Think the last time I emailed was from Mt Kidd, in Kananastis Country. It was very pretty there. We had planned to go out the West Gate of Banff and on to Golden, BC, then down 97 to the Okanogon Valley. Some Canadian neighbors in the campground had just come from there, and cautioned against going that way, due to extensive fires in the area, and smoke.
So, after we took Anne and Gary to the Calgary Airport on Tuesday, we returned to the campground, did some laundry, and looked at the maps. We decided to go back to Banff, turn down # 93 through Kootenay National Park, and on to Moyie Provincial Park for the night. The drive was lovely, lots of mountains, but some smoke. Even Mt Kidd was smoky when we rose that day. The gorgeous views we enjoyed in the park were now masked by smoky vistas. We met some Californian's from Monterey, who wanted some direction on campgrounds. Our Canadian campers recommended Lake Moyie Provincial Park, and it did not disappoint. We spent a pleasant evening, with a fire, and congenial talk of our trip to the parks.
Then next morning, we crossed the border, having spotted a black bear cross the road not far away. We headed for Sandpoint and Ceur d Alene. It was very smoky still, but the lakes and mountains were still nice to see. We drove to Clarkston, on the Snake River- at the point where the Hell's Canyon trips take off. The gorge starts there. We headed on the next morning, to Bend, OR- but what lay between was amazing- deep gorges of solid rock, mountain passes, and the various forks of the John Day River. We did not realize that that part of Oregon was quite so wild and wooly. It took us 11 hours to reach Sisters, near Bend- at an average of 42 mph. Infrequent small towns, not many gas stations. It was Friday and so many trucks were passing going the other way with campers, boats, horse trailers. We passed 3 separate Fire Camps- with hoards of dome tents, and helicopters working the fires. It just was a surprise to see the wildness of the country.
We arrived at the KOA at Sisters, and had scrambled eggs, comfort food for the weary, and went to bed really early. Today, we toured the Old Mill area of Bend, now a lovely mall along the Deschutes River. And the downtown area is pretty also, filled with many interesting shops and eateries- and coffee houses with WiFi, as you can see !
Tomorrow we are off to see Crater Lake National Park, and then head home on Monday. Home is looking very good right now. We have had such a wonderful trip, but home offers a dishwasher, larger refrigerator, and more " things ".
Above all, we are looking forward to seeing all our loved ones.