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Our Trip of 2003

Yellowknife to Las Vegas

After returning to Yellowknife from Treeline we headed south with the first significant stop at Jasper National Park and the town of Jasper on 4 September. All of southern AB and BC were smoky from the wildfires that had been burning for weeks. Smoke from wildfires were a problem with distant viewing in all of the western US and Canada.

Note: Additions will be made to include multiple pictures of several stops. Click on a picture for more

We always see bighorn sheep and elk in or near the town of Jasper, AB.
From Jasper we drove the Yellowhead Highway into British Columbia, stopping at Rearguard Falls. Salmon migrate up 800 miles of river to reach the spawning area above these falls. On farther south, we saw a one-hour River Safari advertised. A water-jet boat carried us and six others up a shallow river. No animals, but pretty scenery including a waterfall.
Next stop was in Kelowna, BC, at the Kelowna Land and Orchard Co. We had a great tour and learned a lot about apple growing. Next was the Rocky Beach Dam in Washington. The dam tour was interesting, but was not our first tour of a power generating dam. What made the place special was the colorful flowers, including an American flag with all 50 stars and the stripes made of live, blooming plants.
In Cashmere, WA, we toured the Liberty Orchard Co. candy factory. Free, with samples, too. Next was a driving tour with lots of pictures in Toppenish, WA, the city of murals. We have seen a lot of murals in our driving tours, but none can compare with those in Toppenish.
Darigold Cheese Factory. Next was a cheese factory tour in Sunnyside, WA, followed by a woolen mill tour in Pendleton, OR. They make indian blankets at the mill.
White headed woodpecker We drove the Hells Canyon Scenic Drive in OR where we saw a lot of beautiful scenery and our first white-headed woodpecker. We then crossed into Idaho and visited the World Center for Birds of Prey at Boise. While interesting, I was disappointed in the small number of birds they had to show.                        Peregrine falcon
Next was a train tour of Boise. Interesting. We next drove the Thousand Springs Scenic Route. There is water running out of the green hillsides for a few miles. Beautiful.
Next stop was Shoshone Falls at Twin Falls, ID. They are having a drought and there was only a trickle of water was being released. A post card showed the whole rock area pictured here covered with water. Next was Balanced Rock west of Castleford, ID. We drove a long way to see it, and ended up on some gravel roads before we returned to civilization. Should have passed on this.
Next stop was at Mono Lake in CA. to see the tufa towers. They are strange formations that became visible when the water flowing into the lake was diverted to supply Los Angeles, and the level dropped about 60 ft. Stranger still are the small flies that make the shoreline black. We spent the night at Mammoth Lakes, CA. We could see seven ski lifts from one location, and there were more a short distance away. No skiing in September.
Next stop was one of my favorite places, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest. Some trees are over 4000 years old. They may look dead, but they still have life on one side. Next was a drive up the Whitney Portal, a road that goes up the tallest mountain in the 48 states. It goes about 9900 ft up the 14,496 ft mountain. Smoky still.
From the tallest mountain, we drove to the lowest point in the US, Death Valley NP, all on the same day. Artist Palette has beautiful colored rocks. After Death Valley, we headed to Las Vegas. The night-time volcano eruption at the Mirage is a good, free show, as is the Bellagio dancing waters.

Go to page 1, Earl Park to Mackinac Island.

Go to page 2, Ontario to Treeline.

Go to page 4, Utah Canyons to Home.

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