Saturday, August 24, 2013

Update August 24th - Icefield Parkway - rated one of the 20 most beautiful drives in the world!

This is the second time I have done this drive and it is amazing, you are constantly surrounded by huge Mountains and you are literally driving on the Continental Divide with several very high passes...reached an altitude of nearly 7000 feet today!

Not much of a picture day, it was very tedious driving with the trailer and all the tourists who just have to go slow and pull over to see the views, then pull right out in front of you as I was trying to keep speed to get up the damn hills! The sky was not real nice for good pics and most of the high mountains were shrouded in clouds, it rained on and off most of the way also, which kept me from stopping.

But there is one decent picture and a story to go along with it and proves you don't have to stray far from the road for good animal pics.

I was approaching the climb up to one of the highest passes and was on a warm-up downhill run trying to gain some momentum for the long climb....when lo and behold an earth shoe wearing, tree hugging old hippie pulls right out in front of me in a damn Prius towing a small trailer full of bicycles and camping a Prius can't get out of it's own way on flat ground, but up this pass fully loaded and pulling a small trailer (Is that even allowed, I am going to check) was a very slow go, so I have to slam on the brakes, loose all my momentum and fall behind this moron. I would have passed him but there was on-coming traffic, so I was stuck. So up the long grade at about 22 MPH. My truck was straining with my trailer load and I have no idea how the underpowered Prius was even making it. At the very top of the pass is Road Construction so right on about the steepest part you have to stop for one lane traffic. There is a traffic light which lets you switch lanes and stops the on-coming traffic. There is a line of cars pulled over to the side of the road which only adds to the confusion, I notice they are all jumping out of their cars with IPhones and Cameras, so I take a look, but no place for me left to pull over, plus I was determined to reach the summit. I see a couple large male Bighorn Sheep, so I roll down the passenger window and pull out my camera and captured this image!

I actually have a couple more pictures from yesterday and today to process and will do another update in a day or so from Kalispell. The border was beckoning me and the need to be back in the States away from weird kilometer signs that I can never understand and weird money and ultra-high gas prices...My highest fuel price paid this entire summer was in Canada on this return trip and it was $6.10 cents per gallon!! OUCH!

So I drove all the way to the US Border running on fumes - although I still have 10 gallons in jugs in the bed of the truck and filled up right across the border and only had to pay $3.79 per gallon, huge difference from almost $6.00 per gallon everywhere in Canada. I will admit that I got better mileage on Canadian Fuel, so some how our gas is inferior, probably emissions regulations or ethanol! Lord only knows but I average almost 2 mpg better! Not enough to make up the price difference though!

Stopped right across the border at a hotel Casino with electric hook-ups for FREE and decent WiFi! Short 75 mile drive in to Kalispell in the morning, promise to process more pics when I get settled there!


Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

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