Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Or at least we're in Golden, BC...
It's been a little while since I've posted - mostly because we've had no Internet connection. We have been busy though!
After we left Dinosaur Provincial Park, we drove to our hotel and collapsed into bed. The next day we were up early and our first stop was here:
This is the World's Largest Dinosaur statue. It's huge. We could actually climb up inside the dinosaur and out to an observatory at the jaws of the beastie. We had fun climbing the stairs.
After the big dino, we headed off to the Royal Tyrell museum for a really neat experience. The kids (the big one and the two younger ones) got to go on a dinosaur dig. I went along for the hike and the gorgeous scenery. They didn't dig up real dinosaur bones - they were casts of real bones that they 'bury' under dental plaster and dirt and rocks - it simulates a real dig though and the kids had much fun unearthing an arm and 'hand' of a dinosaur. We spent most of the rest of the day wandering through the very large museum there. It was very well laid out, had tons and tons and tons of dinosaur skeletons and was just interesting as all get out. I only wish we could have spent more time there.
We stopped briefly at the Little Church. The sign out front has to make you smile. It says 'seats 10,000 people - 6 at a time!'. It's a teeny, tiny little church - it was actually hard for DH, DS#1 and I to stand upright in it. DS#2 fit perfectly.
After that we found a cute little go-kart track and bought the boys 10 laps each. They had a great time racing each other - although DS#1 lapped his brother. Twice. Makes me worry what he'll do when he can get a license in two years....
Then we were off to Edmonton. After finding our hotel, we had a brief look around West Edmonton Mall. I think the best description of the place would be that it's an amusement park with a mall around it. There are multiple mini-golf courses, an amusement park (with roller coasters), a water park (with lots of waterslides and a wave pool), a full aquarium.... I could go on and on. Unfortunately, the price to do things there was MEGA $$$$.... However, we returned the next day to play some mini-golf and paddle around in the water park. We had so much fun!
The day after the WEM, we stopped off for a quick tour of the Telus World Of Science (thank you Ontario Science Center reciprocal membership!). The kids got the chance to program some Lego MindStorms, along with looking around at all the other cool things they have there. We could have spent the day, but the road was calling and we were off again.....
We started to see our first view of the Canadian Rockies. What a sight! The mountains are just so majestic - they're like nothing I've ever seen. I felt very, very, very small.
We drove through Edson:
Now there's nothing particularly special about Edson really. BUT, when my father emigrated to Canada from Denmark in 1955, he and his brother first came to Edson to work on a farm. They took a boat from Copenhagen to Montreal and then the train all the way out to Edson. They spoke not a single word of English and went to work for a Ukranian farmer, who also spoke no English, nor any Danish. I'm still mystified that they managed to work together, but there you go.
When we got to our hotel, we dumped our stuff quickly and then drove off to the Miette Hot Springs. They're a natural hot spring that comes out of the mountain at around 56C - it's so hot that they actually add cold water to the spring to have it in the pools at 40C and 38C. We had a lovely soak for a few hours..... Then back to the hotel for bed!
The next day had us officially entering Jasper National Park. The project jumped out of the van for its beauty shot:
(and yes, the Q-snap has finally moved on this project - it's been hard to stitch much - the scenery is beyond divine!)
We hiked out to Athabasca Falls first - it is such a powerful waterfall and really, really, really cold. If you fell in, hypothermia would probably kill you before you could be fished out again. But it was still beautiful to see!
Then we drove into the town of Jasper proper to be real tourists and do some shopping (actually, more like browsing - stuff was pricey!):
Then we were off to the Columbia Icefield. What an amazing experience that was - we got the chance to stand on over 1,000 ft. of ice - right on the glacier. It was pretty darned cold, but neat. The kids were fascinated!
After the icefield we were driving towards our next hotel when we saw two mountain sheep butting heads on the side of the road. They were very close to us and kept stopping what they were doing to stare at the tourists. They they'd go back to butting heads again. The noise it makes when they bash into each other is surprisingly loud.
They soon took off for the forest and we continued driving until we came across a very large black bear browsing in the bushes right at the side of the road. I've never been that close to a bear before - I almost could have reached out the window and touched him (being of a sound mind, I didn't!).....
That brings me to today where we stopped first at Lake Louise. The weather hasn't been the most co-operative, so it was raining off and on all day and we didn't get the best pictures of the lake. It was still beautiful though. Then we drove into Banff and did some more browsing and a little shopping. We headed up to the Banff Springs Hotel and then on to the Banff Gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. Thankfully the weather cleared up by this point that the Gondola ride was awesome!!!!!
And then we drove here, to Golden. I apologise for the lack of pictures but the connection is quite slow and it's been a challenge to upload the pictures that are here!
Blogger has now decided that I can't upload any more pictures - and I was going to show off more stash acquisitions from NN! Sorry! Maybe in the morning before we leave here I can squeeze out a quick post!
Keep your fingers crossed for a better Internet connection tomorrow!