Thursday, July 31, 2008

No, we weren't on the bus

A horrific crime happened in Canada that apparently has made news in the United States. (I saw it on CNN this morning.) But this is a big country. So, no, we were nowhere near the Greyhound bus in which a crazed guy stabbed and decapitated a fellow passenger (caution before clicking on this. It's disgusting). The suspect apparently did it for no reason at all. By coincidence, though, we recently camped in Brandon, where the 37 bus passengers/witnesses are staying in a hotel. And we stayed in Winnipeg, the bus' destination.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Animaux Sauvages

We get a kick out of seeing everything in English and French. Animaux Sauvages is wildlife. We're learning a lot of French. Luis no longer tells me that the exit on the highway leads to Sortie. (Sortie is "exit" in French. All the exit signs say "Exit Sortie")
Anyway, here's some wildlife. A beautiful black bear. We hiked to Johnston Canyon and went to the lower and upper falls. After that is a pic of Luis at Moraine Lake.

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Hike to the falls; Today we freeze

Yesterday we hiked through Johnston Canyon, which has two beautiful waterfalls. Then we went to Moraine Lake, a turquoise lake surrounded by 10 peaks. We then saw Lake Louise, which is one of the most well-known lakes in Banff. It's also a beautiful turquoise lake, but the Fairmont put up this ugly hotel and charges $40 for a half-hour canoe ride. (Oh, and by the way, if you fall out, you have about 15 minutes before hypothermia kicks in.) The Fairmont says it's not responsible for deaths of canoe passengers. We took the beautiful Bow Valley parkway on our way up to the Lake Louise area, and two park officials stopped us to tell us to slow down but not stop because a bear was alongside the parkway. We didn't see the one she mentioned, but then we saw an adorable bear a little later. We then looped around again, embarrassed that we would have to pass the same official. Luis said "Put on your sunglasses and a hat." The official approached us and apparently didn't recognize me. She began to give us the spiel, then she looked in the car, and saw Luis, and said, "Oh, you know what to do."
We went past the same spot on the way back in the evening, when the bears come out. We would drive along the parkway, looking at both sides for a bear. Finally, we spotted one. We got some great pics and video of this bear eating berries. It was so cute.
We also saw some elk with really big horns.
Today, we're off to the Columbia Icefields, the largest remnant of a giant glacier.
We hope to post pics tonight.

Monday, July 28, 2008

View from Campground

Here are some views from our campground.
But after two weeks of camping, we have chosen to live it up at a hotel in Banff.
We had a nice time at the campground and loved all the prairie dogs. They're so adorable.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Banff Springs Hotel

I zoomed in on this beautiful hotel from atop Sulphur Mountain.
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Prairie Dogs

There were holes in the ground all over the Tunnel Mountain Village I campground at Banff, Alberta, Canada. We had no idea what they were until we started seeing beautiful prairie dogs all over the place. They are so cute that we posted a bunch of the photos in an album. Click the photo below to see all of them.
Prairie Dog Photos

Whitewater Rafting

We had a great trip going whitewater rafting on the Chinook River, and we jumped from cliffs into the river. It was wild. Rich had only gone whitewater rafting once before and it wasn't nearly this rough. It was Luis' first whitewater rafting trip. Click on the photo below to see the entire album of pictures.
Chinook Whitewater Rafting

Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger and Rich & Luis

Here's another scene from "Brokeback Mountain."
Click on the last photo, which is a panorama of the area, stitched together from nine different photos.
Location also found courtesy of

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Luis, Rich and Jake Gyllenhaal

Taken at Kananaskis Lakes Road, Upper Kananaskis Lake, Alberta, Canada
Location found courtesy of Finding
Taken Friday, July 25, 2008

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Goat herd crossing highway

A herd of Rocky Mountain Goats was on one side of Highway 40 in Alberta, Canada during the afternoon of July 25, 2008. One lone goat was on the other side. The herd wanted to cross either to join the other goat or to drink water alongside the highway. They began to cross but hung out one side, possibly because some motorcyclists were coming on the other side. We were nervous wrecks as they crossed the highway but we couldn't do anything. Here's what happened.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sorry for short vacation from blogging

We've been having such a great time that by the time the evening rolls around, we're exhausted and ready for bed, especially when we have to get up early. This morning, we woke up at 7 am for a Whitewater rafting trip on the Chinook River.
We're camping at Tunnel Mountain Village I in Banff, Alberta, but right now we're outside the Y updating our blog. (They have amazing Ys here.)
Stay tuned for many photos, including Rocky Mountain goat, PDs (prairie dogs), beautiful mountains and rivers, our rafting trip and our Brokeback Mountain photos. We went to the exact location and replicated these scenes, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Welcome to Alberta

The mountains here are stunning. We arrived at about 7 p.m. to pouring rain. We set everything up in the rain. The upside: the clouds and mist around the mountains were beautiful. It's supposed to clear up in the morning.
Now we're at the Y, which of course, has Y-fi. (TGFW - Thank God For WiFi.)
Some photos:

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most bizarre business combo

we had to stop for a pic of this strange business combo.
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Flax and canola fields

Blue and yellow fields dot the road along Saskatchewan. The beautiful blue fields are flax, as in flaxseed. The yellow field in the background is canola.
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Banff is beautiful (and wet)

Here's us in front of a mural in Moose Jaw, Manitoba.

Welcome to Alberta

We just entered Alberta. (We're at the welcome center.) This is where much of "Brokeback Mountain" was filmed. We checked out, which has the locations. We might go to one of the sites. We probably won't have much access to e-mail, the Web or cell phones at the national parks.

Moose Jaw breakers

We're breaking from Moose Jaw today, heading for Banff, Alberta. We might check out one of the locations where "Brokeback Mountain" was filmed. There are some outside Calgary, which is on the way.
Yesterday was fun. We took the Tunnels of Moose Jaw Tours. The Chicago Connection was about Al Capone's connection with Moose Jaw, also called Little Chicago. (Watch a virtual tour.) Passage to Fortune was about the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants in Canada. Both were very interesting. (Watch a virtual tour.)
The tours were Walt Disney World quality, with animatronics and all. There were lots of hidden doors as we traveled underground, so we never knew where we would be leaving the room.
We also took a trolley tour. First, we came upon a traffic accident. Then this large dust storm formed. The guide was taken aback. "I've never seen anything like this."
We just heard on the radio that Moose Jaw was the only area in southwest Saskatchewan that wasn't hit but a big thunderstorm last night. We were very lucky. It's raining this morning, so I'm in the car updating the blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Aug 1 arrival in Vancouver

So we just booked the rest of our trip. Tomorrow we leave for Banff National Park, where we'll stay for five nights (arrive July 23, depart July 28). Then we'll be in Jasper National Park for three nights (arrive July 28 depart July 31). Then we head back, staying one night, July 31, at Lac Le Jeune, heading out the next day, Aug. 1, for Vancouver.
For anyone else making the trip, here's a list of a few highlights from Laurie Smith, the marriage commissioner who performed our wedding. She said she could go on and on with places to go.

  • Sulphur Mountain Gondola Lift
  • Lake Minnewanka
  • Sundance Canyon Hike
  • Johnston's Canyon Hike on the Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Lake Louise
  • Spray Lakes

Lake Louise Area:
  • Lake Louise itself
  • Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks
  • Whitehorn Gondola Lift
  • Plains of The Six Glaciers hike from Lake Louise
  • Lake Agnes hike from Lake Louise
  • Takaka Falls in Yoho National Park
  • Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park
Jasper Area:
  • Columbia Icefields ( Take the trip up onto the Icefields if possible )
  • Maligne Lake Boat Trip
  • Malign Canyon hike
  • Pyramid Lake
  • Mt Edith Cavell hike
  • Mt. Robson hike

Comments, please

Now anybody can comment. You don't have to be logged in or anything. You just have to type a series of characters to prevent spammers from posting. So let's hear from our loyal readers. Thanks so much for all the comments from those of you who have posted so far. Rich & Luis

A tripod and quadropod

We bought a tripod before we left Winnipeg. Here we are showing it off.

Here's Mac the Moose in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (The province is hard to spell, but it's easy to draw.)

We took the photos of us with Mac the Moose using our new tripod. And he's anatomically correct.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Moose Jaw here we come

We're onto our third province, Saskatchewan, on our westbound trip. We're going to stay in Moose Jaw. This town has a rich history, as people came north to party here during prohibition in the United States. The city's building are full of murals of depicting the cityy's history. Mom and Dad, we'll send you a postcard. We love you and miss you and everyone.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Having a ball in Brandon, Manitoba

A good Jewish boy makes matzoh ball soup even while camping. We had to protect it from predators such as this insect.
Taken at the The Meadowlark Campground in Brandon, Manitoba.

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The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba

A footbridge at Winnipeg's The Forks, a historical area where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red River.

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A good sign

A rainbow welcomed us to Winnipeg, Manitoba, as seen from the Radisson Hotel downtown.
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Go Ouest, Young Man

Of course, all of the signs are in English and French, as this West/Ouest sign shows.
We'll be seeing a lot of this Highway 1 sign, as it's the Trans Canada Highway.
This was taken in Manitoba, just east of Winnipeg.
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A break along the way

Ontario is much like upstate New York but dotted with many, many more lakes. That's the Trans Canada Highway in the background.
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