Thursday, July 18, 2019

Banff, Jasper, Mt Robson and Wells Gray parks.

After leaving Don & Donna at Abraham Lake, the intrepid Hailey and I headed west, and into Banff National Park.

The old entry gate was shot full of bullet holes a few years ago (it was closed at the time), and then succumbed to a suspicious fire.  They had a temporary gate operating at the old location, but I see a brand new one looks almost ready to open at the junction of Highways 11 & 93 - the Icefields Parkway.

From there we turned northward and soon found ourselves in Jasper National Park (I used to work in both of them).  We blew past the Icefield Centre before stopping at the Sunwapta (formerly Warden Station).  I lived there back in '85 for a bit, as well as 4-5 other wardens and their wives, and also worked a backcountry district on horseback from there.  It's pretty sad to see it virtually abandoned and boarded up.

A sign at the trail head states the obvious.  Very little to nil trail maintenance is done in the remote areas now, so the sign warns that all bridges and other structures should be evaluated prior to use.  Sad.

On the way north we madea quick stop at Horseshoe lake for a look around.  The clear waters and vertical drops make it popular with divers.

From there it was up to Maligne Lake, where I was stationed (twice).  For three years, I was the only year-round resident at this iconic lake.  At that time, I had boats at the dock out front, horses in the corrals out back, and in the winter snowmobiles for setting ski trails.  The horses are long gone, and I think even cross-country skiing is restricted most of the winter - an effort to protect the dwindling herds of caribou.

My old office/shop.  I used to live in the back of an even older building there on my first tour, then in the main house on my return.
My old house.

 Looking down the trail to the dock.

After Jasper we headed west into BC, and Mt Robson provincial park.  Mt Robson in the highest in the Canadian Rockies at 12, 972' if memory serves me correctly.  I never actually 'worked' in Robson park, but when I was patrolling the north boundary areas of Jasper, I had to ride my horses through Robson Park, past Kinney and Berg Lake to reach my first cabin in Jasper.  Actually, it was mostly walk - as the horses were fully loaded on the first day of a 17 day patrol.  The first of my patrol cabins had a stunning view of the north face of Mt Robson.

Further to the south west, we finally had the time and some half decent weather to have a look into Wells Gray Park, known for it's many spectacular waterfalls.

Here's a couple videos of a couple of the falls.

I guess during the salmon run, there are lots of bears around, but there were none visible while we were there.

Better leave off there and leave some content for the next blog post!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Back on the road for a bit!

We’re going to try a new approach to a blog post this time!
Apparently, Live Writer will still not publish properly on Blogger (?), but the problem seems to be with the photos …?
Using the Blogger editor is awkward and counter-intuitive at best.  And that is when you have good internet access.  When you do not have internet access available, well it is downright impossible to design a post.  I’m on the road again for a while and am getting a bit short on my cellular allowance, coverage where I am is very spotty, and free internet is not available here.  So what I am going to try to do is to write the text portions of the blog using Windows Live Writer, and later add the photos using the cumbersome Blogger editor – when I can find some reliable internet.  The other alternative I may try at a later date is to dump a whole collection of possible blog photos onto a draft of blogger when I have fast internet, then later add the text when using an expensive or slow connection!
So here goes … (wish me luck!)
Hailey is doing Ok, and her only concern now is eating enough, and a couple of persistent sores on the bottoms of her hind feet. Both of us are wondering whether or not her catnip plant from last year will re-sprout in the pot it was growing in.  Some of us are more impatient than others!

When not waiting for her catnip to grow, she has to keep an eye on the squirrel stealing the bird seed out of the feeder!

When that tires her out, it just might be time for a nap in front of the fireplace!

Weather in June was mostly cold and wet, but some friends I used to work with decided to hold a party.  And they sure know how to throw a party.  They live on a gorgeous ranch/acreage on the banks of the river.  For the party, they set up a huge party tent, complete with wooden floor, a stage with lights, and even had a food truck and porta potties on site.  For entertainment, they got the Wardens band, all of whom I used to work with – and who I managed to catch on tour in southern California last winter.  They even had an opening act to warm the crowd up. Of course there was lots of room for camping, and there were RV’s tents, vans, trailers parked all over.  And as luck would have it, the weather  was good, just long enough to pull off the party!

The Wardens band.

Back at home, I see a few planes and jets flying over on occasion.  Using the FlightRadar24 app, I am able to determine the type of aircraft, elevation, speed, and origin and destination.  Who knew that flights from Amsterdam and Frankfurt would fly right over my place, on their was to San Francisco or LA?

But not all the planes are airliners on long haul flights.  I’d been seeing some low level flying that was anything but in a straight line.

So I checked it our and found out that it is Kenn Borek Air based out of Calgary, likely doing some training around the smaller airports in the air.  This is the company well known for their rescue missions to the south pole – in the middle of winter!

 I would have thought it was a bit late to still be building a nest, but this robin was having none of it!
During some of the heavy rains, the river was up, and I saw a few full-size green trees taking their final trip down the river.

With boredom coming on, I was contemplating heading for another trip across the country to Newfoundland …  Fortunately, RV friends Don & Donna had a closer suggestion. Hailey and I ended up crashing their party up on Abraham Lake, at one of our favourite boondocking spots.

 It rained virtually all week while we were there, and the lake level was rising, but we managed to get in a tour of a historic coal mine in nearby Nordegg.

 Hailey enjoyed the scenery, and made new friends with the wildlife!

We also lucked out with the weather for a short hike up to Siffleur Falls, after crossing the North Saskatchewan river on a large suspension bridge.

Well, I must say that this publishing attempt using Google Blogger editor was frustrating, lousy, infuriating and bordering on useless.   Things randomly appear, disappear, move, change and stop working!
Turns out I have lots more to post, but have completely run out of patience!  Starting with Live Writer eased the pain a bit, but since adding photos is the achilles heel, and they can only be added with the cumbersome Blogger methods.
More later when I have regained patience and some more internet!