Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marooned on an Island

Thursday, September 24, Gary and I headed to Horseshoe Bay (just north of Vancouver) to board the ferry for Vancouver Island. This was a new experience for all of us - especially Magic. Packing the bus onto the ferry was “nervous time”! But, also a lot of fun. Here is the story -

Magic snuggles up to the fuel truck and the asphalt truck

On the ferry cuddling with the fuel truck again

Waiting to dock

Free at last

On the other side, we headed to our new camp for the next three nights. The environment is just fine - BUT, it is one of those with NO internet and NO satellite. After having such great coverage for the last few days - this is major withdrawal! So - this posting will include a couple of days when we can find a connection. AND, we will have to spend a little time back in a bar to watch the FedEx Cup and maybe the ND game - as we can’t miss those!

Friday was spent in Victoria - a walk around the town, a great lunch down at the pier (where we found our golf on TV - that ball going to the hole is Tiger’s putt!) -

The view from the bar

What we were watching instead

Then out to Butchart Gardens for the afternoon. Jennie Butchart was perhaps the first ‘green lady’ way back in 1904 when she began to beautify a worked-out limestone quarry which had supplied her husband’s nearby Portland cement plant. The garden started as a hobby with the Sunken Garden (the quarry), but just kept expanding to the Japanese Garden followed by the Rose and the Italian Gardens. Today, during the summer months, concerts are held in the Gardens and fireworks explode over them. It was a wonderful, beautiful, relaxing afternoon wandering.

At the gardens

The sunken garden

Reflecting on the day

Lots of colors


Saturday morning was a slow one getting out of Magic - we had breakfast, got cleaned up, began a little of the packing up process (tomorrow is a travel day - back to the good ole USA) and wrote the previous portion of this posting. When we finally got going, we headed back into Victoria to visit the Craigdarroch Castle. This home is built on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria (Craigdarroch means “rocky, oak place” in Gaelic). It was built between 1887-1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune after coming to Vancouver from Vancouver Island coal - but, he never lived in it as he died before it was completed. His wife, Joan, inherited his entire estate (valued at $15-$20 million in 1888) and moved into the house in 1890. She also ‘housed’ several of her grandchildren at fairly young ages who were orphaned!

Craigdarroch Castle

After our ‘house tour’ and lunch and an update on golf at our ‘bar at the pier’, we were off on a 3-hour whale watching tour (our tiny ship did not get tossed and we DID return!). What FUN we had!! Lots of whales - Orcas, Killers and Humpbacks!!

A family of Orca

Transient killer whale

Humpback whale making a splash

Sounding humpback

Bye bye (Did you know?? The markings on the tails are like fingerprints - and they have been tracking this calf for a couple of years!!)

What a way to end our stay on Vancouver Island! Tomorrow we are headed back to the USA via ferry (again!) and on to Oregon.

More later - Love to All - Elizabeth & Gary

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Searching for Just the Right House in Whistler

Well, here we are in Whistler - our whole reason for this trip. Our campsite is GREAT, we are enjoying further investigating Whistler, and watching their preparation for the Olympics. It brings back soooooo many memories!

There is frantic work going on to complete road improvements in and around Whistler. The medals ceremony arena in Whistler is still under construction (after being shelved due to finances with the alternative of medals given at the venues - now they are back to building the ceremony arena). All the finish areas are ‘under construction’ for the grandstands, press boxes, etc. The ‘Whistler Athletes Village’ is still under construction. Etc., etc. etc.

Monday was property investigation day - looking at possible housing for the 2 weeks of the Olympics, walking around the Village and just driving around to see what is going on in the way of preparation. A nice casual day followed by dinner on our ‘patio’ watching Monday night football - using that outdoor entertainment center!

Grillin' & chillin'

Tuesday, September 22, we bounced into fall looking at more houses and golfing. Both were a BUST - a lot of disappointment. Nothing to say about the house and not much more to say about the Nicklaus North Golf Course, except it was surrounded by mountains on the shores of Whistler’s Green Lake - 15 holes with water!! The rest is all bad - and my Mother taught me if you didn’t have something good to say - don’t say anything. So - nothing to say here.

Wednesday - the first FULL day of fall - and another full schedule of houses, errands (a hair cut for Elizabeth!?!?!?) and a round of golf. Think perhaps we found ‘our’ house for the Olympics - after many ‘fact finding’ discussions with the Chamber of Commerce, Office of Tourism, Municipal Office, several real estate offices and property management offices, as well as individuals and many internet sites!! Amazing the lack of information at this point about bus schedules, bus routes, ski area access, etc. from the above offices - all of which was important information for our decision making. Whenever we received the same ‘bit of information’ from more than one source, we considered it ‘gospel’ and factored it into the decision process. Now we have our friend/roommate working on the negotiations - keeping our fingers crossed.

We also played the Arnold Palmer Whistler Golf Club Course this afternoon - a delight after yesterday afternoon! The course was beautiful, fairways and greens were in fantastic shape and it was a beautiful afternoon. Could not ask for any more on our last day in Whistler.

Tomorrow is another travel day - to Vancouver Island! Yes, Magic is going swimming! We will give you a full report of how things go later tomorrow.

Love to all - E&G

Monday, September 21, 2009

YUCK!! & Aaaaahhhhh!!

Well - I asked Gary to write this blog report and he said it would be one word if he wrote it - “YUCK!!!!” So here I am again -

Our second day of golf in Kamloops was a course called Tobiano - Golf Digest’s ‘Best New Canadian Course’ for 2008. Gary decided the same types of people make this determination as those who determine the overall winner at the Sundance Film Festival - they all have their heads somewhere other than where we have ours!!

First of all - the course has been plunked down in the middle of nowhere under the theory - BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME! (Note - we did come!) The residential development part seems to be on hold like so many areas of the same ilk.

Ugly Course plunked in the middle of nowhere

The condition of the course was wonderful - IF you could find the fairway, stay on it and then find the green. The majority of the men’s tees had carries over sagebrush dotted gullies - and not short carries! The par 3’s were all from hilltop to hilltop with a ‘wonderful carry’ in between - even for the women. The fairways were lined with that golden fescue stuff - so good luck finding your ball if you go off the fairway. AND, even if you hit your ball in the fairway it would wind up in the fescue because all fairways rolled ‘big time‘ right or left. Oh yeah - the views were great!

How far is this carry?

Another hilltop to hilltop par 3

So this is what a green looks like - with a view

The best about this adventure - lunch was good. We ran a few errands on our way back to Magic (like picking up our dry cleaning), cleaned up for dinner and had a very nice dinner at Hoodoos restaurant above the city of Kamloops watching the city lights come on. A very nice way to wind up our visit to Kamloops.

Sunday was a fabulous travel day! We took ‘the back way’ - or as the locals call it - ‘the Duffy Lake Road’ - from Kamloops to Whistler. It is only about 180 miles, but it took us 6 hours! We had been warned that the road was very steep and winding in places, but that trucks used it so we would be OK with Magic. For the most part, the road was good - only a few gravel/dirt spots. BUT, it was very narrow in spots with several one lane wooden bridges (wish we had a shot of these to show you - wow!) and lots of very steep places. Ever seen a 13% Grade?!?!?! We had several - and Magic performed just fine.

Grateful for exhaust brakes

At one point, we came up over a ‘hill’ and there in front of us was this fabulous picture -

Duffy Lake with glaciers in the background

The aforementioned Duffy Lake!! The scene was beautiful with the mountains and glaciers in the background. It just took your breath away. We decided this was a good lunch spot - so fired up the micro with leftover taco ‘stuff’ and enjoyed the view!

Another lovely spot for lunch

After taking it all in and having full stomachs, it was time to hit the road again. Most of the way it was open range, but we thought that was just for cattle. At one point it was the horses who created their parade - and didn’t care if they held up traffic!

5 of more than 2 dozen wandering on the road

The entire way was one beautiful view/picture after another. The 180 miles was worth all 6 hours - and the white knuckles!! AND, we were rewarded with a wonderful campsite in Whistler.

Now we begin our quest for Olympic housing. Will keep you posted on that hunt.

Love to All - YUCK & Aaaaahhhhh

Friday, September 18, 2009

Golf with a view

We are now out of the parks (for a brief time) and into golf. As mentioned in the last post, this 'camp' is short on views - but long on amenities and about half way between our two golf games (the real reason for the selection).

As we drove in yesterday we took note of several courses 'in the neighborhood' but, we had to be up and out at 7:30 for a 9AM tee time at a course that was about 35 minutes away. With the various courses right around us we debated the wisdom of our decision. BUT, stuck with the agenda this morning, as we came to Kamloops specifically for the two courses we are to play today and tomorrow. (Gary read about them in an American Express magazine touting the area for wine making and four wonderful new golf courses.)

So - we were off this morning to Talking Rock Golf Course at the east end of Little Shuswap Lake. This course meanders through a sandy forest and ends with a breathtaking 18th hole along the shoreline of the Lake. Although, before you get to the 18th there is plenty to see. Today instead of bears or moose, it was this coyote on the prowl for lunch. He could care less that we were in his territory - he just wanted lunch!

He joined our foursome for one hole

By the 15th hole you have climbed the mountain on the back side of the course and have a beautiful elevated view as this par 3 drops down toward the lake (I even parred this one!!).

Enjoying the views

Just like at Banff, we had the benefit of playing with two local ladies (Gary got to be odd man out this time) who gave us the scoop on the course. As a result we both had very good rounds - so liked this course a lot! Part of the fun of a trip like this IS meeting the local 'color'. Today Sue and Lynne provided that - they were wonderful women, vivacious and full of fun and information. Sue spent time in Whistler - so she gave us the route to take from Kamloops to Whistler, where to play golf there and where to eat. Lynne had grown up on Vancouver Island (before she became a ski bum and traveled the Western US and Canada skiing and giving lessons - (she is older than I am)) and provided all kinds of data about places to see and courses to play there - our stop after Whistler. We are now 'armed' for the next two legs of our journey.

After golf - and a wonderful lunch at the course - we headed back to investigate Kamloops. On the way we drove through the Village of Chase (population 2,000), which sits on the Little Shuswap Lake and has been home to the Secwepmec people for over 10.000 years! Here we stopped at a little roadside stand and bought fresh corn for a future dinner.

First stop was the Chamber of Commerce/Information Center. After looking at the map of all the wonderful golf courses in the immediate area - beyond the two we are playing - we decided this has to be on our route to Alaska next year with a full week just to play golf!!

We also got directions to a dry cleaner, grocery store and place for Gary to get a haircut. Besides getting chores done, we also drove through the old town center and obtained recommendations for dinners and activities. As always, there is just too much to do.

Tonight we returned home with groceries in hand, made dinner, worked on pictures and blog postings, watched a little football and called it a night.

See you tomorrow - Our Love to All - Elizabeth & Gary

For the Skeptics

For those skeptics out there (yes, I mean you Soul Man and Michael) here is video proof that Elizabeth does actually drive the bus.

Please note that no animals were harmed (well maybe a few bugs and stuff) during the making of this movie.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Golf Day at Banff

Hi there again.

It is now Wednesday (September 16) - a golf day. We are off early to the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course for our ‘splurge‘ day of golf on this trip. This course is touted as one of the ten best golf courses in the world, cradled in a valley between Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain and Tunnel Mountain with each hole located along the Bow River and at the foot of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Again, all the views are awesome - which makes it hard to concentrate on the golf.

Golfing at the Banff Springs GC

Wow - it actually landed in the fairway. What a concept!

We played with two locals - one an 80 year old man who walked the course (and does so 3 times a week) and shoots VERY close to his age and the other a Greek who owns a local Pizza restaurant on Banff’s Main Street! Their shared knowledge of the course must have helped as Gary and I both had a decent round - couldn’t beat the 80 year old, though!

All the golf made us very hungry - so we were off to investigate the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel for lunch. The hotel is the one you see in all the pictures of Banff - and it is just as stunning in person. Although, the views of the hotel from the outside - and the farther away the better - are better than the wanderings inside the building, it is just too much. The views from the patio are stunning (and you can see the golf course) -

On the terrace at the Fairmont Banff Springs

Another beautiful lunchtime view.

Again, this is a hotel built by the RR (Canadian this time) and is named for the hot sulfur springs still used today. The springs were ‘stumbled upon’ by three railway workers in 1883. Their discovery led to the creation of the first national park in Canada - Banff National Park, which today is also a World Heritage Site. It is interesting that the town of Banff sits inside the National Park and has enough private homes to house a population of approximately 8,000 people (about the same size as Park City - no wonder we love it). The primary East-West Canadian Highway (most of the time a two lane road!!) also goes through the park - so to continue any drive on Canada Highway 1 you must go through the park and pay the park fee of $10.

After our photo opportunities, full stomachs and a little shopping - we were on our way to the gondola ride - another awesome experience and incredible views! This was another amazing construction feat - created in the early 1900’s this gondola carried visitors to the top of the mountain to ‘tea’! It enabled the casual visitor to see the views that only the sturdy who hiked up the mountain had see before.

On top of the world - compliments of the gondola.

From the top of the gondola you can see Banff and all the surrounding area - the small rounded mountain in the middle of the picture is Tunnel Mountain - to the left of Tunnel Mt. is the town of Banff - to the right of the Mt. is the golf course and at the foot of the course is the Banff Springs Hotel. If you could see just around the right corner of Tunnel Mt., above the course, you would see Magic perched on the hill in our campground!

Something I learned while visiting Banff and Lake Louise - neither of the wonderful Hotels/Chateaus that you see in all the great winter scenes have a ski area that comes down to the hotel! The Lake Louise ski area is about a mile from the Lake Louise Chateau. Banff has three ski areas around the valley - all about 2-3 miles from the Banff Springs Hotel. So - there is no ski in - ski out here!

After the fabulous overview of Banff from the gondola, we went back into town for a last good bye. It was then time to return to Magic, clean the bus, cook dinner and begin the packing process as Thursday we were on our way to Kamloops.

It rained almost the whole drive to Kamloops - so it was a good day to be in the bus. The drive was fairly uneventful except for one little ‘hitch in our get-along’ - when the windshield wipers quit working in the pouring rain!! And, of course, I (Elizabeth) was driving. It is a good thing Gary is so handy at figuring things out - he had the wipers fixed in about 30 minutes and we were on our way again. There is good news and bad news with our new campground - there is no wonderful view, which we have become accustomed to, BUT, there is internet, satellite and a laundry room!! So - we are set up again, have the laundry done, dinner dishes are done and we are getting this posted to the blog from the comfort of Magic without being kicked off the internet even one time!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow is a golf day - report on that soon.

Much Love to All - Gary and Elizabeth

A Day in the Life of the Magic Campers

Thought maybe you would enjoy following us through a non-travel day to see what FUN we have! It will give you the opportunity to see a little of Magic and our views along the way.

Today - Tuesday, September 15 - we have set up the following ‘rough’ schedule:

8:00 Leave Magic for Lake Louise

9:00 Board the tram at Lake Louise to see grizzlies

10:00 Brunch at Lake Louise

11:30 Arrive at Lake Johnson to hike and eat lunch along the way

3:00 Arrive at Banff gondola

5:00 Return from gondola ride and investigate Banff Hotel - decide from here what to do about dinner - eat at Hotel or return to Magic??

So - this is how the day went:

Camp Counselor Gary got up at 5:30, as it takes him a little longer than camper Elizabeth to get going! I get my ‘chai latte wake up cup’ in bed at 7. By 7:15 the bed is made -

Bed made - check

and by 7:30 we are showered (using that LARGE shower that Gary had to have) and eating breakfast. Since the day calls for lunch on the trail, PB&J sandwiches are made and the ‘lunch box’ packed.

PB&J made in our kitchen - check

This morning we get a little delayed, as we remember that Gary needs to get a few more things done with the pictures for the blog posting of the last couple of days that we hope to get done later today - so he spends a few minutes at the computer in our office/living room.

Pictures ready for blog post - check

It is about 8:30 by the time we actually get out the door. But, that is OK - we are only a little off schedule - can make up 30 minutes easily throughout the day. Just as we pull out of the campgrounds we have our first sighting of the day - a beautiful, BIG elk buck is ‘posing’ by the side of the road for us as he eats his breakfast!! A GREAT start to the day.

Elk buck sighting - check

Well - it is now about 10 and we are finally ready to board the gondola at Lake Louise. So, off to the top of Mt. Whitehorn over grizzly country, to the Wildlife Interpretive Centre and beautiful views of Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier and the Lake Louise Fairmont Chateau. And what views they were -

Lake Louise & Victoria Glacier from top of gondola - check

History lesson - Lake Louise is a glacial lake fed from the Victoria Glacier, which is named for Queen Victoria. Lake Louise is named for Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, and is 5,680 feet above sea level. The lake is a striking turquoise color, which is created from the melting glacier silt. All very fascinating and beautiful!

With all there was to take in atop the mountain, it was 11:30 before we returned to the bottom (by the way - NO grizzly sightings!). After seeing the Lake and Chateau from the top of the mountain, we decided we needed to investigate a little closer up - and maybe have lunch there. In case you are looking at our schedule for the day and wondering how we were going to get back on track - forget about it! We have done as we do many of these days - modify, modify, modify - because we can! So - off to the Chateau for lunch, a walk around the hotel and the lake and a few more pictures.

Eat lunch with a great view of Lake Louise - check

Oh yes - one other thing happened at the Chateau during lunch. We discovered that Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra were performing tonight at the Banff Centre (their performing arts center) and thought we would try for tickets - even though we were at the last minute. I put on my most friendly face once again and begged the concierge at the hotel to call for us (remember no cell service/no internet!) - she did and got us second row!! We were soooooo excited - BUT, now we had a real schedule to keep. Had to be back to Magic to eat and clean up for the performance by 6. So - on our way.

We were back in the car around 1 and decided that we needed to drive to another lake we heard about at the Interpretive Centre - Moraine Lake. This lake is in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, surrounded by ten mountains, which house the Wenkchemna Glacier and also include Mount Temple, which is the third highest mountain in Banff National Park. Sorry - but no pictures from here as Gary did not think the lighting was right. We did however have $5 ice cream cones!!

It is now 2 and we were back in the car on our way to Lake Johnson. It is decision time - to hike or not to hike - as we would like to go through town to the Starbucks and get yesterday’s write-up posted on the blog before we have to be back to Magic to get ready for the show. We take the scenic drive back to Banff and wave at Lake Johnson as we drive by. That hike will have to be saved for perhaps next year on our way to Alaska. (For those who have not heard - we are already planning our trip for next summer/fall which will be to Alaska through Canada.)

We cruised into the Starbucks around 3 and spent about an hour and a half getting the posting done. This might seem like a long time for a techie like Gary - but this is how this process goes on the road: I have already written the narrative at home and just have to copy and paste onto the blog and Gary has the pictures all ready to transfer. We have finally learned this second time around that it is easier for Gary to move the pictures first. If we are lucky he only gets ‘kicked off’ the internet once or twice in the process. Then I move the narrative - a section at a time (around the pictures) - if I am lucky only getting ‘kicked off’ the internet after each paste!! Then when we have both looked at it one more time - all complete - we hit the “POST” button. At this point we receive the last notice - ‘can’t post as not on internet’! I throw up my hands, bang on the table and Gary gets back on the internet ONE MORE TIME! Finally it gets posted - we smile at our accomplishment and give the Starbucks back to the rest of the clientele.

At 5:30 we are hurrying back to camp to fix dinner, eat and change. With all of this accomplished, we are back in the car at 6:45 on our way back into town (all of 15 minutes) for a fantastic evening with Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra. They were awesome (as were our seats)!! There were 15 performers on the stage playing as one with incredible coordinated effort. Gary and I both tried to think of how to communicate to you their rapport with each other and could think of NO way to describe it other than we were mesmerized by them, their musical talent and their ability to communicate with each other via hand signs and head nods (there was no conductor and Wynton sat in the back with the other trumpet players - three trombone players in front of them - five woodwind players in the front - a bass, piano and drummer off to the side). Clearly they have all played together for so long they no exactly what each of them will do - even when they are doing their ‘jam’ portions. Just Awesome! They even kept Gary up past 11!!

SO - that is a day in our travel life. As you can see, impromptu and spontaneous are two words that are a definite part of our travels - even though we start with a plan.

In case you are wondering what happened to the Banff Gondola and Hotel - it was visited on Wednesday and you will get that report shortly -

Bye for now - Elizabeth and Gary

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Deer, Bears and Goat Haunt - OH MY!!

Well - Sunday was a lazy day, indeed - BUT, I learned a lot!!

After a late start out of ‘Magic’ (due to the blog update for FIVE days) - we headed to the Bayshore Inn - yet again! By now John, the bartender, knows what we want to drink and exactly how we like it - tea with ice no lemon, water no ice, etc. etc. Lunch was accompanied by the ‘Tiger blow-out’ at the BMW Championship as well as getting the blog update posted (OK we confess - one of the draws of the Bayshore Inn is an internet connection!). I know - you are thinking that we are in this beautiful country full of scenery and animals and all we do is sit in the bar, use the internet and watch TV. But - we have finally learned that we need to be ‘on the hunt’ either early morning or at dusk - and today was to be an ‘animal spotting day’.

So - we planned our day around a 4 - 6PM boat cruise of the Waterton Lakes hoping to see bear and moose around the lakes as promised by the cruise brochure. The weather was absolutely beautiful for this cruise! All the crew were talking about how lucky we were at this time of year for sunshine and warm breezes. And, we again lucked out with a very knowledgeable young man, who has lived in the park area all his life, as our guide.

About half way to the opposite end of the lake we passed the 49th parallel. Anyone know the significance of this? It is the border between the US and Canada. So - on this cruise we passed from Canada back into the US and back to Canada again on our return. This parallel is marked on both sides of the lake with an ‘International Boundary‘ marker at the lake level and again at the top of the surrounding mountain. The parallel line is ‘marked’ by cleared growth from the marker at the lake level to the marker at the top of the mountain. An international patrol actually goes out and clears this parallel every 12-15 years (as needed) to maintain the clearance.

International Boundary Marker

Cleared 49th Parallel

Now, when you get to the end of the lake you disembark and have the opportunity to visit the US ‘Customs and Immigration of Goat Haunt’ (the ridge above is a local hangout/haunt of the goats). Remember I said we passed from Canada into the US while on the boat. If you plan to go into the back country hiking, you must pass through this customs and immigration check point (if ‘just visiting’ off the boat and returning immediately to Canada on the boat, you do not have to technically go through the check point). So, there is no ‘sneaking’ into the US by hiking in! As you can see below, I had to beg and plead with the customs agents not to detain me - but, just give me a stamp in my passport!! And, a great stamp it is of a goat - what else?!?! Perhaps you had to be here, but the whole set up of this ‘out post’ customs and immigration check point on a hiking trail out in the middle of no where was fascinating to me. I must say - the agents here were VERY friendly and really good sports when I started the stamp thing - as after I got mine there was a line up of everyone off the boat to do the same thing!! As you all know - I am ever the trouble maker!!

Goat Haunt Customs Office

Begging for a customs stamp

Finally.. Kerplunk

Goat Haunt Custom Stamp-Cool!!

Back in the USA .. for just a minute or two.

You might have guessed by now that our whole reason for the cruise - to see animals - was a bust! Not one animal sighting. But, the whole 49th parallel and “Customs and Immigration of Goat Haunt” things made the cruise worth every Canadian dollar. AND - we got a picture of the Bayshore Inn from the lake so you can see our haunt for the last few days.

Our watering hole and reliable internet connection - the Bayshore Inn

Well, it was now about 6:30 - just the right time to head up into one of the canyons for bear or moose sightings. AND, just on the edge of town what did we see - ONE HUNGRY BEAR!! YEAH!! We were soooooo excited to see this guy - we watched for over an hour as he worked his way down the line of berry bushes - he eats over 100,000 berries a day!! The bucks didn’t seem to care that he was there - and he didn’t care that they were there. Everyone was just out for dinner.

This young buck had rubbed its rack raw

Ummmmm.. berries

Damned tourists .. I can't even snack in peace

One more picture and I'm gonna roar!!

Boy, did this sighting make our day! We did finally drive out the canyon and saw another bear - 2 in one evening. But, the ‘berry bear’ was the best!!

Whew - after all this excitement we needed a good nights rest as Monday was another travel day.

Up and out early this morning on our way to Banff. When we left the park area and hit our first little town we needed two things - diesel and food (we had eaten all our meats and vegetables cooking on our little grill). I never thought I would be so excited to find a Wal-Mart Super Center:-)!!

We are now in the Banff National Park, which is beautiful. Upon arrival, what has now become the usual set-up routine, was completed. This includes: unhook the tow car (32 KBUS), level Magic, hook up water, electric and sewer, put slides out, put out BBQ and all ‘set around stuff’ inside, clean the bugs off the front windshield, etc.

Bug Duty .. an every travel day occurrence

Then we were off to investigate the townsite of Banff and visit the information center - always our first stop. This is another ‘cute’ town - kind of a cross between Park City and Vail. It has the charm of PC but bigger and newer - not as big as Vail but with some of the ‘Vail shopping’.

Welcome to Banff

They even have a Starbucks (the first we have seen since leaving PC), which excited us for the internet connection! (As the national park campground is great - but, no internet!!) Knowing this, I ran home to write this report so it could get posted tomorrow.

Now - off to bed because Gary is getting me up early for our drive to Lake Louise tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed our last couple of days. More soon -

Elizabeth & Gary