July 7 - July 23, 2002
Here we are standing in front of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. Dad
turned 80 two days after returned from this trip. I took over 600
pictures on this trip of which you will only see a very small number here.
We left my parents house at 5:30 Saturday morning for the
7:00 am bus departure from Holiday
Tours in Randleman, NC. After a lunch stop in Charleston, WVa we drove
on to our first evening stop in Sellersberg, IN. After checking into our
hotel and freshening up we hopped back on the bus for a beautiful ride
through the Indiana countryside to the Joe
Huber Family Farm & Restaurant in Starlight, IN. What a spread
they put on the table: fried chicken, country ham, mashed potatoes, beans,
corn-on-the-cob, slaw, etc. all grown right on the farm and served fresh
to the table. This was their family meal which was paid for as part of our
the trip but they have other things on their
menu. After dinner we were invited to one of their evening country
music shows behind the restaurant in their Country Bash barn. Great place
for a meal and tour if you get in the area.
Up early the next morning and off to our next destination,
the Wisconsin Dells. We took a two
hour boat ride up and down the Wisconsin River and into the various coves
along the way. These pictures represent a small sample of the famous rock
formations you see along the way.
It is now Monday morning and we are off to next
destination, Duluth, MN. After our lunch stop in Superior, WI at a Perkins
restaurant along the river front we crossed
the bridge into Duluth and drove around to the waterfront along the MN
side of Lake Superior. We walked
around the waterfront and visited the gift shops while waiting for the
3:30 boat tour of the Lake. W
first headed out under this bridge into the portion of the
lake ships use to continue on into the lower portions of the United
States. As you can see there is a very large tanker making its way out of
After turning around and going back under the bridge we continued
our tour along the waterfront crossing back into Superior, WI. We actually
passed by the restaurant where we had eaten lunch earlier. The third
picture illustrates an example of the many large grain silos along the water
front for major US exporters where ships were loading for overseas transport.
We also saw huge piles of ore and coal for exporting. After our two hour boat ride we checked into our
hotel for the evening located further up the waterfront.
Tuesday found us heading off for Minot, ND. Along the way
we stopped in the little town of Bimidji,
MN for lunch. They
have a bigger than life sized statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the
Blue ox. After walking around
the town and visitors center we found a little place for lunch where I ate
Walleye fish for the first time in my life. Very good!! The scenery from
Duluth to Minot was primarily agricultural and dairy farms along the way.
We saw a lot of flax fields in this part of the state.
Wednesday, we crossed the border in to Canada on
our way to Regina, Saskatchewan
where we took a tour of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building for a tour and
chance to sit in on one of their sessions. The building itself is very
beautiful with a lot of marble interiors. The tour included a look at
their library which is open to the public during regular hours. From there
we headed over to the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police Museum and training grounds. If you are ever near Regina, this museum is well worth
your time for a visit.
Thursday's route takes us along Rt 1, Canada through Moose
Jaw with lunch in Medicine Hat. We arrived in Calgary with just enough
time to change cloths before hopping back on the bus for our ride over to
the Calgary Tower for our
dinner. Located in downtown Calgary the restaurant sits 190 meters above
the ground and rotates a full 360 degrees in one hour. From here we could
get a full view of the entire city including the Calgary Stamped going on
just a few blocks away from us. On the way out of town the next morning we
toured the site of the 1988 winter Olympic Games held in Calgary. Now you
can see what it looks like without all the snow and people. It seemed to
me to be a lot smaller than it looks on television.
Friday morning we began to see the Canadian Rockies off
into the distance long before
we arrived at the entrance to Banff
National Park. After entering the park we drove directly to Banff
located right at the base of the mountains. After checking into the Mount
Royal Hotel, our home for the next two nights, we boarded the bus for
the short ride to Sulphur Mountain
where we took the eight minute gondola ride to the Summit. (Be sure to
look at the web site for a picture) I was very proud of both me and my mom
for being brave enough to ride it to the top. I took the first picture
from the gondola window. After arriving at the top I took the trail
(picture on left of their web site) up to the next summit. The third
picture is just one of many views we had along the way. While up top we
ate lunch, shopped in the gift shop, and walked around looking at the
stunning views. It was also very hot, 80 degrees.
Back at the hotel while mom and dad rested I did a quick load of laundry for
myself and dad. With all the hot weather I was going through shorts faster
than I though I would and wanted to wash up a few pairs. Dad needed a few
shirts and underwear washed. After finishing up the laundry we headed
out to walk around the town and find something for dinner. I found an
Irish pub, St. James Gate Old Irish Pub where I ate a delicious meal of Haddock and
fries better known as Fish and Chips.
The next morning we boarded the bus for our ride along the Ice
Fields Parkway to the Columbia Ice Fields and the Athabasca
Glacier. Along the way we stopped at Lake Louis. I just cannot
describe the stunning
views of the mountains, glaciers, and rivers along the way
Once we arrived at the visitors center we very
quickly ate lunch before loading their bus that takes us out to the snow
coaches. These coaches took us out on the glacier where we actually walked
around on the glacier ice as you can see in the picture of me pointing out
toward the glacier behind me. It was very cold and windy but we were only out
there for a short time. Along the way the coach driver gave us a history
of the glacier, etc. Dinner that night was at a lovely little Italian
place Guido's Ristorante.
Sunday morning we were back on the road again driving down
Hwy 1 to Calgary to connect to Hwy 2 toward Lethbridge. Again we saw
beautiful fields of rape, canola, and other type fields as well as faint
glimpses of the Rockies along the way.
Monday morning we crossed the border back into the good ol'
USA. at Coutts, Montana on our way to Butte, Montana. Again, breath taking mountains and
scenery along both Hwy 4 in Canada and on Interstate 15 to Butte. After a lunch stop at
great little place called Elmers we visited Giant Springs
State Park for a picture
event of the falls, springs and fish hatchery located there. I also got a pretty good
close up picture of a local snake sunning himself on the rocks just for Bob.
Tuesday we were back on the road again heading for Yellowstone
National Park. We entered the Park via the North Entrance from I-89. Again,
awesome scenery of mountains especially in and around Bozeman. Upon
entering the park we ate lunch at one of the Park fast food restaurants
before beginning our stops at the various geysers, mud holes, waterfalls,
Our final stop for the evening was at Old Faithful. After
watching it blow the first time we ate at the cafe just down the path.
After dinner we stuck around for one more eruption that was better than
the first one. Afterwards we drove on to our Park Lodge accommodations for
The next morning we drove around Lake Yellowstone and made
a visit to what is known as the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We made several stops from
both sides of the canyon for pictures before finally exiting the park via
the East entrance and driving on to Cody, WY.
We arrived around 3:30 to tour
the Buffalo Bill Museum.
We only had two hours and I could have spent all day. I really enjoyed the
firearms exhibit portion of the museum. I also spent a hour or so just
walking around in downtown Cody, a very typical small western town.
Thursday morning we took off down Hwy 14 E to I-95 and our
beautiful drive through the Big Horn Mountains. As we headed on toward Deadwood, SD we passed huge ranches along
the way. We did not have time to tour the city of Deadwood which consisted
mostly of saloons and gambling places, the most famous being Saloon 10
where Buffalo Bill was shot in the back while playing poker. By the time we checked into our
hotel and had dinner it was time to get back on the bus and drive over to
the Passion Play,
an outdoor drama presented by the towns people of Spearfish where the
amphitheater is located.
Friday was going to be a long with with a lot of traveling
and site seeing stops. First it was a stop at Bear County USA.
You must stay in your cars to drive through the park because the animals
live here in freedom without cages and barriers except to keep the animals
apart from each other. After a tour through the park you can stop at the
visitor center and walk around their animal farm area. The baby bears were
having so much fun I could hardly tear myself away from watching
After we left Bear Country it was on to Mount
Need I say more about this great monument. I walked the trail up to the
base of the mountain taking a lot of pictures of both the monument and the
surrounding hillside. From various angles along the trail you can get
individual pictures of each figure. We were left on our own to tour the Monument Park
area and museum, get some lunch, and meet back at the bus around 1:30.
Our next stop was the Crazy
This project is just getting underway and is not
financed by any federal funding. As you can see from the first picture of
the completed monument and the second one of the actual work they have a
long way to go. I spent a lot of time in the museum
portion of the center which included Indian Crafts and exhibits. We left in
late afternoon to drive on to Wall, SD, site of the famous Wall
Drug. I will leave it up to you to read the history of this famous
place on your own. Needless to say it was something to see. We ate dinner
across the street at the Cactus Cafe. The temperature was well over 100
Saturday morning found us on the way to Sioux Falls, SD.
First off al we took the Hwy 240 loop that winds around the Badlands
National Park. This was almost the highlight of the trip for me. I could
not imagine what these mountains looked liked until I actually stepped
foot on them. You can walk right out on the mountains which are made up of
a very interesting gravel/loose cement like consistency. I have a hard
time deciding between the Badlands and the Rockies as my favorites along
From there it was
on to the Corn Palace
in Mitchell, SD for a quick tour and then to the hotel.
The tour is now officially winding down. Sunday was a long
riding day as we headed south and east for Davenport, Iowa. Monday we took off for
Lexington, Ky. On the way we through Indiana we stopped at the famous Indianapolis Motor
Speedway for lunch and tour of the facility and museum. My dad and I took the van ride
that takes you around the track.
Tuesday found us back at home around 6:00 in Level Cross
after 6,197 miles of what was absolutely a trip I will never
forget. I hope you enjoyed the trip. It was difficult to decide which
pictures to share with you. The web site links will help to fill in some
of the gaps where pictures where impossible to get.
Be sure to
visit my travel page to see some of the other
trips I have taken in the last few years.
Updated Saturday, April 26, 2003