Tom Boswell

Joined June 2019
  • Day77

    Slocan River (Hwy 6) and Nelson, BC

    August 31 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    Still waking up to cool mornings, but they are definitely warmer. Don't need my jacket, or slippers. Flip flops and shorts work as long as I have a cup of coffee in hand.

    Packed up the RV and headed to the closest town, New Denver. I wanted to check out our route options again and headed to their visitor center. It was supposed to open at 9, we were a little early and waited. No one showed up, walked the main street which was about 4 blocks long. Never saw a soul, except for one woman who was walking her dog. Asked about an open coffee shop, she couldn't think of one. She said everyone was on"New Denver" time which I guess means you show up when you feel like it! But it looked like a cute town...

    Did find a really cute local coffee shop/cafe just down the hwy a bit in Silverton, no Visitor Center, but they did have some very nice muffins and coffee!

    This drive has been a beautiful, long winding road that parallels a long lake, Slocan Lake. While this is mining country, this is also hydro electric country, so lots of these narrow reservoirs that feed the generators, that result in a downstream river creating another reservoir feeding more generators. But the lakes are all beautiful and clear.

    Arrived in Nelson, located on the west arm of the Kootenay Lake, about noon. I had read that they have a lot of Victorian style buildings in their downtown district, and they did! Very eclectic downtown, some upscale boutiques, mixed with hardware and thrift stores, street singers, including lots of different cafes with street side dining. And several good size murals that the city is encouraging through an annual mural contest. They have completed 2 years of competition. I would have taken pictures but discovered my phone battery had died! Arrrgh! Had a nice lunch at one of the street side patio restaurants, walked around enjoying the energy of people out enjoying the day. I am pretty sure we were in the high 80s, one of our warmest days!

    Got back to the RV and continued on to Castlegar, found an RV park that had space at the Castlegar Golf Club. Visited the local Art Gallery here, they were in the middle of setting up as new exhibit for a local who works almost entirely "drawing" with fine string, or thread. The pieces after either stitched, or are woven together almost like a very fine lace. Interesting to see, but was still in process of being set up.

    After using sani dump at visitor center we headed out to the golf course/RV park. Beautiful setting, up above town, the sites aren't very private, but the setting is very nice, and the bathrooms/ showers look immaculate!

    Had to use the air conditioning while I cooked dinner. First time we have used since we left California....dreading the days to come. Goodbye cool, blue skies, goodbye endless forests, goodbye mountain lakes and waterfalls, goodbye Timbits, goodbye Canada! Hello, Hwy 395. We plan to cross the border tomorrow and wanted to take 395 all the way home, well, until Lee Vining. Why?? Why not?
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  • Day76

    Working South, via Nakusp, BC

    August 30 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

    Really happy we moved to this park from Williamson lake. Loved our site, view of the lake through the trees! Morning sun, there was a lakeside trail right of our site. Everything you want in a site!

    Packed up and on the way out of the park, stopped and walked up to Sutherland waterfall. Just a nice good size waterfall view to start the day with.

    Headed south on 23 to Nakusp. But to get there we had to cross the Upper Arrow lake using the Shelter Bay ferry. The ferry leaves once every hour from 5 am to midnight. It takes a pretty large number of cars and RVs. I think there were at least 4 lanes of vehicles, maybe 5. And it is a free service. Was about a 30 minute crossing, very smooth, very efficient!

    Stopped in at their Visitor Center since I really have done no planning for this leg. We don't have any reservations and are trying to figure best opportunities for campsites over this three day weekend. Not totally clear that this is a Canadian holiday, but apparently they help us Americans celebrate it!

    Had lunch "lakeside" at the old Leland Hotel. Very nice, outdoor patio, with a big, long, lake view! Walked around a bit and then headed south to try and find a campsite. The Visitor Center thought maybe a park about an hour or so south, Rosebery.

    Got to the park about 2:30 and they only had 2 sites left so we grabbed one. All the rest were full or reserved. Only 30 plus sites, but not a lot of options. The drive has been beautiful, following these long lakes, but this is not a main tourist corridor so less overnight options.

    Since we were in early we both actually did sit and read for an hour or so. I have to very my book club book read, Column of Fire, and I still have about 300 pages to go!

    Walked Auggie, fixed some dinner, and went back to my book!
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  • Day75

    Good bye to the Hibbs

    August 29 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    Slow start to the morning as we had to redistribute our "stuff" to the appropriate vehicles so that we could part company. Boo. It was hard to say good bye because we had all shared some great sights, adventures, laughter, and chats. We are all blessed to have been given this time together!

    After hugs, we drove into Revelstoke, which is a cute little railroad town. We spent sometime at the Visitor Center discussing alternative routes home through BC. The gal we spoke to gave us some great input and so we have a plan in place for the next couple of nights. Also did a little catch up with Quicken....

    Walked the town a bit, found a local artist gallery, and then had a nice lunch at the Village Idiot (restaurant name!) which had an outdoor patio. Perfect day to sit outside! I just can't believe how great the weather has been....beautiful clear blue skies!

    We were going to stay at Williamson Lake where we had camped last night, but decided to move to a provincial park out of town, so headed south for the park. Blanket Creek Park is located on Upper Arrow Lake, which is actually a reservoir lake on the Columbia River. The headwaters of the Columbia river are located east of us....if you look at the course of the river, from the headwaters, it travels north a significant amount, does a "u-turn" around Canadas Glacier Natl Park, and then heads south into Washington through the Grand Coulee Dam, down to the Oregon border and out to the Pacific. It was surprising to us to know this is the Columbia!

    With all parks, they typically have a "first come, first served" number of sites so we were able to get a beautiful site on the resorvoir, which really is a very long, narrow lake, or a wide river, depending how you look at it. And this park had some recently installed shower facilities! Pretty good, but they are the sort of shower that requires you to hold a button for water. Can be challenging to wash your hair and shower using just one hand....and no temperature adjustment. Fortunately mine seemed to access most of the hot water, Tom seemed to have "less" and had a fairly cold shower. He does NOT like cold showers!

    Did some more route planning and enjoyed a glass of wine outside, until the mosquitoes drove me into the RV. I just seem to be a magnet for these guys, and I even had some repellent on. They don't bother Tom as much, so he stayed outside and BBQ'd hamburgers! Delicious!
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  • Day74

    Good Bye to Alberta & Canadian Rockies

    August 28 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

    Headed back towards Lake Louise to catch Canada Hwy 1 to the west and drive through several of Canada's smaller national parks, Yoho, Glacier (Canadas version) and Mt. Revelstoke. Started with gray skies, and even a bit of rain!

    One of our first stops was to get a glimpse of one of the transportation solutions to living in the Rockies. All the railroads and vehicular roads are constantly dealing with mountainous grades, freezing snow and avalanches. To minimize grades by extending the rail line, the railroad company had spiral tunnels, two of them, that literally are big 360 degree spirals carved into the mountain. But as with spirals the elevation also changes. So you can literally see a train enter a tunnel, and reappear coming out of a tunnel above the tunnel it went into. And we did! We just happened to be at the overlook when a train entered the tunnel....and we saw it come out about the tunnel that it wad still going through. (If confused, I will try to show you picture when home) it just really wad kind of intriguing to see.

    Continued through Yoho to a rest area where we left our RV and jumped into the Hibbs truck camper to drive to Takakkaw Falls. Shared a ride because only vehicles under 24' were allowed on the road due to the really tight swithbacks. By now the weather had really started to clear up with bright blue skies and sunshine. The Falls were awesome. Not the gorge falls we have been viewing, but a big cascading drop.
    Nice short trail along the river, bridge crossing and short walk to the base. Beautiful, big, and powerful. Just a stream out of the cliff face. Lots of pics!

    Back down the hill and picked up our vehicle to move on to Emerald lake. Hibbs got there first and had us all pass on viewing the lake. It was so busy they couldn't find parking for the truck. We all felt we had seen the best of the lakes with our stops at Louise and Moraine that we didn't even mind....too much.

    Quick stop at Natural Bridge, which is pretty much that...a rock formation that has been carved by the river so that it actually forms a bridge. Pretty interesting, but again very crowded.

    Drove to the little town of Field and parked at the visitor center and made lunch. Enjoyed the quiet and the sun at a picnic table, and shared bits of lunch with the of magpies (?), I think!

    We all headed out towards Revelstoke, driving through Glacier National Park. Not alot of stops, but the drive is breathtaking. The mountains are huge, rocky and very vertical. Glaciers, bits of snow fields, and over a dozen snow/avalanche sheds built for protection. These passes through the Rockies are difficult to maintain, but imagine locating and building them!

    Another quick stop at Roger's Pass and their visitor center. Good topo models to help get a feel for the pass. One last stop at the Hemlock Grove, an old growth forest in a location that is essentially a temperate rainforest, similar to the Red Cedar one we visited a couple of weeks ago. Not sure I had seen a hemlock before, very flat needles.

    Finally pulled into Revelstoke, campsite was just on edge of town at nice little lake, Williamson Lake. Very family oriented, pretty small sites, and we are just beginning to feel a little summer weather. Cool evenings, so sleeping is great!
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  • Day73

    A Day in Banff

    August 27 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

    While Kristi and Steve took off early to master another mountain hike, Tom and I slept in again! Just a slow relaxing morning. I cut Tom's hair, and we both took long, hot showers at the restrooms in the campground. Clean, great water pressure, hot and no one else was there, I guess they all went hiking?

    Banff has a great bus system in place, and the campground is on the edge of town, so we caught the local bus into town. First stop the Banff Springs Hotel as it is located uphill from town. That way when we went back downtown it would be almost all downhill.

    This hotel is HUGE! And BEAUTIFUL. End of story. I am sorry we didn't sign up for a tour, it is so big you don't even know where to go to explore all the various public spaces. We did visit the Heritage Hall which outlined the history of the hotel. All these beautiful hotels were pretty much put in place by the Canadian Pacific Railway company to help support the expansion of the railroad. The company's perspective was..."we can't export this scenery, so we will import the tourists." The Springs was, and is, an internationally renown hotel. Wow!

    We headed down the Bow River Falls trail I had done with Kristi yesterday, but its is such a great walk and wanted Tom to see it. Great walk to downtown, and then by that time it was lunch time! Should have lunched up at the hotel, but really I was afraid to look at the menus and what it might cost....!?

    Strolled several streets and the smell of pizza drew us to a cute little place on the side street. Couldn't get outside, too nice a day, everyone wanted outside...
    Ordered their specialty pizza, "Big Bird". Yum, chicken, smoked bacon, red onion, pesto, mozzarella, and goat cheese. But what was really crazy is that they serve it recommending a rosemary infused chili oil that you mix with honey depending upon how sweet you like it. What?? Really, we dipped our pizza into chili oil with honey, and it was excellent! And their soup of the day was gazpacho, which I love. It was very good, and pretty spicy.

    Even though it was a beautiful day, we did spend some time at the Whyte Museum. It is a combination of a Banff history museum and art gallery. I love museums that include art. We took a couple of short tours with the docent and then had time on our own. Not a big museum, but the artifacts and local history were really interesting. The gallery highlighted the work of the Whytes, a married couple that loved the Canadian Rockies, and both were artists from the 1930s through the 50s. Most of their pieces were li landscapes of the Rockies. I liked their work, and the collection includes art pieces from other artists.

    We headed to the Cascade Gardens after stopping for an ice cream because it was just such great weather to be out walking! These are the gardens that surround the Parks Canada Administration offices. Lots of terraces, gazebos, ponds with waterfalls and lots of colorful flowers. I strolled and took yet more pictures while Tom enjoyed his ice cream.

    Hopped on the local bus #2, to get back to the campground, caught up with Kristi and Steve, shared stories, made some dinner and went to bed!
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  • Day72

    Hello Banff

    August 26 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 50 °F

    Wow...I always begin my travel journal entry with pics and had almost NO pics to post from this day! Not even of a flowering weed, which is what most of my flower pictures are! What does that say about our day??

    Slept in late and actually had bacon and pancakes for breakfast! It was that slow a start... then spent some time sorting laundry and writing out a grocery list. Life goes on even when you are on vacation! And trust me, laundromats and unfamiliar grocery stores (and products) make these simple every day chores take twice as long! And if you want a bottle of wine, that is a separate store, a government liscensed store.

    We rewarded ourselves with lunch in downtown Banff, an Irish Pub that was reccomended by some friends of the Hibbs. Excellent food, even for the liver and onions! Seriously, who eats that?? I married him!

    Steve took off for some propane tank refills, Tom joined Auggie for an afternoon nap, and Kristi and I headed on a short river side walk to Bow Falls. Just maybe a half mile out of the downtown, and is located just below the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. We have seen some outrageous falls, so this was pretty straightforward, more a change in the elevation of the river than the carved out gorges we have been seeing. But the day was beautiful, the weather perfect for a quick walk, and the river is that clear blue glacial color.

    Kristi and I headed back to the RV parking only to receive a text from the boys noting they were back in the village having ice cream! Eventually we connected, picked up vehicles and headed back to the campground with drawers full of clean clothes (especially socks and underwear!) and refrigs and cabinets refilled with food. And a bottle of wine. Or two.

    PS. Nothing like clean sheets!
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  • Day71

    The jewels, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

    August 25 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 36 °F

    Early, early, early....set the alarm for 5 because we all wanted to leave by 6 a.m. for Lake Louise. You hear all these stories about how difficult it is to get parking so we wanted to be early!

    Based on the discussions we'r had regarding the shuttle options we left K & S camper in the village, and took our RV up to the lake, only about 4 or 5 miles up the road. Got there about 6:30 or so, and had LOTS of parking options. Settled into a spot and got some coffee going.

    About 7:30 we left Auggie in the RV and headed to the shuttle location to secure tickets for a midday ride to Moraine lake. Moraine lake parking is so tight, if you aren't there before 6 a.m you aren't allowed to drive in. They actually close the road to all incoming cars and only allow the shuttle buses.

    After getting tickets we walked over to the lake. That first look is so stunning. You look down this turquoise lake to see these tall, rocky, mountain peaks, and a glacier hanging at the end of the lake. And in the morning, with little wind, it is all reflected in the lake surface. Really glad we got there when we did, because the edge of the lake fills up fast with a lot of tourists which makes picture taking a challenge. We just enjoyed the view and then spent sometime walking g t.he grounds of the hotel AMD eventually making or way into the hotel, actually the correct word is chateau, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Elegant, with the oldest part being built (I think) in the 1920s. This replaced the very original Chateau, which was a small rustic wood building. To qualify as "restaurant" guests we went in and had some coffee with requisite pastry and po purchased some sandwiches for later in the day.

    Back outside for first hike of the day, the Fairview overlook. Overlook always means "uphill" and this was all that. Uphill for maybe half a mile or so to a wooden platform that provided a great view if the lake and the Chateau. Just beautiful, red canoes on the lake, beautiful blue sky with clouds, Chateau planted at the foot of the lake....you really appreciate why this is a destination spot. I can't even imagine what a room costs here!

    After walking Auggie a bit, we all met the noon shuttle for Moraine Lake, about a 20 minute drive. Hopped off the bus and after checking in with a ranger headed "uphill" to get an overlook of this lake. It really was just a short hike up a large rockpile that gave us a breathtaking view of this stunning lake. The color was almost radiant, translucent, jewel like blue, again surrounded by rocky peaks, glacier, and streams. Wow, we sat in the sun (yes!), soaking in the view, the warmth and eating our sandwiches. Lots of picture taking!

    We split up again, K & S opting for a longer uphill hike, and Tom and I taking the flatter lakeshore trail. With all the various mountain peaks, the views changed all along the lakeshore. And with fluctuating clouds and sun, the lighting varied as well. I kept taking pictures thinking that the light was much better than the last shot! But they are all gorgeous pictures, you can't take a bad one st this lake!

    Caught our 4 pm shuttle to K &S dropped at the village to get their camper, and Tom and I back to Lake Louise to get the RV. We walked out for one last look at the lake, not sure if we would see it again, I hope so!! And as we drove away- a rainbow!

    Had about an hour drive to Banff Campground. It was interesting to see that this park had a number of animal under and over passes to minimize the accidents cause by the wildlife. I assume it makes a difference, very creative!

    What an awesome day! Thank you God for this blessing!
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  • Day70

    Southern end of Icefield Parkway

    August 24 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 39 °F

    Pretty cold morning, probably our coldest on the trip. I am guessing high 30's. But we enjoyed a slow morning because we all agreed it was time for "breakfast out"! Not fruit and cereal like our typical mornings. Besides we were out of cinnamon rolls.

    Had a nice breakfast buffet at the Altitude restaurant. The restaurant has big picture windows with great views of the glaciers. Nice to have breakfast all prepared for us! After breakfast spent some time in the gallery that discussed the importance of the icefield and the drainages it contributes to. Watched a really nice film that sort of spoke to the enduring beauty and nature of these mountains.

    Drove on over to the Athabasca glacier parking lot and walked the short hike to the "toe" of the glacier for an "up close and personal" look. This is a big and wide glacier! Like most glaciers this probably half the size it was in the early 1900s.

    Back on the road with several viewpoint drive bys. Stopped at Saskatchewan Crossing for a big view of the valley and the north Saskatchewan river. Rain clouds threatening, then moments of sun, and back to threatening clouds again. The weather changes pretty rapidly up here.

    Another short walk to get a peak at Mistaya Canyon to view the falls. Like others it is a gorge carved by the river, but with it's own character. We had moments of rain and then bright sunshine. The variability of the weather is in incredible!

    Several lake stops followed, Peyto Lake with a walk out to the viewpoint which is an overlook of the lake. So as Tom often remarks, "another uphill" walk! Stunning color, it does not look real, almost like a big pool of paint. Had an opaque quality, and oh, so turquoise!

    Back in the RV and on to Bow Lake. This time our visit was at lake level, but still you can see the beautiful color created by these glacially fed lakes. The narrow drive and number of cars out to the lodge definitely discouraged us from taking a peak at the older lodge, so we headed down to the south end of the lake and found plenty of parking in the day use area. Walked along the shore and got some beautiful shots of the Crowfoot glacier and the lake. The is actually another glacier and water fall that feeds this lake down by the lodge.

    Final stop was a quick visit to the Lake Louise Visitor Center. Very bust spot. Lots of traffic. Picked up info on hiking, and shuttle options and headed to our campground. Very nice park, they even had some power to plug into! Although leveling and setting up was a little more challenging, those "on and off again" rain clouds finally let go of a steady stream of rain. We love being in the RV with rain, just prefer it after we have settled in for the night!
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  • Day69

    Follow'g the Falls, the Icefield Parkway

    August 23 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 43 °F

    What a great day! Lots of gorgeous views! One of my favorite days...and Cindy, we will try to visit this area again with you!

    K & S took us back to the Edith Cavell trail they had done already because there is a fabulous view (not to far up the trail) of the Angel glacier and glacial lake below it. The trail was maybe half a mile or so, after a 8-9 mile drive up the hill to the trailhead. The drive is as arduous as the hike. Lots of switchbacks, and they don't reccomend vehicles over 25 ft because the switchbacks are pretty tight.

    Walked the trail in some intermittent light rain; and mosquitos when it wasn't raining. It was mostly uphill, but not long and you end up standing above a glacial lake with floating ice. Spent some time talking to an English family who had walked down to the lake and they shared some ice they had picked up out of the lake. Tasted just like ice! Tom and I were so glad that Kristi felt we should visit this spot!

    Headed south on the Icefield Parkway to Athabasca Falls. This is not just a typical waterfall, this is a huge gorge cut out of rock that steps the river down. Big stone walls, huge amount of water, lots of noise, and the park has created multiple short walks and view points to enjoy this waterfall. Below this waterfall canyon, the Athabasca River flattens out and you see rafters putting in at this point.

    Next stop Sumwapta Falls. Another water carved gorge with roaring, rushing water. But an entirely different look and different experience. You never tire looking at these falls because they are not the "end off the summer" trickles!

    Headed south again passing Tangle Falls which is right beside the road so we had seen it once before; but you can never have too many pictures of a waterfall, so one more quick stop with the camera.

    Finally arrived at Columbia Icefield Center about 4 p.m. The center is positioned across the highway from several glaciers that are part of the Columbia Icefield. Ran in to get some time in with the gallery but they closed at 4:30 so had to put that visit off until the next day. The center is a hub for a number a glacier "adventures" so they allow you to stay over night in their parking lot for a small fee. So even though you are parked in a parking lot with no services you have a number of snow capped mountains and the Athabasca Glacier out your RV window! Stunning and cold, with a lot of moving cloud cover and more intermittent rain. No mosquitos here!
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  • Day68

    Maligne Canyon and Lake

    August 22 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Nice, cool morning, looked around for elk....it was as if they were never here. Not hide nor hair. Gone. The loop felt so empty with out them....!

    Packed up our RV and drove into Jasper to leave unit for the day as Kristi and Steve picked us up for day out to Maligne Canyon. What a gorgeous spot. This is a river canyon carved by water that is very (!) narrow and varies in depth up to something like 60 meters from the top of the canyon wall. The park had created a meandering hike that includes bridges spanning the canyon in several locations. So you get these great views right over a roaring river. The noise is great, and in places you feel the spray. Very popular tour spot (with buses) complete with gorgeous "teahouse" (restaurant) and gift shop, so dealt with a pretty significant number of people on the trail, but still would not want to miss this stop!

    Back on road following Maligne river going by Medicine Lake for a quick look. Spotted a couple of loons and watched them dive and surface. Continued the drive to Maligne Lake. Another beautiful spot! A pretty big lake surrounded by these big rocky mountains. Perfect day to be there with clouds and blue sky! Had packed our lunches and sat out in the sun enjoying the view and lunch.

    This lake is an old historic tour destination from the early 1900s. It has maintained an old historic boat house with canoe and kayak rentals. It has the old Lake Chalet restaurant, (dinner only), and a new very contemporay lakeside restaurant for lunch and dinner with a gift shop. They also run boat tours that go to the far end of the lake for a different view of the mountains and Spirit Island. And of course many hiking options! K & S took off on the Moose loop, wihile Tom and I enjoyed lakeside strolling, picture taking and a little time in the gift shop!

    Back to Jasper with a quick stop at another "red chair" location along the Maligne river, and back into Jasper about 4 pm. Tom and I took our RV back to camp while K & S went into town with errands. Stopped for showers going in...still a great, hot shower with lots of water.

    Such a nice warm day that we barbecued hot dogs for dinner! Kept our eyes open for an elk return, but were disappointed. However we had an excellent day! So thankful for this trip, and have loved Jasper!
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