After a night spent in Greybull and a quick stop in Cody, the road took us from Devils Tower to Yellowstone National Park. It was still morning when we reached the East Entrance. The long lines at the entrance didn’t scare us, we were excited to get in the park. The Interagency pass we obtained at our first destination (Badlands National Park) let us move quickly once we had arrived at the booth. I didn’t really notice when the scarce vegetation thickened and became greener, and when the surrounding heights became elevated.
Leaving Canmore, where we had our base for few nights, for Jasper (our next stop), we found ourselves going through the heart of Banff National Park. I still didn’t know at that time BNP was going to be our secret memory factory. Continue reading
Name of Athabasca has originated from the Cree word where there are reeds, and most of the Athabasca names are to be found in Alberta.
The Athabasca River, with its 1,538 km, is the longest river in Alberta, and starts from an unnamed lake north of Mt Columbia, on the west side of Mt Athabasca and Athabasca Glacier, flowing to the north, and ending into the Arctic Ocean. The first 168 km, located in JNP are designated as a Canadian Heritage River, for its importance to the fur trade and the construction of railways and roads. Continue reading
Rocky Mountains, North America’s largest mountain system, are widely known for dazzling valleys, rocky peaks, abundance of wildlife, snow-covered ridges, and alluring meadows. The Canadian Rockies extend 1,200 km north from the American borders, in both provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. You could spend months in these pristine lands, never seeing the same scene; you can do biking, hiking, horse riding, boating, fishing, rafting, Via Ferrata, or just simply open-mouthed staring if that could be named as an “activity”J. The week we spent in 2016 in these lands filled me with so much gratitude and energy I could hardly imagine I could get. Continue reading
Of course, the Tower reminded me of one of the first Steven Spielberg’s famous movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Faded memories of a black and white wallpaper, or a strange pile dumped on a wrong spot. Watching this movie as a kid left me with impression of a mysterious place, a picture painted with non-matching colours on a rough, and old wallpaper. No nightmares about aliens, but only fantasies about foreign places. Growing up without computers and internet, I only found much later what Devils Tower was.
There is a time when one will go backpacking, there is a way where one will go biking, but here is the time when one needs a car, as long North American roads require.
Heading South through North Dakota happened in a blink of the eye. The friendliest (Dakota is the native Sioux word for “friend/ally”) highways with almost no traffic gave us the chance to reach our first way point very soon: Badlands National Park. Not that the lands we’ve seen in the first 2 days of our trip were any better (chuckle!), but I can’t really say that the prairies, or rather the Great Plains, were very appealing. The Great Plains cover most of North and South Dakota, and the endless plains, hills, shrubs and grass that you can see all over can make you think if these areas are really inhabited. But yes, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, as we could see hundreds of herds of cattle with alternating fields with rolls of hay; so we figured out people are still living in these places (I guess only the brave ones), even though we very rarely saw anyone.