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Goodbye, Calgary; Back in the USA! Yellowstone

Suzanne’s three events in Calgary were all sellouts, a very nice way to end our visit to Canada. Many thanks to Pat and Karen at Self Connection, who made us feel like family and handled all our ticket and book sales. You are both very special people. We had a wonderful reception from the kind and loving community in Calgary, and we look forward to returning soon.

On the long drive south from Calgary, we got to see enormous wheat fields and very little traffic, and the occasional red barn.  

This farm/ranch had a lovely lake and river, and a line of trees to break the strong westerly winds and storms dropping out of the Rockies. The most famous wind here, the chinook, is a warm wind from the Pacific Ocean that dramatically melts snow and warms the prairie.

Our final tribute to Alberta comes in the form of an alien dentist’s spaceship… at least, that’s what this water tower and its ads reminded me of when we passed it in Lethbridge. Seems that there’s also a restaurant up there, Ric’s Grill, but we didn’t have time to stop for a meal.

Back in the USA! We are now in Montana, and it’s great to be back home. We stopped briefly at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls to rest up and use the gym, and Suzanne gave a couple of phone readings. We also had an “Isn’t that interesting” experience at the military campground. We were in the process of prepping The Coach for a 1000 departure (most CG’s have an 1100 checkout time), when the campground “host” came knocking with a clipboard in his hand. Without a “Good morning” or other friendly greeting, he said, “I see that you were supposed to check out by 1000.” I replied, “It’s only 0947. We have 13 minutes.” “Just making sure you’re leaving on time,” he stated unnecessarily. I answered, “You must have been an Army supply sergeant.” “No, I wasn’t.” “Well, you missed your calling.” He needs some Remedial Host Training…

The first part of the drive to Yellowstone National Park was on the Interstate through farm and ranch land, but then we got on a small highway that dove into the mountains through which cut the Gallatin River, one of the prettiest streams in America. 

Here is My Lovely Bride celebrating the glorious day we were enjoying. The weather was perfect: 75F and sunny. After the wintry weather in Lake Louise, this was a treat.

After setting up in our campground near West Yellowstone, Montana, we dressed out for a hike. First stop was the ranger station at Madison, for some recommendations. Here’s the ranger himself, complete with Smokey the Bear hat, coming outside for some fresh air; what a setting. That’s National Park Mtn., 7,500 ft., in the background.  

This was the view down the Madison River valley just behind the ranger station. I could live here… maybe for 4 months of the year, which is about the length of time the road is open! After that, it’s snowmobile time.

The ranger recommended several easy to moderate hikes, and of course we chose the “strenuous” one instead… is this a recurring theme, or what? My Lovely Bride is incorrigible. So we drove a short distance, rigged for hiking, and up Purple Mountain (8,300 ft.) we went, climbing steadily up 1,500 feet over the 6 mile roundtrip. This was the view from Suzanne’s telephoto lens about 2/3 up the mountain, looking down the Madison River valley and the 7,000 ft. plateau rising above the river.

This was grizzly country, and we were both carrying bear repellant, but we didn’t see a single bear. I think my occasional singing may have frightened them off… to explain, rather than bear bells, or excessive conversation, we employ an occasional “Hey, bear!” or “La la la la” to keep the bruins apprised of our location. One might think that only gives them ample warning to get ready for a snack, but so far it’s worked. (Knock on wood.) 


The view from the top of Purple Mountain was not onto a fruited plain, but rather onto several fumaroles, geysers, and hot springs that Yellowstone is famous for.  

But before we headed down the mountain, MLB needed a break… or should I say a short nap… after a gourmet lunch of protein bar and a piece of Dove dark chocolate. Her “bed” was in fact the rocky mountain summit itself, not the most comfortable resting place, but beggars can’t be choosers. 

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