May 18 - 29, 2010

May 18, 2010
This summer we are going on a major trip to Alaska in our Casita trailer. We drove 500 miles today from Houston to Crosbyton, Texas. We stayed at the Crosbyton city park with full hookups for free.

May 19, 2010
We left Crosbyton and drove to Lamar, Colorado. We stayed at the Country Acres Motel and RV park. We ran into Della and Hubert Joseph, who we knew from Casita rallies. They are from Mandeville, Louisiana and are on their way with their Casita to lots of places we visited last year.

May 20, 2010
We left Lamar and on the way we stopped at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Sit in La Junta, Colorado. This was an restored early fur trading fort. We continued on and stopped off at Falcon Brewing in Parker, Colorado, and had a beer. We finally made it to Erie, Colorado and we parked the Casita in front of Anne-Alex and Kevin’s house. (Anne-Alex is Jim’s niece.) After Anne-Alex got home from work, we all went to Mountain Sun Brew Pub in Boulder for dinner.

May 21, 2010
We did a few errands and then went to Oscar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids and had a beer and appetizer. Anne-Alex worked today. We drove to the Ozo Coffee House and saw Anne-Alex’s daughter Hallie who works there. She gave us a really good coffee called Mayan. It had chocolate and cinnamon. Then we went to the Vitamin Cottage where Anne-Alex was at work and bought some food. Kevin made dinner and Anne-Alex brought a cake home for Jim that was very good.

May 22, 2010
Anne-Alex and I went to Hallie’s house and pulled weeds and planted some plants before she had to go to work. Jim and Kevin took a short hike in a nearby green space.

May 23, 2010
Jim made pancakes for everyone -- a Sunday tradition. Then Jim and I went on a 4 ½ hour strenuous hike in the Chautauqua Mountains to the Royal Arch. From the top you could see the city of Boulder and beyond. After the hike Jim needed beer. We went to Asher Brewing which is new and has organic beer. After Anne-Alex got home from work we went back to Oscar Blues Homemade Solids and Liquids for dinner.

May 24, 2010
Jim and Anne-Alex went on a hike in another part of the Chautauqua. I stayed at home after the 4 ½ hour hike yesterday. Anne-Alex made a great salad and we had 4 different kinds of ice cream.

May 25, 2010
We left Erie and met Duke, Beverlee, Marv and Vickie in Cheyenne, Wyoming at the Wal-Mart. We will all be traveling together to Alaska. We stopped for gas in Casper, Wyoming, and a 5th wheel trailer trying to get through a small space and looking for diesel in the gasoline island sideswiped our Casita. It left a slight mark in the white fiberglass and a small dent in the metal band around the middle. Thank goodness Jim yelled and went running or it could have been worse. We stayed at a rest area with truckers in Sheridan, Wyoming. Marv made chili for everyone and Duke, Beverlee, Marv and Vikki gave Jim birthday presents. We had strawberry angel food cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

May 26, 2010
We left Sheridan and drove to Chester, Montana. On the way we stopped by the Little Big Horn Battlefield (Custer’s Last Stand). Marv and Vickie had never been there but we went there last summer. We spent the night at Chester city park. The weather had been sunny and beautiful until tonight. It was very cold, windy and overcast. Rain expected for the next few days.

May 27, 2010
We left Chester and drove to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. 42 degrees F. this morning with rain after 9 a.m. Duke had a little accident with a car and had to go to the police station to file a report. We got a space at Bridgeview R V Resort. It is snowing in Calgary just north of us so we will be here a couple of days. We have to go through Calgary to get to Banff. It is expected to be 2 degrees here tonight and it might be -1 degree in Calgary tomorrow. This is in centigrade.

May 28,2010
We went to Wal-Mart to stock up on groceries and then drove to Smashed-In-Head Buffalo Jump. This is a cliff where Indians for thousands of years drove buffalo herds over the edge to their deaths. They slaughtered the buffalo and preserved the meat to last them through the winter. The place got its name from an Indian who got under the cliff to watch the buffaloes fall and ended up getting his head caved in by a falling buffalo. Indians were big on nicknames. Smashed-In-Head got his posthumously.

May 29, 2010
We are waiting for the weather to improve so we are staying another night in Lethbridge. It has been cold with rain and light snow. They say it hasn't been this cold this time of year since 1942. We don't want to go to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper until the weather clears up. We piddled around town and were mostly bored.

May 30, 2010

We left Lethbridge and drove to Calgary. The weather is still cold and cloudy with mixed snow and rain. We decided to delay going on to Banff for at least another day because of the lousy weather. We parked the trailers at Symon's Valley RV Park. Marv and Vicki and Duke and Beverly stayed hooked up but Carolyn and I unhooked our trailer and drove the Pathfinder to a brewpub, Wild Rose Brewing, where we had a couple of beers.

May 31, 2010

Because the weather was still bad we stayed another day at Symons Valley RV Park in Calgary. We did some shopping and went to one of the Brewsters Brewing locations and had a sampler of their beers. They had 14 beers on tap of various styles but all were exactly 5% alcohol. The beers were clean but not particularly memorable. However, their raspberry wheat beer was served with fresh raspberries floating on top (which was kind of nice). When we got back we found out that Marv had broken a crown while eating corn nuts. He made an appointment with a dentist in Calgary for the next morning.

June 1, 2010

After Marv returned from the dentist we hitched up and drove to Banff National Park. The weather was partly sunny eary in the day but clouded up later. We set up camp at the Turtle Mountain Campground with electric only. We explored downtown Banff, then went back to camp and built a fire in the iron fireplace in a group shelter near our trailers. Most of the RVs in this campground are foreigners in rented class C motorhomes. We turned in at 10:30 -- it was still daylight.

June 2, 2010

We went to the Banff Information Centre and bought an annual Canada National Parks Pass. This was necessary because they charge about $10 a day per person to be in all of their national parks and the annual pass becomes economic beyond 7 days. We rode shuttle buses to Cascade Gardens (which had no flowers -- they haven't planted them yet for the season.) We rode the bus up to the Banff gondola, then walked to Bow Falls and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel National Historic Site. It was cloudy all day. We stopped by Tommy's Pub for happy hour, and while waiting for the bus back to camp we saw a rare black Scamp trailer. Back at camp we built another fire. The park supplies firewood for free.

June 3, 2010

We left the Banff campground and drove north to the start of the Icefields Parkway. We got a campsite at Mosquito Creek Campground. We drove to Lake Louise, walked part way around the lake and went into the Fairmont Hotel. Then we drove to Morraine Lake. It was partially iced over and shallow because the glaciers have not melted yet. There were snow flurries there. The weather was cloudy and cold like it was last year when we were here.

June 4, 2010

Another cloudy day. We drove to Yoho National Park and stopped at Spiral Tunnel where trains go through looping tunnels and you can see the front and back of the trains coming and going at the same time. We drove on to Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake where we had a picnic. We drove back to Lake Louise where we gassed up, took more cloudy pictures of it, then returned to camp. We chopped wood and built a fire in the group shelter stove. There we talked with a young couple from the Netherlands who cooked their dinner on the stove.