Hit a stretch of highway where the buffalo (or bison) definitely roam.
Really wanted to take this guy home with me, but he didn’t fit in the truck.
Continuing north on the Alaska highway, we sighted so many black bears and bison we stopped counting. After passing a bear on the left shoulder of the highway, we looked at each other and simultaneously said something to the effect of, “whoa, that was no black bear!” Though the day was already growing long, we whipped around and pulled over on the opposite shoulder to view at close range a brown bear (aka grizzly bear) eating clover. It was totally unconcerned about us and continued eating while we watched for as long as we wished.
The real, live one got away, but we were able to snap a photo with this slightly slower version.
Departing Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, this is the beginning of the so-called central route to Alaska and the most popular. The other routes, western and eastern, being less-traveled, offer fewer facilities and services along the way. On my prior Alaska trip, I chose western route up the Cassiar Highway, which took me through more remote wilderness areas. An experienced motorcyclist, who had recently experienced both the Alaska Highway and the Cassiar Highway, suggested the Alaska Highway for this trip. It traverses enough wilderness and help in an emergency is much more readily available.
Banff was breathtaking. I didn’t want to leave!! Went for a spectacular trail run along the Bow River in the morning and then drove up to Lake Louise. Best part of drive..there was a rare sighting of a unicorn 🙂
My Dad may be one of the funniest people I know, but coffee to him is no laughing matter. This works out in my favor..I get to enjoy his “perfected” French press coffee on camping mornings. Have to sneak my Almond Milk past him, though.
As I told a friend in a post card (remember those?), if you have been to Banff you know how gorgeous it is, but if you have not, you owe it to yourself to see it. The natural beauty is spectacular. No pictures, especially our impotent snapshots can adequately convey the beauty and the scale of the scenery.
Although the scenery had been spectacular, we rolled into Great Falls, Montana “so tired, so hungry”. The receptionist at the hotel insisted we go eat at Bert & Ernie’s. She claimed it was the best casual/fun restaurant in town, and you could see she was itching to ditch work and join us. Live music was playing when we walked in, and the musician (http://jenidodd.biz) played one great song after another. We went from tired and just wanting food to not wanting to leave (and not wanting to sing along too loud)!
Spent day soaking up Fort Collins. “Summited Horsetooth Rock with Valerie. On hike, I played amateur photographer (there was an actual camera involved!) and enjoyed amazing views/great conversation. We ran into a pop up storm and a little lightening, but luckily not my day to get smote. We then celebrated with delicious Mexican food (and possibly a few cold beverages) at Rio with Dad and Derek.
Odell Brewing in Fort Collins brews several remarkable beers. My favorite is their IPA. Beer Advocate shares my opinion with a BA score of 95 and The Brothers rating it 100 – World Class. Sadly, unpasteurized, it does not travel well.