This is an ongoing, rambling project that should be finished the day after I die. Until then, feel free to read about some of my zany adventures, both in Canada and in other places.
Aug 27, 2004 06:00 PM Rainy weather
The weather was pretty miserable today, so we went to the rec room and played cards and just basically relaxed. We went looking for baby clothes for a friend’s son @ Costco, but they didn’t have much of anything there.
We had a nice leisurely meal and a huge bonfire with roasted marshmallows and all that.
Aug 26, 2004 06:00 PM Crossing the border
We got up and crossed the border bright and early. We stopped in Coeur D’Alene and did some shopping, as well as had some lunch.
We drove east towards Missoula, MT and then headed north. We drove along the shores of Flathead Lake and into Kalispell. We pulled in at a decent time (6:30pm) and set up camp and had dinner.
Aug 25, 2004 06:00 PM Headed for Creston
Well, we left Vernon this morning bright and early. We drove south, through Kelowna, Penticton, and Osoyoos, then headed east towards Creston.
We stopped for a bathroom break, and I asked the gas station attendant if there was any interesting sights on the way to Creston. He suggested taking the ferry across Kootenay Lake. We took his advice and arrived in Nelson just after 7pm. We missed the ferry by about 10 minutes and had to wait over an hour.
The ferry ride was spectacular, and I can’t wait to get my pictures developed. By the time we got into Creston, it was after midnight, so we stayed in a small roadside motel.
Aug 24, 2004 06:00 PM Exploring Vernon
We went into Vernon today and stopped at Wal-Mart. I don’t much care for the chain, but there isn’t a Canadian Tire here and the Bay doesn’t carry camping supplies. We got ourselves a stove that works on little jars of sterno and a stand we can put over a fire, so we headed back to camp and had ourselves a warm breakfast.
We went into Vernon and checked out the Science Centre. It was pretty cool with lots of interactive exhibits. It’s not high-tech or even very new looking but still was very interesting.
We then went to Kalamalka Lake. It wasn’t warm enough to go swimming, but we got to go for a walk in an apple orchard.
Then we did a little hiking and headed back to camp.
Aug 23, 2004 06:00 PM Headed for Vernon
Well we headed out for Vernon today. The drive was long and we almost got caught in a landslide in the Roger’s Pass! We arrived and set up camp at about 9pm. Unfortunately, we somehow forgot to pack the stove, so we had to eat a cold dinner(!) because the rain was coming down and I didn’t feel like spending an hour starting a fire to roast hotdogs over. Still, the tent went up fast and we all crawled into our sleeping bags and feel asleep right away.
Sep 01, 2003 06:00 PM The long drive home
We woke up early and headed back into Mesa Verde and got a chance to see a ton of other sights, like Park Point Fire Lookout (which sits at 8500 feet), the Spruce Tree House, and the Balcony House to name a few.
Then it was time to head north home. We left early with a goal of getting past Salt Lake City before setting up camp.
We drove past Canyonlands And Arches National Parks in Utah, stopping only to take some pictures. We wound up going through Salt Lake City during the evening rush hour, but this time I was behind the wheel, and I didn’t let anyone cut us off or take advantage of us this time.
We got well into Idaho and stopped to camp in Spence, ID. The next morning, we got up bright and early and drove the final stretch home.
Aug 31, 2003 06:00 PM Looking at ruins in the SW
We headed northeast to Chaco Canyon National Historic Park. The funniest thing about going here was the sign that warned ‘Road may be impassable’! There were times when it was damn close to impassable too. There we saw about a dozen different sets of ruins and lots of petroglyphs (drawings made by aboriginals). Some of the sites were restored and others were not. Still, I had to admit afterwards it was definitely worth going to.
After that we headed north to Aztec, NM and looked at Aztec National Monument, which was very nicely restored. After a short while here, we got back in the car and headed northwest to Cortez, CO, getting there at about 3pm. We drove straight up into Mesa Verde National Park and headed for the Far View Ranger Station. There we bought passes for one of the guided tours of the Cliff Palace, the signature cliff dwelling in the park. Due to time constraints, we were not able to get out to Weatherill Mesa and see any sights there.
We set-up our camp at a campsite located directly across the highway from Mesa Verde and then went into town to secure dinner. There we went to a Wal-Mart and bought a bunch of stuff and had homemade pizza back at camp, because the campground had a rec centre with a toaster oven.
Aug 30, 2003 06:00 PM Driving through Arizona
We got up early, checked out and headed south from Las Vegas. We took Hwy 93 and crossed the Hoover Dam. Not surprisingly, there was a security checkpoint a few klicks from the dam, but they were only stopping trucks. Still, the state troopers were very polite and sent us on our way after only a question or two.
We stopped in Kingman AZ for lunch at El Palachio, a fantastic mexican restaurant. It had good sized portions at great prices, not to mention food that was simply delicious. After that it was back on the road and heading down Route 66 to Seligman, AZ. In this town, there are dozens of souvenir shops and even a museum dedicated to Route 66. The museum had a lot of Elvis stuff too.
Then we headed to Flagstaff and then south on the I-17 towards Phoenix. We stopped and saw both Montezuma Castle National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument. Both were interesting, though I thought Tuzigoot was the better of the two. Montezuma Castle was close to the Interstate and very busy, whereas Tuzigoot was about 20 miles out of the way and had much less traffic.
Then we headed east down Hwy 260 and Hwy 87, popping out in Holbrook, then it was down the I-40. We stopped outside Gallup, NM and camped overnight.
Aug 29, 2003 06:00 PM The Rio Hotel
We headed out looking for 2 places today; an outlet mall where we could find some cheap stuff to bring back home and a pub at the Rio Hotel called the Tilted Kilt.
We went to Las Vegas’ best outlet mall, just off the Strip, the Belz Outlet Mall. There were tons of great shops, and we wound up buying a lot, mostly for ourselves, but some stuff for our family and friends back home too. Then it was off to the Rio Hotel.
It is quite likely the biggest hotel in Las Vegas that isn’t on the Strip, and let me tell you, it’s huge.
Inside, it resembles a typical Las Vegas casino with one big exception, a huge stage in the middle of the slots. Every half hour, a group of singers and dancers appear and put on a great show. Huge floats suspended from the ceiling move about, filled with more dancers tossing out strings of beads like they do at Mardi Gras. We stayed at the casino for most of the afternoon and had a blast.
We stopped and had a late lunch and a beer or two at the Tilted Kilt before we left. What can I say, I really liked this place. Heck, this place is way better than Hooters, and that includes the menu too.
Aug 28, 2003 06:00 PM Fun in Las Vegas
We woke up bright and early and went out for more sightseeing. We stopped in at the world’s biggest gift shop and looked around but didn’t find anything that inspiring except for some CSI t-shirts for friends back home.
We then drove to Mandalay Bay at the south end of the Strip and hiked north, criss-crossing the street until we had seen almost every hotel on the Strip. I think the coolest hotel on the Strip is probably the Luxor.
Let me tell you, that was a bit of a death march.
By 3pm, we had made it to Caesar’s Palace and the Venetian. Along the way we had seen most of the major casinos. We hopped on a bus to take us back to Mandalay Bay where we parked and then went out for an early supper, followed by an evening dip in the pool at the hotel.
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