Day Five

Grand Cache, Alberta to Radium Hot Springs, BC
May 30th, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
The scenic grandeur that is the Icefield Parkway
Not a one
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
Johnny Cash & Wille Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rolling Stones, The Fugees
Sunny with a few clouds, bus buffeting winds
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Caribou, Elk, Bears, Sheep, a Mink, Cows, a mountain of Deer
Red Streak Campground
Missoula KOA, Missoula MT

Daily Didactic
The drive from Hinton to Radium Hot Springs is so awesome that after doing it in 2000, we have now done it every road trip. We started this morning about 80 miles from the top in Grand Cache. The drive from Grand Cache to Hinton is an interesting case study in managed forests. This area is clearly some kind of huge tree farm, with various stages of clear cut forest all around. In spite of that it is very pretty country and unless you look you don't really notice except for the few newly clear cut sections. If you can clear cut an area and still have us "ooohing" and "aaahing", you are probably doing something right. We stopped in Hinton for some gas, a much needed car wash and a little food, before heading south for Jasper.

The road from Hinton to Jasper is always beautiful and was again today. In Jasper we stopped at a gas station and planned a potential push start. Sadly when the time came, we executed poorly and got most of the way to the street without a running bus. People love to help the bus. A guy in his twenties broke off from a group of friends and helped push the bus back up to the top of the lot. Not wanting to repeat the mistake, Brian was hesitant to start rolling toward the street again. He also wasn't listening close enough to our new friend Mike, who was telling us that with his '72 bug when this happens he just does a "tappy tap" on the starter while someone turns the ignition. Finally Mike asked for a hammer, Brian gave him a big wrench, and he jumped under the bus. When Mike said go, Brian turned the key and the bus started. It's hard to tell who was more pleased, us or Mike. You rock Mike.

The "Icefield Parkway" from Jasper to Banff is one of the most jaw-dropping stretches of road we've driven. You are staring at the edge of one tectonic plate rising in the air as another goes under it. Super slowly. At least that is what Brian has convinced himself of. There are hanging glaciers and ice fields and wild animals and enough things for you to go "that's really amazing" at that you start feeling silly for saying it again. Every time we do it the drive ends in the same happy spot, the town of Radium Hot Springs at the also awesome Redstreak Campground.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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Morning in the surprisingly nice Grand Cache Municipal Campground Brian does his every five year points replacement training
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Theresa just couldn't get over this If we did participate in a Death Race it wouldn't be on snowshoes
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Pretty river on road to Hinton The very straight road to Hinton
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The dark and foreboding Hinton Car Wash Exceptionally pretty country
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Tectonic edging A crowd of sheep
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We were rooting for Darwin But in fairness, they seemed unimpressed
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Formidable? Doesn't seem formidable
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The bus, taking in the view Road shot not doing justice
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Amazing This one was fun to watch, must have been good whatever it was
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The view from lunch on the bus The navigator navigating
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Gorge and mountains Fresh late May tracks
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It is just a great, great road We've got nothing but smiles

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