Beautiful country

Trip Start May 08, 2012
1
9
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Trip End Jun 02, 2012


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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, May 20, 2012

On Sunday, May 20, 2012, we got up early and got on the road. We didn't have that far to go, but with filling with gas and trying to find propane so we can keep the heat on at night, it all takes up some of our travel time.  They keep predicting rain, but so far today all we have seen is a few sprinkles.  The day was gorgeous.  The sun was bright and shown on the most beautiful scenery.  We drove out of the mountains of Waterton Park and into the most lush and beautiful hills and range land that we have seen so far.  The farms were at a minimum 5-25 miles apart and the most beautiful rolling prairie land full of cattle was between them.  Alberta, I think, is the most beautiful farm land that we have seen so far.  The herds were very large (upwards from 80-200).  We noticed that there were very few fences from one farm to the next.  Dave saw something that hinted to the fact of   "co-op farming."  Therefore, we are suspicious that they let their animals roam from place to place and share the land.  There are fences along the road to keep the cattle off the roadway, however. 

As we approached the mountains of Banff National Park, there were green lush foothills.  Of course, the closer we got the more pine trees we saw.  The mountains of Banff are beautiful and snow covered, some with pine trees up to the tree line and then rock at the top.  The smaller mountains have trees right up to the top.  The town of Banff (pop. 7,000) is at 4300 ft. and the tallest mountain exceeds 11,000 ft.

We stopped at a truck stop and had our lunch in the coaches.  Then off to Banff National Park.  We arrived at about 2:00 and had to wait in a long line to get in.  There were 4 lanes of traffic lined up for a half mile.  We drove through downtown Banff trying to find gas and propane.  What an experience that was.  It was bumper to bumper and what a mess.  Dave’s nerves were shot for the rest of the day.    We finally got settled in our parking spot and all set up, went for a walk, had cocktails and dinner.  After dinner we went downtown to find a McDonald's with wifi and scope out what we wanted to do tomorrow.  We needed to go to McDonald’s so we could send the blogs that we had finished.    That was yet another interesting experience.  It was wall to wall people of all ages, shades, shapes and descriptions here on a holiday weekend.  

The animals that we saw today were primarily lots of deer along the road as we left Waterton Park area and several of them dotted throughout the cattle ranches.  We did also see a Ringneck Hawk and some beaver dams. 

The air here is dry and cool…not cold.  The wind on the other hand, is COLD, so we dress in layers and adjust.   It is warm in our coach though so we sleep very well.   We have been on the road (with this coach) for eight full days now and have traveled 1840 miles.  That should be just about half way.  However, after Tuesday, we will be on the Alaskan Highway and there will be much less to see so we will be driving longer distances each day until we reach Alaska.
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