Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Back in USA and back online

Have been totally out of contact for a week.  Verizon ‘international’ roaming pretty much sucks.

Brief recap of last week.

Left tri-cities to home of our friends the Alfanos in Spokane.  Overnight there and then north with them accompanying us in their rig.  Up through the Idaho panhandle and in to Canada.  Over night in a provincial park and then north and east to Lake Louise. We were there several years ago in May and it was iced over.  Sue wanted to see it in fluid state.  We lucked out - again.  Since leaving home we have had noticeable smoke all the way every day.  Some days more than others.  Could barely see Mt. Shasta.  Traveling over the central Oregon mountains we could barely see 100 yards at the summit. Every day had smoky horizons with red ball sunrises and sunsets.  Smoke still continues on all our trip so far and will continue based on news reports of fires in direction we are heading.  We had two exceptions to continuous smoky skies.  First was day of eclipse.  Sky was clear and we had a great view.  Second was afternoon we arrived at Lake Louise.  We had smoke on the west side of Canadian Rockies but east side was clear.  Great views of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.  LOTS of people but great views.  The next morning the smoke had made it to the east side and Lake Louise basin was full of smoke.  Could barely see across lake.  Normally spectacular drive up the Icefield Parkway was obscured by smoke. Mountains around Jasper barely visible.

Got some flaky internet connection long enough to get email and learn that my cousin, whom we had just visited, had died.  Less than ten days ago she was clobbering Sue in Scrabble.  We will be modifying our journey to attend her service.

East to Edmonton.  Smoke better but still there.  Spent a full day roaming the West Edmonton Mall.  Largest mall in North America – used to be largest in world.  Amazing place. Too much to describe.  Google it Smile.  Except for this – we found  Dole Whip! Smile Smile

Yesterday we went to Calgary and wandered the grounds of the Calgary Stampede. Extensive site with lots of different venues.  Huge auditorium where local professional hockey team plays.  Holds many thousands.  We know.  When we got there a Garth Brooks concert was about to start.  Lines hundreds of yards long at several entrances.  We went to an indoor arena and watched barrel racing.  Did not get to see inside the huge rodeo arena.

South today back to USA.  Tomorrow further south in Montana and more smoke – lots of fires.

Sorry no pictures.  Smoke sort of dampens picture taking and good ones have not been downloaded from camera.