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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Monday, 03 Aug 2009

Location: USA

MapWell, it's been a few days since last we wrote....travel days have been long, service has been poor. We were ultimately waiting for a wreck to be investigated and removed from the one lone road in Jasper/Banff area 4 1/2 hours. We made a run by Lake Louise before dark set in. Tracy, Sam, and I shot a few pictures and then we took a run through the hotel. Tracy has decided this is where she and Joe will spend their 25th wedding anniversary. Joe confirmed by phone later. The scenery is majestic near the lake and serene. The perfect setting for one who likes to relax and read, rest, take in the mood of the countryside. After touring Lake Louise, we drove to Banff in the dark. Sineage was poor, lights were lacking, but we managed to find Red Carpet Inn by 10:30 and ordered Pizzas and salad to our room by 11 pm. We made a pact with Da to sleep in 8 hours and so the alarm or wake-up calls went accordingly.
Friday, we drove through Calgary heading out to the US border. Site-seeing this day, consisted of visiting Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump just north of Ft. McLeod, Alberta. We had a bite to eat at their cafe for lunch, viewed the video, and then went through the 4 or 5 levels of displays....very interesting.....saw a marmot. Don't know why, but it is always a relief for all to cross that line. This crossing was the most crowded, but most relaxed of all the crossings we had on our trip. The guy never even came around the other side of the car to open the doors and investigate all that were in the vehicle w/ the corresponding passport. He just gazed at them and looked at Sammy in the back seat matched against his passport, then waived us on. We were trying to drive to Great Falls, MT in time to get to our favorite steakhouse as we were due for a nice juicy steak. Somehow I managed to find it. We were eating at Jaker's Bar, Grill, & Casino by 8. Not to worry, Marmar & Gwynne did not partake in any game playing. It was dark when we finished and our callling was to WalMart next, on the other side of town. There we bought a few groceries, which we have yet to eat, except for the milk, and a few other needed items. The KOA was open until midnight, although we managed to get there some time between 9:30 and 10. It was very crowded and all the sites were very close together. One way streets and this 'closeness' kept me circling around and around taking Mom and Da and myself to the bathroom to shower and take care of business. We had a few laughs.
Saturday, the agenda called for a shorter drive ending up in Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP. We arrived later than expected and the conjestion in the area along with road construction kept our travel to a slow pace. We saw one buffalo, elk, one black bear, American White Pelican, Canada Geese, moose either in the park or on the road to the park. We stopped at Mammouth Springs Visitor Center to get Sam's Junior Ranger packet. He busily got started on the packet with Da supervising while Tracy & I tried to schedule the events and examine the map. He had to view and exhibit, answer questions at certain visitor centers, take a trail hike, go to one Ranger led program, and finish the booklet. It was a team effort to get it organized and done, but he managed it well and after viewing the Old Faithful eruption, he was awarded a Junior Ranger patch. This patch added one to dozens Marmar Jane has busily been sewing onto Sam's bluejean jacket. It is priceless and noted everytime it is worn. Due to the time, we were only allowed the view of the Grand Teton Mountains as we speedily drove by at 30-45 mph (ha!) to get to Jackson to our KOA. We gassed up in this tourist-trap-of-a-town and found the campground 12 miles south. The cabin was on the cliff of the Snake River, but we never got a chance to enjoy the scenery as nightfall prevented it. We ate cereal and went to bed.
Sunday, we traveled from Jackson, Wyoming to Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park. Mom & Gwynne had a rough time at the last KOA getting out of their log beds and so we vowed 'no more KOAs'.

Gwynne Finishihg up here!!

We enjoyed a great Ranger drive through Estes and are now in Carlsbad, where I am at the Comfort Inn and they are watching bats going crazy....Jennifer will be back on to give you all the details. We are always anxious to go on these trips and always excited to get home....will spend tomorrow partly in Carlsbad and stay at Chuck Burling's home in Alpine Tuesday night and then on home on Wednesday....always an adventure!!