Friday, September 30, 2011

Waterton Lakes NP to the backside of Glacier NP

As Steve and I begin our trip home, we find ourselves in southern Alberta heading back to the United States.  We decide to stop by Waterton Lakes National Park on our way out of Canada.  Waterton Lakes NP sits on Canadian border just north of Glacier National Park in the United States. Check out their website for more recreation info:

Known as “where the mountains meet the prairie”.  

It was late in the afternoon when we arrive, starving for lunch! We found a sunny patio to enjoy a couple of burgers, fries and iced tea while taking in the view of the lake.  
Just a short walk to the shoreline for this view:

Waterton is the home The Prince of Wales Hotel offering upscale accommodations with stunning lake views.
The Prince of Wales Hotel 

On the road again and as we pass through the US border checkpoint, we find ourselves in Montana, just east of Glacier National Park.  
Looking at the East side of Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park
Chief Joseph Mountain ahead.
Chief Joseph Mountain

Chief Joseph Mountain

As we pass through the mountains, we meander down into the high plains near Great Falls, Montana, where we stop for the night.  Now we are only a day away from home. 

Thanks for coming along on 
My Mountain Green adventure to Canada.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bar U Ranch, Alberta, Canada

In Alberta, along the eastern foothills of the Canadian Rockies is an absolute treasure that you must not miss!  South of Calgary, as you travel along Hwy. 22, aka Cowboy Trail, at the intersection of Hwy 540 a few miles south of Longview, Alberta, Canada, you will come across the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site.
I know I have been redundant in saying how beautiful and stunning the scenery is in Canada.  Well...I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

Percheron horses

The next My Mountain Green adventure takes us to Waterton National Park (Canada).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada is our goal for the day.  STeve and I load up the bike and continue our journey on Hwy. 93 through Kootenay National Park.  Rain and fog is with us most of the day dampening not only us, but reducing our visibility of the soaring mountains peaks and sending the wildlife to who knows where.

The major highlight of the day for me was that I finally made it to Lake Louise in Banff National Park.   For 10 years I have been, as my husband says, nagging him about how we did not make it here when our bike broke down in Banff on a previous trip to Canada.  Now I am here!  The weather, quite frankly, sucked...cold and drizzly.  So if you are familiar with “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation”, we did the same thing...we parked the bike, walked over to the water’s edge, took a photo, and left.  The photo does not even come close to portray the stunning beauty of this glacier lake.  I am a little worse for wear, definite helmet head looking like the “Michelin” man in my oversized leather jacket with shoulder armor and front pockets stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey!  But we made it!  For that I am very excited!  Thanks, STeve.
The rain continues pouring as we make our way through Canadian Glacier National Park (which most exits and view areas were still closed due to snow) to Revelstoke where we take a break for me to warm up with coffee and change into dry socks and waterproof my riding boots with plastic bags over my feet.  Even though conditions were not the best for me, the scenery is breathtaking.    Now that I am dry and warm, we make our way to the Shelter Bay Ferry.
Steve on the ferry boat.
The weather starts to clear and it’s not long until we reach Nelson, B.C., located on Kootenay Lake and check into our hotel.  Here are some views from our room.

My hometown paper, ‘THE MONITOR’, has a section where people send in photos of themselves on their vacations “reading” the newspaper.  Here is my contribution.
To me, Nelson is the Santa Cruz, CA of British Columbia:  A quaint waterside town, a hippy town, great restaurants and bars, lots of hemp, natural fiber, outdoor recreation stores, and the occasional whiff of weed as one walks down the sidewalk.  Below are pictures of downtown Nelson, taken on a morning hike up Pulpit Rock Trail which is on the mountain ridge across the lake from the hotel and town.

Nelson, B.C.
Marcia, Sue and Me
All around this area of British Columbia are many hot springs with resorts.  On one of our day rides up to Kaslo over to New Denver, we take a soak at Ainsworth Hot Springs.  This resort has a cave where the water comes out of the rock at 114’ F - great for a steam sauna soak!  Beside the cave is the large lounging pool which has temps above 90F!  To really take your breath away (literally) and close up your pores, jump into the 55’F plunge pool.  We all took that plunge!  

Me and Steve
Here is a view of Kootenay Lake on our way up to Kaslo.

Also around the area of Nelson are several hydroelectric dams.  The water was cold and very swift!
Looking upstream to dam

Looking downstream at top of falls.

STeve and Me
After spending six days in Nelson riding and visiting with our friends of WeSTOC, it is time to head out of town.  Along the way we stop by this rest area waterfall to wait out a rain shower.
30+ft water fall
Next join My Mountain Green as we pass through Alberta.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where the Yakh? Must be Canada! Eh?

My Mountain Green is venturing out of Utah for the Summer.  Late in the afternoon on June 16th, 2011, my husband, STeve and I, set out on our annual WeSTOC XVI Rally motorcycle trek which is in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, this year.  For the first few days, the weather was tenuous to say the least, very breezy, cool temps, and the occasional rain showers.  We take the scenic route in Idaho driving through Challis, Salmon, Deerlodge, Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests on US 93 to beyond Missoula, MT before heading northwest to Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls, ID.  Boy, was I glad the bike had a heated seat!  Driving over the summit from Idaho into Montana near Big Sky, the temperature was 37’ F with light drizzle.   Thanks to the Mountain Cafe in Darby, MT for all their coffee, hot tea, gas heater and buffalo burgers to warm us up!
The next day, we head for the Canadian border on US 95, again traveling through Kootenai National Forest.  After the usual border crossing questions:  “What do you do for employment?  Here for business or pleasure?  Where are you going? How many days? Carrying any firearms?”, etc., we were waved through the checkpoint without any hassles.  
About 15 minutes on down the road, we see a sign for “Two Scoop Steve”.  With a name like that we have to stop, plus we needed a break anyway, why not have some ice cream too while we stretch our legs.  We find ourselves in the quaint community of Yahk, British Columbia, Canada. Yahk has a gas station, arts & craft store, an ice cream shop and is the home of the Yahk Soap Company.  
The Yahk Soap Company building has a grass roof over the porch.  Why?   Below is a sequence of photos.  

Go to for more information about their history and goat milk based soaps.  Unfortunately, no online sales nor do they ship outside Canada.  If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop.

We continue on and stay the night in Radium Hot Springs, B.C.  Before dinner, I relax on the porch of our motel room taking in the beauty of the park across the way, lo and behold, walking into my view are two Big Horn Sheep!  They graze near one of the picnic tables for a few minutes then lumber along down the street.  Just one of their horns was bigger than their whole head!

What a perfect way to end the day
Stay tuned for more My Mountain Green adventures in Canada!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A New Morning

A spectacular rainbow greeted me this early Friday morning as I looked out the window. Summer has flown by faster than I could have even imagined! Is this a sign of new things to come for me?  Could be....