Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday and Tuesday

We started Monday, the 9th, at the Toyota dealer in Missoula, having put 5000 miles on the Prius since Barstow, then did some blogging before driving north on US Route 93 through the Flathead Valley.  Western Montana is beautiful ... we're beginning to feel like we know it reasonably well.
Mission Mountain Range from the Flathead Valley
 On this run, we repeated some of our drive to Glacier National Park five years ago.  We drove up the west side of Flathead Lake to Kalispell.  Instead of turning toward West Glacier at Kalispell, we continued north to the border crossing at Eureka, then on to Cranbrook, B.C. on a road the Canadians cleverly call Route 93.  I guess we never got into Cranbrook itself, so the most notable discovery there was Mr. Mike's, a very pleasant franchise restaurant found in British Columbia and Alberta.

Tuesday morning, we were back on Route 93.  The road goes north through the Kootenay National Park, a delicious appetizer for Jasper and Banff.  We went through forests and climbed passes as we got deeper into the western Canadian Rockies.  Along the way, we found the Kootenay Park Lodge - a comfortable old place for lunch.
The Lodge
View from the Lodge
In early afternoon we entered Banff National Park not far from Lake Louise and turned northwest on Icefields Parkway (Route 93) and drove its length to Jasper.
Along the Way to Jasper
We found a car stopped in front of us on the side of the road and so we stopped, too, for an elk with a magnificent set of antlers.
Wildlife Photography - Don't Get too Close!

Elk Upright

We continued out of Jasper National Park through the Athabasca Valley to Hinton where we stayed in preparation for tenting the next five nights.