Road to Alaska – Leg 3: Lethbridge, Banff, Yoho, and Jasper (Photos)

 

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Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  In the case of this leg of the trip, nothing is more true.  I will break this leg into two post.  The first is just a photo journey with limited words.  The second post will give a more detailed description.  Happy viewing.

Lethbridge:

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Banff:

 

 

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YOHO:

 

 

 

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Jasper:

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USA by Van

I will travel the USA for the next 2 / 3 years and will use this blog to share my campervan conversion and also my planning and adventures.

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Road to Alaska – Leg 4: Whitehorse, Dawson City, and Alaska Border

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After leaving Watson Lake, the Alaskan Highway takes you to Whitehorse, Yukon.  From Whitehorse you can continue on the Alaskan Highway or you can take the Klondike Loop Route which takes you to Dawson City and then loops back toward the Alaskan Highway near Tok, Alaska.  I ventured the Klondike Loop Route.

Between Watson Lake and Whitehorse are a number of museums and cultural centers.  I stopped in Teslin, Yukon and visited the George Johnston Museum and the Tlingit Culture Center.  The George Johnston Museum is really interesting.  He was a Tlingit trapper / hunter but also a photographer.  His photos captured the people and area in the early to mid 1900’s.  Many of his photos are on display.

He also brought a new 1928 Chevrolet car into the Teslin roadless area via paddle wheel boat.  A crazy story.  He used the car on a large lake in the winter to hunt.  He found that the original dark colored paint scared the animals so he painted it white. His original car is restored and on display at the museum.

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A neat overlook of bridge going into Teslin.

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A couple pics of the views along the drive.

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I really liked Whitehorse.  I spent 2 nights there and could have spent a few more.  It is the Capital City for the Yukon.  The downtown area is very compact and walkable. Whitehorse was the start of navigable waters for big boats on the Yukon River in the Paddle Wheel days.  There were rapids just upriver from Whitehorse which are today covered via dammed waters.  The rapids were in a canyon area which are worth a stop (Miles Canyon).

The city is cycle friendly with bike paths that follow the river both upstream and downstream.  Some pics of the city and surrounding area.

 

The stern wheel paddle boat SS Klondike sits by the river near the downtown.  Pretty cool visitor center and tour of the boat.  It was wild rides up and down the river in those days.

I caught live music downtown one evening and also surprised a dance group (Can / Can meets Bollywood) when I clapped as they finished practicing a dance.  They all turned around and posed for me.

Some of my own art creation.  I call it Snoworan Desert:

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The Walmart and the Save A Lot Foodstore both let you stay for one night.  They are close to downtown and also the Yukon Brewery.

The road from Whitehorse follows the Yukon River valley to Dawson City.  Dawson City was the destination for gold fever during the Klondike Gold Rush.  The city maintains the mining day feeling as much as possible.  New and remodeled structures must follow a building code for such.

The city sits on the Yukon River.  The whole town is a museum.  I spent about 6 hours in town, walking / driving around, taking a tour provided by the Yukon Park service, and getting something to eat / drink.  Many people use this as a destination in their travels to the Yukon.  There is enough going on to keep a person busy for days and have cash on hand to do so.

The people who live / work in Dawson speak very highly of the culture within the city.  More than one person expressed that they take care of each other.

After my visit, I took the ferry (only way across the Yukon River) to a campground on the other side.  I wanted to cross that evening as sometimes the mornings are congested and you can wait hours to cross.  The ferry only hold 6 to 8 cars / trucks at a time and less for buses and bigger RVs.

Some pics from the Dawson City area:

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Dawson City and upstream Yukon River from overlook:

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Yukon River Downstream from City, impressive River!:

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Many buildings are left to nature as a living museum.  I thought these two were awesome.  Like two old buddies holding each other up.  Maybe after a tough night on the town.

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The Downtown Hotel has a drink called the Sour Toe Cocktail.  Look this up on-line as it is quite a story and it does involve a human toe.  I went in and was going to give it a go but they only serve the drink from 9 to 11 at night and I was across the river by then.

Dawson City also has a paddle wheel boat (The Keno) on display and pics of the ferry.

The next day I was up early to drive the Top of the World Highway and Taylor Highway (a portion of the Klondike Loop).  It is Alaska’s version of the Blue Ridge Parkway with 170 miles of backcountry driving.  Most of the drive is above timberline, providing 360 degree views.  A real touch of wilderness.

This pic shows the road going on and …..

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I crossed into Alaska and the customs checkpoint about 70 miles into the drive.  It is the northernmost land checkpoint in the USA.

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Road to Alaska: Leg 4, Jasper to Watson Lake

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After leaving Jasper, my overnight stops included Prince George, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Laird Hot Spring and Watson Lake.  I am now just inside the Yukon.  The drive had a number of interesting stops along the way and an abundance of wildlife.

On the way to Prince George, I stopped at Mount Robson Park and the Ancient Forest Provincial Park.

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Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 12,972 ft.  The view of the peak from the park is supposed to be awesome, so they tell me.  Let’s have a contest.  Send me a picture of what you think the peak looks like using the below photo as your starting point. The winner gets a case of cold Canadian brew.

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The ancient forest is made up of 1,000 plus year old cedar trees.  A boardwalk takes you through the forest via a number of inter-connecting loop trails.  The boardwalk protects the tree’s roots which are sensitive, prevents trail erosion, and keeps you from walking through an undergrowth call “devil’s club”.  Devil’s club is a nasty plant with pointy spines all over its stem.

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The forest was logged for a period of time before it was preserved.  Some trees have cut-outs which the loggers used to judge the quality of the wood.  Really special place and worth spending a couple of hours.  Use bug spray for the walk!

I camped at the Walmart in Prince George after a stop at the visitor center.  I was tired from the long days in Banff / Jasper and from the drive, so I did not explore the town.  I will check it out on the way back as Prince George is driven through regardless of which route you drive back.

Dawson Creek is the start of the Alaskan Highway.  It was completed in 1942 and used as an overland supply route from the continental US to Alaska during World War II.

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I stayed at the Northern Lights RV park.  Nice set up with really clean bathrooms and showers.  I took 6 minute showers, viva la loca!

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In a small village before Dawson Creek called Chetwynd, they have over a 100 wood craving displayed throughout the town.  Once a year they have an international wood carving contest.  It was fun to walk through the village and check out the art.

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The roads from Prince George to Fort Nelson were busy with travelers and a high volume of truck traffic.  The area has logging and gas / oil fields and much of the truck activity is associated with this.  In Fort Nelson, I stayed at the Blue Bird RV park and had a meal and beer at Dan’s Pub across the street.

After Fort Nelson the traffic dies down significantly and is mainly travelers.  I spent 3 nights camping at Liard Hot Springs.  This is a special place.  If you do not leave here relaxed,you never will.

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The park service did a great job of integrating the changing room / entry platform into the natural hot spring area.  I had a great time and met a lot of people from all over the world.  My camping neighbor (Stacy) was from the local area and was camping for Canada Day weekend (like the US 4th of July).  She had a neat tent set up using the back of her pick up.  We had a good time discussing life, sharing a campfire and just chilling.  She showed me some of the portrait painting she does as a hobby.  Wow, great stuff.

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The Hot Springs have a campground and day use parking area as well as overflow parking on the other side of the highway.  The springs are accessed via a boardwalk through a marshy area about a 1/2 mile in length.  Above the springs is an overlook into what is called the hanging garden area.  Plants and wildlife (moose and bear) love the area given the extra warmth provided.  Stunning!

 

 

The earliest I left the springs each night was around mid-night.  With the extended daylight, my body clock is completely whacked out.  The locals just go with it.  After a long hard winter, they enjoy every minute of the good weather.

Some fellow campers were from Switzerland and driving some military style RVs.  They noted that 4 companies in Germany and 1 in Switzerland were making these.  I did not ask how much it cost to ship these from one continent to another (they just spent a year doing South America) but I guess if you can afford to buy one you can afford to ship it.  There next stop after North America is Mongolia.

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Kind of a small world, as I met a couple (Sid and Nancy, yea I know) from Colorado Springs and another couple (Biz and ?) with whom they are traveling.   They are pretty much on the same travel path as me.  Really great people.  They fish in Alaska on a regular basis and provided some great insight.

Another couple (Steve and Judy) from Vancover Island exchanged info and have offered to show me around when I visit the Island on my return from Alaska.

After a final morning soak in the hot springs, I drove to Watson Lake and camped at the Watson Lake Campground.  The town is know for the sign post in the center of town.  People hang signs (usually noting their home town) on poles provided.  Over the years, it has grown into a signpost jungle.  It is pretty cool just walking around and checking this out.

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Watson  Lake puts you into the Yukon:

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Watson Lake campground is about 2 miles off the main road.  I thought I was in a pretty secluded spot.  However, as I was finishing dinner, I hear a knock and “Hey Mark, are you in there?”  My van is easy to spot I guess and the beat goes on.

After Fort Nelson, you see a lot of wildlife along the road ways.  I have seem pretty much all the big animals, moose, elk, caribou, black bear, grizzly bear, bison, mountain sheep, mountain goats, etc.   Nice……………

 

 

 

Road to Alaska: Leg 3, Lethbridge, Banff, Yoho, & Jasper (Details)

 

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First, if you get a chance, go to the Banff / Jasper area.  SO BEAUTIFUL!  You can tie some of the below dialogue to pictures in the previous post.

After leaving Helena, I drove to Lethbridge, Canada.  No problems with customs.  Lethbridge owes its start to coal mining.  A very nice community.  I spent time at a Japenese Garden / surrounding park area and at the Oldman River park which has a number of hiking trails, an interesting train bridge and displays on the history of the area.

I camped at the Walmart in Lethbridge and met a really awesome / interesting couple (Pete and Gail) from Prince George, BC.  We talked for more than an hour about out travels and mountain biking.  They travel to the US to mountain bike for 2 to 4 months each year.  They have really interesting stories.  I will catch up with them on my return travel from Alaska, as they invited me to camp at their place.

After Lethbridge, it was on to Banff Provincial Park.  There are 4 provincial parks that sit next to each other.  Two (Banff / Jasper) are in Alberta and the other two are in British Columbia.  There are also villages named Banff and Jasper.

I drove through Banff village but did not stop,  as I have visited before.  It is well worth a stop to shop and walk around to see the various historical sites.  I moved on to my campsite located at the Village of Lake Louise.  Lake Louise itself and Morraine Lake both sit in the mountains above the village.  The campground allows one to cycle / walk into the village as well as mountain bike to the lakes.

I cycled to lake Louise using the road as I thought you could not ride the trails to the lakes.  Not fun as there are busses, huge RVs, etc on a narrow winding  mountain rode for about 3 miles.  I found out later that you can ride one trail called the Tram trail to Lake Louise.  I recommend doing this.  You can get info at the visitor center in Lake Louise village.

Both lakes are very popular, so if you drive to them you need to be their by 6:30 a.m. at Morraine Lake and 7:30 a.m. at Lake Louise.  Another option is to wait until after 5 p.m. for both lakes.  Once the parking lots fill up you will need to take a shuttle (I am not sure if their is one to Morraine Lake).

Both lakes are very scenic and worth the visit.  There are hiking trails at both lakes.

The Lake Louise campground has two sections called the hard and soft.  One is for enclosed vehicles and the other is for tents / pop ups.  An electric fence completely circles the soft campground.  The parks do a great job of keeping interface between bears and people to a minimum.  With that said, I did see a grizzly with two cubs in the Jasper area.

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My first reaction on seeing the fence was “Wow, I found Jurrastic Park”

After two nights in Lake Louise, I moved to Yoho with the intention of camping two nights at Kicking Horse campground.  However, the campground was closed due to extensive damage from an avalanche.  Closer to the highway is Monarch Campground and I camped here.

In the Yoho area are a number of sites including Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, Takakkaw Falls, and Lake O’hare.  I visited all but Lake O’hare as it is shuttle in only and I did not set up for this.  I visited Lake O’Hare years ago and it is worth the visit if you have the time and plan accordingly.

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After 2 nights in Yoho, I rose early (5 a.m.) for a 15 hour go at the Ice Field Park way which travels through the heart of Banff and Jasper Provincial Parks.  There is so much to see in this area and I picked, Crowwfoot Glacier, Bow Lake, Bow Summit / Peyto Lake, Parker Ridge, Icefield Center / Athabasca Glacier, Sunwapta Falls, and Athabasca Falls.  In my mind Parker Ridge and Peyto Lake are a must.  Parker Ridge is 3 miles round trip with 1,000 ft elevation change (lots of switchbacks) but totally worth the effort.

Spent one night in the Jasper area at Whistler campground (I like this campground) and then on toward points north.

If you have the time, I would recommend 3 nights at the campground just outside Banff village (you can bike into town), 3 nights at the Lake Louise campground, 3 nights in Yoho at Kicking Horse campground, one night close to Parker Ridge at a first come first serve campground, and then 3 nights at Whistler campground near Jasper (can bike into Jasper).  You will leave with a big smile on your face.

 

 

Road to Alaska – Leg 2: Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, and Lake Holland

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After leaving the Livingston, MT area, I spent 2 weeks visiting my daughter in Helena, MT.  The time included side trips to Missoula, Bozeman and Lake Holland.

It is amazing to see the population / traffic growth throughout Montana.  I saw much of Montana in the 70’s and 80’s and things have changed significantly since that time. Even from my visits of the last 10 years, much growth has occurred.  Many people from other states are cashing out and moving here.  With that, the housing prices continue to climb.  However, everything is relative I guess.

Upon my arrival in Helana, we (Kristy, Evan, Flecher, and myself) loaded up and headed to Missoula for a Flaming Lips concert in Missoula.  The KettleHouse Amphitheater was the venue, a new set-up at the confluence of the Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers.  Really nice venue!  The crowd, venue, and band / special effects made for a really fun night.

 

Evan’s Band Played in Bozeman at Wild Joe’s Coffee Shop.  It was a great night.  I was a “roadie” that day.

 

 

Lake Holland is about a 2 & 1/2 hour drive from Helena and sits in the valley between the Mission and Swan Mountains.  The lake sits closer up the Swan Mountain side and the views from the lake are really special.  I spent most of the daylight hours on the lake.  A forest service campground is available and has two loops (Bay and Larch).  Both loops have great camping.  The Bay loop is probably better is you are kayaking or boating.   There is a waterfall that feeds the lake.

Some pics:

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While in Helena, I attended the wedding of a good friend (Milton).  Kristy officiated the wedding.  What a fabulous day and great people.

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A few of the iconic structures in Helena are the Capital Building, the Montana History Museum, the old Fire Tower, the Cathedral, and the Blackfoot Brewery.

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Weather  permitting, I did hiking with Kristy (and Ziggy, her cat) as well as some cycling.  It did rain a lot.   It was a fantastic visit.

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Road To Alaska – Leg 1: Colorado to Helena, MT

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I have always wanted to drive to Alaska since reading stories in the 1970’s.  Everything is in place for me to now partake and let the journey begin.  The first leg of the drive was from Colorado to Livingston / Helena, MT.  I will spend 2 and 1/2 weeks in Livingston / Helena areas visiting my daughter before heading to Banff and Jasper.

During the last year of travel, I talked with a number of people who completed the drive to Alaska.  One common piece of advice was to allow more time for the drive through British Columbia and the Yukon versus just rushing to get to Alaska.  With this advice, I am allowing 17 days for the drive from Helena to Alaska.

On the way to Helena, I stopped at a couple of Historical spots in Wyoming and then spent 4 nights in the Livingston, MT area.  The historical spots were the Oregon Trail Ruts and Register Cliff located along the North Platte River.

The Trail Ruts were worn deep (up to 5 feet) into the rock / soil from the wagon wheels of the settlers following the Oregon trail.  Almost 200 years later nothing still grows in the rut areas.

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A display showing the various trails used by settlers when moving west.

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Camps were often set up below Register Cliff.  People would carve their names and other info into the rocks.

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I drove to Livingston, MT and camped at a fishing access site (Mayors Landing) just outside the town along the Yellowstone River.  The river was very high given a big snow run-off this year.  It was a pretty simple camp site.

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After a year of travel, I received my first midnight knock from the police.  I asked what was up.  I was told the area closed at 11 pm and no camping was allowed.  I apologized and noted that I was told at the Fairgrounds it was okay to camp here.  He replied “Oh, you are here for the trapper conference?”  I replied that yes I was.  His demeanor changed completely.  He told me that since I was set up for the night that I should go ahead and camp.  I thanked him and had a good night sleep.

Luckily, I had driven by the Fairground on my to the campsite and noticed that they were hosting the Western Region Trappers Conference.  By the way, call me if you have any “critter” problems.

The next day I kicked around Livingston for a few hours and then moved to a campsite (Pine Creek Campground) in Paradise valley.  The valley sits between Livingston and Yellowstone National Park.  There was good music at a Lodge in the valley that night, so I camped a couple of miles from the Lodge.

Some pics from Livingston including Main Street and the Old train depot:

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The campground is a forest service campground and sits about 2.5 miles by road above the valley floor.  A really nice campground with no hookups and pit toilets.  A trail to a waterfall starts at the campground (around 2.5 miles round trip).  Some pics of  Paradise Valley, the campground and waterfall:

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The concert that night at Pine Creek Lodge was a lot of fun.  The warm up band was good and the headliner (Corb Lund) was outstanding.  I had a really good night with Jessy, Susann, and Kris.  It was Kris’s birthday and I always like a good celebration.  Jessy is a true cowboy and it was great hearing his stories.  Some pics from the night follow.  I like the parking arrangements.

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Given I was close to Yellowstone NP, I dropped in for the day.  I hit the jackpot on animals.  I saw deer, elk, bald eagle, antelope, bison, coyote, wolf, and a grizzly bear. No picks of the wolf (to far off for my phone camera) and bear (road near bear was to crazy with people / vehicles to stop).  Some other pics:

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I stopped at Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, Petrified Tree, Undine Falls, and Tower Falls.  Some Pics:

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After the NP, I stopped at Chico Hot Springs for a soak and a shower.  Nice place!  I would recommend a stop or stay at the place.  Reasonable prices.

 

 

 

 

MeadowGrass Music Festival

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Friends and family joined me for 3 days of great music at the MeadowGrass Music Festival located just northeast of Colorado Springs.  The festival is family friendly and presents local, regional and national acts.  Really great music!   You can purchase tickets for a day or for all three days, with camping available for an additional fee.  20 plus bands played over the 3 days.  The headliners were The Steel Wheels, Ron Pope, and Nicki Bluhm.  I thought Steve Poltz was really entertaining.  The Blue Water Highway Band were awesome.

The stage is set up under a huge circus tent that provides relief from the elements for both the performers and attendees.  The weather this year was perfect, 80’s during the day and 50’s in the evening.

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I decided to camp this year which provided for a very relaxing time.  My camping spot was only 150 yards from the stage.   For campers, there was a late night show each night that started around 10:30 p.m. and went until around 1:00 a.m.

A beer tasting provided by 17 Colorado Craft Breweries took place on Friday night.  Each brewery set up a small tent and a selection of their favorite product. The entry fee for Friday included the 3 hours of tasting.  Yikes, a pretty fired up crowd!

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The venue is set up on prime real estate in Black Forest, CO where the La Foret Conference and Retreat Center is located.  A adobe Mission type church (built in 1929) sits on the property.

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Additional Pics of the weekend:

 

 

Deckers, Colorado – Fishing

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Given my upcoming drive to Alaska, I am hanging around Colorado making preparations.  However, I needed to get my “Colorado Fishing Fix” before heading out.

I spent a week at the Lone Rock Campground just outside Deckers located on the South Platte River.  Starting in late May, you can reserve the campground on-line.  The campground is normally booked out on the weekends.  Prior to the start of reservations, the campground is first come first serve.  The campground has pit toilets.  It has central water available once reservations start.  Until that time the water is shut off to prevent freezing.

What a beautiful area.

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My son-in-law (Dan) and a friend (Matt) joined me on the weekend to do some fishing.  The flows were low which makes for “nervous” fish.  I fished everyday and was “skunked” on 2 of the 7 days.  The best day was a 5 fish day! The area has good size rainbow and brown trout, in the 16 to 20 inch range.  A real rush to land one.

Pic of Dan:

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Pic of Matt:

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Pic of Pikes Peak heading from Deckers toward Woodland Park – I like this angle of the Peak!

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My fly fishing skills continue to improve.  Most of the fisher-people you meet on the river are willing to discuss tactics, flies, and rigging (a good way to learn).  I am also taking a little more time to analyze the river and the fish prior to and during my activity.  After watching Dan and other experts on the river, I still have a long way to go but on the right path.

Bonus pictures from granddaughter’s college graduation.  A fun day.

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Great Sand Dunes National Park – Colorado

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A picture of the sand dunes at the base of the Sangre de Christo Mountains at sunset.

It is hard to believe that the tallest sand dunes in North America are located in southern Colorado.  The park is well worth a visit.  The tallest dune is around 750 ft tall.  In the below picture you can see people (look like dots) at the top of the dunes.  The picture gives you a perspective of how “humongus” the dunes are.

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The National Park has a visitor center, picnic area, campground and hiking trails.  A large parking area exits for exploring / climbing the dunes.  At times, a stream runs at the base of the dunes which gives a “beach feel”.  Water for the stream normally is provided by spring snow melt from the mountains or a heavy rain.  The stream was dry when I visited as the area is in drought conditions.

The National Park Campground sites are all available by reservation (no first come first serve).  You can grab a site if no one has a reservation.   The website for the park highlights a number of other options in the area.  I stayed at the San Louis State Wildlife Refuge.  I recommend camping in this area.  It was once a state park and the campsites are set up with a wind / rain break, electric, and a fire pit.  Pit toilets are available.  Check out the refuge website to understand campsite fees.  For example, it is free if you have a current Colorado hunting / fishing license.

The views from the camp area are something special.

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The dunes are located on the east side of the San Louis Valley.  The valley is surrounded on 3 sides by mountains.  The visitor center had a diagram on display that showed how the dunes are situated in the valley.  The park website describes how / why the dune formed.  The wildlife refuge is located on the lake to the left of the dunes.

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Vendors just outside the park rent sand boards (like a snow board but designed for running on sand) and sand sleds.  Many people give these a go.

Some more pics:

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West Texas / New Mexico, Headed for Colorado

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After leaving Terlingua, TX , my route included a number of small towns in west Texas; Guadalupe National Park; Carlsbad, NM; and Roswell, NM.  Of course Roswell is UFO central so that is me, in black, helping with an unusual situation.

From Terlingua, I followed the Rio Grande river to Presido, TX.  This is a beautiful drive with a number of pull-outs to take in the views.  Plan to take your time for the drive allowing you to really absorb the area.  A number of people in Austin mentioned Marfa, TX as a cool stop for shops and music.  As it was a Sunday, the town was pretty much “rolled up”.  I did stop to walk around and will need to stop on a future trip.

From Marfa. I drove through Fort Davis and then to Balmorhea State Park (TX).  My plan was to camp at the state park which was also highly recommended by a number Texans.  However, the park was closed to camping as they were making major renovations.  The park is known for having crystal-clear water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.  Combining a stop at Marfa and time at Balmorhea will make for a perfect west Texas getaway.

The small towns have some really cool court houses.

With the State Park closed, I decided to push on into New Mexico and camp at Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  On the way, I passed a small church in the middle of no where.  I mention this because a week before I stopped in Alpine, TX on my way into Big Bend National Park.  While walking around the town, I purchased a painting of a church and yes, it was one in the same.  How freaky is that!

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I think the painter took some liberty when adding the trees.  And yes, in case you are wondering, I did ring the bell.

I stayed one night at the Pine Springs campground in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.   The park has numerous canyons and back country camp sites.  To really see this park, one needs to do a little hiking.

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The next day I moved on to Brantley Lake State Park which is located between Carlsbad and Roswell, NM.IMG_4538

I spent 5 days at Brantley and used the time to charge up a little before heading to Colorado.  The New Mexico State Parks are having budget issues (meaning cold showers) like many other State and National Parks.  However, I enjoyed my stay here given the interactions with my fellow campers.  Many people from mid / western Canada come to New Mexico for the winter.  Having a great sense of humor must be a prerequisite for a traveling Canadian.  Of course a nice campfire and a bottle of Patron helps:

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I did not make it to Carlsbad Caverns (will go another time) but did head into Roswell and also the  Living Desert State Park which is dedicated to the interpretation of the Chihuahuan Desert.  It is an indoor/outdoor living museum displaying more than 40 native animal species and hundreds of succulents from around the world.

Pics from the Living Desert:

I had a blast in Roswell.  The UFO Museum and the city Planetarium are a must.  The planetarium was just had a $600K renovation and is awesome.  The town has some good restaurants and a number of shops.  Some pics are:

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I like how the cow is being sucked into the flying saucer!

Fracking is going big time in the area of Carlsbad and Roswell.  Someone (a local) told me that a decent mid-level hotel in Carlsbad goes for $400 a night, given the demand.  I was not sure on this so I just looked up prices on line and Holiday Inn Express is $389.  Wow!

I hope the people and cities budget the money to last once the fracking dries up.  I think there will be some hard times ahead once the money flow stops.