Scenes from Western Canada

In September of 2005, my friend Marie and I took a trip using my van from Grande Prairie, Alberta, to Salmon Arm, British Columbia. This trip goes through the Rocky Mountains and the scenery is spectacular. I took 500+ pictures with my Panasonic DMC-FZ20 5Mp camera and here are 47 of them. The originals are 2048x1536 and these 45 have been made much smaller.

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If you want all the details of the trip, here are my notes:

We headed down Highway 40 to Grande Cache. The weather was lousy. Wet. From Grande Cache we continued south to Highway 16 where we turned west to Jasper. We saw no big game other than the usual few Bighorn Sheep. LOTS of Japanese tourists, as usual. Busloads of them. From Jasper we turned south to Lake Louise and decided to spend the night there. We checked around for a "reasonable" room rate and the best we could do was C$140 plus tax for a total of C$155.40 which gave us a very nice room with no facilities of any kind; not even a phone, so that we could sleep on a couple of very well-used beds. That is not to suggest there were signs of use or wear. Everything was very clean and new-looking. This was at the Mountaineer Lodge: http://www.mountaineerlodge.com. I did take some pictures but most were pictures of rain. Not too exciting. It was interesting to feed a huge raven by hand at one viewpoint.

In the morning we had our own breakfast in the room and left. The parking lot, surprisingly, was full. More rain. The scenery would have been spectacular but for the low clouds and rain. We even had snow along the road in a few spots. We headed west toward Revelstoke and arrived a day early in Salmon Arm. We continued on to Kamloops to have a short visit friends and relatives. Had a good visit and then found a motel to spend our second night on the road. This one had WIFI so I was able to get online and get my email. Unfortunately, I was not able to SEND my mail. Before being able to log on to their WIFI, I had to confuse the desk clerk by asking him for the "access code" which he found for me. It was "kings2800." This was the Kings Motor Inn ( http://kings.kamloops.com ) and with a microwave, fridge, phone, (free local calls) pool and WIFI, the total charge with tax was only C$67.86. Then we made our way out of that "visitor-unfriendly" town (in terms of traffic flow etc) and went back to Salmon Arm. Marie's sister Julie and Guy came to Salmon Arm to pick up Marie. I got a cable so that I could plug my laptop into my sister Connie's "non-wireless" router. I was able to get online with the new cable but still was not able to send my email.

Later I learned from my son Dave, in Arizona, how to use Connie's ISP by changing my server smtp address. Then I was able to send email.

Sunday: Bill and I got an early start and took off in his beautiful new red 4x4 pickup and his quad. We went far into the hills on old logging trails. We got very high and in places the drop down on one side of the road seemed like miles. We saw only one other vehicles; hunters with a fine muledeer buck. When we got to the other end of the long road, a very heavy steel gate stopped us and we could not get off that logging road. The pavement was within a few feet and here we sat. Natives had erected the gate and it was locked. Others had managed to go around it but that was a poor option. Bill did it anyway but his truck was at such a slant that the rear end of the side panel scraped the steel gate post and damaged it. We were not pleased. There was a bridge there but we could not cross; the natives had burned off one end of it. So a ferry had been installed a half mile away and we crossed on it. We checked every creek we that had even the remotest chance of gold but we did not see a single color. There was black sand. Scotch Creek was reputed to produce gold but we must have been in the wrong part of it. All day we saw no game other than one coyote. We were tired and went to bed shortly after 8 PM. We did bring home some black sand.

Tuesday: Bill and I prospected again on Scotch and other creeks but had no luck at all. We did note a phone number on a sign telling of a claim for sale so we did phone and were told it belongs to http://www.canadiangoldprospectors.com/ which sells memberships for C$175.

Wednesday: Connie and I spent all day getting her computer set up.

Thursday: Connie and I went to Kelowna. On the way back we stopped by Steve's place and he showed us the 5 Black Widow Spiders he had caught around his house. Then we picked up Marie at Guy & Julie's fantastic new house in Vernon and then went home.

Friday: Marie and I got a fairly early start on the way home. We stopped often to take pictures and stopped for the night at Sunwapta Falls Resort where the charge was, with tax, C$87.69, To access the internet, I had to enter "Router 1" and the code which was 1234567890. I could not *send* email so on our way down to the 8:30 dinner we discussed this with the desk clerk. She was confused so I looked at the settings in her Outlook Express and found the server address for me. I emptied the camera; this day I had taken 223 pictures. But, after supper I was not able to get online at all. Supper put us back as much as the room did. At the front desk we found that a connection was much better. I suggested that the room (33) was OK but getting to the room was like a scene from a bad Hollywood movie. On the way home we saw two wolves and one bull elk. Took a lot more pictures and got home mid-afternoon.

That's it, folks!

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