrees according to the thermometer in the Suburban.  So beautiful - no wind to ruffle the reflection in Hector Lake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another View of Herbert Lake in Banff National Park, Canada

We could not resist stopping at this small roadside lake on the Trans-Canada Highway.  The reflection is just wonderful for photographing!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lake Moraine

A nice man offered to take our picture together with Lake Moraine in the background, so how could we refuse?  We walked around this lake 14 years ago on our Honeymoon.  I probably have pictures from that trip, but they are not digital and it would involve digging through a box of snapshots, so not going to happen.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lake Moraine Classical Guitar Player

As we strolled along the shores of Lake Moraine, we were treated to the sound of this remarkable classical guitar playing.  I believe this guy to be a professional - really was amazing to hear him play and I had shivers from head to toe the whole time! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Breakfast in the Lake Louise Parking Lot

So, here is what we did for much of the trip - we would roll out of bed early, drive a little, then stop somewhere scenic and cook our breakfast.  Joe always cooked instant oatmeal and coffee.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lake Louise in the Morning

 This is what we got up so early for!  It is rare to be here when the shores of Lake Louise are not crowded with tourists and the lake filled with canoes!  Exquisite!  I was pinching myself!

Banff National Park - Overflow Camping

We got up very early the next morning so we could see the light coming into the valley.  Best time of day for shadows on the mountains and wildlife viewing.  We traveled in our 2005 Suburban - which was temporarily converted into a mini-RV.  All the rear seats were removed.  An air mattress was inflated in the back and behind the seats we placed our cooler and a box of food and sundries.  Our tandem kayak rode atop the Suburban.  We kept our duffle bags of clothing on the bed while we drove and when we stopped for the night the bags were moved into the front seats.  We slept in sleeping bags.  We brought a small tent, but we never used it.
Banff Overflow camping.  Just a big parking lot where they let you park and pitch your tent.  There was a pit toilet there and it cost $10.  We slept in the car and it was quite hot and stuffy.  Too many mosquitoes to crack a window. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

First Day on the Road to Alaska

 The first day of our road trip to Alaska and back, we traveled 600 miles from Billings to Banff, Canada.  We hoped to find a campsite in the National park, but all that was available was the Overflow camping.  It was just fine - we were happy to have a place to park our rig and catch some sleep.  We had dinner in the quaint little town of Banff, at a Mexican place and drove up to the overlook above town where we chanced to meet this handsome Stone Sheep.  It was remarkably warm this day - in the 90's in the Canadian Rockies.  The date was June 27, 2015.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Late Summer in my Montana Flower garden

My yard looks pretty dry and brown, except for a couple of rudbeckia struggling in the drought.  I have been away most of the summer and have not had anyone watering things for me.....the cost of travel. 

Sorry I have neglected my blog for so long.  I truly have been away for much of the past three months.  We took a very long road trip through Canada and Alaska.  It was impossible to maintain the blog while traveling in Canada and Alaska as we were in remote areas with no Internet and no downtime.  After returning home, we immediately had a window of opportunity to do a long backpacking trip with my daughter and grandson.  This was something we had been trying to do for years, but weather and other complications kept it from happening.  Again, no Internet during that time.  Right after we got back from the backpacking trip in the Beartooths, we had a week at Flathead Lake with family.  No Internet at the beach house, so again, nothing has happened with the blog.

I do try to get things posted on Facebook regularly.  If you have not already done so, and you participate in Facebook, I encourage you to friend me.  It might be a better way to follow me than the blog.

I admit I have begun to lose motivation for the blog.  It takes a lot of time to maintain at the daily pace I have kept for the past several years.  I am going to try to get back into it, but I do sometimes feel like I just keep rehashing the same old stuff.....Blog hits have fallen off significantly the past year or so and I begin to wonder if followers have just moved on.

I have kept the blog for several years as a sort of public journal, but I find that Facebook actually does the same thing, and I have a lot more followers on Facebook. 

Anyway, I am back home for a while and am going to commit to daily blogging through the end of 2015.  Stay tuned!  I have lots to share from our summer of travel and family.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Reblooming Iris - "Lorna's Pride"

I was delighted to discover this tall bearded iris reblooming in my yard last week.  It is called "Lorna's Pride".  Rebloom has been recorded in California, but not in Montana!  I am delighted to see some color in my yard as summer winds down.