Battle 4 Atlantis

Over the week of Thanksgiving, Tobey allowed us to travel without him.  We flew to Nassau in the Bahamas and spent the week at an all-inclusive resort next to the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.  The reason for our trip was to watch 12 games of basketball in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, including our own MN Gopher men, and to spend time with friends Barry and Ruth relaxing by the pool, on the beach, and generally having fun.  The trip was an entire week of fun, food, beverages, and basketball.  Below are a few photos.

The first few days were very windy, remnants of Hurricane Sandy which passed over the Bahamas in just a few hours, thus causing not nearly as much damage as in the Eastern US.

Windy seas on our beachfront

Windy seas on our beachfront

Atlantis resort, beach side

Atlantis resort, beach side

The 4 of us cheering MN to victory over Memphis

The 4 of us cheering MN to victory over Memphis

MN Gophers

MN Gophers

MN Gophers lost to Duke, but then won the next 2 games over Memphis and Stanford.

Tobey was well cared for by our neighbor and our daughter while we were away, but we look forward to our next trip  in the RV when we can all travel together.

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Hello!  We have been home for 12 days.  The RV is washed, winterized and stored. This will be our last posting for a while.

Some of you have inquired about where is Tobey in the posts and photos?  What does he do on the trips?  Thus, this post is devoted to TobeyCat.  He has traveled to Utah, Florida, California, and the Canadian Rockies.  We have included photos from those trips.

First he helps to plan the routes.

Then he waits while packing to be sure he is going along.

During the drives he naps,

he watches the scenery,

and watches the road.

Sometimes he even would like to drive!

Even though he is an “indoor” cat, he enjoys communing with nature.

While we are out he suns himself ……

he waits,

and waits,

more waiting,

When we return to the RV, he is there to welcome us “home.”

One of the activities Tobey enjoys on our trips is plotting his escape.

Waiting by the door in order to escape

And sometimes he accomplishes his goal and escapes to freedom, but so far not permanently!

In Florida he enjoyed observing the beaches.

He also thought about going for a bike ride.

He gets to bring along some of his toys.

He guards our stuff….

And he is a lookout for anything in the wild.

He checked out our new camp stool – it seemed to receive his approval.

In Banff, he enjoyed sitting on a park bench along the Bow River.

In Waterton, he felt he needed to keep an eye on our friend’s dog (she didn’t really care for the constant scrutiny!).

Tobey always likes happy hour and trolling for admiring glances and comments from passers-by in the campgrounds.

Occasionally he receives a massage.

All of this ‘activity’ requires lots of naps!

And of course, Tobey helped with the blog posts.

Thanks for following along on Tobey’s travels.

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Waterton Lakes National Park

We spent 5 1/2 days in Waterton National Park on the US/Canada border.  Waterton along with Glacier National Park in the US forms the International Peace Park.  The first two days we hiked a couple of short trails and explored a bit.

Fall foliage on the trail

There are many lakes in the Waterton park.  The town of Waterton sits at the end of Upper Waterton Lake which extends across the border.  The campground is in the townsite and is in the upper right-hand corner of the photo below.

Town of Waterton Park

On the Bear Hump looking over Upper Waterton Lake

The prairie meets the mountains of Waterton without foothills in between.

Waterton Prairie

The Prince of Wales Hotel is the signature site of the park.  It sits on a knoll over the town.

Prince of Wales Hotel above the lake and town

Prince of Wales Hotel from the trail

Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel – the other side

The first day we were in Waterton was clear and windy.  Then smoke from forest fires in the US created a gray haze.

We met a delightful couple from Seattle when we were camping near Yosemite this past spring. They joined us for our final 2 1/2 days in Waterton.  It was such fun to get to know them better and share discoveries in Waterton.

Al & Sherry

Red Rock Canyon in Waterton

Although it was calm while we were in Waterton, the wind is normally very strong in the town – note the tops of the trees bent in one direction.

Lunch along Upper Waterton Lake

Al and Sherry brought their golden retriever, Molly.  Tobey was very intrigued, Molly not so much.

Tobey the cat & Molly the dog

Cameron Falls

Cameron Lake

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WildLife of Waterton

Wildlife was more visible in Waterton than in the other parks we visited, possibly due to the fall rut!

One morning we met a ranger and 3 couples who had been watching 2 moose cows in a small lake.  The humans were spooked as they were only aware of one bull moose when a second bull came out of the woods behind the people.  We were warned to stay back and not to get between the cows and the bulls.

Moose cow in Akimina Lake

Moose cow

Bull moose watching the cow moose from the trees

While with Al and Sherry we observed black bears foraging in the brush for berries.  It was so fun to watch them scoop pawfuls of berries into their mouths, but hard to get good photos through the brush.

Black bear eating berries

Al & Doug searching for bear

Black bear

There is a large herd of elk in the park.  In the evening during the rut, the herd comes down out of the hills and trees into a field where the bulls sort the female elk into harems.   We watched the action from the roadside and listened to the bugle calls for an hour.

Elk herd

Male elk sorting females into his harem

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Banff Park Museum

Our last day in Banff, we finally made it to the historic park museum.  The building was constructed in 1903 in the railway pagoda style using a cross log motif which was used widely for park buildings.  It has a “lantern top” which allows for natural lighting because of course, in 1903 there was no electricity in the building.  The cost of the building was $10,000, and it was built to attract tourists to Banff so they could see examples of park wildlife without tramping through the forest and mountains.  The exhibits of over 5000 animals and plants today are maintained close to how they existed in 1914.  The animals are great examples of the art of taxidermy, and there are photos of how taxidermy was done over 100 years ago – quite impressive!

Banff Park Museum

Museum interior

100+ yr old taxidermied grizzly bear

Street flowers in Banff

Banff Avenue flowers

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We are back in the States – not home yet, but we have made it back across the border. We will post some photos from the last week soon.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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Week of September 17-21

We have a few more photos of Banff to share, but we are now in Waterton National Park. Internet access is very limited here, we will not be able to post for several days. We are thrilled that new friends from Seattle whom we met this spring in Yosemite will join us for a few days here in Waterton Lakes!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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We have spent several days in the town of Banff in a bit more relaxed fashion, not hiking, almost like a vacation!  Here are a few scenes from the area around the town of Banff.

On the rooftop patio of our favorite restaurant, the Rose and Crown. We offer a toast to retirement each day!

A fence to keep some animals in and to keep other animals out

There are many beautiful private homes along the Bow River

Across from the library where we have spent a lot of internet time, Cascade Mountain in the background

Many of the flowers have been nipped by the frost, but there are still many beautiful baskets and  flower beds.

Banff flowers

Cascade Gardens and Banff Park Administration Building

Cascade Garden flowers

Red poppies and a trellis constructed of burls in Cascade Garden

Looking down Banff Avenue from Cascade Gardens

Mount Rundle and the Bow River

On the Bow River below Bow Falls and the Banff Springs Hotel

Banff Springs Hotel (and smokey haze from forest fire)

Banff Springs Hotel

Lake Minnewanka

Mountain sheep on the road to Lake Minnewanka

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Stanley Glacier Hike

We have been camping at Tunnel Mountain in Banff townsite for a few days during cold, blustery weather.  But Thursday was a bright sunny day, good for our last long hike up to Stanley Glacier.  The trail travels steadily uphill through an area of forest fire both in 1968 and 2003.  We have never hiked through a burn area with new growth before – we liked the openness with views of the valleys around us.

Stanley Glacier trail through burn area

1st views of Stanley Glacier from the trail, Stanley Peak on the right

Stanley Peak

The fires did not reach the subalpine forest.

Stanley Glacier trail above the burn area

In the bowl formed by the glacier beneath Stanley Peak

Rocks and ice broke off from the Stanley Peak cliffs every few minutes while we ate lunch. It seemed to be a somewhat unstable area.  When we returned to the trailhead, we noticed a sign warning that explosives are used in the area to control avalanches and if we were to run across an unexploded device, not to touch it and report to the warden!  We didn’t see any.

Beneath Stanley Peak

Stanley Glacier Trail

Stanley Glacier

Down through the burn area to the end of the trail

Tobey welcomes us back from the trail

As we have been posting these photos today in the Banff Public Library, we noticed a magazine in the rack next to us called the Avalanche Journal – a whole periodical devoted to avalanches!  Topics include education, seminars, training conferences, canine rescue units, using explosives, forecasting, history, editorials, etc.  Who knew? A whole journal devoted to the topic – we flatlanders were unaware.

Categories: Banff National Park | 3 Comments

Good-bye to Lake Louise area

A week ago we went to Lake Louise to watch the sunrise light up the Victoria Glacier which is the glacier behind the lake in all of the photos.  It was a clear day except in the East, and thus the sunshine on the glacier never happened, and the clouds eventually moved into the lake area.  We did take some beautiful photos without direct sun, a couple of which are below.

Lake Louise at dawn

Morning at Lake Louise without the sun

Lake Louise & Victoria Glacier in the clouds

A few days later when the forecast was once again for a clear, sunny day, we tried for sunrise a second time.  On this day the sun appeared, and it was very entertaining to watch the glacier light up.  It takes only about 15-20 minutes at this time of the year to light up the entire glacier.

Early morning at Lake Louise waiting for the sun

Waiting for the sun at Lake Louise

Sun lighting up the very top of Victoria Glacier

The sun lighting up Victoria Glacier

Sunrise progressing at Lake Louise

Sunrise moves down the glacier at Lake Louise

We could bore you with 20 or 30 more photos as the sunrise progressed – it was quite fun, but here are a couple as it was almost complete.  The one below is lighting up the Big Beehive on the right where we hiked to the top earlier in the trip for views back down to Lake Louise.

Sunrise lighting up Victoria Glacier and Big Beehive over Lake Louise

The photo below with sun on the glacier was taken from the same location as the first one before the sun arrived.

Sunrise at Lake Louise

For those who have never  been to Lake Louise, here are a few photos of the famous Chateau.

Fairmont Lake Louise Chateau

Views to the lake from inside the Chateau

Hanging baskets at Chateau Lake Louise

View of Lake Louise Chateau from the top of the Big Beehive

We ran into our new friends from the Italian Alps again one of the days we were at Lake Louise as they were preparing to hike up to the Big Beehive and the teahouses.  We have met so many interesting people from so many interesting places (Austria, the Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, Canada of course, UK, Germany, and many others) – this is quite an international destination.

Hikers from the UK, Italy, and Belgium we met on Moraine Lake trails.

We are moving on to Banff where we will do more to support the economy of Canada (shopping and dining) and less hiking.

One last view of Lake Louise on a sunny day…

Lake Louise

Categories: Banff National Park | 4 Comments

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