Monthly Archives: August 2013

Trip Seven, August 27-29, The Sarahs’ Wedding and the UP

Blue heron in one of the Cuyahoga National Park wetlands

Blue heron in one of the Cuyahoga National Park wetlands


Gaithersburg, MD Thursday August 29

Well obviously we made it to Gaithersburg. We spent the last two nights in Akron Ohio at the home of my cousin Colly Tigelman and her husband Bob. We could not have had a better experience. It has been some time since Colly and I got together. So, we had a lot of catching up to do.

Water lily in wetlands in Cuyahoga National Park

Water lily in wetlands in Cuyahoga National Park


Despite the time apart, we meshed immediately. Hard not to do with two very nice people. Besides conversation and meals, we particularly enjoyed hearing about their trips to Europe.

Walking the ledges in Cuyahoga National Park

Walking the ledges in Cuyahoga National Park


On Wednesday, Bob and Colly gave us a tour of Akron. Akron you may recall was for many years the home of tire manufacturing in the US, but that is now a past chapter in its history. Akron is in Summit County, so named due to its being the highest point on the old Ohio and Erie Canal.

Ledges Trail Cuyahoga National Park

Ledges Trail Cuyahoga National Park


We also visited Cuyahoga National Park, a relative newcomer to U.S. Parks but whose park history dates back to 1929 when an industrialist donated land to be a park perpetually.

The park stretches between Akron and Cleveland and its length and location make it one of the most visited parks in the country. The Ohio and Erie Canal ran through much of the park, as does the Cuyahoga (crooked) River. The Cleveland Orchestra has a summer performance venue here.

Ledges trail

Ledges trail


We walked along a wetlands and then the Ledges Trail. This last trail follows several rock outcroppings and leads to an overlook. A young man on a two-year motorcycle tour of all of the national parks was kind enough to snap the photo of the four of us at the overlook.

Bob and Colly live close to the original border of the US with the “Indian Lands” and we passed a marker designating the spot where a 1785 “treaty” was supposed to transfer land from the Native Americans to the US. In another forgotten by me factoid, Connecticut had laid claim to this portion of the US and it was not until the U.S. assumed Connecticut Revolutionary War debts that the land (The Western Reserve) was given up. There is more to the story but that is a brief bit of history for you.

Bob, Colly, Ed and Chris in Cuyahoga National Park

Bob, Colly, Ed and Chris in Cuyahoga National Park

Today, Thursday, was a basic travel day. We are staying at the Courtyard Gaithersburg, home base for the wedding party, and will be here until Monday morning.

Ed and Chris August 29 10 pm

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2013, Trip Seven, August 26, Sarahs’ Wedding and UP,

Valparaiso, IN Monday August 26

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

This was a driving day so you will get more pictures and fewer words. That may make some people pleased. It will shorten my time at the keyboard.

Lake Michigan water was not too cold

Lake Michigan water was not too cold

We left later than planned, deciding to sleep in a bit. We hit the road by 9:30, driving through Wisconsin and Illinois. The Illinois toll road had 35 miles of construction. While it slowed us down, it seemed to divert knowledgeable drivers to other roads. The construction area was not overly crowded.

Sunset #1

Sunset #1

 

Sunset #2

Sunset #2

Chicago area was heavy with trucks and speeding cars. We actually encountered only a few really congested areas despite driving through the area between 3-5 pm.

We were able to make our one planned stop, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore before the visitor center closed at 6 pm. We then spent 1.5 hours just sitting on the beach and watching the sun set.

Sunset #3

Sunset #3

 

Sunset #4

Sunset #4

Tuesday we should be at Colly and Bob’s by the late afternoon.

Sunset #5

Sunset #5

Ed and Chris August 26 10 pm

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2013, Trip Seven, Sarahs’ Wedding and Upper Peninsula, August 25

This trip is short, for us, and primarily focused around the wedding of Sarah Heimel and Sarah Leismer. Departure is Monday morning, August 26. We will be coming home via the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The map of the proposed route is attached.

scan2013trip7Saint Paul Sunday August 25

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, August 16

Saint Paul, August 15, Friday

Well we are home. It feels good. Trip Six is over. 8500 miles. 50 days. Just five states and four provinces. Great vistas, people, and weather. Probably one week longer than we are likely to do again.

Minnesota

Minnesota

Midas in Dickinson ND installed a new starter. Saw that our front brakes were pretty well gone so they installed new ones. Bonfe’s in St. Paul had inspected the car before we left and said brakes were fine for this trip but might need to be replaced before trip seven. I guess we went down a few more steep mountains that used up our brakes.

In any event, we left Dickinson around 10:30 am and just spent the day driving. Nothing exciting. Minneosta looked good as we crossed the border. Green and rolling hills. We stopped for meals and gas and were home around 9 pm.

Sunset in Minnesota saws goodbye to trip six

Sunset in Minnesota saws goodbye to trip six

Eight days home and we head out for Trip Seven. The Sarahs’ Wedding and U.P. of Michigan.

Ed and Chris August 18 9 am

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2013, Trip Six. The Northwest, August 15

Thursday, August 15 Dickinson, ND

150 foot tall Pompeys Pillar

150 foot tall Pompeys Pillar

The weather was warm already as we left Bozeman for Dickinson ND. Travel is all on US interstates at 75 mph. A nice change of pace. We did have a few low mountain passes but most of the terrain was flat to rolling flat fields.

Clarks name on Pompeys Pillar

Clarks name on Pompeys Pillar

We made two planned stops for the day. First stop was at Pompeys Pillar National Monument. This is a rock outcropping that has had petroglyphs etched onto it for hundreds of years. Its most notable signatory is William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Clark and his team stopped here on the way back from the Pacific Ocean. Lewis had taken an alternate route in order to map greater portions of the west. They were to meet at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.

Roosevelts cabin

Roosevelts cabin

Pompeys Pillar is on the Yellowstone river. Here the river is a slow, meandering plains river compared to the gusher we saw going through Yellowstone Canyon back in early June. It is named for Sacagawea’s son whom Clark nicknamed Pompey.

Our second stop was at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora ND. The park has a north unit and a south unit. The north unit has more badlands type features, but both sections do have badlands and grasslands. We stopped at the south unit. It is closer to I-94 and contains the cabin built by Teddy Roosevelt on his first ranch here.

Part of the bison herd at Roosevelt national park

Part of the bison herd at Roosevelt national park

 

View of Teddy Roosevelt National Park

View of Teddy Roosevelt National Park

Teddy Roosevelt had two ranches here. He found the area restful and when his wife and mother both died on the same day, he came here to mourn and recoup. His passion for conservation had a strong foothold from what he saw and observed here.

Wild horses in the park

Wild horses in the park

We watched the video and drove the 26 mile loop route. We were able to observe more bison, pronghorn, and wild horses. As we were finishing the drive, bison were crossing and walking along the road. We pulled in behind other cars to watch and wait until they were off the road.

When the bison were finished ambling off the road, we discovered our car would not start. It is about 6:30 at this time. We called AAA who sent out a truck from Dickinson, about 30 miles east. I believe the problem to be the starter, we will find out more tomorrow. The car was towed to a Midas shop just a block from the hotel we are staying at,

Waiting for bison, Bikers used cars as shield.

Waiting for bison, Bikers used cars as shield.

Friday we had planned to get up early and drive home. This is one day sooner than projected, we were initially going to spend more time in the Roosevelt park but just are getting tired. Now we will have to wait and see how long it will take to get the car repaired.

Waiting for AAA

Waiting for AAA

Ed and Chris August 16 9:30 AM

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2013, Trip Six, The Nothwest, August 14

Bozeman, MT, Wednesday,August 14

Bison at National Bison Range, MT

Bison at National Bison Range, MT


The finish is near and yet far away. I have come down with a cold and Chris is doing all of the driving. We are thinking of making our visit to Teddy Roosevelt National Park only a few hours and cutting one day off of the trip. But both of the remaining days are long drives and with me doped up, not sleeping, and not driving, our plans still remain fluid.
Black bear feeding on berries at National Bison Range

Black bear feeding on berries at National Bison Range

We left our Evergreen hosts after a great waffle breakfast and made our first stop at the National Bison Range about 30 miles south of Polson.

Pronghorn antelope

Pronghorn antelope


This is a range managed by the Fish and Wildlife Bureau. The range has a 16 mile loop drive that is home to various species of wildlife. We saw bison, black bear, pronghorn antelope. The drive took us about 90 minutes and then we were on our way to St. Ignatius mission church.

The Jesuits were invited here by the Flathed Indians in the late 1800s. The church is simple but contains a series of murals and frescoes created by one of the religious, Brother Joseph Carignano, the cook and handyman. We have included a picture or two.

St. Ignatius Mission, MT

St. Ignatius Mission, MT


St. Ignatius Mission church

St. Ignatius Mission church

After lunch in Missoula, we visited a smokejumper base camp. This is run by the forestry service to train forest fire fighters who are parachuted into a forest fire zone. They are frequently the first responders on the ground for remote fires.

At this location new recruits are trained. They learn how to pack their parachutes and how to jump out of the slow moving planes at low altitudes. This base also serves as a regular

Smokejumper camp-display of materials carried into fire

Smokejumper camp-display of materials carried into fire

station for 70 smokejumpers throughout the fire season.

DC-3 used to drop smokkejumpers

DC-3 used to drop smokkejumpers


The rest of the day was spent driving to Bozeman.

This blog was not finished on the 14th of August. It is now being worked on while we sit in Theodore Roosevelt national Park. We stopped for a herd of bison that were in the middle of the road. We turned off the car to wait for them to pass. The car would not restart. AAA has been called and we are now waiting for the service person. Of course, this happened in an isolated area and it will take a while for them to get here.

Conclusion of the saga will come with tomorrow’s post.

Ed and Chris. August 15 7:30 PM

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2013, Trip Six. The Northwest, August 13

Polson, MT Tuesday August 13

Our 51' Q class racing sloop

Our 51′ Q class racing sloop

SAILING!!
We finally got out on a sail boat on our third attempt. One failure in Grand Marais MN was on a reconstructed Viking ship but the wind was too strong. We actually spent about 10 minutes on the boat for that effort. One failure in Lake Tahoe when again the wind was too strong and the trip was canceled. Finally today on Flathead Lake the conditions were just perfect.

After a great breakfast with our Evergreen hosts, we went to a park along the east side of the lake and did some preliminary catch up activities on our paperwork. We had reservations for the 1:30 sailing out of Big Fork, a town at the northeast end of Flathead Lake.

Our skipper, in the shorts

Our skipper, in the shorts

The Flathead Lake area is a major recreation site in Montana, between the lake, Glacier, forests and mountains. Big Fork is one of the towns featuring art galleries, a summer playhouse, restaurants, etc.

On Flathead Lake

On Flathead Lake

 

View from Flathead Lake

View from Flathead Lake

The sail boat cruise operates out of Flathead Lake Lodge, a dude ranch with equine and water activities. As usual, we left extra time to find the location. It was necessary but came at the expense of not having lunch.

Our vessel was a 51 foot Q class racing sloop- I am sure you are as knowledgeable as I am about racing sloops. Our skipper was a young woman who has been captaining the ship for three summers and goes to college in Chicago in the off-season. She had her mother along for the ride today-we initially thought the mother was the skipper. Oops.

image
There were nine passengers and two crew. The wind started so slowly we had to be towed out onto the lake. Once out though, the wind picked up nicely to create a breeze for our faces and for the sails. The lake was relatively calm and the ride was smooth. We just had to sit back and enjoy. We did not have to wear life jackets-which they had on board. I was proud of Chris for accepting the situation and going with the flow.

One of the passengers was a photographer who is working on a book about conservation gardens; gardens that were once private and are now preserved in public hands. We gave him ideas for two others to consider, one in Oregon and one in Minnesota.

Dinner at Bigfork Inn

Dinner at Bigfork Inn

After the two-hour experience, we headed for “downtown” Big Fork. Our dinner location was not open until 5 pm so we stopped at Brookies Cookies and had an afternoon snack, a location recommended by our Evergreen hosts. After walking the town some more, we had a delicious dinner at the Bigfork Inn. It has been around since the 1930s.

This evening we got caught up on our blog postings and mailing some cards out.

Sunset view from our Evergreen hosts' porch

Sunset view from our Evergreen hosts’ porch

Ed and Chris August 13 11 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, August 12

Monday, August 12 Polson, Montana

Back in the USA! The border crossing was easy and the guard welcomed us home. First thing we did was to fill up the gas tank with gas that cost about $3.80 per gallon instead of the Canadian $5.50 per gallon.

Polson is at the southern end of Flathead Lake. Kalispell and Whitefish are two other local towns. The west entrance to Glacier National Park is close to the northeast corner of Flathead Lake.

Lake McDonald Falls in Glacier National Park-US

Lake McDonald Falls in Glacier National Park-US

Flathead Lake is the largest naturally occurring lake west of the Mississippi and along with the Rockies, creates a micro-climate here that is usually warmer than this part of the country. Cherries are a big crop in the area. (The people making the pronouncement about Flathead Lake consider Lake of the Woods and Red Lake in Minnesota to be north of the Mississippi.)

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald

We made a short detour to the Lake McDonald area of Glacier and took a short hike there. When we visited Glacier a number of years ago, we stayed on the eastern side in Many Glacier. Today, we did not take the time to traverse the Going to the Sun road. Construction was ongoing in two locations and a traversal going both ways would have taken way too much time. Plus, we saw it and this trip is about new places.

US 93 from the Canadian border to Polson is usually two lanes and frequently 70 mph. (We are done with kilometers but here where there are numerous Canadian visitors, the people who pass us are usually Canadian.) A group in Montana has taken responsibility to plant a white cross where a fatal auto accident has occurred. There are far too many of them. The Aug. 13 local paper describes another new accident where a six year old died on a section of road we had driven 24 hours earlier.

(On Tuesday, we counted 18 crosses in one 29 mile section of Montana state highway 35 going from Polson to Big Fork.)

Flathead Lake with one of its islands

Flathead Lake with one of its islands

We stop at a beach at the north end of the lake and again at a state park near the south end of the lake-it is 27 miles long-to relax and enjoy the view. Once again it is a nice day although periodic clouds come up. The temps are in the high 80s today.

We arrive at our Evergreen hosts in Polson slightly later than expected. The direction they gave us were fine, for some reason I had the location set in my mind-in the wrong location. So despite the directions, I had to call and discuss how to get there. The home is just off Flathead Lake and we spot deer in the wooded neighborhood.

I may sound like a broken record but once again we find gracious people waiting for us. We swap stories of our respective communities and past travel experiences.

We have heard from several sources, including Evergreen hosts in Victoria, Sequim, Cranbrook and here in Polson of ongoing efforts to return control of more western lands to American Indian tribes or First Nation tribes in Canada. I am sure we will be reading more about this as time goes on.

Ed and Chris August 13 9 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, August 10 and 11

Cranbrook, BC August 10, Saturday and August 11, Sunday

Rogers Pass now heading east.

Rogers Pass now heading east.

Our trip to Cranbrook from Revelstoke brought us back over Rogers Pass through Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier (Canada) National Parks. The drive was not rainy so the views were improved over the journey to Revelstoke.

Fort Steele Historic Site, British Columbia

Fort Steele Historic Site, British Columbia

Past Golden BC we entered into a broader valley with the Rockies on our left. The Kootenay river joined us, usually on the right side. The ride was uneventful and we stopped for lunch in Invermere.

School house in Fort Steele Historic Site

School house in Fort Steele Historic Site

We had picked up a brochure for a restaurant in Invermere several weeks ago when we were in the Banff area. At that time it seemed appealing due to offering stuffed hamburgers, basically juicy lucys.

Garrison buildings at Fort Steele

Garrison buildings at Fort Steele

The restaurant was on the beach of the lake in Invermere. Today we were not in the mood for burgers, stuffed or not. We went for quiche and salads and were quite pleased. Along with the restaurant was a cultural center with local art works so we could say we fed our souls and our stomachs at the same time.

Close to Cranbrook was Fort Steele Historic Site. Fort Steele had been a prominent town at the turn of the twentieth century
but when the railroad came through the area and made Cranbrook the local stop instead, Fort Steele dried up. That decision was influenced by the local legislator who owned land in Cranbrook. It has been restored as a historic site, including 60 restored buildings from the Fort Steele and some from neighboring areas.

A steam train ride and a walk through the site, talking to costumed re creators took up the latter part of the afternoon before we met our Evergreen hosts.

Our hosts live on an 80 acre site out of town and we saw numerous deer on their property. Once again we met gracious hosts and as we talked, we realized how varied people’s lives are. We tend to get caught up in our own world and these meetings help us re-discover the joy of travel, the kindness of strangers, and the still great number and variety of opportunities left to us in retirement.

Sunday

I am learning to relax. Instead of hiking and museuming ( a word?), we spent the day at Fairmont Hot Springs. This is a resort area about 90 minutes north of Cranbrook.

Fairmont Hot Springs pool

Fairmont Hot Springs pool

We went to church first in the town of Kimberly. Kimberly can be described in our minds as a Leavenworth WA wanna-be. Mining played out in the area and the town now has a ski resort and a downtown based on a German-Bavarian style. It is a nice effort but still relatively small and does not have the critical mass of stores, buildings, and ambience of Leavenworth in the Cascades.

At Fairmont, we had the Sunday brunch and spent most of the afternoon relaxing at the hot springs pool. The water in most hot springs has a sulphur component to it-smelly. The Fairmont and nearby Radium springs are sulphur free. Between soaking in the warm waters and relaxing on the grass surrounding the pools, our afternoon was quite pleasant.

Dinner was back in Cranbrook with our hosts and more amazing stories of adventure and travel.

We are coming to agreement that seven weeks out is a long time. We are slowing down, doing a little less planning, and getting tired sooner. We get back to St. Paul on Saturday the 17th and we are looking forward to it.

Ed and Chris August 13 8:30 pm

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2013, Trip Six, The Northwest, August 9

Revelstoke, B.C. August 9, Friday

Meadows in the sky, Mt Revelstoke National Park

Meadows in the sky, Mt Revelstoke National Park

Revelstoke is the base for Mt. Revelstoke National Park. The park has the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. A 25 km road ascends from an inland rain forest terrain to sub-alpine forest to the sub-alpine meadows which was our main goal. A small shuttle takes you to the top, about 6500 feet.

Meadows in the sky

Meadows in the sky

Once at the top, several trails branch out to explore the meadows, covered with wildflowers at this time of the year. The flowers were brilliant in color and profuse in the open areas. The vistas are of the Columbia River below you, the Selkirk and Purcell mountains, and valleys in between.

We had left the hotel later than usual and worried that the top would be crowded. But even at 10 am, we were one of the early ones. When we left 2.5 hours later, the crowds had increased and parking was difficult. So much for our worries.

Meadows in the sky, Mt. Revelstoke

Meadows in the sky, Mt. Revelstoke

Revelstoke is another BC town whose development can be traced to railroads. There is a railroad museum in town so we visited it. On display, among other items, was a steam engine that had been used up until the 1950s. A volunteer who had worked for the railroad was present to discuss the engine-and allow children to ring the bell. (The whistle would not work without the steam engine going which does not happen now.) It was neat to see some of the rail cars and displays after we had seen the Spiral Tunnels the day before.

Engineer and his locomotive, Revelstoke train museum

Engineer and his locomotive, Revelstoke train museum

 

Locomotive in Revelstoke

Locomotive in Revelstoke

We went through the displays, watched the video, and talked to a woman from New Zealand. She and her husband were traveling across Canada for six weeks and were early into their trip.

Snow plow locomotive

Snow plow locomotive

The weather had gotten warm so we returned to the hotel and worked on the blog and laundry for a bit. Dinner was at a local restaurant, the Woolsey Creek Cafe. Revelstoke has musicians playing every night downtown during the summer and we planned to catch the last hour or so after dinner. Unfortunately, the “kitchen was extremely backed up and our food would be out shortly”. After hearing this for the third time, we wondered what happens when they are really busy. We ended up getting the food too late to make it worthwhile to go listen to the music. Food was good at least. I solaced myself with a chocolate mousse for dessert.

Ed and Chris August 13 7:30 pm

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