What a Wonderful World

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Campsite Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a beautiful park that isn’t talked about much.  It is a fantastic park that we love.  In 2011 we stayed in the North Unit and this go-around we stayed in the South Unit.  We waited for the buffalo to roam through our camp as they did in the North Unit but no such luck.  There was a lot of evidence as we walked around that they do go through but not this day.  We appreciated having our mini-camper since the sites were very small and the road was tight to get around.  We stayed one night and moved on to a nice Corp of Engineer Park in Fort Peck, MT.  We are hardly ever disappointed when we stay in a Corp park and this one was no different.   It is also a plus to have the Golden Age Senior Pass to get half off on camping fees in the Corp and National parks.   A great stay for a couple of days.  We made one more overnight stay in Cut Bank, Mt and then entered Glacier National Park.

IMG_7701Joe and I always said that Yellowstone was our favorite park to visit but after driving through Glacier and then Banff and Jasper we would have to change that.  Glacier is unbelievably beautiful and it would be our favorite park in the U.S but Banff and Jasper parks in Alberta, Canada are by far the most beautiful places we have ever seen.  What is so interesting in all three parks are the people from other countries that come to vacation in these parks.  One out of three RVs we saw was a rental unit.  In Glacier we camped next to a two generation family from Germany/Amsterdam.   The grandpa loved to visit and we learned a lot about the family including their darling two year old grandson with the blond hair and big blue eyes.  They have done the RV rental thing for many years.  They have visited many of our national parks.  Then we meet a couple from Holland who also have visited the states many times and have done Yellowstone, the Utah National Parks, and Yosemite, and would love to go to Alaska if they had more time. They asked if we had travelled to Europe and when we said we hadn’t because we have so much beauty to see in the U.S. they agreed.  They said they don’t have anything like this in their country.  People fly into either Edmonton or Calvary to pick-up their RV and off they go.    The people we talked to seem to stay about four weeks.  English was the minority language spoken in the campgrounds we stayed in.  Most people were so friendly and spoke English pretty good.   A few spoke only a little English but we still were able to have short conversations and share a smile.

Entering Glacier Park Entering Park View driving thru Campsite Morning Visitor Stream from campsite

We stayed two nights in Many Glacier CG.  We were surrounded by the mountains on three sides and a creek ran through on the back side of us.  As we drove into the CG we saw two young scraggly moose.  We got a warning from two rangers about the bear but no such luck in seeing one.  I was a little afraid (okay a lot afraid)  about walking on the trails because of all the bear warning postings and the rangers so we walked on the road – not that the bear know the difference between a trail and the road but I felt better.  We walked a good distance to a beautiful waterfall.  There are so many waterfalls in Glacier.  Lily got to stay behind in the mini.  We were told bear don’t like dogs and Lily doesn’t like to walk so it worked out good for all.

Visitor Center at East Glacier Entering Campground Falls near campsite Still Snow Mountain IMG_7638 IMG_7686

Entering CanadaJune 2nd we crossed the Canadian border at Chief Mountain.  It is always interesting what questions you anticipate to be asked at a border crossing and the actual questions you are asked.  A pretty easy crossing!  A little fact that I didn’t know – Glacier National Park is on the U.S. side of the border and Waterton Lakes National Park is on the Canadian side.   We decided to purchase a Canadian National Park pass since we knew we wanted to stay in Waterton Lakes, Banff and Jasper Parks.  We know it will pay for itself.  We stayed Fox in CGovernight in Townsite RV park in Waterton Lakes and was greeted by a fox and many, many large gophers.  We think the fox was gopher hunting.  After we got set up we watched this travel trailer a few sites down from us open the door and seven dogs came out with a woman.  She got into a golf cart and some of the dogs ran along side of her and some rode in the cart.  Our thoughts were that this was a little much – seven dogs in one camper.  As it turned out the woman and the seven sheepherding dogs were employees of the national park.  Over the years people were feeding the deer that came into the park, the deer taught their young to come into the park to be fed and soon they had problems with pesky and aggressive deer.  So four years ago they began a program where the dogs help keep the deer out of the park as a retraining program both for the deer and the visitors in the park.  It was very interesting to watch the dogs do “border patrol”.   It is something what we humans do to make problems for both us and the wildlife.

Campsite Prince of Whales Hotel Magpie Bird ameron Falls View top of Falls Getting soaked from mist

From Waterton Lakes we entered Banff NP.  We stayed at the most beautiful campsite we have ever stayed at in Mosquito Creek CG.

Our view from back doorA very small campground with a very big sign that said “Grizzly Bear Alert”.  Ok let us see a grizzly bear (when we are safely inside the mini).  Didn’t see a bear again but our site was spectacular!  We sat a few feet away from a roaring creek with the mountains all around.  There is nothing like sleeping with the sound of rapids outside your window.    Again, this was a CG that we appreciated having the mini.  The 5th wheel would not have worked here so we would have missed out.

Mosquito Creek CG Campsite Mosquito Creek CG Stream thru CG Stream thru CG View from Back door

Icefield ParkwaySo you can drive from here through Banff NP on the Icefield Parkway that takes you through most of Jasper NP or you can take a speedy route.  Of course we wanted to see the Icefields (glaciers) so we opted for the Icefield Parkway.  We drove 125 miles in six hours and not because the roads were bad.  We stopped so many times because of the amazing beauty.  I cannot describe in words the beauty we saw.  Hopefully Joe’s pictures will help share what we saw.  I would tell anyone that if you plan on going to Glacier NP spend a little more time and travel through Banff and Jasper via the Icefield Parkway.  Spectacular!  Amazing!   We stopped at the Columbia Icefield Glacier with the intention of taking a bus tour out to the glacier but when we got there opted for a good hike out to the glacier for photos.  So glad we did the hike.  It was a little touristy money trap and we needed the hike.

Drive thru Icefield Park Drive thru Icefield Park Drive thru Icefield Park Drive thru Icefield Park Drive thru Icefield Parkway Green water comes from Glacier

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Our last stay in the NP was at Whistlers CG.  This was a huge CG with very nice private sites.  Here besides the bear alert we had elk alert.  It was calving season for the elk and because they feel safe in the park some elk decide to have their young there.  This can be dangerous for the campers because the female elk can be very protective of their young.  It also brings the grizzly bears into the park. The week before they had a grizzly kill two baby elks and a woman was injured by an elk.   So we had warnings about the elk and the bear.  Again we didn’t see a bear but got a glimpse of an elk.

Rainbow We also saw the most stunning rainbow against the mountain we’ve ever seen.  One more astounding gift!

So out of the NP we are heading –north.  We found a municipal park that has WIFI.  Yes, I never thought I would say I missed WIFI but I do.  Joe really misses it!  We haven’t missed TV, electricity when we don’t have it which is often (thank goodness for a few hours of generator time for a hairdryer and the coffee maker) or our cell phones.   But WIFI we do miss after a few days.  Life can’t get much better than we are living.  We count our blessing everyday and marvel at the beauty that we see.  We have adopted a song by Louis Armstrong “What a Wonderful World” as our theme song on this adventure.

I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom for me and you And I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night And I think to myself what a wonderful world. The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces of people going by I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do But they’re really saying I love you. I hear baby’s crying and I watched them grow They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know And I think to myself what a wonderful world. Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world

The people we meet the sites we see – YES WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD WE LIVE IN!

Stay safe!  Love to our family, friends, kids and grandkids!