Monday, August 1, 2011

Road Trippers // Canada Bound

When we decided we were going to go to Larry's Family reunion in Canada we figured we would make a pretty awesome road trip out of it. And that, it was. You better believe it. The diverse landscape was postcard-esque and continued to get better and more breathtaking with rare wildlife in abundance.  The grand tally of critter sightings were: herds of deer, elk, mountain goats, rams, bison, 2 bald eagles, 1 moose, 1 grizzly bear and 1 black wolf.  The wolf left me awestruck. We were driving in the boonies with no other cars in sight and out of nowhere creeps a black wolf crossing the street. He paused for a second, looked at us and then found his way into the forest on the other side of the road. It was pretty mystical. Lucky for me, my man enjoys roadtripping, too. Get ready for a whole day-by-day / play-by-play and loads of pics to go with it. My #1 road tripping tip: Bring a hat or two for bad hair days with no showers.

SLC > Sandpoint, ID > Banff, CAN > McGrath, CAN > Glacier > Yellowstone > Grand Tetons > Jackson Hole, WY > SLC

Total miles: 2,500

Day 1: We drove until our eyes were heavy and pulled over at a rest stop near Butte, MT to sleep in our car.  We came up with a cool theater rig with our ipad and a rope. Pretty much sums up our sleeping arrangement almost every night. High rollin it.

Day 2: We winded through small towns in Idaho where I ended up forgetting my cell phone at a little antique shop in St. Regis (This is where I pretty much fell off the face of the earth via lack of technology). Cubby and Amanda were spending their annual family vaycay in Sandpoint so we decided to crash their party and take advantage of a clean bed and warm shower. Coincidentally, our friends were getting married that night. We had some time to kill before the reception so we mountain biked to Round Lake. Big mistake. The trail was over run by mosquito breeding pools and we were eaten alive. After recovering from our bike ride we scarfed free food at the wedding and said our congrats to Kelsey and Taylor.  To end the day, we huddled in Kandi's cottage with some of the James clan and fell asleep to the first part of old flick North and South.

Day 3: Went to brunch at Trinity, fixed Mark's bike, took the boat out and around the lake with Cubby and Amanda, spotted 2 bald eagles flying overhead, watched our women get defeated in the World Cup, napped in the hot sand at the water's edge as the girls played with their babies in the water and biked the bridge over Lake Pend Oreille at sunset (the 1st three pics I stole from Chelsea).

Day 4: Mountain Biked the Panorama trail in Invermere, tried teaching Filly how to swim, a dip in Radium Hot Springs, winded along the rivers in Banff, saw a moose and camped.

Day 5: Lake Louise, say what!? Hiked to Mirror Lake, missed out on 2nd upper lake and tea room (ah shucks!), saw a grizzly bear, drove to town of Banff for lunch, ate yucky pizza, took the Cowboy Trail/scenic route to McGrath for the family reunion and along the way we saw mountain goats, rams, deer, a black wolf and a grizzly bear.

Day 6: Hung out with the fam at the reunion and thrifted in Lethbridge.

Day 7: Spent some more time with the fam, Larry won some family contests, went down the bad A slip and slide, took a tour of Anna's upbringing in Hillspring, drove to Glacier, hiked to waterfall, drove the "going to the sun road" along the continental divide and then camped at Sprague Campground by MacDonald Lake with ramen noodles for dinner. Yum.

Day 8: Drove around west side of Flathead Lake, through Missoula, thrifted a little more, killed time in Butte, saw Harry Potter, met up with the family at their hotel and camped in our car in the hotel parking lot.

Day 9: Drove through north entrance of Yellowstone. Took the upper loop on the east side, cut through the middle and took lower loop on the west, browsed Mammoth Hot Springs, checked out some geysers and paint pots, walked to a waterfall, had play time with filly at the riverside, ate lunch and saw Old Faithful erupt, drove along the Tetons, hit up the Jackson Hole Rodeo, ate dinner at Bubba's and camped 2 hours south of Jackson.

Day 10: Took the route by Bear Lake and Logan. Made it home safe and sound. It feels good to have a bed again. And now... I'm out of breath.


Darci said...

Such pretty pictures!!

chelsea b james said...

your pictures are amazing, say what is right, lake louise is sooo pretty. I bet people were tripping out because of your beautiful dog

jmb said...

You're trip is straight out of my dreams. I would kill for that right now!

carLy hart crandaLL said...

these pics are incredible AND ditto to what jessica said! i've been dyyying to do a little loop thru the canada like this. so happy you two made it happen and now i can pick your brains about it ;)

birds do it better... said...

dude, nice post. i scrolled through it while regina was playing on my computer and it made it all the more magical. youre becoming quite the little photoggy. trade cameras with me.

amanda james said...

yipee! i finally got to look at your pics...this trip looks soooo amazing. I want to go to there!