Our National Parks trip in Wyoming, Montana and Canada
By the Roseann and Walt Krane
|Glacier National Park
|Montana to Banff
|Lake Louise to Jasper
Montana and Fishing: This is a wonderful Western United States trip with over 3,000 miles of driving. Our first day was driving seven hours from Alamo California to Wells Nevada.
As we arrived at the motel so did a Dad and his son of 9 which was absolutely true Americana. A dad was driving a big pickup and wearing jeans, a jean shirt with cut off sleeves, cowboy belt, hat, and boots and his 9 year old son was dressed exactly like dad. We could not help but smile and wished we could take a photo.
We arrived early enough for a swim in the warm pool and time to rest and to look at the beauty of the mountains surrounding the area. Then we went to the 4Way Cafe and Casino, ate dinner and then Roseann won $80 in the 25 cent slot to pay for our room and dinner.
The next day we drove seven hours from Wells to Jackson Hole Wyoming again arriving early enough for a late lunch, a tour of the town, some shopping at a K-Mart, and a swim in the pool. Jackson is now a large city with more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States and a far cry from the town we saw in 1969 when we were last here.
The surroundings are beautiful and the Teton mountain range is so incredible you really need to look at our photos to enjoy the beauty. We can only compare it to the Swiss Alps. And from another spot a reflective view.
And we can prove we were there with our photos. The next morning we drove from Jackson to Big Timber. We saw beautiful creeks which looked like they were paintings and lakes and elk and bison along the way.
It was like traveling in Europe when we were at Old Faithful because we heard so many different langages as many travels were visiting from all over the world.
We left Yellowstone National Park and drove to Gardiner Montana where Walt picked up his fishing license. To get into the town we had to drive through an arch which was uniqe in America and built in stone by the government years ago. The Yellowstone River was quite lovely from the bridge.
We drove another hour and stopped in Livingston to get gas and groceries to last the week. We arrived at CWC ranch - www.cwcranch.com - about ten miles from Big Timber - a town of 1700. The mosquitos had come out to welcome us in Yellowstone National Park. Here in Montana next to the Boulder River, which runs through the ranch, the pesky insects came out to welcome us again. Although you can't walk outside without plastering yourself with deet, it is a quiet and lovely place. We have no television and that is pleasant. There are four houses and a barn as well as some out buildings on the 700 plus acre ranch. The original log cabin is still here although they have added running water and electricity.
Walt walked a few feet to the river and shortly he caught two trout - one quite large. Penny loved to chase those fish which Walt released. He then managed to have an unusual experience and he wrote a story about it, so be sure you read his story when it is published.
Our six room house has beds for ten and we wish our sons, family, and friends were here to share this experience. The house has a well stocked kitchen, a welcoming basket of fruit, and a plate of candy waiting for us. The Campbells were originally from Montana but live in California so they could have jobs. The house was their summer home until the 80's when they built a hexagon shape residence right on the river. Our house has a wood stove in the living room as well as an antique victrola, and a Duncan Phyfe folding table are among the other furnishings.
Pat Campbell, the owner of the ranch, brought us fresh warm biscuits for breakfast the next morning. After breakfast Roseann made more jewelry and worked on this web page and Walt and Penny went fishing. Walt came home before lunch with two nice trout for dinner.
The afternoon was a repeat except Pat visited and asked Roseann to come fix her email. We went over and toured her house and the new house her son, David, is building. He built the home she lives in now as well. Both houses very nice. Pat does weaving and here is a photo of her lome.
Walt and Penny again caught several fish and with the new 7 foot bamboo rod which Walt made. He caught a 18 inch and a 17 inch trout both on a number 14 caddis dry fly. He was quite happy when he came home. I'm sure the next six days will be more fishing, hiking, and relaxing here at the ranch with a river running through it.
We looked out our kitchen window in the morning and we saw a lovely white tailed deer - so different from the deer in our backyard at home. Walt has declared he could spend the summer here but I have declined. (where is the beach?)
Walt caught and released four fish as he watched the fisherman with their guides going down the river. They pay $300 to $400 a day and they weren't happy to see Walt catch fish while they weren't.
After lunch we went for a walk and were surprised to see the river had become faster and turned brown. There must have been a storm on the Yellowstone River which feeds into the Boulder River north of here. We toured the equipment shed which is about 40 by 50 by 30 feet high. We also looked at the barn and the other small buildings. We took some photos of old equipment laying around outside which seems to have gone to pasture. Every thing was loaded.
There is also a good shot of the new house David is building for himself. It is hot and muggy and we had a couple rain showers but Walt went fishing when it subsided. Tuesday came and it is July 4, our nation's 230th birthday. We are celebrating by having a rib BBQ with Pat and going to the rodeo and fireworks in Livingston this evening. We drove a 90 mile round trip and walked 12 blocks from where the car was parked only to be told they were sold out. We did get some photos of antilope and an old homestead along the way.
July 5 was like every other day here at the ranch with Walt fishing and me making jewelry. I created a couple gifts and we took them to the post office in town for my Mom and Sister's birthdays.
We found some cool stores to cruise - they really have the antiques. But my favorite place was Hodges Art Gallery. The web site is www.hodgesfineart.com. Dave's sculture work is really outstanding and they also have paintings and Navajo rugs and jewelry. He was chosen by Montana to do an ornament of a bird for the white house at Christmas.
Thursday after Walt fished in the morning, we went to the natural bridge area which is really a bridge made from natural stone where the river water flows under the rock. It is a beautiful unspoiled area. We drove past mountain rock striations that where quite fascinating.
We walked along the path and on the other side of the rock bridge out came the river and off it goes.
In the evening after Walt fished we were invited over to Pat's home to visit with her friend Barbara Johnson. Both the women had taught in the SRVUSD like me but had left Monte Vista HS before I came to the school district. We had homemade peach pie together and we heard stories about the happenings of Monte Vista the first years the school was in existence. This is their photo.
Today is our last day here as we leave tomorrow for Glacier National Park. We learned that most guests come from back east and fly into Billings and rent a car to get here. Both the house and cabin are booked for most of the summer.
We toured the cabin and found it to be delightful. It has three rooms and only sleeps three and maybe four but I'd much prefer it. They had it rebuilt and brought up to standard with plumbing and electricity several years back. It has a great view of the river and the man who rebuilt it also made some nice furniture for it.
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|Glacier National Park
|Montana to Banff
|Lake Louise to Jasper