|Star at the entrance to the Alaska Highway|
Okay, we had been back from the Philippines, visiting my youngest April, and Taiwan for 2 weeks, we had rented out our townhomes and sold our belongings, and we had bought Star and Vino. So we left my eldest Trisha and her family in Seattle, visited Bill's eldest Jim and his family in Boise, Bill's second child Suzanne and her family in Denver, and my second child Claudine and her family in Calgary, and we are now headed for Jasper National Park, then the famous Alaska Highway, and on to see Bill's youngest Cristine in Alaska before we get back down to the lower 48 and Mexico! This is it! This is the start of our RV cruising life.
We had been to Banff before. After all, it is only about an hour away from Claudine’s home and we have visited Claudine a number of times. The Canadian Rockies is often called the Alps of North America, much more beautiful than the Rockies in the USA. Banff is surrounded by alpine peaks eternally covered with snow. So is the new town of Canmore, fast becoming another tourist destination in the region, second to Banff and picture-perfect Lake Louise a little further ahead. But we were more interested, this time, in Jasper, deeper into the Canadian Rockies.
|@ Icefields Parkway|
|a lake in Jasper National Park|
|elk by the road|
The trip took us to the border of Alberta and British Columbia. At the border was the sign for the first Intercontinental Divide we would cross…and there would be many more. I don’t know why. But the peaks of Mt. Robson evoked a secret admiration in me. They stood as imposing as the Mt. Rainier’s peak, for example, even as they rested on a base that was already thousands of feet above sea level.
Before we left Jasper, we had already bought the Canadian Pass so we could visit all its national parks. It cost so much more, however, ($150 for a year) compared to the Senior Pass Bill had for the American counterpart ($10 lifetime). But, what is that compared to the wondrous feelings they will constantly evoke? It was cheap! And so we left Jasper a little sad but confident that many more wonders await us.
|Mama Bear and her cub by the roadside|
|Mile 0 o the Alaska Highway|
The next town on the Alaska Highway was Fort Nelson, British Columbia. There we found a museum of the history of the famous highway, how the US and Canada cooperated in its building, and how they separate the maintenance responsibilities at the present time. Bill and I thought, after navigating the entire length of the highway, that the American portions were better kept than the Canadian part. The 1,390 mile-long highway has long served the distinct purpose of connecting Alaska to the lower 48, militarily strategic in WWII and economically so now. But we also think it serves another major purpose: develop tourism in Canada, especially the vast, underexplored Yukon Territories!
Next Stops: YUKON TERRITORIES, CANADA: Watson Lake, Whitehorse, and Haines Junction