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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Burnaby, British Columbia

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Burnaby is located on the east side of the city of Vancouver.  While here we stayed at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park.  It is immediately adjacent to the Burnaby Lake Regional Park just off the Trans Canada Highway.  We visited the city of Vancouver on our car trip back in 2014.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

In North Vancouver you will find the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  This is a tourist attraction with the primary feature of a suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River.  The bridge is 460 feet in length and 230 feet above the riverbed.  The other features are Treetops Adventure which is a boardwalk and elevated footbridges among old growth forest and Cliffwalk which is a narrow walkway cantilevered from the cliff’s edge, extending out over the open canyon.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful place but it felt a little too staged for my tastes.  There are many places where you can get a comparable experience without the admission price which was about $69 USD for the two of us.  However for those who are unable or unwilling to do a little hiking, then this provides a convenient way to get the experience.

Sea to Sky Highway

On another day we did a day trip west to the end of the Trans Canada Highway at Horseshoe Bay.  From there Highway 99 turns north on what is known as the Sea to Sky Highway.  Immediately, you encounter jaw dropping beauty along the shore of the bay.  And it doesn’t stop as you continue north passing through Brittany Beach, Squamish and Whistler.  Along the way, a short walk gets you to Shannon Falls which at almost 1,100 feet is the third tallest waterfall in British Columbia.  The Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics.  It is a large ski resort with extensive facilities and village development.

Next stop:  Arlington, WA

Quick Trip to Tahoe

My driver’s license was due to expire on my birthday this year.  Since I am licensed in Nevada and for this renewal they were telling me I had to renew in person, I had to get to Nevada before my birthday.

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Fortunately, my friend Steve, who has a house in Tahoe, was planning to make a trip up there around early to mid-February.  And, our friend Tim was interesting in skiing and this winter has seen epic snowfall, therefore, the stars aligned so that we could make the trip so I could get my licensed renewed and ski for a couple of days in near ideal snow conditions.

The rain and snowfall in California this winter has been substantial following years of drought.  The drought has not been completely resolved but there has been significant progress.  The mountains in Tahoe have recorded more than 440 inches of snow for this winter.  Needless to say this is most welcome since the skiing conditions during the drought years were sub-optimal.

Picabo, ID (Sun Valley)

If you were driving along US Highway 20 in eastern Idaho, you might well not give much notice as you pass by Picabo, ID (pics), pronounced pick’-a-boo.  There’s not much to attract your attention, the Picabo Angler store with Texaco gas pumps and the Rancher’s Supply store  across the street are the only noticeable enterprises.  Alongside the highway is a small RV park with 17 spaces which is adjacent to a field belonging to one of the many ranches around Picabo, this one has about 40 or 50 sheep, two llamas and two horses.  Nice neighbors.

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Lake Tahoe–July 2015

Lake Tahoe (pics) is a special place, perhaps not one of a kind but it’s on a short list.  First, there’s the deep lake with a surface elevation of 6,225 feet and 72 miles of shoreline.  In the summer this provides for all manner of water sports.  In addition, the lake is surrounded by dramatic Sierra Nevada mountain ranges that not only provide dramatic and breathtaking vistas but almost unlimited hiking, biking, backpacking and camping opportunities.

Fallen Leaf Lake in the foreground, Lake Tahoe beyond

Then in the winter, these mountains usually get a generous amount of snowfall which provides world class skiing opportunities at numerous ski resorts in the mountains that ring the lake.  Skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, snowmobiling and other winter alpine activities draw visitors from around the world.  If the outdoors get to be too much, you can find a great restaurant, do some shopping or, since a portion of the lakeshore is in Nevada, visit one of the casinos.

Once again we feel privileged and lucky to have had the opportunity to spend two weeks here.  Mostly due to the hospitality and generosity of our friends we were able to come here in July and to hike, bike, go the beach, spend time with friends and be awed by the natural beauty of this place.  It’s really difficult to choose the best time of year to be in Tahoe, winter or summer.  They’re both special.