July 23 - We left Watson Lake about 8:15. It had rained in the night. There were big signs everywhere to watch for buffalo. So we did. First we saw a black bear and a fox - both not good for taking photos. Then we saw one buffalo all by himself - we thought great! Further along we saw two big ones walking along the side of the road - even better! We had resigned ourselves to those being all we would see when we rounded a corner and there was the whole herd - about 75 of them. Lots of little ones! Liard River, beautiful scenery. Muncho Lake - so green so big. Big slide areas. Tetsa River. Double G's for grilled cheese shared because each slice of homemade bread was at least an inch thick - real cheese though! Fort Nelson - Sunrise Inn - no king beds just a queen. Same owner owns Motel 6 - king bed and full kitchen. Well, not a full kitchen - has a range but no fridge, micro or dishes. Oh well it's just one night! Both places seem to have been recently renovated.
July 24 - Not many photo opportunities. Crossed the beautiful Peace River. Fort St. John, Dawson Creek. Stayed the night with Larry's cousin Doug Mark and wife Sheila. They have two dogs, Dini and Kito, and two cats, Sassy and Baby. A surprise for us - another cousin Greg and his wife Bev had arrived a few days ago. Larry hadn't seen Greg for over 45 years. Doug and Sheila took us all out for dinner. We had a great visit.
July 25 - After breakfast we stopped and took a picture of the giant beaver, the mascot of Beaverlodge. It's a nice little community. After here the traffic got heavier - passed through Grande Prairie, turned south at Entwistle, stopped at Sammy's for lunch. Lots of big trucks going in both directions. Some giant loads! No photo ops today. Still looking for moose. Checked in at Canalta Hotel at Rocky Mountain House. Nice room with an inside and outside entry. A few stairs though. Went to the same car wash we went to a few years ago. It's a really good high-powered one and we got rid of the thick coating of bugs on the front of the car. We had our Boston Pizza leftovers for dinner with some salad.
July 26 - Breakfast at the hotel. Went to the National Historic Site. All NHS's are free this year for Canada 150. They have a nice little museum then quite a walk/scoot about. The first exhibit was a Metis settlement. We tasted some bannock there. About a 1 km walk around some exhibits. We did some more walking too but were stopped by a hill - the scooter can go down but it can't easily go back up! Anyway a nice time on a lovely day. We did not see any of the bison that are supposed to be there. The North Saskatchewan River is very wide and fast moving here. Lunch at DQ then a dip in the pool and hot tub.
July 27 - Left Rocky Mountain House about 8:45. Not too long of a drive today. Again no wildlife. Some road construction. Stopped at the village of Lake Louise - hardly any parking. Lots of traffic on the road, especially coming toward us. Got to our hotel about 1:30. Check-in not until 4. Explored around Kicking Horse Resort - 14 km up the mountain - computers in the lobby to kill time. Finally got to our room about 3:30. No A/C, no through air-flow - had maintenance come up to install a chain on the door so we could set up the supplied fan there. We have a balcony so it's cooler out there. No ice bucket, only one wine glass, can't sit on the toilet unless you close the bathroom door. This is a brand new building. Owners rent out the rooms. Dinner at a Sushi Restaurant in downtown Golden. No where on the mountain has much of a menu. We were going to up the gondola but it would have cost $83!
July 28 - We left the hotel early and stopped at the Husky in Golden for breakfast. It was a nice drive until we reached the entrance to Glacier National Park. They were doing construction right at the entrance but the sign said there was an active fire in the area so there was a lot of smoke. By the time we got through the park it was clear again. The mountains are still amazing. We were in touch with Ken and Mavis along the way and arranged to meet them for lunch at C-Lovers in Vernon at noon. We were at Swan Lake by 1:30. It was great to see Larry and Diane again and all the others in the park. Larry and Diane had just returned from Osoyoos with their trailer so they parked it on a rental lot and generously let us use their park model. Our best hotel yet! Happy hour at 4:00.
July 29 - We went and got peaches this morning - 20 lbs for $24.99. Elaine said they peel and cut really easily when they are ripe, even if they are not free-stone. We went to our favourite All You Can Eat Sushi place (Kawa) for lunch. Then we visited with Frank and Elaine in the park and also Ken and Tracey. So nice to see all of them again.
July 30 - Homeward bound by 7:15. We went via Kelowna because the road to Kamloops was only open sporadically due to a fire at Monte Lake. We met Amy at Costco in Abbotsford to pick up 20 lbs of blueberries - again they wouldn't let us pay. Such wonderful berries. We were early enough that, even though we had a reservation on the 3:45, we made the 2:15. Great to be home but we had to re-learn everything! Such a thorough and enjoyable trip.
Maureen's sister Pat and her husband Steve had arrived on the 27th for a two week visit. Great to see them! Over the next couple of days froze the blueberries and peaches, baked up the 4 lbs of bacon from Costco and froze. The garden did very well while we were gone thanks to Kelly. Lots of lettuce, beans - zucchini and tomatoes upcoming. Till next time!