Loveland, CO–Rocky Mountain National Park

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We entered Colorado for the first time as motorhome travelers.  Our first stop was Loveland, in order to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.  In Loveland we parked at Riverview RV Park.

Rocky Mountains National Park

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Columbia Falls, MT & Glacier National Park

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This is the first time in Montana for both of us.  Columbia Falls is located southwest of the west entrance to Glacier National Park.  We parked at the LaSalle RV Park.

Glacier National Park

I don’t attempt to rank national parks and other places of natural beauty since each place offers something unique and special.  But suffice it to say that Glacier National Park gave us many opportunities to feel overwhelmed with the sheer scale and beauty of what we were seeing.  This place that was carved and shaped by geological forces and glaciers occupies about one million acres in northwestern Montana.

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Alaska Cruise–Week 2

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This post is a continuation of Alaska Cruise – Week 1.

Byron Glacier - Anchorage

Day 8:  Anchorage, AK.  This is by far the largest city in Alaska and is the commercial and transportation center for the state.  Valerie’s cousin Prudence is working on a temporary assignment at a hospital in Anchorage.  We were able to meet up with her and she generously offered to drive us to see some of the natural beauty around Anchorage.  We drove south from the city along the coast of Turnagain Arm.  Our first stop was a brief hike in Chugach State Park, one of the largest state parks in the United States.  While hiking, Prudence spotted a moose with a calf at about 150 yards from the trail.  At a little further along the road we hiked to Byron Glacier and spotted a black bear at a comfortable distance.  Back to Anchorage we stopped briefly at the Earthquake Park which captures some of the impact from the massive 9.2 earthquake that hit Anchorage in 1964.  Near there we saw a young moose grazing on the side of the road.  Finally, after a quick stop at Point Woronzof for a classic view of Anchorage across Knik Arm, we stopped into 49th State Brewing before returning to the ship.  It was a good day with beautiful weather and we thank Prudence for showing us around. Continue reading

Alaska Cruise–Week 1

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We took a 14 day cruise aboard the Zaandam, a Holland America Lines ship, round trip from Seattle to several ports in Alaska.  Neither of us have much cruise experience but we were thrilled with the level of service and the quality of the food aboard this ship.  We heard similar comments from more experienced cruisers as well.  Every evening in the main dining room was a fine dining experience with a varied menu that changed every day.  And they even had selections that suited our particular food preferences.  With a 14 day itinerary we were able to visit ports that don’t get a lot of cruise ship traffic.  The following is a summary by day of our experience.

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Yosemite National Park

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We all have our views about natural beauty but I can’t imagine that anyone would not agree that Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular places on earth.  Yosemite Valley has majestic glacier carved granite walls with waterfalls and lush meadows.  With Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome and Glacier Point the mind has difficulty coping with the sheer size and scope of what the eye sees.

Yosemite Falls, at 2,425 feet, is the tallest waterfall in North America when including all three portions, upper, middle and lower falls.  Generally, at this time of year its water source would be mostly dried up but there was still a good stream tumbling down the sheer rock face.

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