Sometimes when bad things happen you can turn them into experiences of a lifetime. I was relatively young when the plant I was working at as Quality Supervisor shut its doors after over 100 years of operation. I took my severance package and seeing that I was not tied down to returning at a given time I packed up the van and headed to Alaska from my home in New England. I took my elderly parents with me since they had both recently retired paying them back for all of the family trips they took us kids on when we were young. We headed north up through Vermont passing over the border to Montreal. You can click the links for more in depth posts on each attraction. In Quebec we picked up the Trans Canada Highway and headed west averaging 600 miles per day.
Instead of repeating the route south along the Alaska Highway we took the Cassiar Highway south. We passed by Bear Glacier and made our way to the charming communities of Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder Alaska.
A visit to my aunt and uncle in Cohoes, New York and then home. It was good to see New England and home after many months on the road but the memories of the trip will last a life time. My parents would both pass in a few years and I was glad I could give them this trip in their final years.
Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana, on the Canada–United States border, adjacent to the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1 million acres and includes parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem,” a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles. You can easily spend a week in the expansive park and not see everything as it truly is one of the jewels of the national park system.
The town of West Glacier on the western side of the park makes a good entrance point.
Earthquake Lake is a lake in southwestern Montana. It was created after an earthquake struck on August 17, 1959, killing 28 people. US Route 287 follows the lake and offers glimpses of the effects of the earthquake and landslide, and a visitor center is just off the road. The lake is mostly within Gallatin National Forest.
Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt more popularly known as Chief Joseph was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce in the early 1870s when they were forcibly removed by the United States federal government from their ancestral lands in the Wallowa Valley of northeastern Oregon onto a significantly reduced reservation in the Idaho Territory. Conflicts with white settlers in 1877 led to the Nez Perce War culminating in this final battle at the Big Hole.
Trails lead off from the visitor center,
leading to markers denoting sites where Joseph and others were captured or killed.