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Another great road trip behind us

Old 7/14/15, 05:53 PM
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Another great road trip behind us

We left home on June 16th and drove to Chelan, WA. Our route would take us to Coeur d'Alene, ID, Glacier National Park, Calgary, AL, Banff, AL, Vailmount, BC, Kamloops, BC, Harrison Hot Springs, BC and Rosario Resort on Orcas Island in Washington.



Lake Chelan is a long narrow lake and the town of Chelan is at the bottom. We had planned the trip based on the projected opening date of the Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park - more about that later. As it turned out we left just in time to avoid the US Open traffic.

Most of the way up the lake is a little village named Stehekin. About 90 people live there year round, although I have no idea why. There are no roads in. The only ways to get there are by boat or float plane. There is a boat named Lady of the Lake II and it makes a round trip daily providing sight seeing for tourists and I presume carrying provisions for Stehekin. We took the ride on our second day in Chelan and it was very interesting.

At the southern end of the lake you can see beautiful vineyards, but in fairly short order the road comes to an end.



There are other places where the boat stops past the end of the road including Lucerne Landing.



There are private cabins that I assume must be used for fishing and hunting.



There are some roads IN Stehekin but all the vehicles arrived on a barge from Chelan. The bus that takes folks to nearby sights looks quite old but is likely a replica.



It's a beautiful area and was well worth the day-long boat ride. We were in Stehekin for about 1 1/2 hours - long enough to have lunch and look around a bit. Below is the view from the boat looking at Stehekin and north. You can't see the part of the lake that continues past Stehekin.



The next stop was Coeur d'Alene and we arrived just in time for their annual car show called Car d'Lane. They have a parade of all the entered cars that are supposed to be at least 25 years old. There were a couple of fairly new Camaros that obviously did not meet that requirement, but we're talking about Chevy owners. We didn't bother getting any photos, although there were some very interesting cars in the parade. The parade went right past our B&B so we could sit up on the second floor balcony and watch them go by. We did take a walk down to the lake and watched a guy launch a gorgeous Chris Craft. Got a shot of the lake but not of the boat.



The next stop would be Glacier National Park.

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Old 7/14/15, 07:39 PM
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We took a beautiful route north from Coeur d'Alene through Sand Point rather than take I90. As we drove up through Idaho we kept seeing signs that read DO NOT PASS SNOWPLOWS ON THE RIGHT. We couldn't help but wonder is anybody REALLY stupid enough to try to do that? It had been rather hot through Chelan and Coeur d'Alene, but it was somewhat cooler as we arrived at Lake McDonald Lodge. The top had been down most of the way to this point.There is a boat that does an hour-long cruise on Lake McDonald and we went on the 7:00 PM cruise. What a setting!



On our second day in the park we drove to St. Mary Lake and took the boat ride there as well. While on the boat you get great views of mountains including these



and Rising Sun Mountain.



It's a longer ride and at one point you leave the boat for a brief hike before returning to finish the cruise. That hike takes you to Baring Falls.







One of the geological features seen from the boat is the black band just above the snow in the next photo. I don't recall the significance, but you can't miss it.



Some of the views from the Going to the Sun Road are quite something.



In the next shot you can see the path taken by avalanches in the left part of the photo where the avalanche mowed down all the trees.



And here is a panorama shot within the park.



Of course you have to get some shots of your Mustang on a trip like this.





We took a hike on a prepared boardwalk through and area of large cedar trees. We saw a lovely Columbine along the way. One of the cedars had fallen and all the dirt was gone from the roots. When you see what shallow roots they have you wonder how they ever stand.





We heard the usual warnings about watching for wild life, but the only wild life we saw (other than some of the tourists) was this goofy deer that was wandering around on the grounds of Lake McDonald Lodge.





We attended a naturalist lecture on our second night. The ranger talked about the building of the Going to the Sun Road. It was quite a marvel when it was built in the '30s. One of the things I found very interesting was that on years when there has been a heavy snow fall and they bring out the bulldozers to clear the road, in some places they have to resurvey to figure out where the road IS under all that white stuff.

From Glacier we continued across the border and to Calgary.

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Old 7/14/15, 07:59 PM
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Beautiful scenery and a great car to enjoy it in.
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Old 7/14/15, 09:43 PM
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We have a Honda S2000 club friend who lives in Calgary so we had dinner with he and his wife. She is delightful but is unfortunately not a car person, so she never accompanies him on road trips.

We talked about what Mel and I should do and see on our next day in Calgary and they suggested we visit the Heritage Park. It is a 120 or so acre site that takes you back to 1901 or thereabouts. They have a steam train that runs around the perimeter and a paddle wheel steamer that goes out onto the reservoir. It's a smaller replica of one that was built for the Klondike Gold Rush but was not finished in time to actually perform that function. The paddle wheel really powers this one.

There are a number of buildings (e.g. a one room school house, a bakery, etc.) and the paid docents are dressed in period costume and really know their stuff. We got there just in time for lunch and spent the entire afternoon in the park. We rode on both the train and the boat and visited a number of the buildings and spoke with the docents. They made this a truly memorable day.





This is the kind of parking place that good clean living will get you. Or is it dumb luck?



From Calgary we next headed up to Banff. This was one of our shorter drives.
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Old 7/14/15, 10:29 PM
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Even poking along we got to Banff too early to check in, so we drove up to Lake Louise and looked around and had a cuppa. The Fairmount Hotel looked quite grand, but for something like $500 a night it should. The lake was lovely but the village was way too small to offer much choice in restaurants.





We got checked in and had a second floor room with a balcony big enough that we could sit there after dinner and sip a bottle of wine and watch the world go by. To get to tourist information or lunch or dinner we had to go past a large hotel nearby and it seem that every time we went past it there was another bus-load of totally unconscious tourists milling about on the sidewalk and making passing them impossible.

On the way to dinner we passed an intersection with the sign you see below. For those of you who remember Rocky and Bullwinkle and Boris and Natasha and the famous line, "Moose and squirrel are on train." you'll love it.



The next day we took the gondola to the top of the nearby mountain, had lunch and looked around. Quite a sight from up here. We could see the hotel where we were staying and our balcony, the nearby mountains and much of Banff.









There is a cosmic ray monitoring station (I believe that is what it was called but I have no idea what it does) up from the visitor's center. We hiked up there and saw an interesting layered rock formation and a cute chipmunk on a rock with lots of lichen.





We drove north the following day past Lake Louise and up to Jasper. Signs told us to watch for wild life but we had already seen our token chipmunk. It was another short drive just poking along. We took a look at Jasper but then drove on to Vailmount, BC. This is not much more than a wide spot in the road with a surprising number of hotels. Apparently lots of people choose to stay her to see Jasper because it is much less expensive. We stayed in a B&B outside of 'town' and it was very quiet and comfortable.

We were there just one night and then drove on to Kamloops where it was 110F in the afternoon. Fortunately we were there only one day also, then it was on to Harrison Hot Springs.

We had been to Harrison a number of times over the years. There is a very nice restaurant with a large dance floor for those into ballroom dancing (we are) and a band that plays music you can dance to. They also have a number of pools fed by the hot spring including one that is for adults only. We had arranged to meet DarrenGT (from this forum) and it was great fun to meet face-to-face.

Then it was back into the U.S. and onto a ferry to Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands and to Rosario Resort. We had never been there before so it was an interesting experience. I had remembered to lock my car with the key so I didn't get paged during the crossing to turn off my alarm. Been there done that. We enjoyed the crossing and the island, but the highlight was the next afternoon when we went out for a three hour sail.

The captain had me at the tiller of the 33' sail boat a good part of the time and at one point he decided to put up the spinnaker. Mel and I thought we heard something and I was sure it sounded like something large inhaling. We let the captain know and sure enough a minke whale surfaced off to the side of the boat. Mel was ready with the camera and got several shots including the one from which the pic below was cropped.



The 2nd of July was our final day on the road. We got back to the ferry landing in Anacortes, WA with 123 miles to go to get home and realized we should have done this trip clockwise rather than anti-clockwise. We had to go through Seattle during rush hour (which for Seattle is most of the time) and it took us four hours to get home.

Ah well, it was a great trip that covered some 2,150 miles. We averaged 29.5 MPG for the trip with one short stint at over 34. The Mustang was brilliant and the top was down most of the time. So now I have a convertible tan (tops of the thighs only) and we have lots of great memories. If you have never taken a road trip in your Mustang, do it. They are spectacular road cars.
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Old 7/15/15, 06:30 AM
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That was better than the Discovery Channel. I read every word. What a super trip! I noticed those record breaking temps out there and wondered if all the snow was gone from the mountain tops. Your photography is excellent and the highlights of the trip just delightful to see. Lake Louise is such a standout but always so busy with tourists and I understand your frustration with the bus crowds. Not sure when it is best to avoid them. Do you have more photos of the Icefields Parkway? I was curious to see the Athabasca Glacier and compare it to our photos from the 80's to see if there was much difference.
Laughed at that parking spot you found for your Mustang which is that beautiful color combo that is so striking. I'm glad it behaved properly during the trip and those crazy temps.
Thank you for posting and we also can't get the word out enough to fellow Mustang owners to take those nice road trips. They are life long memories.
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Old 7/15/15, 06:42 AM
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OMG I love this posts as well as the whole thread! Nice pictures, it really is better than Disc Channel...

My longest trip was from Birmingham, Alabama to Phoenix - around 1600 miles. Hope I'll do a bigger road trip one day.
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Old 7/15/15, 09:16 AM
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Thanks guys. I'm glad you enjoyed this thread and appreciate your comments.

I selected the best of the photos we took for this thread. By the time we were going up the Icefields Parkway we were suffering from scenery overload and didn't take many shots.

This was a relatively short road trip for us. My wife can no longer handle more than about three weeks max. We tried to plan it as a series of two day stops and generally succeeded. Less packing and unpacking hassle that way and easier on the old body. Back in 2006 we were on the road for two months in our Morgan and covered 11,500 miles. Here is a link to the photo journal of that trip on our web site.
http://tukatz.com/html/travel/us_2006/preparation.html
In 2012 I was on the road for one month in my Honda S2000. Mel joined me for part of the trip. That one covered 8,000 miles and I have yet to produce the journal.
I love the open road.
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Old 7/15/15, 09:43 AM
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Another great road trip behind us

These car a great cars to take road trips in! Love the pictures, and the car is looking great. Keep it up and make sure you keep posting those pictures.
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Old 7/15/15, 10:32 AM
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great thread.. inspires me to take the stang go for a trip.
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Old 7/15/15, 11:28 AM
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great trip. Thank-you for posting the pictures and telling us about them.
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Old 7/16/15, 04:55 PM
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Did you see any elk in Alberta?? Do you remember what the gas prices were? Obviously interested for our upcoming journey to the same area in September.
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Old 7/16/15, 05:32 PM
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Very nice road trip, some beautiful scenery and mountains.
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Old 7/16/15, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by NC07GTCS View Post
Did you see any elk in Alberta?? Do you remember what the gas prices were? Obviously interested for our upcoming journey to the same area in September.
There were signs warning us to watch out for wildlife all the way up the Icefields Parkway but we didn't see so much as a chipmunk. The prices varied - $3.43 in Calgary, $3.65 in Valemount and $3.65 in Kamloops - all for regular. This is, of course, converting liters to gallons at 3.785 liters to the gallon and C$ to US$ at .81. Prices in the US ranged from $2.71 to $3.00. Overall our average price was $3.12 and we averaged 29.5 MPG with a high of 34.1 from Valemount to Kamloops.
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Old 7/17/15, 04:43 AM
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Thanks for the conversion to gallons. We will be OK with anything in Canada under $4. The US should be nice and cheap unless the Middle East flares up in the next few months.
Interesting about the elk. It could be a seasonal thing.
I showed my wife this thread and she loved it too. We are chomping at the bit. Just flushed the coolant, power steering, and brake fluid in the GT. All set to go except for one more oil change right before we leave.
Thanks again for the post and info.
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Old 7/17/15, 09:33 AM
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It's too bad our trip timings didn't coincide. It would have been great to meet you. Perhaps some day. Have a wonderful trip, and if you travel in shorts as I did, enjoy your convertible tan.
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Old 7/21/15, 12:15 PM
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So nice - thanks for sharing. I've done all that route many years ago, but in 3 different trips, and unfortunately in family sedans, not the Mustang!

But a trip to Calgary (I live near Vancouver) is definitely on the agenda for next year.
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Old 7/21/15, 01:25 PM
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Don't miss Heritage Park. I'm not sure if the people of Calgary realize what a treasure they have.
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Old 7/22/15, 05:25 AM
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Wow Lovely trip. Thanks for sharing. I actually spent the week of july 4th in Nelson, BC. It was my first time to BC and I am still in awe on how beautiful that area is
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Old 8/14/15, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tukatz View Post
It's too bad our trip timings didn't coincide. It would have been great to meet you. Perhaps some day. Have a wonderful trip, and if you travel in shorts as I did, enjoy your convertible tan.
Agree. The temps sure are staying HOT there plus the fires are still burning. At least the Going to the Sun road is open (for now). Still a few weeks to go.
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