On day three, we left Banff headed for Lake Louise for two nights. Originally we were supposed to spend two nights at a B&B in Field, BC – but when we contacted them the day before they wrote back after a long delay – stating that they had written down the wrong dates and we had no accommodations there for the nights we had planned. So we got online and found Post Hotel had some openings, and it was located in Lake Louise – which was not far from the things we had planned to see.
Before we left we grabbed some things and headed up to our first destination, which was recommended by the B&B hostess from where we had just departed in Banff: Johnston Falls, located in Johnston Canyon. She recommended taking the Hwy 1A, which paralleled the Trans-Canadian Highway, as it was a more scenic drive, so we pulled off the main highway and set off winding towards the canyon.
Once we got there we found that the lots were full, and we just parked along the gravel on the side of the road and walked in. It quickly became obvious that this was a very popular destination: lots of cars and naturally an unfortunate number of charter buses. We weaved our way along Johnston Creek towards the upper falls. It was an okay hike, maybe 2.5 km but it took forever because you were behind lollygaggers and people that didn’t pay attention to anyone around them and blocked the often very narrow walkway. Eventually, we arrived.
As you can see, it was one of the sunniest, and probably most clear days we had during our trip.
On our second day of our Canadian Rockies adventure (did you miss Day 1?) we woke up to a cool morning as we departed Radium Hot Springs for the entrance to the first park: Kootenay National Park (official) (Wikipedia). The weather so far wasn’t unlike what Seattle had experienced this summer: warm, dry days and cool, refreshing nights. After a tasty breakfast at the motel, we hit the road for the park entrance – it was less than a kilometer away.
The actual entrance to the park was unique in that it went through a canyon – Sinclair Canyon, to be exact – on its way to a valley where you could see cool alpine rivers and sweeping views of the valley and its bordering mountains.
On our first day, we set out from the Emerald City (Seattle…just in case you were unsure) and headed eastbound on I-90 around 0800 Pacific. I wanted to get through Snoqualmie Pass before the Labor Day traffic backed up, but we made it through with little to no problems.
Driving on the ‘dry side’ of the Cascades reveals a landscape that’s very….different (read: boring) than the wet side.
The landscape reminded me more of Texas or Oklahoma. Fun fact: most of WA is arid desert, with some irrigated farmland along a lot of the Columbia river. Other fun fact: Seattle’s climate is considered ‘Mediterranean’ (wet winters, dry warm summers) and the Olympic peninsula is classified as a rainforest. Three majorly different climates in one wonderful state!
We crossed the border at a very small crossing in Eastport, ID (or Kingsgate, BC). The Canadian border agent – asked few questions: “Why are you here?” and “Do you have any firearms in the vehicle?” (‘To spend a week in Banff’ and ‘I do not,’ respectively), he replied “Have a good trip.” Maybe it was the NEXUS (pre-cleared border passes) that limits the question or it’s just Canada being awesome, but whatever. I get fewer questions at border crossings with the NEXUS card (even at non-NEXUS crossings) than I did with the full passport.
We drove through many miles/kilometers of wilderness, even going past an active wildfire scene (with helicopters airlifting water drops into it as we drove past), we arrived at our first stop: Radium Hot Springs, right on the edge of the Kootenay National Park.
I would say it’s been extraordinarily hot here in Seattle….because it has been – at least this week. When I moved here in June of 2014, I remember that summer being pretty toasty – mild compared to SC in terms of heat and humidity – especially since 2/3 o f places in Seattle and the PNW typically do not have air conditioning. The following two summers were pretty warm as well – normal PNW summers I am told, with several weeks of abnormal heat. Up until this week this summer wasn’t very bad at all – upper 70s during the day with lows in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Those are the summers I signed up for. Tomorrow is allegedly going to hit upper 90s. Bleh.
Live weather from the weather station I’ve mounted on our roof: KWASEATT1710.
I’ll be hiding out in the bedroom with the portable AC unit.
Remember as you say ‘Happy Memorial Day’ to friends and family that the holiday is meant for solemn rememberance of those who gave their lives in defense of this country – not for barbecues and retail sales.
Also remember that those who are currently serving and veterans have holidays in their own honor (Armed Forces Day & Veteran’s Day, respectively). Those days are for them – veterans came home (myself included), and active duty are still alive. Memorial Day is for those who didn’t come home.
So today the inevitably doomed GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act was pulled, after they realized that it wasn’t going to pass the vote – a vote that Trump forced this Friday (probably because he doesn’t want it to interfere with his golf game in FL, right?). How I see it is that this – while it appears on the surface to be a big blow to Trump & the GOP (and it is – but read on), is that it’s a win for everyone.
Trump gets to blame the GOP for drafting a bill that wasn’t going to pass in the first place
The GOP/Paul Ryan will blame Trump for forcing a vote on it before they had gotten enough support
American citizens win because the Affordable Care Act remains intact so far
Funny though – Trump is blaming the Democrats for not supporting it. What, exactly, did he expect from them?
Notwithstanding those three points – two of which allow Trump and the GOP to each save face to some extent – it still is a blow to the administration and the GOP as a whole. These clowns have nearly unfettered ability – control of both houses of Congress and ‘control’ of the child in the White House and are still unable to get one of their chief talking points accomplished. Unreal.
I like to hope that we’re watching the GOP unravel before our eyes – the unfortunate part is that it affects the entire country and the lives of its citizens.
More specifically – the packing for the move. Basically the time in one’s life where you discover how much junk you have as you place it all in boxes to marvel – once again – at the same junk as you unpack it in the destination. If you’re doing it right you pare it down as you pack, so as to not move junk from point A to point B. But most of us know ourselves better than that.
Fortunately, when I moved from SC to WA I literally pared down a 3BR 2.5 bathroom house into what fit into a ABF U-pack pod (which I highly recommend, by the way). So much went to Goodwill, some was sold, and the rest went to the dump. Probably the best thing I ever did – since I knew I had a finite amount of space I had to cut the emotional attachment and make some decisions.
Decision making tips when deciding what to keep, and what not to:
Do I need it?
Do I want to keep it?
If I do want to keep it, is it unique/one-of-a-kind/hard to replace?
If I do want to keep it, and it’s easy to replace, should I really keep it?
Is it more economical to keep it or just buy new when I get there?
For #5, most of mine was just easier/cheaper to buy it when I got to WA as opposed to trying to cram it in the pod. I had a 11-year old living room set that was basically free. I sold it for $100 and bought a new set in Seattle. Bonus: I got something that wasn’t massive and also was 11 years newer.
Lots of things you can do to decide what to keep and what to toss – or buy new later. If anyone has any tips, feel free to comment below.
So it’s still within Don the Con’s first 100 days, and yet here we are with at least two of his appointees recusing themselves from things they have a conflict of interest (Sessions last week, and Tillerson just today). And of course, how can we forget Flynn’s resignation/firing mid February. Naturally ‘conflicts of interest’ seems to be a theme of the entire administration and the appointments to positions therein.
Included within the first 100 days of turmoil (I’m putting it lightly) is the ever-present Russian element in all of this – just how much did Trump & Co. collude with the Russians? And most importantly – if it is so innocent, then why does each and every one of them feel the need to be deceptive about it or just flat-out lie about it? It’s truly mind boggling, but then again they don’t have much incentive to be honest, as their dear leader Trump himself is blatantly dishonest.
And lest we mention the unfounded allegations that the previous administration bugged Trump’s phone lines. Oh, please. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if there were some wiretaps found, and the culprit ended up being the Russians?
This administration is a train wreck. I’m still curious when the ‘man’ in the White House will be impeached – hopefully before he does any real damage to the country.
Every time I go on a trip where I rent a car, I am reminded of how shady car rental companies are. You think it’s all easy – you plan ahead and book the car ahead of time along with whatever else you need to prebook for your trip. And then you arrive.
Maybe you wait for your bags and then trek off in a shuttle bus to wherever the airport has relegated the rental agencies to, or maybe there’s a counter right there at the airport. On my last trip, we waited about an hour in the cold December weather at PHL for what the rental agency (after an annoyed call) said “we only have one bus running.” I wonder now if it was a tactic to just exhaust us into acquiescing to their tactics do once you get to their office (similar to car dealers who try to tire you into accepting their sub-optimal deals).
Upon our glorious and long-awaited arrival at the rental center we were offered every possible upgrade. Did we want a Ford Mustang? No. What about-No. Please, really, I just want the $15/day car I signed up for. I understand the insurance offering – that to me makes sense – and yes, I understand if I crash the car I’m liable, etc etc. Aside from the upsell attempts – which are annoying, yes – the slowness in the whole ordeal is amazing. All the typing and tabbing in what I imagine is a very old green-screen database, then the dot-matrix printing and the signing and then wandering out to find the car.
Renting the car is second only perhaps to the ‘convenient hassle’ that air travel has morphed into these days.
There once was a time when online newspapers were free to read; that time is long gone. I’ve never paid for an online news subscriptions, as I could usually find the story I wanted to read somewhere for free or find a way to get past the x number of free articles per month pay wall.
Yesterday I paid for a subscription to the New York Times. I don’t live in New York and have zero interest in local NY stories or even ever living in NYC – but that’s not important.
What’s important is that Donald Trump hates them – hates them with a passion. And honestly, that’s almost reason enough to buy a subscription. You have to remember that Trump hates the truth; as a liar it’s his arch enemy. So the fact that he hates the NYT means they’re doing their job. And that I can get behind.
For all two of you who read this (I’m being generous) I encourage you to support your local news outlet if you can. Especially if Trump hates them.