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Iowa & Wisconsin

The last leg of our journey we were able to visit Annie’s family in Kanawha, Iowa. We did some tractor skiing and had a great time with all the animals around the house.

Then we were off to Iowa City to, then to Madison, and finally up to Three Lakes, Wisconson to visit Annie’s brother Nate at Honey Rock Camp.

Nature Walk

Devils Tower & Badlands National Park

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We took a smaller road out of Yellowstone. We were not sure what it would be like but we loved it. We went through Bighorn National Forest and the mountain range that it contains. The views were breathtaking and the road was empty. We decided that Wyoming is an extremely beautiful state that is certainly worth coming back to someday.

The next stop was Devils Tower. It was the first National Monument designated in the United States. Held by native people as sacred, it is an amazing place to come visit. We made it just as the sunlight was departing so we were alone except for the millions of bugs chirping around us. Speaking of bugs, on the drive that day, it sounded like it was raining because so many bugs were hitting the front of our car.  We had to pull over at gas stations three times to clean off the windshield!

Badlands was last on our list of National Parks in the West. The beauty of this place is sort of erie as the name conveys.  We were amazed by the sound of the grasses swishing in the breeze and the crickets that filled the miles and miles of grasslands surrounding this amazing place.

Nature Walk

Nature Walk

Two Medicine Lake

Glacier & Yellowstone

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Dipping back into the states we decided to take the west entrance to Glacier National Park. This was based on trying to take the Going to the Sun Road through the park. We hoped to drive on the mountain side not the cliff side. As you can see with a simple image search; dangerous, accidents, cliffs, and snow are major sub searches to this drive.

When we arrived on June 3 it was still closed because the road was buried with a late snow so we wandered around the small area in the park that was open and then headed into Whitefish, Montana. We found a tiny craft distillery that had free sampling so we did a whisky flight and toured the facility. Their equipment was beautiful.

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After Whitefish we headed over to the historic East entrance of Glacier. The original railroad went here so most visitors in the first half of the last century knew this area. We headed as far in as we could to Two Medicine Lake where we noticed it was nice and windy. You know what that means by now right?

The drive down to Yellowstone was beautiful. We did get stuck on a two lane highway. They had some serious construction going on, blasting out the side of a mountain.  So we sat and waited for a few hours till we could pass again.

We loved seeing the wildlife in Yellowstone. The buffalo were everywhere and shedding. So we called them the fluffalo’s. We even saw a coyote prancing along happily carrying some sort of small mammal in his mouth. He trotted right on the road in front of us for five minutes.

We were lucky enough to see some rare geyser eruptions and loved the scenery all over this expansive park/volcano.

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Canada

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Canada was breathtaking. We stopped in Vancouver to visit with a friend and found some great places to have fun in the city. We explored a beach with the friendliest cops we have ever met. They were patrolling on ATV’s and said we’d be welcome to spend the night in the beach parking lot.  There was a large volleyball match right on the beach and 15 giant shipping freighters pulled into port in the background.

Out in the countryside we encountered the most wildlife we had ever seen.  We even found some peoplelife.

Entering into Jasper and Banff National Parks we had plenty of sights to see.

Back in California we had started getting interested in natural hot springs. Canada was a great place to take a dip is some more.  We found some great out of the way spots.

We had gone back and forth about whether to make the trip up to Canada or not.  We are so glad we did.  After the mountains of Yosemite, the vistas through Big Sur, and the waterfalls of Oregon we thought we’d seen natural beauty.  Even after getting used to seeing beautiful things, Banff and Jasper hit it out of the park.  It had the mountain beauty of the Colorado Rocky’s with the grand scale of Yosemite.  This certainly will be on our list of places to visit again.