Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What You Bring Back From a Roadtrip

Canadian Rockies reflected in Moraine Lake near Lake Louise, Alberta. 

A road trip is a collection of images, impressions, and maybe, changes in perspectives.  In retrospect, we don’t know whether the travel changed us permanently, or just temporarily. Certainly, on the road, on the trail, in the camp, in the forests, on the mountain summits, and at the foot of glaciers we were seeing, doing and feeling things differently.

We began with a simple and general plan devoid of the details of where and how long we would go. We were guided mostly by the desire to be open to the open road.  It worked for us.  It is difficult not to become a “travel evangelist”- to want to convince others that maybe this too may be “just what you need”.  At the very least one thing is certain.  We have a huge country out there that you can and should explore.  You are bound to discover something, either about it, about yourself, or both.

Here are some of the snippets of images selected from the thousands of miles we traveled.

Heading north on Hwy 89 in southwest Utah.

The windshield of the vehicle frames a road undulating over hills and valleys, growing smaller as it merged and disappeared at the horizon.  The open country and the big skies of the west can make you feel small and exposed.

Saskatchewan Glacier on the Parker Ridge Trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Another view on the same trail.

The most incredible and unbelievable panorama I have ever seen has made me gasp.  Two minutes later I round another trail switchback and see a vista more breathtaking than the last.

Highline Trail parallels the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana.

On the Highline Trail.

The narrow trail hundreds of feet above that tiny highway is both frightening and exhilarating.  My legs are shaking and my head is light, and all I can say is a feeble “wow”.

Columbia Icefield on the Wilcox Pass Trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Columbia Icefield, Alberta Canada.

I have passed this glacier going the other direction, but now from this direction, I am seeing it for the first time.  

A bear along the road to Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana.

A cow moose and her twin babies in the Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado campground.

I glimpsed something moving beside the road.  What is it this time - a bear, a doe and her fawn, an elk, or a cow moose and her twin babies looking back at me?  I consider, “Will I take a photo or I will I just watch?”

Chipmunk making a dash for home in Sequoia National Park.

I am entertained by a worried chipmunk scurrying around the periphery of the campsite. Finally, it made a bold dash for the hole, his home, next to the fire ring at my feet. This must be rush hour. 

Looking north along the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area near Coos Bay, Oregon.

The Pacific Ocean viewed from windy dunes along the Oregon Coast marks the western edge of our travel that began in North Carolina at the Atlantic Ocean.  We have crossed the entire continent.

The sun pushing away the clouds along Bow Lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Vistas of mountains shrouded by wispy clouds give way to mountains cheered by acres of sunshine.


Finding solitude in our campground along Caples Lake, California.  This was one of our favorite campgrounds.

We found uncommon solitude among granite boulders and scraggly junipers in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.  The original plan to camp among the crowd at Lake Tahoe fortunately did not work out.


  1. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos Uncle Bud!

    1. Thank you! We have only about 4000 more pics from the trip. We will post a few more. Good to hear from you. Sorry we missed seeing you.


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