Friday, August 28, 2009

Here Comes The Sun

Going out to get the paper early in the morning has its benefits

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Back to Civilization

Snake River near Marsing, ID
Northwest Nevada Hwy 95

As we headed towards home we dropped out of the mountains of Idaho to high prairies and then the high deserts of the Idaho, Oregon, Nevada triangle. We spent our last night in Idaho on the Snake River. Though the river is no longer "wild" this far south it was nonetheless cooling and beautiful.
I don't get to the desert too often, but each time I adventure to these special places I find myself simply awed by the shear openness, the colors and the subtle smell of sage. It is a deceptive beauty that demands respect from all who travel here.
Though we have thoroughly enjoyed this adventure we find ourselves looking forward to home: apple pie from the last of the Gravensteins and grilled vegies from the garden. Of course we are already planning the next adventure.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to the Blue Highways Tour - Lachsa River, ID

We left Glacier National Park and worked our way south and west to the Lewis and Clark Trail (Hwy 12) in Idaho. As we drove we talked about what it must have been like coming west on journeys of discovery. We both have such an affinity for the era we decided that in previous lives we just may have been pioneers. We camped here on the Lachsa River at Wendover in the Clearwater National Forest. It was clear and warm. Once settled we pulled out the camp chairs and spent the afternoon reading near the river. It doesn't get much better than that!

Friday, August 21, 2009

To the Roads Less Travelled

Having just returned from a great adventure, I wanted to feature four Etsy artisans who also seem to be into roads less travelled, and of course pay homage to poet Robert Frost:
"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference"
A click on any of the photos will take you to their Etsy sites Road Less Travelled by Country Dreaming

Blue Highways by Gretchen Simons
Road Less Travelled by Jane Perdue

Road Less Travelled by Robin Cheers

Blue Highways Tour - Glacier National Park

This road trip became a reconnaissance mission for future adventures. We have already decided we need at least two weeks in Montana and Glacier for exploring, fishing and photography.
Our rig was too big to traverse the Waterton to West Glacier connection on the "Going to the Sun" road so we traveled Hwys 89 and 2 to reach West Glacier and experienced some truly incredible vistas along the way.
We camped at Apgar in West Glacier. Once we settled in we walked to town for an ice cream and then strolled down along the MacDonald River via this pathway. Again, it seems more like Spring than the middle of August.

MacDonald River

At Crandell Lake in Waterton Park and here on the MacDonald River at Glacier we were totally amazed by the colors of the pebbles and stones that wash down from the mountains. I have a thing for rocks, this may turn into a theme for another blog entry!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Waterton Lakes Park, Alberta

I don't know what we expected, but the town of Waterton Park was a bit like Aspen: discovered, overboutiqued and crowded. We opted for the more isolated Crandell Campground. Once settled we made the 1.5 mile hike up to Crandell Lake. It is a small lake with a rocky bottom of very colorful stones: red, orange, cream, brown, blue green, white, yellow and black. We were lucky enough to see a young black bear cross the trail in front of us on the way up to the lake. Needless to say we stood stock still for a bit to make sure mama wasn't close and then continue our hike. Crandell Lake
Trail back from the lake to campground

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Fernie, BC

Visited a Saturday farm market in the town of Fernie in the Macdonald Range of the Canadian Rockies. We found an incredible selection of organic produce from local farms and purchased raspberries, cherries, apples and a variety of vegetables for our campfire cuisine.

We also discovered a new food experience called Poutine. It is absolutely not heart smart, but we were on vacation and that means anything goes. The folks in front of us in line said we absolutely had to try it. It looked dangerous so we wisely decided to split an order. Ready? It is fresh cut french fries smothered in brown gravy with grated cheese on top! So bad for you, but oh so good!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Crowsnest Hwy

The Crowsnest Hwy (Canadian Hwy 3) is a 722 mile long road through southern British Columbia and Alberta that provides the shortest land connection between Vancouver, BC and Medicine Hat, AB. It is mostly two lanes and follows a mid-19th century gold rush trail originally traced by a young engineer named Edgar Dewdney. It takes its name from the Crowsnest Pass where the highway crosses the Continental Divide between BC and AB. We picked it up in Hope, BC and followed it until we turned south at Pincher Creek, AB to head for the Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park. I'm guessing we logged about 600 miles of it.

Our first night in BC was at Stemwinder Provincial Park on the Similkameen River. Although it was August what we know as spring flowers were in full bloom everywhere.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Hwy 92

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Stillaguamish River - Gold Basin Campground

The object of our road trip was to stay off the interstates and stay on roads less travelled. Life moves too fast as it is and the idea was to explore with no particular destination or time table in mind. We were able to stop at small town fairs and farmers markets, pull over and wade in pristine rivers, camp in little known parks, watch wild horses galloping across unfenced land and lucky enough to see a young black bear and eagles on a hike in Alberta. This is what life should be all about: unplugged from all of our electronic gadgets and deciding whether to turn right or left each morning at breakfast. Now go do it!