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I was living in Canada at this time of this trip and then I measured driving distances in kilometers (km) but in this document the corresponding miles will also be given following in brackets.


Day 1 - Sunday June 13 - Mississauga, Ontario, to Morristown, N.J.

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Last night was the windup for the A.C.O.R.N. Couples Bridge, a potluck dinner at our place. After the meal, however, people dispersed for the evening of bridge, which gave us a chance to clean up and for Anna and I to pack and prepare for an early departure. Even so, we did not get away until nearly 8 o'clock because, when it came to packing the car, we not only had what we needed for the trip, but also a number of things to take to Vancouver for Anna, such as a television, her new pastry board, and a table, which gave us the most trouble!!
 
We filled up with gas before leaving Mississauga, then took QEW to Fort Erie, where we registered our "cargo" with Canadian Customs so as to avoid trouble when crossing back into Canada. After crossing the Peace Bridge we decided to take the New York Thruway (I-90) as far as SR-14, thus getting some miles behind us before starting any sightseeing!
 
SR-14 took us through Geneva and along the west side of Seneca Lake, a pretty drive along one of the Finger Lakes, although I don't think as lovely as the route along Cayuga Lake. Our first stop was at Lakewood Vineyard to buy wine to take to the Witts. Up until this point Anna had done all the driving and now it was my turn at the wheel. From Lakewood we went on into Watkins Glen where we made our lunch at the back of the car. We walked part way up the Glen, but could not take the time to go all the way.
 
From Watkins Glen we continued south to SR-17, then east to I-81 in Binghamton. It was almost 3:30 when I-81 crossed the Pennsylvania State Line so, because we did not want to arrive too late at our destination, we did not dally for further sightseeing. We stopped briefly at the rest area before Lenoxville for a drink, then continued on to I-380 which took us to I-80. We had to make one more stop, this time to fill with gas.
 
Back on I-80 we drove through Delaware Water Gap, crossed the Delaware River and the New Jersey State Line. It was 6 o'clock when we turned off I-80 onto I-287 to Morristown and we arrived at Frank's and Zelda's at 6:17

Day 2 - Monday June 14 - New Hope, Pennsyliania, and Princeton, New Jersey

1993_06_14.jpg After sleeping in and having a relaxed morning Anna and I headed out just before noon. First we went to Rockaway Townsquare for Anna to do some shopping. Then we wended our way southward and westward, crossing the Delaware River into Pennsylvania just north of New Hope. By this time it was mid afternoon, so before doing a walking tour of New Hope, we had lunch on the patio at The Landing Restaurant overlooking the Delaware River. After eating we walked along the canal, now used by mule-drawn barges for excursions. Of interest is the fact that the canal is built above and over Ingham Creek just before it flows into the Delaware River.

On leaving New Hope we drove south on PA-32, honeysuckle blooming profusely on the embankments, and we saw many beautiful estate homes along the Delaware River Scenic Drive. We arrived in Washington Crossing too late to see the museum, but we were able to walk through the park. We looked at a replica of a Durham boat, the kind used by Washington and his men to cross the Delaware River, on Christmas night in 1776 to attack and capture Trenton, which, at that time, was held by Hessian mercenaries. We also visited the Taylorsville Store.

From Taylorsville we took the narrow bridge across the Delaware River back into New Jersey, drove through Lawrenceville, where many beautiful dogwoods were in flower, and arrived in Princeton at six o'clock.
 
Before walking around Princeton University Campus with its beautiful stone buildings Anna and I looked for the restaurant where we had arranged to meet Frank and Zelda and their daughter, Lisa. Then, on our way back to the restaurant, and walking along a street a block back from the main street, we turned onto Madison Street to take a picture of some geraniums in window boxes, not knowing that we were on Lisa's street! We took the picture then turned back out of Madison Street, but Frank and Zelda had seen us and Frank came to pick us up.
 
We had dinner at the Alchemist & Barrister Restaurant, but I didn't think the meal as grand as the restaurant's name! After eating we returned to Lisa's to see her apartment, then I drove home with Frank whilst Zelda traveled with Anna.

Day 3 - Tuesday June 15 - New York City

With no notice having been given the water was turned off at the Zelda's this morning! Zelda made some phone calls and eventually the water came on again, but it was like an oil gusher! The water was totally black!! Apparently it had been turned off so as to determine who was on a particular main!!
 
Zelda decided that under the circumstances we should go out for brunch and drove us to Madison. After eating she left us at the Madison railway station so we could take the NJ Transit train to Hoboken. Here we transferred to a PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) train to 33rd Street.
 
Arriving in New York City we walked as far as 73rd Street, going along The Avenue of the Americas, through Bryant Park between 41st and 42nd (near Library), the Rockefeller Centre and a section of Central Park, where we had a snack under a mulberry tree! We realized that this was not a wise choice as the mulberries were ripe and falling and we were both wearing white blouses!
 
Upon leaving the park we crossed Fifth and Madison Avenues to Park Avenue, then turned south to the Waldorf Astoria, where we took a stroll through the lobby before heading back over to Fifth Avenue. We browsed through a number of stores as we made our way back to 33rd Street and the 7-story mall above the train station.
 
We then took the PATH back to Hoboken and the NJ Transit to Morristown. We phoned Frank and he came to pick us up. We bought Chinese take-out for supper, after which I relaxed in the jaccuzi and went to bed.
 
Although we had not managed to go to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art (this being one of the reasons for going east before heading west to Vancouver!), we had had a pleasant and interesting day. I truly enjoy my days in New York City no matter what I do whilst there! There is just so much to see and do.

Day 4:- Wendsday June 16 - Anna went into New York City and I stayed with Zelda

Zelda made a German pancake for breakfast, then drove Anna to Convent station to catch the NJ Transit train, as she had arranged to go into New York City to meet a friend, who had been on the sailing trip she had taken in May.
 
I spent the day doing very little - some writing and driving around with Zelda on her errands. I also packed and organized our things ready to make an early start for our long trip to Vancouver.

Day 5 - Thursday June 17 - Morristown, New Jersey, to Milan, Ohio

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We did not leave the Frank and Zeldaʹs as early as we had intended, but were on I-80 before 8 o'clock and across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania by 8:40 Other than stopping for a drink in Mifflinville, just before crossing the Susquehanna River, we stayed on the interstate, driving through some beautiful farming country, where a lot of hay had already been cut.
 
With just over 300 kilometers (186) behind us we left I-80 at 11:30 to go into Bellefonte (pop. 6,300 - El. 747 feet) the first of several places Anna had read about in the AAA Tour Book and chosen as a place worth visiting. Here we bought supplies for our lunch, saw some of the town's lovely homes, noted for their Georgian architecture, and filled up with gas. We enjoyed a picnic lunch in Talleyrand Park on the banks of Spring Creek, near the Bellefonte railway station.
 
A little more than an hour and a half later we were back on I-80, but within minutes we realized that we should have changed into some cooler clothing and stopped at the next rest area to do so.
 
As we continued on, the road dropped into a beautiful valley, crossed the West Branch Susquehanna River, then climbed to the highest point on I-80, east of the Mississippi River, an elevation of 2,250 feet. From here we had distant views ahead. Before exiting I-80 at 3:30 557.0 km. (346.1) we crossed two more rivers, the Clarion and the Allegheny, both in deep valleys with lovely scenery.
 
We drove through rich farmlands on our way into Volant (pop. 150 - El. 944 feet) located in the heart of Amish country. We spent 1¼ hours in Volant, walking around the town and browsing in the numerous craft stores, including the old grist mill (1812), which is now full of Amish products. We saw many buggies in and around the town, as well as along the country roads as we travelled from Volant through New Wilmington and Mercer to Hermitage.
 
We traversed more beautiful farming country, and, crossing over I-80 the road took us under an archway of trees, a truly delightful drive. We remarked about some of the lovely old houses and buildings we saw along the way as we turned west onto US-62. Once in Hermitage (pop.15,300) we drove around to find the Avenue of 444 Flags. Besides those at the Memorial Gardens there seemed to be lots of American flags throughout the town.
 
It was 6:21 when we rejoined I-80 and minutes later we crossed the Ohio State Line. In less than half an hour I-80 became the Ohio Turnpike, a good road which enabled us to cover another hundred miles before nightfall. We exited at Milan and found accommodation at the Homestead Inn. We unpacked, went out for a chicken dinner, and, arriving back at the motel, we were ready to call it a day!

Day 6 - Friday June 18 - Milan, Ohio, to Lisle, Illinois

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Today we were on our way by 8:15 , but wanted to do some sightseeing first! Leaving the Homestead Inn we went into Milan, driving within a block of Thomas Edison's birthplace. (I thought that the Milan Library looked a bit like a Frank Lloyd Wright design!) Just out of town we passed through fields of strawberries with "Pick Your Own" signs, and fields of young corn and tomato plants. Our route, (OH-113), detoured through Berlin Heights, a pretty town with lovely homes and many glasshouses. We also passed vineyards and saw signs for blueberries.
 
Arriving in Vermilion (pop. 11,000 - El. 604 feet) on the shores of Lake Erie, we went east on US-6 for a short distance, where we found a beautiful boat harbour with gorgeous homes along the waterfront. We turned into Marine Drive, lined with white houses, most with attractive hanging baskets, and all waterfront properties with lovely boats in the canal.
 
Returning to Main Street, we strolled around the Great Lakes Historical Society building near the foreshore of Lake Erie. From Vermilion we followed US-6 along the lake, passing many attractive homes, pretty gardens, farms right on the lake, and in Huron some magnificent homes with private tennis courts.
 
In Sandusky, settled in 1816 (pop. 29,800 - El. 597 feet) we stopped for pictures of some of the old buildings and bought some bagels from a deli located in one of them. Outside were a couple of interesting and catchy signs: "BAY GULLS" for the Bagels and Deli store and "SIMPLY ERIE SISTIBLES" for an Apparel & Gift shop. From here we crossed Sandusky Bay and, heading along the waterfront towards Port Clinton, passed more beautiful homes facing the lake. We turned inland and followed along the north side of the Portage River shortly after crossing a lift bridge over the river.
 
There were some lovely old buildings along Main Street in Oak Harbor and again in Genoa, where we noticed that the Town Hall was built in 1868. The land was very flat, but it looked to be good farming country and was served by irrigation channels.
 
At almost 11:30, and having only traveled 145 km (90.1) we needed to get on the Turnpike to cover some miles more quickly! Just over an hour later we crossed the Indiana State Line and stopped at the Indiana Welcome Centre. Here the washrooms were equipped with automatic toilet flushing, which certainly takes one by surprise! We left the tollway at the next exit to shop at the Factory Outlets and to go into Angola (pop. 5,800 - El. 1,056 feet) to replenish our picnic supplies and to have lunch.
 
Unfortunately we took US-20 out of town, getting caught in a major detour, which routed us south for some distance. Finally, we turned west on US-6, Grand Army of the Republic Highway, a very pleasant route. We passed the Jewish community of Ligonier, then Nappanee and Amish Acres Farm, a working 80-acre, 19th. century Amish farm open to the public (at a price) for tours and dinner. At Walkerton we crossed the time zone, changing from eastern to central time, and giving us an extra hour to reach our destination, thus making up for some of the time lost with the detour and earlier sightseeing!
 
Three hours and twenty minutes after leaving the I-80/I-90 and covering a mere 209.2 km (130) we rejoined the Turnpike. Within less than half an hour we found ourselves in a huge traffic jam with what seemed like hundreds of semitrailers all making very slow progress. In the next half hour we only did 16 km (10)! Eventually, after another 55 minutes and 66 km (41) we arrived at Janice and Kevin's in Lisle (just west of Chicago) at 6:00

Day 7 - Saturday June 19 - Chicago, Illinois

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It was almost 10 o'clock this morning when we left the house after a relaxed breakfast. The first item on our agenda was to have the car serviced as this would be our last chance of doing so before we reached Vancouver.
 
Then we drove into Oak Park for Anna to see the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio and to see some of the houses along Forest Avenue. It is fairly easy to recognize those designed by Wright.
 
After leaving Oak Park we went into Chicago where we spent the next five hours. We parked the car near North Pier where we had lunch at the Old Carolina Crab House and browsed through the stores. We walked along the Chicago River, past the Centennial Fountain to Michigan Avenue and down Michigan Avenue, stopping at the very interesting Nike store on the way.
 
We walked past the city's old historic Water Tower and as far as the John Hancock Center, a 100-story building 1,127 feet high, where we took an elevator to the 94th. floor observatory. Looking out over Chicago, we had wonderful views in all directions.
 
Then, back at ground level and before walking down Michigan Avenue, we visited Bloomingdales with its multi-storied mall. Eventually we arrived back at the car, but it had been a beautiful day and we both really enjoyed Chicago.
 
Returning to Lisle, we filled up with gas and did some grocery shopping ready for our departure next morning. A sudden and heavy rainstorm welcomed us when we came out from the supermarket, the sky as black as night! We returned to Janice's and Kevin's, arriving at 7 o'clock, in time for a lovely dinner and a pleasant evening.

Day 8 - Sunday June 20 - Lisle, Illinois, to Mankato, Minnesota

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We left from Janice's and Kevin's shortly before 8:30 and within ten minutes we were on a freeway, I-88, which took us to I-290 and thence to I-90, the North-West Toll-Way. Leaving the Chicago metropolitan area behind us we ran into light rain with very dark storm clouds ahead of us.
 
At 10 o'clock 146.6 km (91.1) we crossed the Wisconsin State Line and pulled into the Wisconsin Welcome Center for a break. It was quite a cool and windy day, but a welcome change after several hot and very humid days.
 
We left I-90 to take US-12/US-18 into Madison (pop. 191,300 - El. 845 feet) the capital of Wisconsin. We drove along John Nolan Drive into the city, which....


From AAA North Central Tour Book
 "was only a plan, when selected in 1836 as the territorial capital. By 1838 there was one inn and a general store, and construction had just begun on the Capitol."

I walked around the grounds and was able to go inside for some pictures. (I enjoy very much visiting the various Capitols, even if only briefly. I had toured the one in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979, and had been very impressed with Wyoming's Capitol in Cheyenne when there last year - 1992.)
 
On leaving Madison Anna took Washington Avenue to US-51 N and was back on I-90 by noon. We made the comment that Wisconsin was very commercialized about their tourist attractions - the number of billboards was just unbelievable. And this certainly was no exaggeration when we reached Wisconsin Dells, a geological feature which I had wanted to see.
 
Kevin had warned us that Niagara Falls had nothing on "The Dells", but this was an understatement! To say that the commercialism was gross was even an understatement! Repulsive would be a better description. We drove into Wisconsin Dells (pop. 2,300 - El. 899 feet) along the Wisconsin Dells Parkway, where we almost had a nasty accident when a woman pulled out directly in front of us. It was a close call, but Anna's superb driving saved the day. Nevertheless we were both somewhat shaken.
 
It became obvious that "The Dells" were not for public viewing, and, in my opinion, should not be written up in such books as "Natural Wonders of the World" (Reader's Digest). At Niagara Falls people can go on boat trips or descend by elevator to the tunnels, if they so desire, but the falls are there for the seeing. Here we could see nothing. We even paid $2.00 to go into Rocky Arbor State Park, but saw nothing here either. There were so many mosquitoes we couldn't even have a picnic lunch! We decided to have our lunch at a Rest Area along I-90 soon after leaving Wiscinsin Dells.
 
Following lunch and after driving for another half hour I-90 and I-94 divided, but we stayed with I-90 west to La Crosse. The countryside became hillier and we ran into more rain and fog. We passed a llama farm and huge dairy farms with hundreds of Holsteins.
 
At 3:00 463.5 km (288.0) we crossed the Mississippi River and the Minnesota State Line. Stopping at the Minnesota Welcome Centre we could look out on the Mississippi River and watch the barges going by. I-90 followed the river for a few miles, but when it turned west we continued north on US-14/US-61 and stayed with US-14 when these divided. In fact we planned to stay on US-14 right across Minnesota. When we turned west away from the Mississippi River valley we climbed for about five kilometres, after which the road passed through tree-covered valleys and cliffs. West of Stockton we came out into open farmland and cornfields.
 
We drove through St. Charles (where I recalled that Ann and I had looked for an Amish market when here last year - 1992) and on to Rochester (pop. 70,700 - El. 989 feet). Here we had to get gas and drove into town to see the Mayo Building.


From AAA North Central Tour Book

 MAYO CLINIC

 "MAYO CLINIC, founded by Dr. William James Mayo and Dr. Charles Horace Mayo, has made Rochester world famous. The Mayo Medical Center campus includes the 19-story Mayo Building of diagnostic facilities; the Plummer Building of laboratories and a library; the Conrad N. Hilton Building of laboratory medicine; the Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Building of life sciences; the buildings for patient care, medical education and research".

About twenty kilometers west of Rochester we again left US-14, this time to go into Mantorville (pop. 874), a town established in 1854 by the Mantor family. The town is known for its Greek Revival architecture and the sidewalk of white oak boards. The Hubbell House, a hotel built in 1854, is the home of a restaurant offering fine dining. We resisted the temptation to take time for supper here as we were anxious to take advantage of the daylight hours!
 
Pushing westward, still on US-14 we noticed and remarked about there being lots of water lying in the fields, like small lakes drowning the crops! The clear sky gave way to clouds and, although the sun was still shining in patches, we wondered if we were in for more rain! At this point in time we were unaware of the terrible floods which were to cause so much havoc over such a vast area of the U.S.A.
 
Upon entering the outskirts of Mankato (pop. 31,500 - El. 781 feet) the road dropped into the valley of the Minnesota River. Immediately after crossing the river we left the highway and turned south to look for a motel. We could not have turned north because US-169 was closed due to flooding and a crew was working on a levee.


From AAA North Central Tour Book

 MANKATO, Indian for "blue earth"

 "MANKATO, Indian for "blue earth", is on a great bend in the Minnesota River where it joins the Blue Earth River. The name refers to the clay that lines the river banks".

We found accommodation at the Best Western Garden Inn and had supper at a restaurant next door. We had certainly had a very full and interesting day.

Day 9 - Monday June 21 - Mankato, Minnesota, to Wall, South Dakota

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Before leaving Mankato Anna and I learned that a "high" was expected on the Minnesota River, hence the feverish work on the levee we had witnessed the previous night. In fact it was thought that the river level would exceed that of the '69 flood!
 
Back on US-14, and rising out of the river valley, the land was hilly for a while. As we approached New Ulm (pop.13,100 - El.821 feet) we saw many trees standing in flood waters and when the road turned to cross the Minnesota River, we stopped for pictures.
 
It was between New Ulm and Sleepy Eye that I first noticed a Wall Drug sign (we were to cover 734 kilometers (456.1) before reaching Wall!), but unlike last year, I knew what Wall Drug was all about. Prior to driving into Sleepy Eye, pop. (3,694 - El. 1,034 feet) Anna happened to mention the fact that we were traveling in an area she had read about as being known for pro-life views. No sooner had she made this comment than we saw a sign:- "Thanks Mom for Life "
 
We continued to see much water covering low lying areas, the six-inch high corn plants disappearing into it. Beyond Cobden (pop.62) and Springfield (pop.2,173) we spent half an hour visiting two prairie sod houses on the McCone Farm near Sanborn (pop.500 - El.1,089 feet). They were replicas of 1880 sod houses, representing rich and poor settlers. Signing the guest book I noticed that previous signatures were by people from Ethiopia, East Africa and Texas!
 
As we approached the Cottonwood River, swollen well beyond its banks, US-14 became a single lane and the side roads, north and south, were both closed. We passed through a number of small towns, including Walnut Grove (pop. 600 - El. 1,223 feet) on the banks of Plum Creek. This town's most renowned resident, Laura Ingalls Wilder, was the author of the children's books which include "On the Banks of Plum Creek", the basis for the TV series "Little House on the Prairie".
 
We saw a second advertisement for Wall Drug in the pretty little town of Tracy (pop.2,059) and soon after we past another quaint sign:
 
"Munro Town Hall Grass Roots Government"
 
Although the countryside was not as flat there was still flooding in many fields, and in one place we saw cows standing in water almost up to their tummies! A few minutes later, with water on both sides, the road itself was barely above water level. We just couldn't get over what we were seeing! We passed Balaton and Lake Yankton, where a picnic table was standing in water and a few miles further on the road was again a ribbon crossing the water.
 
With Balaton behind us and Florence ahead we noticed a change in the appearance of the farms; the buildings were older and more dilapidated. With the feeling that we had risen somewhat I checked the tour book and discovered that we were at an elevation 1,000 feet higher than Mankato. The number of corn fields was diminishing and in their place was more hay. There was also a lot of sheep in the vicinity of Tyler.
 
Upon reaching Lake Benton (pop. 693) just before noon 193.9 km (120.5) we decided to take advantage of the Wayside Rest Stop beside the lake to have a picnic lunch under the shade of a cottonwood tree. At 12:36 and registering 209.2 km (130.0) we crossed the South Dakota State Line - still travelling on US-14. The land was not as rich looking as what we had seen earlier, and there was still some flooding.
 
It would have been lovely to have seen the McCrory Gardens, part of the South Dakota State University teaching and research facility in Brookings (pop.16,330 - El. 1,636 feet) but we knew that we couldn't see everything! We did have to get to Vancouver before month's end! Flooding continued, this time homes in a trailer park on the outskirts of town were standing in water and beyond that complete fields were covered.
 
Near Volga I saw a road-runner type bird scurry across the road and later decided that it was probably a pheasant. West of Arlington we saw our first policeman to date, a State Trooper who had a car stopped at the side of the road! Noticing a large group of birds to the south my first thought was "pelicans", then I wondered "What would pelicans be doing here so far from the coast?" Were my eyes deceiving me? There were certainly lakes in the area, which would provide a good habitat. [Since then I have referred to a book on birds and discovered that my eyes did not deceive me!]
 
At 295.0 kms (183.3) I noticed that US-14 was called the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway and, ten kilometers further on, we came to De Smet (pop.1,200 - El.1,726 feet), one of the pioneer towns immortalized in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" books. Through Iroquois and Cavour the straight road stretched endlessly across the flat prairie, many cows and calves grazing on either side. We stopped briefly (2:20) - 355.7 km (221.0) in Huron (pop. 12,400 - El. 1,285 feet), to take a picture of the "big Pheasant", a 22-ton, 40-foot high steel and fibreglass statue. Huron, hometown of Hubert Humphrey and Cheryl Ladd, is known for fall pheasant hunting.
 
I drove from Huron, Anna having driven since leaving the motel at the start of the day. Through Wessington US-14 was called the Black and Yellow Trail, although I don't know to what this referred. Whilst I was quite excited to be back on the prairie, Anna thought it "flat and boring!" We stopped for gas in Highmore (El. 1,890 feet).
 
As we approached the capital of South Dakota, Pierre (pop.12,900 - El.1,484 feet), located on the Missouri River, the land became quite hilly. The temperature in Pierre was 89°F/32°C when we stopped to visit the State Capitol. Surrounded by beautiful parklands the Capitol was completed in 1910. Crossing the Missouri River we took US-83 to I-90, as we needed to make up some time if we were to see The Badlands and get to Wall before day's end! Ascending from the river valley we passed Ft. Pierre and drove across National Grassland (a new idea to me as opposed to National Forest).
 
We noticed the cows all facing west towards the sun and Anna made the following illustration in my note book.
 
It was 5:58 595.5 km (370.0) when we reached I-90 and twenty minutes later we entered the Mountain Time Zone, once more blessed with an extra hour! Just prior to this we had passed a town named for cattle king Murdo McKenzie. Murdo (pop.700 - El. 2,325 feet) still thrives on the cattle business. We also noticed a herd of buffalo in a fenced field to the north.
 
We reached Kadoka (pop.700 - El.2,457 feet), almost a hundred kilometers (61) further west, at 5:53 !! Kadoka means "hole in the wall" in Sioux Indian language, so named for its proximity to The Badlands. Although it was clouding over, we decided to proceed with the planned detour through Badlands National Park.
 
Soon after leaving I-90 we stopped in Cactus Flat for a drink and watched the prairie dogs for a few minutes. We were in the park for an hour and a half and covered forty-five kilometers. Yuccas were in flower and the whole area looked very green compared with last year. The only wildlife we saw were antelope. Along with numerous other tourists we watched the sunset from Pinnacles Overlook, but this was overshadowed by a thunder storm. It was fascinating to watch the cloud bank roll in.
 
A few minutes drive north brought us to Wall (pop. 800), where we found accommodation at the Elk Motel. We intended to walk to Main Street for supper, but the weather was quite nasty - not a rain storm as the clouds rolling over The Badlands would have indicated, but a dust storm! Strong winds whipped up the dust, which stung our bare skin! We drove the half kilometer to the Cactus Cafe Lounge (opposite Wall Drug).

Day 10 - Tuesday June 22 - Wall to Spearfish, South Dakota

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This morning we went to Wall Drug for our breakfast, which included 5¢ coffee, and before leaving, we had our water container filled with free ice water. It was the free ice water Ted and Dorothy Hustead gave to hot, weary travellers in July 1936, that started to turn their business around and to which its success can be attributed.
 
Back at the motel we phoned to book tickets for the world famous Black Hills Passion Play in Spearfish. Then we were on our way. Our conversation turned to Wall Drug commercialism, but we decided that it could not be compared with Wisconsin Dells! A fun place to visit, Wall Drug is a business and is not exploiting anything or anyone.
 
We stopped at Cheyenne River Rest Area along I-90 for me to get information about the "tipi" represented at the SD rest areas. From here we crossed the Cheyenne River, one of many rivers making its contribution to the Missouri watershed!
 
Arriving in Rapid City (pop.54,500 - El.3,220 feet) by 10:15 81.5 km (50.6) we decided it would be prudent to make a motel reservation for that night. We had to hunt for the AAA office (its location had moved some four years earlier but the map had not been corrected!). It being the day for the Passion Play, a number of phone calls were made before a vacancy was found, so we knew we had made the right decision to book ahead and not wait until after our sightseeing. This done, and our picnic supplies replenished, we headed into the Black Hills via Mt. Rushmore Road (US-16).
 
Our route took us into Keystone (pop. 200 -El. 4,341 feet), where we bought gas before proceeding to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. At Mt. Rushmore we watched a movie at the Visitor Center and visited the studio to see a model of the presidents as they would have looked had Gutzon Borglum not died before completing his masterpiece.
 
Continuing on from Mt. Rushmore we did a circular tour through Custer State Park and back to Keystone. We took SD-244 from Mt. Rushmore to the Needles Highway (SD-87), a winding road with many hairpin bends and a number of small tunnels, the smallest ones being 8 feet 7 IN wide, 11 feet 5 IN high and 10 feet wide, 10 feet 8 IN high! Beautiful Sylvan Lake provided a pleasant and peaceful spot for a picnic lunch. The scenery through the Needles area was quite spectacular, rock walls on either side of the road and "needles" of rock pointing skyward. Whilst driving we saw deer, a mountain goat, and burros (first brought to the area in the 1920s), but no buffalo.
 
From one of the tunnels we saw the famous postcard view of Mt. Rushmore. What an amazing road! - climbing, descending, many switchbacks, divided in places, clinging to rock cliffs and the incredible Pigtail Bridges - a really exciting drive.
 
Back in Keystone at 4:45 220 km (136.7) we took US-385 to Lead, then joined up with US-14A to Spearfish. The road, Black Hills Parkway, followed the course of a stream, crossed the Pactola Lake dam and passed a number of campgrounds.
 
From the mining town of Lead (pop.3,600 - El.5,280 feet), we went through Cheyenne Crossing, beside the swiftly flowing Spearfish Creek, steep cliffs on either side, and we descended through Spearfish Canyon to an elevation of 3,642 feet - a drop of 1,638 feet! Crossing Spearfish Creek, we came out of the canyon into a quite different environment - yuccas in flower on the bare hills.
 
We arrived at Kelly Inn at 6:30 , with enough time to unpack the car and have a quick snack before getting our tickets for the Passion Play. We had good seats and really enjoyed the play, except for the fact that the weather had turned very cold and we were not dressed properly! (Many people went out to their cars for extra coats and blankets!).

Day 11 - Wednesday June 23 - Spearfish, South Dskota, to Sheridan, Wyoming

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We took our time getting ready this morning as we wanted to do some shoppingat the Heritage Plaza in Spearfish before driving to Deadwood. I had lost a screw from my glasses and was able to buy a repair kit at the K-Mart. We also discovered the Payless Shoe Store, where I bought two pairs of leather shoes for $42.38!
 
We decided it would be quicker to take I-90 east and US-85 to Deadwood. However, US-85 was being rebuilt and was closed so we were detoured to US-14A and thence through Boulder Canyon. We arrived in Deadwood (pop.1,800 - El. 4,532 feet) at 10:45 , having done fifty kilometers. We parked the car, walked around town, and visited a museum in one of the two railway stations. We finally decided to try our luck at the casino where Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed in 1876. Here, a man on the street handed us some coupons, one for a $4.99 buffet lunch, which included a delicious buffalo stew, and another for $22.00 worth of quarters for $20.00 - a good deal!
 
After an enjoyable lunch we exchanged the quarters for nickels, then divided them between us. Twice I got jackpots, one of 300 coins and five minutes later another of 312 coins! Anna, sitting in another area, could hear the bells ringing, and looking around saw me bouncing up and down on my stool, a grin from ear to ear!
 
Three and a half hours disappeared very quickly! Anna and I both had fun and wished that we could have stayed longer, but we had to make tracks westward before nightfall! Retracing the fifty kilometers back to Spearfish, low clouds hid the Black Hills. The temperature in Deadwood was 72°F, but back in Spearfish it had dropped to 52°F. We stopped at the Passion Play gift shop because Anna thought we should share a set of postcards since we had not been allowed to take pictures during the performance.
 
We were ready to leave Spearfish at 3:15 and just before 3:30 121 km (75.2) we crossed the Wyoming border. The very red soil was accentuated by the green grass everywhere. Clouds still hung low over the mountains.
 
Soon after Sundance (pop.1,100 - El. 4,750 feet) I noticed the gates used to close the highway in adverse weather conditions, also the big, heavy-duty snow fences. Sagebrush was now putting in an appearance. By 4 o'clock it was raining heavily - more water for the Missouri and the Mississippi! Anna questioned the lack of wildlife and asked, "Where are the antelope?" to which I replied, "Over there", pointing out a group of about eighteen! Later we saw two more groups much closer to the road!
 
The sun was shining again when we crossed the Belle Fourche River. We saw many oil pumps around Gillette (pop.17,600 - El.4,538 feet) - where Ann and I stayed last year. About 5 o'clock the cloud-covered Big Horn Mountains came into view.
 
Stopping in Buffalo (pop. 3,302 - El.4,645 feet) for gas (6:00) 357 km (221.8), we could not believe how strong the wind was - another biting dust storm! Clouds, rain and dust - what a mixture! Back on I-90 we again notice the cows all facing west, worshiping the sun! As we approached Sheridan we also saw some buffalo.
 
We called in at the Wyoming Information Center (6:45) 413 km (256.6) for maps and made a motel reservation in Sheridan (pop. 13,900 - El. 3,724 feet). We talked to another tourist, also from Ontario, and learned that two days earlier heavy snowfalls had closed the roads into both Yellowstone (Eastern Entrance) and Glacier National Parks.
 
A few minutes later we arrived at the Guest House Motel, and after unpacking, we walked to the restaurant next door for supper, but decided that it was too expensive. We then drove to Cattleman's Cut Steak House, where we had an excBetht meal.

Day 12 - Thursday June 24 - Sheridan, Wyoming to Bozeman, Montana

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As we set out this morning at 7:45 I was particularly excited about the day ahead of us. We were to cross the Bighorn Mountains and travel through Yellowstone National Park. I love "The West", the prairies and the mountains, both in Canada and the United States, and I was very happy to be sharing this love with Anna, my daughter, as my travelling companion.
 
We took I-90 from Sheridan to Ranchester (pop. 676 - El. 3,775 feet / temp. 51°) to link up once more with US-14, now named the National Forest Scenic Byway. At 8 o'clock, having driven for twenty-five kilometers (15.5), we noted the sign "32 miles to Burgess Junction". We were heading straight towards the mountains, and, observing incredible fault lines and various other geological features, I kept thinking about Michael and how much more meaningful these would be to him.
 
Everything was very green and many wild flowers were in bloom. Climbing into the mountains we paused to take pictures of rock formations, alpine flowers and the open range. Whilst stopped at the "Fallen City" formation, a van, travelling in the opposite direction, was covered with snow, and as we continued we came to snow-covered pine trees, obviously from a recent fall! Just after 9 o'clock 73.5 km (45.7) we reached Burgess Junction, where Alternate US-14 branched off in a more northerly direction. We decided to stay with US-14, the Granite Pass route through Shell 51.5 km (32) to Cody 162.5 km (101).
 
Within a few minutes we were at Granite Pass, elevation 8,950 feet, a climb of 5,175 feet in the 1¼ hours and 67 kilometers (41.6) since Ranchester. I sometimes wonder why I am so fascinated with elevations, but I think that it may have something to do with my coming from Australia and the fact that I can drive to points higher than Mt. Kosciusko (7,316 feet), Australia's highest mountain.
 
It was a beautiful drive through the Bighorns, with deer grazing at the side of the road and alpine meadows ablaze with flowers. I was surprised that we even saw sagebrush growing in the mountains. We crossed many cattle grids, indicative of the open range country. From Granite Pass the road dropped steadily entering Shell Canyon, and we spent half an hour at Shell Falls, a beautiful area with very informative signs along the trail on the canyon rim. Below Shell Falls Anna pointed out the thin line of the "Beef Trail", which could be seen on the opposite side of the valley. It is a trail which has been used for many years by domestic cattle traveling to summer pastures high in the Bighorn National Forest.
 
Continuing our descent the scenery was vastly different from what we had seen on the eastern side of the range - rugged, bare hills and multi-coloured cliffs, which reminded me a little of Utah and Arizona. As we came out of the canyon, we crossed Shell Creek, drove past Chimney Rock and into Shell (pop. 50 - El.4 ,210 feet), a descent of 4,210 feet in 35 kilometers (21.7)!
 
At the risk of repeating myself, we had a truly fantastic drive through the Bighorn Mountains. Then, coming out of a canyon into badland-type country, we could see the Rockies (Yellowstone) ahead - about 166 km (103) as the crow flies.
 
After Shell the land became pretty barren with lots of sagebrush, but we did see some fields being irrigated using the sprinklers on big wheels. We crossed the Bighorn River at Greybull (pop. 1,789 -El. 3,788 feet) where we passed large stockyards and Bentonite Plants. With Cody still 85.3 km (53) ahead, we saw some crops, rye (I think), bales of hay (not the more modern rolls), irrigation ditches, a field of corn and other unknown crops. In one place we saw an irrigation ditch with pipes from it between each individual row of whatever crop it was! For sure, we were seeing a land of contrasts - sagebrush, crops, sheep, badlands, antelope and snow-covered mountains!
 
We had also seen quite a number of cyclists, traveling in both directions, their cycles laden with camping gear. I know that if I was young again, I could be tempted easily into taking a cycling holiday. I actually envy the cyclists that I see!
 
Leaving the flat country behind, we drove into the hills surrounding Cody (pop. 7,900 -El. 5,095 feet). Unfortunately, we could not spend any time at the Buffalo Bill Museum here other than to browse in the gift shop. Pushing on, we were now heading into the mountains. We stopped for twenty minutes at Buffalo Bill Dam, built across the Shoshone River and Canyon, where it was both windy and cold. There was a lot of debris (logs, etc.) floating on the water above the dam, and we learned that a barge is used to put a boom around the debris to contain it as the water level goes down. It is then allowed to dry on the shore, after which it can be removed easily.
 
Through the valley there was a lot of ranches, and many had quite new-looking log buildings. We crossed the Shoshone River at Wapiti where the Wapiti Valley Church was also a new and attractive log building.
 
We saw many different rock formations, including the "Holy City". Near where we crossed the Shoshone River again, we spotted a buffalo at the side of the road, which follows the river through a canyon. The slopes are pine-clad, whilst sagebrush and wild flowers abound in the valley. We were making slow progress being in a line of cars behind a large Oklahoma motor home with a car hitched behind! It did pull over at the first opportunity to let everyone go by. Tall brown cliffs created sheer walls along the road for a while, then it became quite winding, flanked by tall trees on both sides. We made a brief stop to fill with gas, the last opportunity to do so for many miles.
 
Three and a half kilometers (2.2) later (at 2:00) we entered the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park, and shortly after we found a suitable place to pull over to the side for a rather late lunch! It was then a steep climb over a road which had been closed the previous day due to a blizzard. By the time we reach Sylvan Pass - 8,530 feet - there were three-foot high snow banks at the side of the road - more snow to melt and more water for the rivers!
 
Further along we could smell the sulphur from a boiling pool at the roadside. We caught a glimpse of Yellowstone Lake through the trees, and later, when the road followed the lake's edge, we stopped for some pictures. It was bitterly cold, waves were breaking on the pebbly shore and the gulls were all hunched up as they faced the wind whipping across the lake.
 
Pelicans were flying overhead at our next stop, Steamboat Point. As the waves dashed over the rocks, steam was escaping near the edge of the water, creating the sounds of a steamboat chugging along. We had a wonderful view across Yellowstone Lake to Mount Sheridan, El. 10,308 feet, near the south entrance to the park. Before passing over the Fishing Bridge, El. 7,792 feet, we saw buffalo grazing in an open area, steam rising out of the ground around them.
 
Racing against time a choice had to be made as to which route we would take when we reached the junction of the loop road! Since "Old Faithful" could hold us up for an hour or more, we decided to forgo seeing Yellowstone's best known attraction, and take the east loop which would be new to both of us. On reaching the junction we found many cars were pulled up haphazardly along the road and people with cameras were everywhere, a sure sign that some form of wildlife was nearby. We, too, stopped and Anna was excited to see and photograph a moose.
 
Leaving the junction (3:30) 358 km (222.5) we saw pelicans and ducks on the Yellowstone River near Le Hardy Rapids and the Mud Volcano Area, which included Dragon's Mouth, Black Dragon Caldron and Sulphur Caldron 370 km (229.9). We hiked along the boardwalk trail to view the different features of the area. A mother deer with her fawn attracted our attention as they darted through the trees.
 
We also learned that many of the dead trees were the result of their roots being burned from underground when soil temperatures increased following a number of earthquakes in 1978 and 1979. [One fellow hiker was commenting on the dead trees, so I explained what had happened, to which she lamented "How dreadful!" She seemed unable to grasp the idea that the trees were dead due to natural phenomena, and seemed to think that someone should have done something about it!]
 
We spent about twenty minutes at the 109 feet high Upper Falls 382 km (237.4) and another twenty minutes at Grandview Point 387 km (340.5). To reach the latter location we had to drive through Canyon Village where there were a number of buffalo right at the edge of the village. When we pulled up at Grandview a man remarked to us, "You're a long way from Queen's!" (Univesity in Ontraio where our children did their undergraduate degrees). This vantage point along the river does live up to its name, for, indeed, we did have a grand view of the Yellowstone Canyon.
 
Up until now Anna had done all the driving, but now we switched. The road reached an elevation of 7,918 feet 390 km (242.3) and we saw more snow when crossing Dunraven Pass, El. 8,859 feet, at 6:07 398.3 km (247.5). We drove through an area ravished by forest fires and stopped for a picture of Mt. Washburn, 10,243 feet. We had another twenty minute break at the 132 feet high Tower Falls on Tower Creek, which flows into the Yellowstone River.
 
We drove in to see the Petrified Tree but only looked at it from a distance. Apparently such petrified redwood trees may be found over hundreds of square miles in northern Yellowstone - the petrified tree stumps were buried by volcanic ash approximately 50 million years ago. Returning to the main road Anna noticed a coyote on the embankment above the road, but it had disappeared by the time we did an about turn for me to see it.
 
Mammoth Hot Springs (elev.6,329 feet) was to be the last point of interest for us within the park. We arrived there at 7:25 450.7 km (280.1), spent half an hour marvelling at this wonder of nature from the boardwalk, which gives visitors good access for viewing the Lower Terraces of the Springs area.
 
From here we headed north, crossing simultaneously the 45th parallel and the Montana border just before 8 o'clock 457 km (284.0), and exited Yellowstone National Park via the North Entrance 461 km (286.5) five minutes later. The elevation of each of the four entrances to Yellowstone is: East Entrance (from Cody, Wyoming) - 6,951 feet, South Entrance (from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming) - 6,886 feet, West Entrance, Idaho, - 6,667 feet; and North Entrance, Montana, 5,314 feet.
 
We stopped to take a picture of the Devil's Slide for Stu, crossed the Yellowstone River and arrived in Livingston (pop. 6,700 - El. 4,489 feet) before darkness fell - quite an achievement, considering all that we had seen and done! Available motel rooms here were more than the tour book indicated and just too expensive, the reason being a surcharge as there was a dog show in town! This really upset Anna, because she was not interested in any dog show!!
 
After making some phone calls we decided to drive on to Bozeman, a much bigger town. We took I-90 (US-191) through Bozeman Pass (5,750 feet), and arrived in Bozeman (pop. 22,700 - El. 4,755 feet) before 10 o'clock. We found a vacancy at the Bobcat Motel - a rather strange place, having been a townhouse development converted into a motel. Our room was on the third floor which could only be reached by an outside spiral metal staircase! We had a meal at Perkins, a chain restaurant, and called it a day, a very long day, and unfortunate we had to continue to Bozeman! "What a magnificent day!"

Day 13 - Friday June 25 - Bozeman, Montana, to Spring Coulee, Alberta

1993_06_25.jpg Waking up this morning somewhat later than usual (I can't imagine why!), it was after 9 o'clock by the time we were on the road, traveling west on I-90 through a wide valley, mountains on both sides. It was a beautiful view to the west with the mountain tops glistening white in the sunlight. An overhead electronic device for motorists to check their speedometers informed us that we were driving at 67 mph., whilst the car behind was doing 63 mph.!

Although somewhat interested in the vast river systems of America I had not traced the course of the Missouri to its beginnings, so was surprised when driving by Three Forks 48.3 km (30.0) to see a sign, "MISSOURI HEADWATERS STATE PARK". Shortly after this (9:33), we left I-90 for US-287 to Helena, Montana State capital.

The countryside was beautiful on this lovely sunny day with green wheat fields, yellow stubble, hills and mountains, field of potatoes, an irrigation channel through a field of rape seed and overhead irrigation pipes. Crossing the Missouri River 85.2 km (52.9) we realized that we were driving alongside the river, which was full to the brim!

We passed a small white cross at the side of the road and I remembered from my days on the prairies that a cross indicated that someone had been killed at that location! Near Townsend (pop. 1,600 - El. 3,813 feet) we noticed the Montana Ditch, also full of water. We again crossed a very full Missouri River with flooded backwaters and came to Canyon Ferry Lake, full to capacity! We continued to see white crosses, sometimes two side by side and some with flowers on them.
US-287, a continuous gradual rise from Townsend, is a fairly straight road, and because of the numerous white crosses, we decided it must be known as a "Killer Strip"! There were bends and crests, just little ones, not obvious, and it got to the point where we knew there would be a white cross! Anna said, "There's going to be one up here," as we approached a section where the road looked flat, but cars were disappearing out of sight, meaning there was a dip ahead. Guess what? Triple crosses, ⊤⊤⊤, and a bit further along, "There's a dip ahead", and behold when we got there - sure enough, a white cross!
 
With 17.7 km (11.0) to Helena we were traveling in a very wide and fertile valley and on approaching East Helena and Helena, they looked to be located in a bowl surrounded by mountains. We arrived in Helena (pop. 24,600 - El. 4,047 feet) soon after 10:30 150 km (93.2) and had no problem finding the State Capitol, where three quarters of an hour elapsed quickly. A lovely building, faced with Montana granite and topped by a dome of Montana copper, it contains the largest painting by the famous western artist, Charles M. Russell. The 12 feet by 25 feet painting,
 
"Lewis and Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians at Ross Hole",
 
hangs behind the speaker's chair in the Legislature. I was amazed that there were no security guards to prevent me from walking right up to the painting.
 
Leaving Helena, with 140.0 km (87) to cover before Great Falls, we decided I-15 would be the best route. Still following the Missouri River and dams, we could feel the steepness of the climb between Helena and Gates of the Mountain Recreation Reserve even with the cruise control. At 199 km (123.7) we went through a very interesting canyon area with a full Little Prickly Pear Creek, a train line which also went through a tunnel and another road passing below us!
 
Wild yuccas were in full bloom on the hillsides near Wolf Creek and the Big Belt Mountains to the south looked like vertical rocks. The next section of highway was most interesting in that the Interstate and the Missouri River both run through a canyon, the road crossing the river five times in ten kilometers - (6.2)! Between the first and second crossings sheer rock walls bordered the road. We pulled into a Rest Area, but it did not offer a good view for the pictures I wanted, so we went on. Two minutes later we were able to exit at Dearbourn 232.8 km (144.7) - between second and third crossings - and parked near the local store on the banks of the Missouri (12:09 to 12:51 ). Here we had a picnic lunch and I spent some time walking uphill along a dirt road to take pictures of the yuccas.
 
After a sixth crossing of the Missouri River, the river running a banker, the land became much flatter and we began to see some lovely wheat crops. We left I-15 to go into Great Falls (pop. 55,100 - El. 3,312 feet), crossing the river once more as we did so. We stopped at the Shamrock and Montana Jim's Casinos, intent on some more fun at the slot machines, but we could only find Keno (?) machines in bars so had to forego any further gambling!
 
We departed from Great Falls through a different part of the city, again crossing the river before entering I-15 to continue north. We stopped briefly in Vaughn for gas, and after returning to the highway, realized that we were traveling beneath Montana's.
 
"Big Sky" the land under cultivation (wheat) with the typical prairie strip farming as far as the eye can see, and the only sign of trees was near houses; tumble weed was caught in fences and in the distance mountains lined the whole western horizon.
 
Oil pumps dotted the land, right in the middle of fields of crops. We came to the Marias Valley and crossed the Marias River, which reminded me of the South Saskatchewan River near Ralston, Alberta. We left I-15 at Shelby (pop. 2,800 - El. 3,276 feet) where we changed drivers 448 km (278.4) (3:45) and took US-2 to Cut Bank. Although the country had not been totally flat before Shelby, it gradually became hillier as we drove towards the foothills of the Rockies. From Cut Bank we turned north on MT-213 where there was a signpost CANADA →
 
I wondered if a certain mountain that I could see was "Big Chief" - it was very exciting for me being in this area and going "home" to Alberta!
 
We saw more oil pumps in the middle of crops, some open range country, where there were no lines, hydro or telephone and no fences - just the wide open spaces and the "Big Sky" above. By now I was able to define Chief Mountain, a mountain which I knew was visible from my friend's place. MT-213 turned north and headed for the Canadian/US border which we reached at 5 o'clock 546.8 km (339.8). From here I phoned my friend, Beth, for directions, but only spoke to the hired hand!
 
From the border we took AB-62 north to Del Bonito, then turned onto AB-501 west. We saw lots of contented cattle in this area and there were prairie dogs alongside the road. Turning onto AB-820, a gravel road, north to Spring Coulee, there were a number of hawks perched on the fence posts along the way.
 
It had been too long since I had been to Beth's (1960) and I was unable to pick out the sideroad into the farm. Hence we finished up driving right into Spring Coulee, then doing an about turn. We arrived at the farm to find Beth and her husband, Les, doing farm chores, and I enjoyed being able to help feed the calves.
 
In the evening we all went to a sing-song being held by Les's L.D.S. (Mormon Church) group at St. Mary's Dam, a place I had also visited back in my Alberta days. We did not stay too long because there were a lot of mosquitoes around and it was also very cold. It was truly wonderful to see Beth again. She had been one of my house mates when I lived in Ralston and I left there on Christmas Eve in 1960 to return to Australia.

Day 14 - Saturday June 26 - Spring Coulee, Alberta

Left to our own devices, Beth and Les having to attend to their farm chores, we got our breakfast after we got up and had a lazy morning. It seemed strange not to be up and running!!
 
Later in the morning Beth drove us across the farm to the top of their ridge, the elevation of which is 4,000 feet, an elevation 300 feet higher than the farm and 1,000 feet above Lethbridge 40.2 km (25) to the north east.
 
From the ridge we had wonderful views all around us - Lethbridge, Spring Coulee, Cardston and, of course, The Rockies. We saw mule deer, hawks, cattle, and many varieties of wildflowers. We spent some time looking around in the grass for the stones forming tipi rings, indicating the area was once the location of an Indian camp.
 
Back at the farm, and following a late lunch, Anna sat outside reading whilst Beth and I talked and talked, catching up on our lives since we had last seen each other - a lot of catching up after thirty-two and a half years (almost to the day)!
 
I went out to the field with Beth when it was time to bring in the cows for milking. Their barn having been burned down and the new one still not ready, Les was doing all the milking by hand. The milk was used to bottle feed all the calves until they were old enough to be weaned and put out to pasture. I helped Beth do this, as I had done the previous evening.
 
After a late supper I showed Beth and Les the two albums I had with me of last year's trip. It was after 9:30 when I took my last picture, a sunset (not as spectacular as I had hoped), and after this it was time for bed. The next morning comes around very early on a farm.

Day 15 - Sunday June 27 - Spring Coulee, Alberta, to Greenwood, British Columbia

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We got up, showered and packed the car, by which time Beth was able to take a break from her morning chores. She came in to make breakfast for us (blueberry, sourdough pancakes) before we set out on the last leg of our trip. We had decided not to return to The States, even though this meant our missing Glacier National Park and the drive over Logan Pass (a big disappointment for me). Instead we would take the most southerly Canadian route going through Crowsnest Pass. We could now be in Vancouver in two days by going this way rather than the three days I had allowed for this section of the trip, a prospect which was very enticing to Anna, who was quite anxious to be home, having been away for over five weeks.
 
Whilst Beth prepared the pancakes, my questions about her Mormon connection elicited some most interesting information about her grandparents and I decide to write down some of the details.


"Her maternal grandmother was born in England the day Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Lisa, was married, that is on 21st. September, 1860. Her father was in the royal procession. She was 96 years old when she died in 1956.

Emigrating from England, the Mormons travelled down in the steerage of sailing ships, and as a child, Beth's grandmother remembered hearing the sailors say, "You Mormons are never going to see Zion." She also remembered people getting sick and when they died their bodies were simply thrown overboard.

Once in America, and having travelled by train as far as it went at that time, she walked across the plains. She had her ninth birthday before reaching Salt Lake City.

She met Beth's grandfather in Salt Lake City, where they were neighbours. They all had orchards and he let her go into his orchard to pick a peach......

She had four children and was expecting a fifth when Beth's grandfather decided to move to Canada - a trip which took three months. The two year old wanted to hold the reins......"

Breakfast over, it was time for us to leave and for Beth to return to her chores. Leaving the farm at 8:50 , we drove into Spring Coulee, where we took AB-5 to Cardston. We had enjoyed our stay at the farm and commented on one of Les's favourite remarks, "a coon's age", a new saying for us!
 
We stopped for pictures of Chief Mountain just before crossing the St. Mary's River and entering the Blood Indian reserve. On arriving in Cardston Anna asked, "Are the streets wide enough?" The streets were very wide, and her question reminded me of a paragraph in A.Y. Jackson's autobiography and his first painting trip out west! From here we took AB-2 to Fort Macleod, where I noticed a street called ANNORA BROWN STREET, named after a local artist and author of "Old Man's Garden". I met Annora Brown in January 1960, and had kept in touch with her for a number of years. Her father had arrived in Fort Macleod as a member of the Northwest Mounted Police.
 
Just west of town we turned north, crossed the Oldman River and turned on to AB-785. We were taking Beth's advice and going to see "Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump", a World Heritage Site. An excellent place to visit, we spent over two hours here. We were very impressed with the architecture of this site, in that it was so well done, the museum blends into the hillside and is not a scar on the landscape. We had our lunch in the cafe, enjoying buffalo burgers and Indian bread.
 
Leaving Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump shortly after 12:30 we continued along route 785, now a gravel road, again crossed the Oldman River, and linked up with Hwy. 3 ten kilometers east of Pincher Creek (also one of my old stomping grounds). Near here we noticed all kinds of wind "things" with a large sign for Alberta Renewable Energy Test Site.** By now it was well into the afternoon and we needed to clock many kilometers before nightfall, so any stops we made needed to be brief. We spent a few minutes at Lundbreck Falls, but did not stop again for some time, even though it would have been interesting to do so.
 
The municipality of Crowsnest Pass is an amalgamation of the former coal mining towns of Bellevue, Blairmore, Coleman, Frank and Hillcrest. Driving through Frank, the results of the slide there are still quite visible. 90 million tons of limestone slid off Turtle Mountain before dawn on April 29, 1903, and swept over the valley below burying part of the town of Frank.
 
After Coleman we saw the first of a number of road closure gates, then, before crossing the Crowsnest River there was a sign regarding volcanic rock. On the opposite side of the road from Crowsnest Lake there was a waterfall in a cave in the cliff face. At 2:13 220.4 km (137.0) we crossed the Alberta/B.C. border. The hills on the north side of the road were scarred from mining, evidence of which we saw throughout the remainder of the day. At Hosmer we crossed a beautiful and fast-flowing mountain river, the Elk River. On reaching Fernie (pop. 5,300 - El. 3,303 feet) we stopped for gas, noting that from here Cranbrook was 101 kilometers (62.8) ahead, Creston 212 km (131.7).
 
Although we were not stopping anywhere the following is a synopsis of what we saw on route. The road, following a river valley, but somewhat above river level with shear rock cliffs on our right, went through a small tunnel; a road sign - "Follow Scenic Route 3, the shortest route to the coast" and I thought to myself that it would not be nearly as far if you were a crow!); thousands of daisies alongside the road; Jaffray - a wide mountain valley, more like a basin in the mountains with lots of wildflowers, including lupines, daisies and unknown yellow flowers, and open areas a carpet of blue lupines; crossed the Kootenay River, cattle grazing on the green river flats against a backdrop of a mountain of many colors.
 
We reached Cranbrook (pop. 16,400 - El. 2,985 feet) at 3:47 369 km (229.3), and although it would have been interesting to visit the Railway Museum and see the luxury train built in 1929, we decided to press on. West of Cranbrook we noticed little piles of hay and a man picking it up with a pitchfork!
 
To continue with the synopsis:- looking down on Moyie Lake, a train line ran alongside the lake; Indian paintbrush was in flower everywhere; we crossed the Moyie River; at 4:27 411.6 km (255.8) we entered a new Time Zone (Pacific Time), so it was 3:30 when we crossed the Moyie River again (actually for the third time); there were waterfalls and water seeping out of the rock walls by the side of the road; we saw a private herd of buffalo at Yahk; as we drove we were also aware that the road was continuously descending into valleys or climbing out of them; at Erickson fruit stands started to appear, this being the start of the fruit growing area around Creston (pop. 4,200 - El. 2,086 feet) where we stopped to buy some cherries.


From Canadian Geographic March/April 1994

"The spiky silhouettes of oil derricks have long been a fixture in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Now a new breed of structure is rising against that majestic Alberta skyline, designed to tap a different source of natural energy. A phalanx of 25 new windmills, each as tall as an eight-storey building, stands on a high ridge near Pincher Creek, in southwestern Alberta. Gusts blowing off the mountains make Cowley Ridge one of the windiest places in the country and, now, a showcase for wind power generation in Canada. The Cowley Ridge Windplant, or "wind farm," was completed last December......"

Upon leaving Creston we were in a wide valley, 84 km (52.2) to Salmo; sign:- watch for rock and wildlife; crossed the Kootenay River (again); long bridge over marsh and swamp, and after this the highway entered a narrow valley with high rock cliffs; an interesting sign indicated that it was 100 kilometers (62.1) to Nelson, to Trail or to Castlegar, the road branching off in different directions at different points, but from here the distance to each was the same!
 
A deer with two fawns darted into the trees at the side of the road; as the road started to climb there was a "chain-up area"; we could see snow high on the mountains; at 4:48 511.8 km (318.0) we reached the summit, 5,819 feet, of Kootenay Pass, after which there was an 8% grade down with many truck "Run-Away" lanes; saw more deer on the roadside; reached Salmo at 5:10 ; a bear ran across the road in front of us; Sign:- "Truck Run-Off crosses your lane!"; another long steep climb (we are either going up and down or switching back and forth or doing all at the same time!); Bombi Summit, 3,982 feet, at 5:26 , then down, 8% grade, the hillsides covered with blue lupines and red Indian paintbrush.
 
We stopped for a few minutes at the Overlook above Castlegar, located at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. Highway 3 crosses a large bridge over the Columbia River in the bottom of the valley. We passed several sets of road closure gates; a profusion of fireweed was flowering at the roadside; Bonanza Pass, 5,035 feet, at 6:17 - descent of 8% grade; noticed wire netting down the cliff face to hold back falling rocks! We paused briefly for a picture of the Poulsen Bridge - thought it impressive that there are even roads in this area; more road closure gates; Nancy Green Summit, 5,169 feet, at 6:30 ; view of Christina Lake soon after start of decent; at the bottom the valley started to open up; saw a fox slinking off into the woods; very fertile valley around Grand Forks (6:57 ), then another climb! By this point we were both getting tired, but were determined to push on for a while, having Vancouver in our sights as the next day's destination!
 
We passed an alpine meadow, white with daisies and an old log house nearby. Upon reaching Greenwood, "B.C.'s smallest city," and once a thriving mining town, at 7:20 we saw an attractive motel with a vacancy and decided to call it a day and not go any further. We unpacked, freshened up then went for dinner at the historic Greenwood Inn, it having been recommended by the motel proprietor.

Day - 16: Monday June 28 - Greenwood to Vancouver, British Columbia

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Tails up, noses to the ground! - We were going "home."
 
We left the Greenwood Motel at 7:15 , spent a few minutes to take pictures of some of the historic buildings, then were on our way. Again, we did not make many stops, but enjoyed the drive and kept a record of the sights along the way.
 
The town of Midway was quite spread out in a wide valley, where we saw two logging trucks, a common sight in British Columbia. After crossing the Kettle River the road ran alongside the river, and before rising out of the valley we drove through Rock Creek, passing the junction of BC-33 to Kelowna. It was a magnificent view looking back and down on Kettle Valley, and a brief stop by a hairpin bend made it possible to take pictures of the valley in both directions. We passed a deer and saw another logging truck. Logging had been so extensive that the hills were completely bare, but now, were being used for farming. Before the village of Bridesville, where there were a lot of wildflowers, the Rock Creek Canyon bridge carried us over a very deep canyon.
 
Anachrist Summit, 4,044 feet, was reached at 8:05 53.5 km (33.2), then followed a steep descent of varying grades for some fourteen or so kilometers (8.7). Long before nearing Osoyoos we had some beautiful views overlooking the valley and Osoyoos Lake, and eventually, we came to a section of the road which zig-zagged its way down the mountain side to the lake on the Okanagan River. We paused briefly by the replica of an 1816 Dutch windmill in Osoyoos (pop. 3,400 - El. 928 feet). The Spanish style architecture was adopted for the houses because of the area's similarity to Spain in climate and terrain. Fruit stands were abundant and the main street was quite picturesque with all its hanging baskets.
 
On the outskirts of the town a sign informed us that Vancouver was 406 kilometers (252.3), and this being the case we noted that our speedometer reading should be 486.9 in Vancouver! Sprinklers were watering vineyards and we thought it a beautiful, beautiful area. The road climbed as it left the Okanagan River Valley and we observed sagebrush growing on the hillsides! We passed Spotted Lake, the surface of which appeared to be covered with circles ..("caused by a heavy concentration of minerals including evaporated copper, silver, gold, sulphate and epsom salts").
 
By 9 o'clock we were descending into another fruit-growing valley, which included vineyards and espaliered fruit trees. The road turned north along the Similkameen River. We crossed Richter Pass, 2,237 feet, before the wineries and fruit stands of Cawston.
 
We spent almost fifteen minutes in Keremeos, where we bought gas at the West Wind Cafe and gas station - aptly named as it was very windy, and whilst I was pumping gas I thought I would be blown away! I was rather taken with a quote amidst the graffiti on the washroom wall there:- "Life is what happens while you are making other plans!"
 
After leaving Keremeos we noticed a sign for the world famous Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. There seemed to be many rock slides on the mountains and at one point we were driving at the base of a talus slope. Still following the course of the Similkameen River, we crossed it many times. The sun disappeared around 9:45 , but the beauty of the country through which we traveled could still be appreciated. I thought this valley through the mountains quite extraordinary.
 
Not only had we lost the sun, but light rain began to fall and this became heavier by the time we reached Princeton, where the hillsides were yellow with flowers. Western yellow ponderosa made up the bulk of the pine forests. We crossed a deep canyon, went round a hairpin bend, saw some road closure gates and passed two cyclists on the long steep climb into Manning Provincial Park. Both were fully loaded, and we could imagine what a difficult climb it was for them, as we ourselves were traveling in second gear!
 
We crossed Saturday Creek and North Fork Sunday Creek before arriving at Sunday Summit, 4,205 feet, where white and deep blue lupines and red paintbrush were all in flower. For the steep downgrade trucks were warned to use their lowest gear. Of course, when we got to the bottom, we started up again! The river passed through a canyon whilst the road went up and over the cliff.
 
We arrived at the East Entrance of Manning Park, Vancouver still nearly 240 kilometers (149.1) in front of us, at 10:50 245 km (152.2). We drove through dense forests, passed road closure gates, crossed the Similkameen River several times and climbed to 4,435 feet, at Allison Pass Summit. The descent took us through a forest of fir and cedar trees and a carpet of multi-coloured wildflowers on the embankment. We crossed the Skagit River numerous times. The clouds, hanging low in the valley, reminded me of my trip to Hell's Gate in 1958 when I first arrived in Canada. The trees were draped with Spanish moss and daisies grew everywhere. We saw a deer before exiting the West Entrance of Manning Park at 11:32 301.7 km (187.5).
 
Within minutes the mountains gave way to Sunshine Valley, the broad flat valley of the Sumallo River. Unfortunately, there was not much sunshine and the mountain tops were still cloud covered when we pulled into the Hope Slide Viewpoint 308.8 km (191.9). The collapse of the side of Johnson Peak on the 9th, January, 1965, buried the highway (BC-3) under 148 feet of rubble. Sixty million cubic yards of natural rock and debris spilled into Nicolum Creek below as a result of the enormous landslide which was caused by a relatively minor earthquake.
 
Continuing on we noticed a road closure gate for the "up" traffic only. I assumed that there was little or no likelihood of the road being closed between here and Vancouver. Next we came to the junction of our highway with the Coquihalla Freeway, but we soon exited to go into Hope (pop. 3,100 -El. 131 feet), the entrance to the Fraser River Valley. I took some pictures of Hope's newest attraction, namely wood carvings done by local chainsaw carver, Pete Ryan. We had a restaurant lunch before returning to the freeway, by which time it was 1:13 and we had clocked 330 kilometers (205.1 mile).
 
Passing the turnoff for Agassiz, Anna told me that the ticket she had bought before coming to Mississauga, was for a Midnight Oil concert at Agassiz later in the summer. Nearing Chilliwack the valley widened as the mountains receded, and the countryside became quite flat. We saw much hay, rolled in white plastic bags, and large herds of cows. I decided that we had really come down in the world when we reached Chilliwack (pop. 40,600), its elevation being only 33 feet!! Many varieties of crops were growing in the area, and I also recognized from a National Geographic picture taken in Yakima, Washington, hops growing on a trellis.
 
Abbotsford is part of the Fraser Valley Regional District and here I noticed the signpost for Sumas, U.S.A. I remembered crossing the border into Canada from Sumas in 1958, prior to going up the Fraser Canyon to Hell's gate. By now, the country was becoming more densely populated. Whilst stopped for roadwork at Langley a motor cyclist went ahead between the cars, reminding me of Australia where people on motor bikes do this all the time! I couldn't recall having seen this done in Canada previously. Due to the roadwork we were either progressing at a slow crawl or were stopped, all traffic being merged into one lane for no apparent reason!
 
We made a ten minute detour off the highway to buy some fresh raspberries. Anna reminisced about the raspberries growing along Gram's side fence - when she and Stu went inside from picking raspberries Gram asked, "Where are they?" - the answer, "We ate them all!"
 
After Surrey we crossed the Fraser River, drove through Burnaby and left the freeway at Grandview Avenue, where we entered Vancouver (2:52 ), 472.8 km (293.8). We passed the Vancouver City Hall and arrived at Anna's, at 3:15 , the speedometer reading being 483.8, not far off the 486.9 we had said it should be when we left Osoyoos.
 
Anna was really excited to be home and in just over half an hour we had the car completely unpacked. BUT you should have seen Anna's apartment! It looked as if a cyclone had hit it and it was hard to believe the "heap" could possibly have all fitted in our little car!
 
When we first arrived Anna's friend, Michelle. was still in the process of moving out of the apartment! She had a message for Anna, however, to phone St. Paul's Hospital, and when she did so it was for her to go to work the very next day. In the late afternoon we went out to do some shopping for a few staple supplies. Otherwise the remainder of the day was used to put things away, trying to get some semblance of order.
 

Trip Total - 7,232.1 km (4,493.8 miles)
 
Anna - 4,586.4 km (2,849.9 miles)
Mum - 2,645.7 km (1,644.0 miles)
 
 


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