Showing posts from August, 2009

August 27-29, 2009

We left Polson Thursday morning and headed South to Missoula and are staying at Jim and Mary’s RV Park just outside of Missoula.

Friday we went to the Missoula Smokejumpers Base and Visitors Center. We took a guided tour through the facility and learned a lot about the smoke jumpers. The jumpers make their own jump suits and all the packs they use and also repair their parachutes. There are around 200 smoke jumpers in the US and 76 are based here – 10% are women.

They have 2 jump planes – this is their DC 5.

We went to Fort Missoula, which was established in 1877 and during WWII was used as an Alien Detention Center for nonmilitary Italian men (merchant seamen, Worlds Fair employees and the crews of Italian luxury liners seized in American Waters). It housed 1,200 Italians and, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 650 Japanese-American men. It was decommissioned in 1947. There were only a few Fort building left. They also had a church, a schoolhouse, a fire lookout tower and a display of…

August 24-26, 2009

We headed towards Flathead Lake Monday morning and stopped in Kalispell to get our air conditioner repaired. It had stopped working a couple of weeks ago and August is not the time to be without an air conditioner. The RV dealer we stopped at gave us the name of the guy who does their air conditioning work. He was able to fix the air conditioner (a switch had burned out) in a couple of hours and we were on our way. We drove to Polson, MT at the south end of Flathead Lake and are going to stay here for a few days. We are staying at Eagle Nest RV, which has a cherry orchard on one side, a golf course on one side and a horse pasture on another side. It is a really nice park with lots of grass and trees. Unfortunately, we are at the end of the cherry season and we might not be able to find any fresh cherries.

Tuesday morning we decided to take a drive around Flathead Lake. This is a very scenic area with lots of fruit orchards. We found a fruit stand and bought cherries, peaches, tomatoes …

August 23, 2009

Today we drove the Going To The Sun Road, which is the only road that goes completely across Glacier National Park. We stopped at the Visitor Center at Logan Pass and hiked the trail to the Hidden Lake Overlook. We saw mountain goats, big horn sheep, a marmot (the Ranger called him “Mr. Mayor”), and a big fat chipmunk. The view from the overlook was breath taking.

After our hike we continued on the Going To The Sun Road to the east side of the park and on North to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. Yes, we decided to brave the border once again – this time we only had the truck and didn’t have anything the border agent needed. This is our first time to visit Waterton and it is very much like Glacier – just smaller. We were very fortunate to see two bears eating berries at different locations (one grizzly bear and one black bear) and another black bear crossed the road in front of us.

On the way back across Glacier National Park we stopped to view Jackson Glacier. We found out ther…

August 22, 2009

This morning we drove to Glacier National Park and stopped at McDonald Lake.

We then hiked the Trail of the Cedars, a beautiful trail through a red cedar and hemlock forest. We came across a cedar tree that had fallen and had an interesting exposed root system.

The sun shining on this red cedar stump was a great photo opportunity.

We turned off the Trail of the Cedars and hiked the trail to Avalanche Lake. This trail followed Avalanche Creek where there were beautiful falls through a narrow gorge.

Avalanche Lake was a gorgeous mountain lake surrounded by spectacular waterfalls.

The trail was very crowded. We have usually taken our trips in the fall when the National Parks have not been very crowded. Consequently, we were not prepared for the large crowds and amount of traffic. It is still a beautiful area.

August 21, 2009

We left Lake Pend Orielle today and headed towards Montana. Shortly after crossing the border from Idaho into Montana and just before we reached Libby, we stopped at Kootenai Falls. We took a short hike to the falls and another short hike to a suspension bridge over the Kootenai River. On the way to the falls there is an elevated bridge over the railroad tracks and the stairs were expanded metal with anti-slip cleats. The dogs did not like going on these stairs and Nancy didn’t like the fact that you could see below the stairs as you climbed. The falls were beautiful and worth braving the stairs.

When we got to the suspension bridge Rex and Camille were the only ones brave enough to walk over it. Nancy and Cody stayed behind and watched.

We stopped in Kalispell and got some much needed groceries and supplies. We drove towards Glacier National Park and stopped at Mountain Meadow RV Park outside of Hungry Horse, MT. We are going to spend a couple of days looking around Glacier Nationa…

August 19-20, 2009

This morning we drove to Lake Pend Orielle in Idaho – what a beautiful area this is. We are camped at Island View RV near Hope, ID. We are across the street from the lake and camped in a nice shady, grassy area – we think we will stay here for a couple of days. While we were relaxing in the shade this afternoon white tail deer came into the campground – 2 does and a fawn. These are fairly tame deer as they came right up to our site and the dogs barking didn’t bother them much. Later we saw other campers feeding and petting one of the deer – no wonder they keep coming into the campground! There are also osprey flying around the area – we didn’t see too many but they were very vocal. We found a plum tree loaded with little yellow plums at one end of the campground - picked a few and they are sweet, juicy and delicious.

We spent Thursday morning helping our neighbor who came in last night - the jack on the front of their trailer stripped out while they were unhooking and dropped the trai…

August 17-18, 2009

We left Kamloops and headed southeast to the Okanagan Valley. This is a beautiful valley that has fruit orchards and vineyards all along the road. This area is also more populated than north and central BC so Rex has to get used to lots of traffic again. We stopped at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park around noon. This park is on Okanagan Lake and is very popular with boaters, consequently it was almost full but we were able to find a site for the night. After lunch we went looking for wineries. There are over 200 vineyards between here and the US border. After stopping at several wineries, we managed to find one that had some nice sweet fruit wines that we like. We stopped at a fruit/vegetable stand and bought some great peaches and tomatoes. We didn’t buy too much as we are going to cross into the US tomorrow and are not sure if we can bring any fruit back into the US. This stand also had some blueberry and peach muffins so we bought one of each for breakfast tomorrow.

After t…

August 16, 2009

This morning we walked to the BC Wildlife Park and spent a couple of hours walking around. This is a small park that takes in injured wildlife to rehabilitate and release back into the wild. The animals that cannot be released are kept in the park. They have grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, buffalo, cougars, raccoons, porcupine, mountain goats, elk among others. It is family oriented with an educational center and a nice playground/picnic area. These fawns are going to be released back into the wild so we were not allowed to get very close to them. The opossum is a permanent resident.

We had a very enjoyable lunch with Marion, a friend from our RV Park in Arizona. She has a very nice bed and breakfast in Kamloops. The lunch was delicious and we enjoyed spending the afternoon with her and look forward to seeing her again in Arizona.

August 14-15

This morning we got the oil changed in the truck in Quesnel and then drove to Williams Lake and got the 2 tires for the 5th wheel. Now with 4 new tires we should not have any problems. We continued down the Cariboo Highway and stopped at the 108 Mile Ranch Heritage Site. There are 13 historical buildings here including structures from the old 108 Mile Ranch and the 105 Mile Roadhouse. This site began as a post house on the Cariboo Trail in 1867 and was a ranch during the early 1900’s. The Cariboo trail was used during the gold rush in the 1860’s. There are towns called 100 Mile House, 140 Miles House, 150 Mile House, etc. These were originally roadhouses or post houses on the trail and are named by the distance they are from the start of the trail at Lillooet, BC.

We stopped at the town 100 Mile House and stayed at the Cariboo Bonanza Resort on Horse Lake. We forgot to take a picture at this campground - it was a small fishing resort and campground.
This morning we headed out on Highwa…

August 12-13, 2009

We left Stewart this morning in the rain - we were told it hasn’t rained here for 57 days so they really need the rain. We were hoping to be able to see some of the glaciers on the way back down the Stewart/Hyder Access Road but again it was cloudy, foggy and rainy. We got back onto the Cassiar Highway and headed South. We stopped at Gitanyow where there was a number of totem poles displayed.

A few miles down the road we stopped at Kitwanga Fort National Historic Site, where a wooden fortress and palisade once stood on a large, rounded hill. There is nothing left of the fortress but we hiked a nice trail to the top of the hill.
We turned onto the Yellowhead Highway and headed East toward Prince George, BC. The landscape has changed to a wide heavily forested valley with a lot of hay fields. We saw a lot of logging trucks and lumber mills. We stopped at Tyhee Lake Provincial Park near Telkwa, BC. The Provincial Parks in BC are really nice with long, wide sites.

We left early this morning …

August 10-11, 2009

It rained all night and was still raining when we started out again this morning. We continued down the Cassiar Highway and the condition of the highway has improved a lot – it is much smoother. We turned onto the Stewart/Hyder Access Road and stopped at Bear Glacier – still raining and the clouds were very low.
This road is called Glacier Highway and on a clear day you can see over 20 hanging glaciers but unfortunately for us, it was not clear and we couldn’t see any of them. The canyon is beautiful and has very steep walls and we traveled through many avalanche areas. We arrived in Stewart, BC and are staying at the Bear River RV Park – still raining.

We spent the afternoon doing laundry and grocery shopping – Stewart is very small and we didn’t have much choice for groceries. Stewart and Hyder are at the head of the Portland Canal, a narrow saltwater fjord approximately 90 miles long. The fjord forms a natural boundary between Alaska and Canada. This evening we drove a few miles do…