2,060 miles is how far I drove on my road trip through the Northwest U.S. and two Canadian provinces this past couple of weeks. My mom and I pulled into the driveway here in Kennewick late this afternoon, and might I just say it — I’m tired.
First, we went to Kootenay National Park in Beautiful British Columbia (as the province is called on their license plates). The Canadian Rockies are stunning — they seem more majestic and jaw-dropping than the Colorado Rockies, why is that?
We also saw a grizzly munching on some flowers on the side of the road — equally as stunning. We didn’t get out of the car, but man, my heart started racing while my mom quickly took the picture. Thirty yards is still too close for me and a grizzly.
Next was a quick trip to a few spots in the northern part of Banff National Park in Alberta. Herbert Lake was my favorite area in all of Banff, including the two more popular lakes we visited later in the week. Herbert Lake is a bit neglected by tourists, requires walking a short distance through a mosquito-infested forest section, but the view is so very, very worth it. As I was trying to take this shot, my mom pointed out that the tree I was standing next to had scratch marks on it and a large bear-shaped footprint in the mud underneath it. I snapped the photo quickly and went back to lock myself in the car.
We spent our week in Calgary working with kids in the community and with the children whose parents were attending the Canadian National Baptist Convention. I’ll save the space here and write more about that in a later post.
After the convention, our group went to Banff for the day and saw some of the more popular spots: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon. It snowed on us a bit at Moraine Lake, and we were pelted with freezing rain (on July 9!), but the colors of the water and expanse of the mountains and glaciers were so very worth the cold and wet.
On the drive up to Alberta, I studied the atlas a bit and realized that driving home to the Tri-Cities through Montana wouldn’t be that much further than our original route. So we ended up heading south on the return trip and spent a long, long day driving through Glacier National Park. Words cannot describe the beauty of the eastern part of this park. I’ll post a separate entry on this day of our journey, as well.
When my mom and I got back to Kennewick, we discussed what to do with her last two days before flying back to Texas. Since we had enjoyed all our driving so much, we decided to keep at it. A quick visit with a few friends in town and we were off again, this time west to Portland. We spent the first day stopping at waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge and trying to get as close as we could to a good view of Mt. Hood.
And then we spent a cold, rainy morning walking around the arboretum and rose garden in Portland, before checking out Powell’s City of Books and making the drive back to Kennewick.
Excuse me, I need to go sleep for 15 hours and recover from this trip.