Jasper, AB in Pictures

September 10, 2010 We've posted about Jasper, Alberta, one of our favourite places in the world, back in August 2008. You can check out those posts by clicking here and here and here and here and here and here and here, where you can see much more of Jasper (in much better weather) than you'll see in this post.

We were on the move and only had time for a one night stay and a few drive by snapshots this time.

We stayed inside Jasper National Park at Whistler's Campground, one of two big rig campgrounds.

-P

Broad Cove, Cape Breton

August 13-15, 2010 Broad Cove, Cape Breton, NS

One of few campgrounds with full services for large RVs in Cape Breton, the Broad Cove Campground also offers a great beach just a short walk from the campsite.

We plopped down just before sunset to take in the hush of the tide, and an impromptu rock game.

Jay made his mark in the reddish granite sand:

A calm evening welcomed us on our first night in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

-P

Up the Canal

August 11-12, 2010 St. Peter's, Cape Breton, NS

Battery Provincial Park

After Deb and I drove around in circles, we chose a seascape and a site large enough for both busses.

All five of us took a morning walk to St. Peter's Canal, just outside the campground, and arrived in time to see the canal in action.

The bridge our busses crossed to turn into Battery Provincial Park is high enough for small vessels, like Reel Happy from Antigonish, NS.

The bridge swings open ...

... to accommodate the biggies. A park employee mans the controls on top of the bridge.

Three boats arrived close together. They're corralled behind a lock until everyone's ready to go.

Her sailboat secured by bow and aft lines, a sailor from Donegal chats with Jay.

Aphrodite from the BVIs waits her turn:

The final lock opens.

Everyone's free.

The 800 metre canal links Bras d'Or Lake to the Atlantic Ocean. St. Peter's Canal is a National Historic Site and the only functioning lock system in Nova Scotia.

-P

Acadia Photos

July 23, 2010 We drove the Acadia Park Loop Road.

Sand Beach: a crescent beach between granite mountains.

Jay (in the white tee) rock-hopped while we waited for Thunder Hole to thunder. It didn't quite thunder, but it grumbled.

Gardner and Jay take in Jordan Pond.

After a lunch of seafood and popovers at the Jordan Pond House restaurant, the boys gathered more dessert: wild blueberries.

Views from the peak of Mount Desert Island:

Bar Harbor from afar:

-P

Tenerife, Canary Islands: Part 2

April 18, 2010 Las Canadas National Park.

A caldera, the 2nd largest in the world behind Yellowstone, makes up much of the park.

"Star Wars" and "Clash of the Titans" scenes were filmed here.

Back in the cloud we drove through a stretch of forest damaged by a recent windstorm

Out of the cloud we steeply descend into La Villa de La Orotava, a wealthy cultural city with narrow streets lined by many a church and bright buildings with balconies, shuttered windows and terracotta tile roofs.

As steep as San Francisco...

A rich finish of ornately carved wood balconies and window frames:

Our last stop: La Casa de los Balcones built in 1632 now houses souvenir shops and caged canaries. We bought local pistachios which are smaller, less salty and have a smokier flavour than those we buy elsewhere.

Back on the boat we watched the fueling boat top up the ship. Then the pilot boat trailed, sidled up and the pilot lept off. Passengers applauded from their balconies and he waved like a celebrity until he was out of sight.

We left the dark clouds behind for two more "at sea" days.

-P

Jackson, WY

September 13-22, 2009 Elk antler arches in Jackson:

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Jackson is best known for its scenery, wildlife, skiing, fresh-faced and long-haired residents, and close proximity to Grand Teton, but the town Jackalope is hard to miss:

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Our stay coincided with the Jackson Hole Art Festival:

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We met Erik, Caroline and wee Nicole from Norway and thoroughly enjoyed a few campfires and outings with them.

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They camped next to us in Wilson Road Campground, as did a carpenter - in his 20' sailboat.

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A nature walk with Mathieu Ricard in Grand Teton National Park rounded out the Jackson experience. He is a Buddhist monk based in Nepal, the French translator for the Dalai Lama and researcher of the scientific benefits of happiness. He spoke of compassion and how we can use Nature's beauty to inspire inner beauty and cultivate respect for the environment and others.

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-P

Jackson, WY

September 13-22, 2009 Elk antler arches in Jackson:

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Jackson is best known for its scenery, wildlife, skiing, fresh-faced and long-haired residents, and close proximity to Grand Teton, but the town Jackalope is hard to miss:

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Our stay coincided with the Jackson Hole Art Festival:

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We met Erik, Caroline and wee Nicole from Norway and thoroughly enjoyed a few campfires and outings with them.

L1020833

They camped next to us in Wilson Road Campground, as did a carpenter - in his 20' sailboat.

L1020830

A nature walk with Mathieu Ricard in Grand Teton National Park rounded out the Jackson experience. He is a Buddhist monk based in Nepal, the French translator for the Dalai Lama and researcher of the scientific benefits of happiness. He spoke of compassion and how we can use Nature's beauty to inspire inner beauty and cultivate respect for the environment and others.

L1020848

-P

Geysers Galore

September 13, 2009 Apparently, 300-500 geysers gush in Yellowstone National Park.

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Old Faithful is the most famous and the first to be named in the park back in 1870. Apparently, Old Faithful was used as a laundry in the 1880s, even though the force of the eruptions sometimes damaged the cotton and linen garments that were flung into the crater for cleaning.

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Most geysers smell of sulfur - free rotten egg scented saunas.

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Castle Geyser surges longer than Old Faithful, about 20 minutes followed by 40 minutes of roaring steam. It's plume towers 90 feet high.

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Geyser basin trails wind by springs that boil, steam, spit and spout water high in the air.

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Yellowstone is the largest active geyser field in the world.

-P

Geysers Galore

September 13, 2009 Apparently, 300-500 geysers gush in Yellowstone National Park.

L1020617

Old Faithful is the most famous and the first to be named in the park back in 1870. Apparently, Old Faithful was used as a laundry in the 1880s, even though the force of the eruptions sometimes damaged the cotton and linen garments that were flung into the crater for cleaning.

L1020767

Most geysers smell of sulfur - free rotten egg scented saunas.

L1020781

Castle Geyser surges longer than Old Faithful, about 20 minutes followed by 40 minutes of roaring steam. It's plume towers 90 feet high.

L1020786

Geyser basin trails wind by springs that boil, steam, spit and spout water high in the air.

L1020809

Yellowstone is the largest active geyser field in the world.

-P

Yellowstone Jewels

September 10-13, 2009 Yellowstone National Park, WY

The force and spectacle of gushing geysers impress, but the jewel-toned hot springs of Yellowstone awed me more.

Sometimes they bubble or boil:

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Sometimes they don't:

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Sometimes they steam:

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Sometimes they are crystal clear:

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Sometimes they seem bottomless:

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Sometimes they're two- or tri-toned:

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Sometimes they run off in neon rivulets:

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Sometimes their vapor hangs:

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Sometimes they're small:

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Sometimes they're named Artist Paintpots:

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Sometimes they're multi-textured:

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And sometimes they're just awesome:

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-P

Yellowstone Jewels

September 10-13, 2009 Yellowstone National Park, WY

The force and spectacle of gushing geysers impress, but the jewel-toned hot springs of Yellowstone awed me more.

Sometimes they bubble or boil:

L1020687

Sometimes they don't:

L1020697

Sometimes they steam:

L1020717

Sometimes they are crystal clear:

L1020719

Sometimes they seem bottomless:

L1020722

Sometimes they're two- or tri-toned:

L1020728

Sometimes they run off in neon rivulets:

L1020734

Sometimes their vapor hangs:

L1020740

Sometimes they're small:

L1020754

Sometimes they're named Artist Paintpots:

L1020757

Sometimes they're multi-textured:

L1020796

And sometimes they're just awesome:

L1020815

-P

Kolob Canyon, Zion NP

August 20, 2009 Kolob Canyon is an adjunct to Zion National Park more than 30 miles from the main park. In our opinion, it's the prettier picture, even when forest fires cloud the dark pink canyon walls.

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A 1 mile hike to Timber Creek Canyon and awesome panoramas:

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A couple confident creatures entertained us with their poses along the trail.

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A collared lizard:

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When in Zion, Kolob Canyon is a must see.

Peace

-P

Kolob Canyon, Zion NP

August 20, 2009 Kolob Canyon is an adjunct to Zion National Park more than 30 miles from the main park. In our opinion, it's the prettier picture, even when forest fires cloud the dark pink canyon walls.

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A 1 mile hike to Timber Creek Canyon and awesome panoramas:

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L1020368

A couple confident creatures entertained us with their poses along the trail.

L1020374

A collared lizard:

L1020391

When in Zion, Kolob Canyon is a must see.

Peace

-P

Tunnel Vision Zion Style

August 15, 2009 Since we arrived at Zion National Park, Utah via the East Entrance, we needed a special pass to go through the Long Tunnel.

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"Vehicles sized 7'10'' in width or 11'4'' in height, or larger, are required to have an ''escort'' (traffic control) through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Vehicles this size are too large to stay in their lane while traveling through the tunnel. Nearly all RV's, buses, trailers, 5th wheels, and some camper shells will require an escort."

The "escort" fee is $15, but the drive is escort-less, 1.1 miles of dark and little forgiveness. The bus is about 12'8" tall. The max height allowed is 13'1". Inches either way = damage. We straddled the centre line and crept through the mountain.

-P

P.S. - The South Entrance offers no such excitement.

Tunnel Vision Zion Style

August 15, 2009 Since we arrived at Zion National Park, Utah via the East Entrance, we needed a special pass to go through the Long Tunnel.

L1020322

"Vehicles sized 7'10'' in width or 11'4'' in height, or larger, are required to have an ''escort'' (traffic control) through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Vehicles this size are too large to stay in their lane while traveling through the tunnel. Nearly all RV's, buses, trailers, 5th wheels, and some camper shells will require an escort."

The "escort" fee is $15, but the drive is escort-less, 1.1 miles of dark and little forgiveness. The bus is about 12'8" tall. The max height allowed is 13'1". Inches either way = damage. We straddled the centre line and crept through the mountain.

-P

P.S. - The South Entrance offers no such excitement.

Bryce, Twice

August 13, 2009 The park shuttle only covers half the park so we explored the scenic road by Jeep.

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Ponderosa Canyon resident raven - rather tame and photogenic.

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Agua Canyon:

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Natural Bridge - technically an arch. "A natural bridge is a type of natural arch where a current of water, such as a stream, clearly was a major agent in the formation of the opening (hole)." So says the Natural Arch and Bridge Society.

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Yovimpa Point, just before it rained:

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August 14, 2009

A short hike to Moss Cave ...

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... and adjacent waterfall - something rare in the area. Natural "windows" in the upper right corner.

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Up next: Zion National Park.

-P

Bryce, Twice

August 13, 2009 The park shuttle only covers half the park so we explored the scenic road by Jeep.

L1020168

Ponderosa Canyon resident raven - rather tame and photogenic.

L1020180

Agua Canyon:

L1020183

Natural Bridge - technically an arch. "A natural bridge is a type of natural arch where a current of water, such as a stream, clearly was a major agent in the formation of the opening (hole)." So says the Natural Arch and Bridge Society.

L1020187

Yovimpa Point, just before it rained:

L1020211

August 14, 2009

A short hike to Moss Cave ...

L1020238

... and adjacent waterfall - something rare in the area. Natural "windows" in the upper right corner.

L1020235

Up next: Zion National Park.

-P

Bryce is Nice

August 9-15, 2009 Our first introduction to Bryce Canyon came in the form of a massive ampitheatre of orange and white spires and fins. Something like this (remember, you're seeing a paler version of the photo):

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Paiute Indian legend says "Before there were any Indians, the Legend People, To-when-an-ung-wa, lived in that place. There were many of them. They were of many kinds--birds, animals, lizards and such things--but they looked like people ... . For some reason, the Legend People in that place were bad. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now; all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding on to others. You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks ..."

The 3.2 mile combo of the Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop trails is advertised as the "Best Hike in the World".

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Lloyd posted a gallery that you shouldn't miss out on. By the way, the garden is so named for a rock formation in the uncanny form of the queen on her throne.

A switchback climb:

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Thor's Hammer:

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Back on top:

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More Bryce Canyon National Park vistas:

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A forest fire or two made for hazy horizons.

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A little sunlight illuminates an ampitheatre:

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There are plenty of hikes and hikers in Bryce. Some trails call for getting your feet wet. Check these out these Five Fingers Foot Shoe:

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We stayed at Ruby's campground, just a 1/2 mile outside of the park. Free shuttles made getting around easy; they run every 6-10 minutes and late into the evening. Anyway, the best part about the campground was the wildlife. On the first day we tallied 3 chipmunks, 4 deer, many scolding Steller's jays and 9 pronghorn - all from our campsite!

-P