To Deer Lodge – And Beyond!

Well, I think the saying actually has more to do with to infinity, and beyond – but who’s keeping score on misquotes?? ūüôā
I’ve always wanted to use that phrase in some fashion, so here was my chance. I feel so much better about myself now.

Well, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can move on. And move on we did – from Deer Lodge to Banff and that wonderful view from the top of the gondola. But before we got there, I had to get a picture of this – I’d actually never seen a deer crossing like this before. Well, I didn’t actually see a deer crossing . . . I just saw the place where he COULD cross if he wanted to.

the crossing for educated deer

OK . . . now on to Banff!

Banff Springs Hotel – big . . . really, really big

This was taken from the gondola – so that tells you how big that hotel is! We never got a chance to go inside it, as we were heading out that same day. Maybe, Lord willing, we’ll get another chance to come back and check this place out. But – we had a load of fun just seeing all that gorgeous scenery, which was way more fun than seeing the inside of a building, no matter how ornate.

looking out over the side of the car

I’m tellin’ ya, it’s even more breathtaking in person! I think the other people in the car got really, really tired of the constant, “Oh my goodness – look at that! Oh wow! That’s gorgeous! Oh my – honey, can you believe the beauty? Oh, look at that!” I mean, I was Tilly the Tourist through and through!! But that’s what road trips are all about, right? Having a blast and enjoying every minute?? That’s my take on the whole process, anyway. I had to get pictures of the other cars, and the rails, and the whole works. Yup, I was having a ball – that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

ridin’ the rails

hey, I can see the car down there!

even the cars were interesting – look at that detail!

OK, so we’re at the top, right? And what do we see? Remember¬†the little goat¬†from before? Well, the whole family was there to greet us!

here’s my mama . . . she’s kinda shy

ragged, hungry mama . . . curious papa

ragged lookin’ papa

The view from the top was really beautiful, from all angles.

Canadian flag

another beautiful scene

Well, anyway, it was a great trip, and we were off to other parts of Canada and then on to Idaho and Washington. Fun times.

no good tourist trip is complete til ya get a picture by the bus!

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Deer Lodge

There was so much about that one trip to Banff, Lake Louise, and other parts of Canada that would not fit comfortably into one post, so I decided to just tell a little bit of the story at a time, kinda like bite-sized pieces. Works for me!

Deer Lodge – a great experience!

You can see Mt. Fairview from Deer Lodge

We especially enjoyed our stay at Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, as I’d mentioned before, in this post. It’s an old hotel with no elevators! Luckily I had the stamina to climb a few stairs. Our room was “quaint,” as some might consider it. It was small, but very comfortable.

stepped out the door to get this shot of the tiny bedroom

we weren’t looking for ornate, just comfortable – obviously, the maid had not yet appeared on the scene

the closet – the room had all the amenities necessary to a good night’s sleep

The view was wonderful, no matter what window we looked out. The dining room was quite beautiful, I thought. And, I tried food I’d never tried before. That’s part of the whole experience, for me – I guess you could say it was a palatable adventure! ¬†I discovered I’m not all that fond of elk. Hubby said his caribou was good. Everything else was delicious, and the taste of elk would probably grow on me if I had it often enough. Well worth the experience, though, no matter what I thought of that first exposure.

part of the dining area

I was trying to capture the view out the windows…didn’t quite get it, but close!

a closer look at the view from the dining area

I enjoyed the sitting area of the hotel. The sun was shining through so beautifully, but it made some of the pictures a little dark as I didn’t really want to use the flash very much.

another hotel guest enjoying the morning paper

very interesting ceilings and lights, I thought – window detail was washed out though, so I tried a different exposure on another shot.

The only way to capture this window detail was with no flash – made the rest of the picture pretty dark! That’s OK – all I wanted was the window anyway.

We just loved the hot tub, too, with its view of Victoria Glacier. I thought it was wonderful that we were the only ones using it while we stayed there. It made me feel like they reserved it just for us! I would recommend Deer Lodge if you want a really fun experience and a great meal.

Hot tub steam in front, snow covered mountains in back, my honey by my side. Life is beautiful.

The Wanderers

We’ve got it – the Wanderlust! And I’m thinking it may become a habit, this weekly wandering down the old back roads of our minds. Or…maybe the old back roads of MY mind — whatever — back roads are fun to travel down, be they past, present, or future. And boy, have we been down some back roads!!!

dirt roads are so much fun to explore

But we’ve been down some major highways too, and we love both modes of travel. This particular road trip was mainly in British Columbia and Alberta, by way of Washington, Idaho, and parts south. But I’ll only share *some* of the thousands (literally) of photos I took. ¬†What’s that?? Oh…well, you’re welcome!

The beauty of the Lord’s creation never ceases to move us and fill us with wonder. Exploring the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies was especially awe-inspiring – there were times when I felt like I should be on my knees, praising the Lord for His majesty and for the breathtaking glory of Himself, revealed in a tiny part through what we were witnessing around us.

As we walked around Moraine Lake, I spotted this little tree actually growing right out of the rock. Amazing.

Look…a tiny tree growing out of a rock in the Canadian Rockies. This really rocks!

My very first view of Lake Louise was on a gray, overcast day, and it still took my breath away, it was so beautiful. ¬†I knew there was a reason that water was such a gorgeous color, so I looked in Wikipedia to see if I could find some information. Here’s a bit of what I found:

The emerald colour of the water comes from rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake. The lake has a surface of 0.8 km2 (0.31 sq mi) and is drained through the 3 km long Louise Creek into the Bow River.

Isn’t it amazing and wonderful how the Lord planned all this? I mean, this didn’t just “happen” all by itself, people!!

Lake Louise on a cloudy day

even with the mountains hidden behind clouds, it was breathtaking

It was hard to catch the full impact of this scene with my camera, which was not a really high-tech, expensive one. But it captured enough to get a feeling for the majestic beauty of this lake and the mountains surrounding it.

Traveling to Banff was a special treat, too. Miles and miles of road, with just the beauty of nature around us. I would go again in a heartbeat, even with the atrocious gas prices! This bear was minding its own business, munching away and totally NOT people-watching. I don’t think he even noticed the crowd of oglers and cameras focused in on his afternoon meal.

it’s a bear! it’s a bear!

Naturally, we had to take the Gondola lift thingy at Banff, since we were in the tourist mode. At the top, there were these goats people-watching. True story. I’m convinced their legs are shorter on one side so they can walk around the mountains…but then…they’d never be able to go the other way, would they? OK, scratch that – they just LOOKED like they were shorter.

As we walked around Lake Louise, this little fellow scampered along on the rock by the path…just watching us.

me local, you tourist

We stayed at Deer Lodge while we visited Lake Louise. I just had to take this picture as we enjoyed the hot tub. The sky was just . . . well . . . you know. Yup. Gorgeous.

as the sun went down

Odds N Ends – Old Buildings, Old Stuff, Old People

One of the reasons we love road trips is because of all the beauty we encounter on the way. ¬†Funny thing is, we also love all (OK…maybe not ALL) of the ugly we also encounter. ¬†You know the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” ¬†Well, one man’s ugly is another man’s beauty. ¬†I guess I have to explain that one. ¬†What we might see as ugly in some areas, others see as ‘quaint,’ ‘interesting,’ ‘unusual,’ or maybe even ‘ruggedly handsome,’ if you can say that about landscape and buildings.

Maybe I should give you a for-instance. While on a road trip through Canada and Washington, we passed this building in some long-forgotten little burg (only forgotten by me, as I cannot for the life of me remember where we were when I took this picture), and my first thought was, “EWWW…what a rundown looking place.”

memories of days gone by

Then thoughts of what used to be here caught up with my imagination. What was this like in its heyday? ¬†Was it a thriving clothing store, or grocery store, or bank, or (insert any business name)? What were the people’s lives like who ran this business? What caused it to come to be in this condition? ¬†Not far from here was another storefront that appeared to still be at least in partial use.

Trash or Treasure? Depends on your outlook.

Seems to have been a market for old tires and doors. My eye was drawn to the toys in the window – my boys would have been in toy-blissdom in that store. Yah, I know that’s not a word, but it fits. And there again, I wondered what the people’s lives were like in the bygone days of this town, how the lives of their descendants are now, and if they still live here and tell of the Good Ol’ Days, when the town was thriving. Or . . . did it ever thrive? Was it a pass-through place that never quite made the news in the Bigtime Burg Press? ¬†These are thoughts that meander through my brain as we travel and I’m not driving.

Sometimes we pass scenes that are just funny to us – like some of the road signs or storefront signs we’ve seen. Unfortunately, I missed a bunch of those because I was driving and cannot master the steering wheel and the camera at the same time, and hubby is not always that interested in road signs as photographic models. Oh well. ¬†But a few we did get on camera!

An explanation was apparently needed here…it’s “A Restaurant”

A view from the street might give an indication as to why the explanation was needed…

This is a restaurant. The sign says so.

We were totally fooled by the outward appearance – who’d a thunk??

In many parts of the country, we drive past some beautiful old barns and houses – some in excellent shape, some about to fall down, some in the process of self-demolition as we drove past. They all hold a story, or stories, depending on how old they are.

I would love to have seen this in its prime

old but not dead!

It has hauled its last load

We came across this old school building, burned out and left to rot in the sun. What a sad picture. I had to wonder how many students from this school still lived in the area, or had moved on, or died; how many drive by this and remember their days here? How many stories of school-days escapades were handed down to the next generation?

little school on the prairie

hear the bell? time for school! I wonder if it served as a church too??

a peek inside – such a loss

beauty even here!

Some of the farms we passed were well kept, functional, productive. I wonder if they knew the families from these other old places???

looks more like a garage than a barn to me, but well-kept!

As we travel around, we often come across really interesting looking people too, and since we’re people-watchers, I find the show fascinating. But, since I didn’t have anyone’s permission to feature them here, I’ll just stick with my own salute to interesting people everywhere:

the secret wave…are you in the club?

This is just one of our road trips that are memory-makers for us. ¬†What’s a memory-maker for you?