Road Trip 2003
Last year they thought we were crazy. Then we told them this year we're adding a thousand miles and we're going to Alaska. Since Alaska wouldn't be enough, we are adding the West Edmonton Mall and Yellowstone National Park.
Days 1 Home (Stockton Ca.) to Vancouver Washington
We left Stockton at 6:00 am. Streets and Trips tells us we should make it to Vancouver by 6:00pm. No need to rush
We started a tradition last year, when we leave California we have to stop at a Dairy Queen for a soft-serve. This one took us 20 miles out of the way (my fault)
Hunter loves this tradition
We made it to Vancouver Wa. the first evening.
we took our total budgeted amount for food, fuel, (we used $2.20 a gal for fuel, for a buffer,prices in June 2003 was around $1.68g), and misc and split it evenly among all the days of the trip. Hotels were figured separately. Our girls handled the budget, they keep track of all of the expenditures, and running balances and once we got into Canada they had to do the Canadian currency conversions as our budgets were done in US dollars.
Day 2 Vancouver Washington to Kamloops BC
we stopped at Safeway and picked up muffins for breakfast and stuff for sandwiches for lunch and the stop at DQ. We had lunch at a little diner while we were out seeing the sites in Vancouver. Dinners were at a member of the family who's house we stayed at for Days 1-2, leaving the morning of day 3.
On day 3 we started our trek to Canada. Of-course we had a great breakfast. Bananas, strawberries and chocolate dip.
Hunter complained about the smell as we drove by a dairy just before the border.
The border guard at Sumas - Huntingdon Border Crossing laughed at us when we told him we were going to Kamloops. He said 'unless you have family there, no one goes on holiday to Kamloops'(I liked it, he must of got mugged there;-)
To make the border crossings easier, we had a copy of everyone's birth certificate with a copy of the letter from our auto insurance company stating that we were covered in Canada.
We arrived at our hotel in Kamloops BC,(Thriftlodge). We started another tradition on our last trip, bringing circus animal cookies for a late night snack.
Day 3 Kamloops to Vanderhoof BC
(gas went up to $2.15usd once we crossed the border)
we had breakfast before we left Vancouver, bought stuff for lunch which we ate just before we crossed the border. Once we got to Kamloops, we sat down at a nice family restaurant by the hotel.
The next day we got on Highway 16 (the Yellowhead Highway) and made it to Vanderhoof BC, the geographical center (or centre) of British Columbia. We got in around 4:30 and checked out the museums. We stayed at the Hillview. For staying daylight so long, they should have thicker curtains on the windows. The room was really good. We found this hotel via a hwy 16 web site.
We picked Hunter up a Blue's Clues chair at the Canadian Super Store in Prince George. The girls inflated it and deflated it at every hotel.
Day 4 Vanderhoof BC to Hyder Alaska
we had continental breakfast before we left the hotel, bought stuff for lunch which some kind of sausage pastry thing that was really good. Ate dinner at a nice place in town
The rest stops on the Yellowhead Highway are nice, Hunter did his part to help keep it clean.
Somewhere along here we saw the world's largest fly fishing pole. Who tried this thing out?
Day 5-6-7: Hwy 37 and 37a to Hyder Alaska
once we hit highway 37a we saw a lot of wildlife.
The black shadow in the bushes is a bear.
Below is Bear Glacier. It is on 37a heading into Stewart/Hyder
We made it to Alaska. The asphalt road on the other hand did not. We fell in love with Hyder anyway. This place was great. While in Hyder we stayed at the Grandview Hotel. is a good family hotel. We had no complaints about the room.
There is a great place to eat in town. This was best food on the whole trip. It is called the Seafood Express
I guess the roads are bad in winter.
While we were here we had to go to Salmon Glacier which is about 15 miles out of town on a gravel road. The road was still snowed in so we could only get so far up the mountian. We also had to get ready for the mosquitoes.
here is an old gold mine. I guess when they were done they got theirs and left the mess for us to enjoy.
This was the road we drove up in the van. We ended up breaking a muffler bracket.
I guess the repellent did not work
the pictures of the girls on the dock was taken at about 9:45pm. The leaving Hyder picture was taken about 10:20 pm.
Days 7-8: from Stewart BC to Prince George, Jasper
We picked up some pastries and muffins with coffee from a little shop in Hyder to get us on the road.
on to Prince George
We left early in the morning. It was sad to leave Stewart and Hyder.
One of the locals saying good-bye to us.
On to Hwy 37 the Hwy 16
We stopped in Smithers for the afternoon and got our oil changed in the van. Our gas mileage dropped to about 14mpg and with gas over $2.15 a gallon(usd) in Canada it was bad. After the oil change we were back up to 18 and 19 mpg.
After our stop over in Smithers we drove on to Prince George for the night. We got to the hotel early enough to watch the cup finals at the hotel.
It is not time to get up already, is it?
Staying on Hwy 16 (Yellowhead) toward Edmonton
We met a couple from Michigan, they warned us about the police in Jasper ticketing people who do not stop at the stop line instead of the crosswalk. They got a $200 ticket for running a red light, for pulling up to the crosswalk. They are heading for Prince Rupert and they will take the ferry up to Skagway Alaska then drive back towards Michigan. Sounds like a future trip
We stopped at the Terry Fox Peak. I can remember when Terry started his ocean to ocean run.
We made it to Alberta
here is sign that list the amount of animals killed on Alberta Highways. Are we supposed to try to beat the record?
We think this is why they call it the Yellowhead Hwy. There are dandilions along Hwy 16.
this is a picture of the top of the Jasper tram. Yeah it is that little dot at the top of the cliff. They talked me into taking the ride.
back in traffic again.
look a bear......no wait it's a......it's a.........it's a stupid bush
one of the very few times it rained while we driving.
Days 8-9: Edmonton
EDMONTON!!! Girls, can you smell the mall? Are you sure it's the world's largest mall?
with signs like this, there is no way that we will get lost, right?
This is not the street that we are supposed to be on. !!!! don't worry I will get us there. ahhh back on track
we made it !!! We got to the mall and had dinner. It was after most of the stores closed, but we walked around for about 4 hours anyway.
"I don't need oxygen, I'm at the West Edmonton Mall"
We made it back to the mall at opening.
We kind of splurged for breakfast. We had breakfast at Death by Chocolate. Because we had been doing great with the food budget, so it was no problem.
break time already. our mall doesn't have a ship in it, does it?
what do you mean dad that we are only 1/4 of the way done?
It took awhile to get the girls out of Old Navy. Don't we have those in the States?
I got my second wind and a hockey jersey dad, I am good to go.
What do you mean 24 loonies to make a crank call to Cathryn
We stayed until after midnight. It finally got dark.
Our hotel is just off Bourbon St.
The girls really dressed the part. They look very Canadian.
Everyone is glad our hotel is right across the street.
I guess we were lucky. We had just change our hotel to this one 2 weeks before we left. We were going to stay at a hotel downtown.
Days 10-11: from Edmonton to Yellowstone through Great Falls
Bye- Bye mall, we'll be back
ohhh, now they sleep. We were in Edmonton for 30 hours and they spent over 20 hours at the mall.
this is rush hour on Hwy 2 in Edmonton. Can you believe I have to share the road with 4 other vehicles.
on to Calgary
Stop, I am trying to write a postcard. (ps. she just mailed the post card 2 weeks after we got home)
This was at the last visitor center in Canada before Montana.
The border station was tore up for construction. It was a stinky mess.
Welcome to Montana, we got to see a few lightning strikes on our way to Great Falls.
Oscar messin' with Hunter after getting back from doing laundry. They got to see a thunderstorm when they were at the laundry mat. I was sleeping at the hotel until the television started alarming with the thunderstorm warning.
This must be the Great Falls that this city was named after.
this was on Hwy 89 which is listed as an American Byway. The scenery was fantastic.
Ohh great, more traffic. Unlike some of the irritated locals, we just turned off the van and waited until they passed. They left a whole lot of presents along the road. It gave the outside of the van a lovely aroma which I got to smell again a few days later when I washed the van.
on to Yellowstone. We entered through the North entrance and our hotel is on the West Entrance.
entering Wyoming and the 45th parallel.
ok???, we saw the moose, deer, and pedestrian crossings, now we have to watch for people with Hula-Hoops?
this is the web cam for the Mammoth Hot Springs Web Cam. It was neat to see the camera that we had been logging on to for the past 6 months while we were planning this trip.
...and to our left we have more steam with the lovely smell of rotten eggs. Please notice how the lovely smell stays with you even after returning to your vehicle. Later on at night you can enjoy the smell when you take your shower (^_^)
a bald eagle's nest with chick.
We made it to the hotel. The room was fantastic.
We have to bring the luggage up how many floors??
Days 12-13: Yellowstone National Park
there were a lot of births during the spring.
Which one of you guys is going to be dinner? everyone had buffalo burger while we in West Yellowstone.
There is a lot of miles on the north loop. We ate lunch at a secluded meadow
it is the middle of June and there is still snow. When we got higher up the road there was a lot of snow.
Days 12-13: Yellowstone National Park
You have to climb back up too.
check out the really stupid person on the far left who walked off the boardwalk. There are all kinds of sink holes and hot springs. I guess they didn't see the hole in the parking lot.
After each eruption, the rangers can calculate the next expected eruption. We were lucky, we didn't have to wait that long.
everyone is waiting under the eave because it is cold and raining. After a while, the rain slowed down and we braved the cold to see Old Faithful.
she finally started after a few false starts.
it was worth it.
does Yellowstone have piranhas?
Days 13-15: Yellowstone National Park to Home via Grand Tetons, Minnetonka Caves Id., Salt Lake City, Lake Alpine Ca.
The Grand Tetons is a beautiful National Park.
Then into Idaho Driving in Idaho we took Hwy 89 to Bear Lake, were we stopped at the Minnetonka Cave
It was a long walk. We had planned on visiting some of the caves south of SLC, but after this....I don't think so.
There is a great burger stand as you turn on the road toward the caves. On to Utah, We stayed the night in Salt Lake City.
The Great Salt Lake really stunk and the visitor center only let you out. There was no door to let you back in.
Bonneville Salt Flats
Then to Nevada, We got to Elko really early from SLC, since we didn't visit the caves. While we were in Elko we visited the Northeastern Nevada Museum and then we went to the movies.
This is the last night. Next stop home