Friday, July 18, 2014

Rocky Mountains - Canada into US

Wood Lily

Traveling along the Rockies in Alberta, back into British Columbia and into Montana is absolutely breath taking.  Photos don't do it justice - you really need to experience it.
Elk Calf

We were in Jasper National Park and the scenery, flowers and wildlife were great.  There were many elk cows and calves right in the campground.
Bull Elk along the parkway

Bighorn sheep lambs

We took the Jasper Sky Tram up Whistler's Mountain (along with 22 other tourists in each car), at 7,400 feet then walked another mile or two upward to the summit at over 8,000 feet.

Along the trail were Hoary Marmots and Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels.

The Alpine tundra looks bare and rocky but just take a closer look .... it's covered in moss, lichens and many beautiful alpine flowers.

Elephant's head Lousewort

After five hours on the mountain, we drove the road to Lake Maligne.  We found 5 Black Bears including these two playful cubs ( #63 & #64 for the trip).

Next day, we started south on the Icefield Parkway hoping that the road was open after being closed for two days because of smoke from wild fires.  We stopped at Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls on the way.

We encountered some Mountain Goats coming down to the mineral licks on the side of the parkway near the White Goat Wilderness.

Fires were still burning near Saskatchewan Crossing but we were able to keep going as the wind was in our favor.

Campgrounds were full at Lake Louise so we moved south into Kootenay National Park.  We followed the Kootenay River all the way to the U.S. border.
Edith's Checkerspot

We visited Glacier National Park, birding the west side and going as far as we could as size restrictions and construction kept us from going over the pass on Going to the Sun road.

We found many butterflies and other insects on the roadside flowers and saw one more black bear for our list.  We then drove around the south end of Glacier Park stopping at the Goat Lick adding 5 more Mt. Goats.
Sacken's Bee Hunter

A little rain and sunshine near East Glacier and you find spectacular rainbows.  This was actually a full double but impossible to capture in a photo.

The flowers were at their peak and everywhere you looked was more color.  The only drawback is the hoards of people that overtake the parks so we left for unknown roads and birds.

It is good to be back in the states.  We don't complain about high gas prices because it's much lower than in Canada.  We are thankful for a wonderful, safe trip and looking forward to traveling back to Wisconsin.

Ty and Ida Baumann

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