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Trip NORTH AMERICAN RAMBLE NORTH AMERICAN RAMBLE 07.06.2017 - 26.07.2017   From Australia to the northwest region of the United States and then across the... kathleen magpie girl (AU)
Kanada USA

NORTH AMERICAN RAMBLE

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From Australia to the northwest region of the United States and then across the border to Canada. From there I do not know, but I have 7 weeks and that is plenty of time for my North American ramble. I do hope you enjoy reading my travel tales. My travels always end up with some sort of drama- bag stolen or the airline looses it. Or I end up in hospital, or other hassles such as missing my train and walking through the late dark night by a cliff with no pathway. oh golly- I do hope things run smoother this trip- but then again dear reader, this is a 5 personal year for me ( for those who do not know I am a numerologist) and where there is 5 there is always the unexpected. And there are surprises and movement such as travel during a 5 year. At all times care must be taken especially with transport and speed. But my travels always bring me somewhere beautiful. This is my quest.

TRIP START- Wednesday 7th June 2017, taking 2 days to get to USA with stopover in Hawaii.
TRIP END- Wednesday 26th July 2017

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HOW TO READ THIS BLOG.. See the posts below are called WAYPOINTS. CLICK ON THE ARROW RIGHT TO GET TO THE NEXT POST. Photos will be added at the end - just click on the image to view. I do not have facebook to reply to any comments.

I WILL WRITE THE LATEST POST NUMBERS HERE>>
#10 Todays cowboys and Indians-pics now added. Sometimes I dont have time to do the pics they take ages and often wifi is too slow.
#11 Tourist guilt- now with pics.
# 12 Mountain Woman
# 13 Roamin' around Banff
# 14 Lakes and Mountains

LATEST NEWS! Monday 26th leaving today on afternoon bus for Jasper.....been uptown to shops and found Hannah a birthday pressie.......Safe and well xx

Means of Transport
Bus / Truck Zu Fuss Flugzeug Zug
  • 17May 2017

    1 Ambivalence about my trip 17.05.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    Last summer, many months ago, I found a sale fare with Qantas to Hawaii return. Wow, I thought to myself I could use that as a stopover to America. I had not intended at all to go to America this year. I was toying with the idea of taking a road trip within Australia, way up to Darwin and across to the Kimberly and down the coast of WA> but this would mean being on the road for up to 9 months and am certainly not ready to do that as the van would need some preparations and I have too much to do at home at present. So I bought the return air fare to Hawaii without serious consideration or any planning for a trip.. But somewhere in the back of my mind was roses- there is always roses.

    So as the month of June approached I became most concerned as to whether I should go on such a trip to the scary and challenging United States of America- where they have guns, where cars are driving into the crowds and killing people, where you can get mugged on any street corner. But those disasters would never stop me from my travels. I have also been concerned about my health and also my sore feet- can I walk America over 7 weeks? The last weeks before I am due to leave and I was wondering if I should go at all....

    So what made me interested in America in June? My rose books are my inspiration for my trips, as well as history and anything old. I had read about the roses in Portland and it is in mid June they hold their annual rose festival, so that was my reason to go. Other reasons are, as always, I will go anywhere to see something beautiful. I want to see different national parks. wildlife, gardens, and anything old and historical. I wont be going to glittering Las Vegas or dazzling LA. I am not interested in the usual things people go to America for. I then got carried away and wanted to go to Alaska and all over the place but I think I will stick to mainly the north west.

    My main reason for travel at this time is winter fast approaches here at home. Last year I spend most of the winter in bed. I am not dead yet...must get out, must travel, must see more of the world before I depart this lifetime. I cannot stand winter- it gives me the blues. I yearn for an endless summer, but alas I cannot travel overseas every winter.
    So it is north I go- to somewhere warm, to somewhere different.

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  • 07Jun 2017

    2 flying is not easy these days 07.06.2017 USA —

    Honolulu, USA

    Beschreibung

    Here I am tucked up in bed in Honolulu, but it was not easy getting here. Yesterday when I was preparing to leave, a huge storm hit Sydney and they closed all flights for a few hours. So by the time my 5pm flight from Adelaide was due they were backed up in Sydney. We boarded the plane in Adeliade at 5.30 then sat there not moving an inch until 7pm. But they did put a movie on for us. Finally we were off but we could not land and did a mystery tour of the Blue Mountains in the dark, landing at 10.30. There was 7 of us from Adelaide and Melbourne and we got a private escort and were told to hurry. At the boarding gate 100s were sitting there waiting for us, so then we got on board. They kept telling us to hurry which I found strange as they had been sitting there for hours

    The I heard the ground crew say we wont be going anywhere tonight if we dont get in the air now. As we boarded a message said all NZ flights were now cancelled. Sydney airport has a 11pm to 6am curfew so locals can get some sleep. We took off at 11.02 off over the Pacific and I thought to myself, I dont think the bags would have made it over here to T1 in that mad dash. They drove us in a bus.

    Around midnight we ate our tea with bleary eyes. By the second movie I was so tired so turned the video off, but did not sleep at all. I was squashed in the middle row with a silly young woman beside me. Her husband already left NZ to go to Hawaii but they did not let her on the plane...why? She did not get her visa...some people are so stupid. Oh I thought it was still valid from my last trip. It wasnt, so the only flight they could get her on was in Sydney after she paid extra for the rush visa. So she was sure pleased that our flight, the last one for the day was allowed to take off. All the NZ trippers must have had to sleep in the airport on the floor. After here supper she swalled about 3 pills and slept like a baby. Everyone was so worn out even the babies slept.

    Arriving in Honolulu I walked up to the carousel and there was the gaggle of Adelaide passengers filling in forms for their missing bags. After filling out my paperwork she told me they would be coming at 6am the next day, but I am flying out tomorrow. I have left instructions for it to stay there and I will find it in the morning.
    So what did I do on a warm 29* day in sunny Honolulu with no hat and wearing my winter woolies and sweaty shoes.. I had enough strength to catch a bus near my airport hotel to a supermarket, buy some tucker, a toothbrush and pair of knickers. While scanning the green cake and 10 shades of orange cheese I managed to find something edible. A piece of chicken, some cold baked pumpkin, a cobb salad, and a few supplies for breakfast. There was not one GF product in the shop. I hobbled back to my room and lay on my bed the rest of the afternoon trying to stay awake watching a Rock Hudson movie on TCM- my fav cable channel I also learned about what to do in the event of a tsunumi on the local channel!!!! I washed the armpits of my Tshirt as I do not want to take a wet shirt in my backpack in the morning. I have it hung on the clothesline now. So now I am going to sleep. Cant stay awake any longer, even though it is 6.40pm Adelaide and 11.10 here.

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  • 09Jun 2017

    3 welcome to America! 09.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    Had a good sleep at my airport hotel after arriving in portland. The place looked so beautiful from the air, with small hills and plenty of greenery and tall pine trees. This morning as the shuttle bus was free I went back to the airport and got lots of information and maps. The other reason for going back there is the MAX light rail leaves from there. But just as I was leaving I thought, I have no idea how long it takes to getto the otherside of town so made a loo break. When I got on the train I found a backpack under a seat. I knocked on the drivers door to tell him. It was not too far till I saw many roses growing on embankments. The tough rugosa - roserie de la hay growing by the tracks I could have reached out and picked one. Then suddenly at a suburban station we took of then stopped suddenly. An announcement said there was trouble ahead and we had to wait a while....after 45 minutes he told us a serious incident had occured with a package left at a nearby station. Then about 8 transit police came onto our train and looked at everyone and took the bag away that I found. Then we had to get off and go up on the bridge and wait for as they were sending buses. There was so much drama I ended up going to the mall nearby which took another hour or more to get to as a ll buses were detoured. I had no idea where I was and I was so cold. I found a goodwill store and bought a jumper and raincoat.
    The rose exhibition was being held at the Lloyd Centre Mall. So I went indoors at about 3pm. It had taken all day for me to get here. Finally I made it to my new home for 4 nights. The hostel at Hawthorne which is a good area. There are homeless people living everywhere by the bridges and underpasses closer to town where I had to get my bus.
    So that was my day, something pretty amid the chaos of an American city. Still no bag, but got a phone call from my man in Honolulu who found my bag and has put it on a plane for Portland. He said he is not working tnis weekend but will follow up my case issues from home- what a darling!.....
    And everywhere I went today with everyone I talked to, from the strange toothless man on the crowded bus to the man who served me in Safeway, all said Welcome to America.

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  • 12Jun 2017

    4 History Lesson 12.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    I loved watching those wild west movies when I was a kid. Remember the wagons with the early pioneers making a treacherous journey to a new world and a better life? I always assumed they had made that journey further south to make it to California. However, the journey west was undertaken way up north and they came to this part of Oregon. By order of President Jefferson, explorers Lewis and Clarke rode off into the sunset to find the promised land of the west and ended up here in Oregon. Here they found a fertile valley with the abundant water supply of the Columbia River. There were forests with timber to build cabins and wildlife for hunting. A route was soon marked out on the map and the wagon trail was open. Single men were given a few hundred acres and married couples got over 600 for free when they arrived. The rush west was on.

    In the early years there was fighting and disease with the native Indians, and at this point I will tell you the politically correct term here is 'first nations people'. A local tribe was almost completely wiped out with the flu and malaria was also a problem here. The area east of Portland follows the Columbia River Gorge, with the mightly river dividing the states of Oregon and Washington to the north, wnich then borders Canada. There are only three states on the western coast, the other of course is California.

    On Sunday my roommate Andrea and I got a local bus out to the Gateway Transit Centre ( all day ticket $5 )then got the Columbia Gorge Express to the Multnomah Falls ($5 return) We enjoyed great views of the waterfall and then took a litle trail, right up the mountain to the top of the waterfall. The views of the river and over to the other side of Washington state were superb. I was planning to do a day tour which takes you to about 3 falls and some scenic spots for way over $100, so I was chuffed at spending $10 on a great outing. My legs were not that impressed, but slowly but surely I made it to the top. Young and fit Andrea has been doing lot of walking in the forest trails around Portland, and she was very patient with me. I would never have gone wayup that mountain on my own. But I was pleased that I did.

    On the day before I had been to the Historical Society Museum in the city where I learned all about the explorers and the Oregon trail. I stopped to look at a display when a lady started conversing with me. She told me about the trail and kept on telling me stuff. At first it was interesting but she kept on and on. She started following me around the museum telling me about Portland. Meantime her husband, probably embarrassed or feeling neglected, disappeared. She even asked for my phone number and where I was staying. Oh I have so much I could tell you about the history of Oregon she continued. I made my escape into the elevator.

    I would have loved to explore the Columbia Gorge area myself and learn more about this beautiful part of the northwest. I love history but when you are a solo traveller you just like to learn about it as you go, not be given a history lesson.

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  • 14Jun 2017

    5 farewell portland 14.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    I spent only 5 days in Portland, yet I could have stayed here for months. I absolutely loved it. The transport was excellent and easy to get around. The place is so pretty and the area I stayed in which was trendy in a bohemien style. I fitted in here so well. The HI Hostel Hawthorne was in an old house and everyone there was so friendly. It is goingto be hard to move on. I dont really want to leave..this is all I know. I know how to get to downtown and I know where the gluten free food is at SAFEWAY. When I was packing up my food in the kitchen this morning, someone said so you are off away today, yes but to who knows where and what I said. Oh you're a pro you know how to do this. He is right, but it is with sadness I leave Portland. I now continue my journey north to Washington State, to Seattle. I guess the real adventure begins as I know nothing of what is there. So off I go on my cheap $19 bus ride today...into the unknown.
    Here are some pics of some Portland memories to share....so much here I wanted to do, but could not see it all, especially without a car. Time to say farewell and move on.......

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  • 17Jun 2017

    6 Hostel Living 17.06.2017

    Seattle

    Beschreibung

    Hello folks, have not been able to write due to computer problems, but all fixed now. So am behind in my writing. But I am well and in Seattle.
    I arrived by BOLT BUS, greyhound's budget line. We had to wait on a street corner for the bus to turn up and then line up like school children. Sat next to a lovely lady a little older than me, right up front at the first seat with grand views of the 8 lane freeway. She is from Portland and used to live in Seattle, but like many has had to move out as it became too expensive. We chatted all the way.

    I was warned by the hostel staff in Portland, its not a nice area where you are going. The bus dropped us around the corner from my hostel. And into Chinatown I walked, right past it and up the hill before I asked someone. It is called the American Hotel and I can imagine it wss fairly stylish back in the 1920s with its long corridors and dark wood doors leading to tiny rooms. My room had 2 sets of bunks with no room to swing a cat let alone a hairbrush. On the first night I had the room to myself and then the others arrived over the next few days, some at midnight, and others leaving at 4am to get to the airport. Over the 4 nights we had girls from russia, mexico, germany, usa, south korea and probably more. I stuck my ear plugs in, put on my night mask and tried to get some sleep. If you see the photo I am in a room on the far side which faces a side street overlooking a park. The park is all concrete with a few trees and shrubs and iron seats. However the whole place is closed up with a rent a fence around it to stop the homeless sleeping there ay night. I reckon they should just give them the park, then at least someone would get some use out of it. On Sunday morning I open the window to see a cop car driving by on patrol. "Cops going by", I say to the other girls, "another day in Seattle". My roommates laugh. My thoughts go back to Italy when I opened the window on a Sunday in Rome and there was a huge church right in front of me with bells ringing so loud I am sure the hotel was shaking. I dont feel any beauty here..The room soon fills with the smell of asian cooking from the restaurant below and after a while the room stinks . I hang my laundry off the bunk near the window. The room is so warm they are dry by the time I get home, even though the weather here is very cool outside and 17 degrees.

    The atmosphere here is comepletely different than staying at the rambling old 3 story house in Portland. This is an old hotel and at least 4 stories high. There is huge common room like a dining room looking out onto the street and huge apartment blocks. There is a kitchen where you get the free breakfast or cook at night. Mostly people sit on their own and stare down at their phones. At portland we all sat at the one table and when someone came home we said hey! How was your day? A smaller hostel is much more friendly. Here you dont have to do your dishes. They have loud Spanish speaking ladies who prepare the breaky food. By the time I get downstairs they are cleaning up and washing the floors and yelling at each other.

    After arriving at Seattle and ocating my room, I went over to the chinatown supermarket and got a packet of cooked fried rice, and a 2 pack of boiled eggs. On the way saw 3 cop cars with man on the ground on the corner of my street. I hurried back like Cinderella at 7pm before any more danger occured. Even though portland is not that far a journey I was exhausted. In the kitchen I found ENYA who was in my room at portland. So we had a catchup for half an hour. She gave me some tiips on places to see, which was appreciated as I had not researched things to do at all.

    So on my first day in Seattle I awoke and it was raining, and it did not stop all day. I was still so weary. I had been out every day in Portland and it was all catching up with me. I decided to stay home and do some internet work. Solo travel is lots of work. You have to constantly be a few days ahead, making bookings for accommodations and finding transport.

    Each hostel has its own rules. There is no food or drinks allowed in the rooms here so every time I want something I have to go down to the huge community frig or make a cuppa. And everyone has to take the stairs. I asked for a disbaled lift pass. No way was I doing that trek up to second floor and 3 down to the ground floor all the time.

    So that is hostel life. It is not relaxing. Some peple do not want to talk, while others are sticky beaks. Every place has its own system for storing your suplies in the frig etc. Every place has new rules to learn. I will be breaking my trip up with some hotel stays, so I can have a rest and watch some TV. Portland had a big TV down in the cold basement with netflix, so got to watch a movie. I took a blanket and 2 guys watched a rom com that I chose. haha...The hostels are not as cheap as I thought. Nothing here seems to be cheap. Travel is getting more costly.

    Now it is Sunday 18th June and I am off to Vancouver Canada on another bolt bus. Have to check out, so will write later on the things I did when the rain finally stopped and give my thoughts on seattle. Only staying in Vancouver one night before a flight tomorrow. Hope you are enjoying reading my travel tales, love K

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  • 18Jun 2017

    7 Out and About in Seattle 18.06.2017

    Seattle

    Beschreibung

    I arrived on a Wednesday, stayed home all day on rainy Thursday and then Friday I finally went out to explore. I got the train downtown to see the famous PIKE PLACE MARKETS. It was so crowded I soon left. The waterfront is way down below the city. The olden days town was completely built over and raised high to combat the sea and high tides. So I had to walk down a lot of steps and go under the huge concrete bypass highway. I looked around the piers escaping indoors from the highway noise. Then I went to the aquarium which was crowded with families and screaming indulged liitle kids who missed today's nap time. There was a good selection of tropical fish from Hawaii and I sat for awhile to laugh at the local seals. Also saw the river otters and some huge eels and an asleep octopus. Overall it was not as good as the osaka aqaurium. But a nice little outing. Glad it wasnt the weekend or it would have been more crowded.

    Then I walked for at least 40 minutes to the space needle district where there was lots of touristy things to do, museums on a huge area which was the site of the worlds fair in 1962. This taller tower is a mecca for tourists but I didnt think it worth the 30 bucks to ride to the top...remember all my pricing is US $. So I went into the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation for free. It was all a little too positive for me as I was getting tired and hungry by this time. The foundation does a great job but I was bored. Should have gone into the museum of pop, which sounds a lot more fun and see an Andy Warhol painting. Thought I would get back there but ran out of time. Got the monorail still operating from 62 to train station I needed, but went on a search for a supermarket. Thanks to bill gates I had located them with the free wifi. Got a bag of tucker from Saweway and trundled off home to chinatown where the cop sirens whoop whoop into the night.

    On the rainy day of relaation I booked ahead for a cruise out on the water, so Saturday I was off out the door with map in hand and walked down to the piers. It wasnt as far as I thought and got there an hour early.The ARGOSY CRUISES Ttour webt around elliot bay to the north and then down the Washington River boat inlet to the locks that keep the sea water out of the lake. The big lake is actually in the middle of Seattle. Here I got to see the nicer side of town. As we left we sailed on past the NCL JEWEL, the same ship and same day I was going to go to Alaska...whaaaa I had a sadface indeed. But my mini cruise was most enjoyable. Going out on the water always relaxes me and there was so much to see. I had choosen the bus ride via town to take us back but I left and went to a nearby MOHI, the museum of history and innovation, which was ok, but wishing I had gone to the zoo. If I could have found a taxi I would have gone as it was on the other side of the lake. My hotel is on the other side of downtown from here.

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  • 18Jun 2017

    8 48 hours from A to B 18.06.2017

    Seattle

    Beschreibung

    Seattle in Washington state, USA is very close to the Canadian border. You wouldn't think it would take me 48 hours to get where I want to go, but it did. Here is an account of just how invloved this solo travel lark is. No bus to pick you up at 8.30 in the morning outside your hotel anddrive you to another one. You are on your own and it is time for me to head north, from point A; Seattle to point B; Calgary or from one country to another.

    Sunday 18th JUNE.
    11am.Checkout of the dismal dark hostel. Go to kitchen fluff around and pack my food. I am stalling as my bus is not due until 12.30pm. Good thing is, due to a marathon it is pulling up at the end of my street so dont have to pull bag too far. Have a bubble tea in a chinese cafe downstairs....then on the bus to Vancouver.
    2.30ish...border crossing. ..everyone off bus and pull your bags out from baggage compartment, line up in the entry hall. Answer a myriad of questions from Canadian officials, such as how much money do you have, do you have enough funds to support yourself, what food have you got. I had some leftover last night meatballs so ticked the YES box.....Welcome to Canada, proceed back on to bus...someone is in my seat...now cannot see out window .
    3.45 ?? Arrive at pacific central station backyard, drag bags down Main st, walk straight past backpackers....so walk again..finally find it, have booked a private room...peace at last.
    This is the most scungy dirty place I have ever seen.. sit in scungy room and eat meatballs that have been in my bag all day....internet doesn't work, complain to scungy rude manager. Arguement over the internet and refund please, so he offers me a dorm bed right next to office....that is all he has left. Get $50 refunded to my travel card I HOPE!!!!
    7PM so tired cannot walk to shop or find food, have some biscuits and cup camomile for tea. My roommate comes home, a delightful 21 year old from Sydney. Been working in Banff the whole winter, she tells me winter tales of snow and ice and eyelashes freezing together.....brrrr. I tell her my travel tales...we hit the hay early, both of us having traveled all day.

    Monday 19th June
    9am so exhausted, lie in lumpy bunk bed on the net, wishing I had stayed in the better bed at end of hall. Head to bathroom with my roommate still sleeping. No way am I getting in that scungy shower. Have a wash up in the sink and rake my frizzy hair.
    10.45am another debate re the refund. My bank shows the refund is not there that he did last night. He tells me it will take a few days. I assure him if it doesnt I will be coming back here and demanding my money. Oh do you have a reservation? I will never stay in this scungy place again. I will be back to see you for my money!
    11am checkout..would you mind my bag while I go to the shop. YES he grumbles....
    head off downtown and see so many homeless people and beggars in street. My nerves are frazzled and seeing this is so usetting to me. Some old disbaled people are shaking and begging on every street corner. I wasnt this upset in India.
    11.45 finally find a grocery store and get some supplies. Hooray GF bread, nice shiny apples, will get my roast beef deli meat out of the scungy frig when I get back and make a sandwich for lunch later...found a bank...atm says no mastercard...line up in bank to ask...yes just try it....it works HOOORAY I have Canadian dollars I say out loud. People behind me in queue have sad city faces.
    12.30 get lost walking back.... young kids help me out....pick up bags and forget my meat in frig.....
    Walk back to station and look for airport train...finally someone tells me it is another staion across the park!!!
    1.10 get train to airport...young asian girl is trying to get to airport to pick up her mother, we go off togther after getting help with ticket machine and directions from a transit officer. Change trains at xyz and go left and get on airport train .....Teach girl how to read platform shedules as she atrempts to get wrong train...I would never have got to airport without you she said...hmmmm I replied.
    2pm Vancouver aiport is a long way, finally there and hope Westjet have a ticket for me as I have nothing...I tell the lady expedia has charged me 3 times for this flight so give me a good seat. All sorted....pay my $25 for a ticket for my bag, please go to boarding gate....tho6ght plane left at 3.30 but leaves at 3pm!!!
    AT THIS POINT I WILL TELL YOU I COULD NOT GET A CHEAP FLIGHT FROM SEATTLE OR EVEN BY GOING BACK TO PORTLAND,,CHEAPER TO GO TO VANCOUVER.....
    3.30 finally board plane.. it is late...eyes pop out my head as we go down on the tarmac to an old fashioned plane with propellers seats 70 people....OMG I am going to die on a mountain top.
    5.pm land at this beautiful little place called Kelonwa, wish I was staying here, looks so pretty from the air.
    wait for connection which is also delayed. Getting very hungry but dry GF bread I am still carrting around in shopping bag is not appealing. Find some dried apricots in my backpack.
    ? Later..short flight of 39 minutes to Calgary. Great scenes flying in. Proceed to pick up bag,,hooray it is there. Stand there looking vague ....HELP comes with the white hatted airport volunteers, they call my airport hotel for me...shuttle? Yes ok we will be there at 8.30pm....groan.
    7.40pm..sit on comfy chair and eat my salad I just bought upstairs at expensive airport cafe. It has a few pieces of chicken in it.....
    8pm..still waiting, and still hungry.
    8.30 car comes to pick me and 2 others up, head to travelodge airport inn. Hassles with checkin as I they dont take debit cards...I start to fall asleep on counter..oh ok they accept it as deposit and I pay cash of 77.50 for room....and they change my room to a top floor. Beaut.
    9.15....finally in a nice room and a comfy bed. Cup of camomile and nuts. Watched a movie on Utube.....Zzzzzz

    Tuesday 20th
    I really should not have watched that movie on the french revolution....so tired. The longest shower and wash hair. Make it to breakfast room as it closes. Grab anything that is gluten free and go back to room to pack. Take the free ride back to airport. Get airport bus to downtown. Supposed to be an express but we go through suburbs and past every mall. Drops me off in town. Trundle off to free C train zone....hostel is on edge of city buildings. Walk from city hall stop.
    12.30 48 hours after leaving Seattle I check in to HI Hostel Calgary. May I leave my bags till check in time? Oh we can check you in now....great!



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  • 20Jun 2017

    9 Calgary town 20.06.2017 Kanada —

    De Winton, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    The HI hostel isfairly new in the apartment districts east of city buildings. This is a young city and is experiencing a boom. There is construction eveyhere and huge cranes near our building. After checking in I go in search of food. Find a little cafe with lots of salads etc. Tax is added into everything here at the end. I had 3 scoops of salad and a tiny piece of chicken topped with a serve of tax which came to over 17 dollars. CA dollars has just equaled AU dollars so at least I know what I am paying for things . I wanted a warm drink but they had nothung, no chai tea. Only sugary fruit juices. Cannot find any supermarket anywhere. Got some nut snacks from a convience store and a protein shake in a botle, with tax was over $9. I really do not know how people afford to live over here.

    I was planning to go on an outing to Heritage Park a recreated town with old style buildings and activities, like a theme park, but it was a train and bus ride and lots of walking. It was a glorious day. 25 C and sunny- the warmest day yet on my trip so had to make the most of it. By now it was 2pm so I decided on the nearby zoo only a few train stops away. Apparently th3 Seatle zoo is very good but it was a long way and I have added to the list of things I missed out on in that city. ...
    Paid almost $30 for the Calgary zoo but was very dissapointed. The zoo had major flooding 2 years ago as it is on an island in the middle of the river. The hippos floated away and loved it. The giraffes took off into suburbia. They have gone elsewhere to live until there enclosures are repaired. I decided on the canadian exhibit but many areas were empty or the animals hiding. I saw a head of a mountain sheep, and finally saw a grizzly bear whuch are small. Not the big black bears that chase you. This one came down and sat near the front. Saw a prairie dog which was making a screeching noise sticking his head out of the burrow. Saw a lovely garden and met the man who said he had just finished last week replanting all the borders. It was his mothers garden, but now she is in heaven he does it. It was so pretty. Strolled around the zoo until I could walk no more.. They had the sprinklers on the animals as it was so hot!
    Back at the hostel I had no food. Checked the free food cupboard of stuff that guests leave behind and found a jar of peanut butter. Had some on my GF bread I still had not used from that morning in Vancouver. Went up to my room at 9pm and two of my roommates had gone to bed but were not asleep. We had a little chat and I looked out the window. The biggest rabbit I have ever seen jumps across the dusty unselaed carpark below. That must be a jackrabbit, he is huge! Big as a small dog. It was the best animal I had seen all day!!! Hahaha
    So I fluffed around and packed my bag for tomorrow and had a shower. Got all clothes ready on end of my bed ready for my day trip I have booked tomorrow. Finally nestled into bed for my first night here. So weary after my 48 hours of travel and walk around the zoo.....all I want is sleep......
    Then a young Korean girl comes in at 11pm and starts packing her stuff. She has a huge amount of stuff and shopping and mess all over her unmade bed. She tells me she is going early in the morning. I tell her you should have come home earlier to pack. She fluffs around with our door open wide to let in some light and leaves it open to go have a shower. This all takes 1.5 hours. I WAS FURIOUS!!!!!!! Finally she goes to bed and gets up at 4pm to play with more plastic and paper which despite my earplugs I can still hear. At 5 am I cannot lie on this bed any longer it has springs sticking out of it. I see her down in the kitchen and give her a glaring dirt look. I feel like I uave been awake all night. Have some breakie and I am off out the door for a day away from all this domesticity. That was my first day in Calgary!

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  • 21Jun 2017

    10 Todays Cowboys and Indians 21.06.2017 Kanada —

    Fort MacLeod, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    After all the stress I have been having lately, I decided when I arrived in Calgary to go on a tour somewhere nice. Somewhere out in the country. Somewhere to restore my spirit. I have had enough of concrete and tall buildings and seeing all these homeless people. There was some good day tours to choose from, so I selected one that was good value, to a UNESCO world heritage site. So after my bad sleep with the young girl packing her gear I got up very early to have some breakie. I also made peanut butter GF toast for lunch ( in case no GF food where I am going) and off I went with cameras charged and a backpack full of snacks and rain gear as a storm was possible later on.

    I had about 4 blocks to walk into the city to the Calgary Tower to meet the van at 7.45am. I waited. I walked around and then some others turned up. A ritzy couple about my age from gold coast and some other woman from Newcastle. Her last name was BORE and she certainly lived up to it, not saying one word to anyone the whole day. so 4 Aussies and 1 guide and 1 in training drove a long way in a comfy small Dodge van, south to the site of the world famous HEAD SMASHED IN BUFFALO JUMP, near Fort MacLeod. after having a little shut eye in the van I was wide awake when I got the fresh air on my face and went off walking.

    This area is very special to the local natives tribes. The views of the far off mountains of Montana were lovely. We were greeted by Natalie, who worked there and were taken on a private tour of the museum and site. We went up 6 floors in an elevator and took a short walk to the cliff site. What happened here was in order to survive, the Indians devised a clever way to hunt the buffalo, that are called bison in the USA. They would spend many weeks in preparation, and would set up camp below the 20 foot cliff, where there was a vast plain. Hunters would be disguised with animal skins and heads and pat their bodies down with sage to disguise the human scent. Buffalo have poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell.They would hide behind bushes on both sides and others would chase them from a long way towards the cliff area. The buffalo stampede was so fast that by the time they got near the cliff they tumbled off bringing down rocks and dust in their demise. When the dust cleared the native people from many tribes in the Alberta area, worked collectively to skin and tan the hides and process the meat. It was a huge undertaking with hundreds having a role. Every part of the buffalo was used. Even the eyes and brain boiled up and used as waterproofing compound for their skins used for tipis. Bones were used for scraping tools etc. Meat was dried and preserved to last through the severe coming winter. This area has undergone many archeological digs and although the last buffalo jump occurred in 1840, evidence shows this has occurred here for 6,000 years. The cliff has almost crumbled away to a mere 10 foot high. There are walking trails below where the camp site was. Inside we saw a video and learned how a traditional tipi was made with skins and 13 posts to represent the 13 moons of the year. The Indians only took what they needed. The buffalo survived and there were huge numbers, but now there are not many. We saw buffalo grazing in the distance on a farm when we left.

    We then went back out to the front of the museum to take a seat. We had arrived on a special day as it was Aboriginal Nations Day and there was lots of speeches and a blessing from the elder of the local tribe. We all stood up from our seats. Then there was traditional dancing, and a talk from one of the dancers on what her dress meant to her. The festivities went on for so long and I knew we would be going soon. I remember our guide saying we could have lunch here or on the afternoon stop, so I sneaked away from the ceremony. Anything gluten free? Yes! After listening to all the blood and guts stories I skipped the buffalo burger and had a hot meat and vegie soup, with GF bun. Ahh, comfort food, just what I needed. I had just sat down back at the dancing when the driver came and said we are going now. I was the only one who got some lunch which I ate in the van.

    Next was another long drive to the BAR U RANCH, which has a long history in Alberta. The ranch was a big beef producer with contracts going to the railroads that needed to feed the workers. Other contracts were to the government to feed the First Nations People as the buffalo were no longer on the menu for some reason. The temperature had dropped and it was very windy. The others headed straight to the cafeteria. I got my guide book and went right out to the cowboy waiting for us on the wagon ride. Yeeha! off I went with some other tourists to view the old buildings on the ranch. There was some great photo spots here and I was busy. I also saw a horse being shod. New shoes are needed every 6 weeks as they pull the wagon around for visitors and wear down. Had a chat to the girls at the camp where the chuck wagon was while I munched on my peanut butter toast that I made thst morning. The cattle droving camp would go out for weeks to round up cattle and keep an eye on things. It was a huge ranch with no fences in those days. The English Prince of Wales back in the 1800s loved it so much out here he bought the ranch next door. The Canadian government bought the U BAR some years ago as they wanted to keep it preserved as it is an important part of Alberta history. It is still a working ranch with real cowboys and horses and cattle. It was a great tourist spot way out in the middle of nowhere. Ms Bore sat the whole time in the café and ate her hamburger..didn't even go down to see the farm buildings. Our guide was a bit stunned as he had a little gossip with me. I really wonder why some people travel at all.

    It was a great day out and just what I needed .Cost $125 which is ok for a full day out. They paid our admission fees. I have been a bit frugal on the entertainment side of things...,must remember I wont be back here. When I got back to town at 5pm tried to find the city supermarket- must have a good tea... could not find it. I knew where a mall was so got train a long way. The mall was a walk from station. The Walmart was the far end of the mall. The station was a long walk back. I got back to hostel at 7.30pm so exhausted. Cooked nice salmon and mash sweet yam. Yehaa!
    And that is what modern day cowboys and Indians are up to her in the province of Alberta.

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  • 23Jun 2017

    11 Tourist Guilt 23.06.2017 Kanada —

    Calgary, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    I have made up a new travel term. It's called tourist guilt. Many of us in our room were suffering from this yesterday along with a big dose of fatigue. I went back to room 210 after breafast and 3 were still in bed after 10.30. No, we are not going anywhere today and went back to scrolling their phones. I felt the same. I couldnt stand another night on that awful mattess so the cleaner called the manager and he came up to check it out. He agreed with me so he sent a wiry cowboy up to swap the mattress over with one off another bunk. Problem solved I went to sit in the quiet room. I had planned to walk 2 blocks to the site of the old fort, so went out to the balcony to test the weather. 30 knot winds and currently 14....not going out in that. Guilt attack. This is your last full day here. What about the old house with the free garden to stroll, what about that big trip out to heritage park, what about the museums and the lunch box theatre? Hmmmmmm?
    Are you going out today I said to the only other girl in the quiet room? No, Im just too tired. I will go to find a supermarket. Oh good luck with that. I caught up with my writing, researched locations still to come and packed my bag, then a hot shower. Found my ear-rings and necklace the cleaner had hung up in the bathroom yesterday. No improvement in the weather. I didnt go out. I cannot manage going out every day at home. And travel adds more strain and weariness. When I went off to bed the lights were all out, all roommate's had gone to sleep.

    Today Friday June 23, after a good night on my better bed, the guilt returned with the morning sun. By the way it seems to get light here about 3 or 4am so when I loose my sleep mask the light wakes me up. I roll over for a bit more kip. I got up, got cracking and checked out by 9.20 am. Bus leaves at 12.45pm.....I can make it. With my bags in the storage room, I was off out the door. The museum was close by only 4 or 5 blocks so I walked. Had a good look around and glad I went, it was interesting and I learned a lot more about the Indians and how the railroad made them lose their land. They were pushed onto reservations as they wete starving and had no choice but to accept the governments offer. Also learned of some local people who have gone down in history. The outing relieved my tourist guilt just a little.

    It was time to go. Time to leave Calgary, a small clean and new city. The reason I came all this way by bus and two planes was to get to the Rocky Mountains and travel west back to Vancouver on the coast. Calgary is east of the ranges so now I will go some where the whole world comes to see. Are you not staying for the calgary stampede? The man next to me on the greyhound bus says to me? Its on next week and it is the biggest event in the country. Cowboy central with loads of events, from breafasts to barbeques art exhibits and conerts and of course lots of coboy action rodeo style. People go to work for 10 minutes and dissappear as they are off to stampede festivities. No cant do it all I said in my defence. There is just too much to see and do in each city.

    Ahh the mountains, all this week I see them in the distance, they beckon me. The Rocky Mountains of Canada. Now that should cure my tourism guilt. And I must get out and see things when I get there. I will probably never return, and if I miss out on things, now then that would be a crime and I will be guilty as charged.
    Gosh I wish I went to Pittock Mansion in Portland........

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  • 24Jun 2017

    12 Roamin' around Banff 24.06.2017 Kanada —

    Banff, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    My arrival in Banff was by greyhound bus. They gave me a 25% discount as I am a HI member, so the trip from Calgary was only $19 online. When I finally checked in to my hotel it was about 7pm, I was already tired but wandered down to the supermarket for supplies. My hotel is on the main street called Banff Ave. Cars zoom up and down here and there are masses of people out walking up and down. At first I wanted to move rooms and get one out the back, but I have managed to sleep. The other tourists get tired too and it all quitens down eventually. While I was down at the shops I booked a tour for Sunday which will be a big day out so dont want to do too much on fhe Saturday.

    So my first full day here, Saturday, I could not get off my bed. After all these weeks at hostels and silly young girls rustling packages at 4am I am exhausted. I looked at my map and all the overwhelming options in the tourits pamphlets. I just don't think I can do it. I said to myself just choose two things...what are the two things you really want to do the most....(tourist guilt was creeping back in)hmm, 2 things could be done..well, said I, I must go to the hot springs. One of my pinterest boards is springs and spas around the world. My biggest regret in Tuscany was even though I was staying in the spa capital of Italy; Montecatini Terme, I didnt go for a soak. Even though there is a hotel pool here at , I must go to the hot spring.

    Ok, number 2,,,oh a lake, i will go on an easy bus ride to the lake...great. Wth my picnic lunch and drink off I went and boarded the local transit. The buses are called ROAM, and with a day ticket $5 you can roam all over banff until midnight. Banff is the only town in the Rockies that has local bus transport, so may as well use it.There are about 6 bus routes so I hopped on the one to Lake Minewanka 11kms out of town.

    Its is canada's 150 birthday in 2017 and the gift to the nation is free admit to all national parks, and it is the weekend..oh my, and it is a lovely sunny day. People who have not been here for years are here in droves today. The national parks have set up a little booth under a gazebo pop up tent. Is there a short little walk for me?....yes, to the left side of the lake, its 1.6 km to the little bridge,, well I didn't go that far, but had a good little walk and ate my lunch as I sat on a rock as far as I could from the huge family groups with screaming kids and burning BBQs.

    On the way to the lake, a lady sat next to me. She told me how she longs to travel now, her husband just died and asked me advice on buying plane tickets.....!!!!! She was interested in going to Newfoundland way at the top of Canada. I prattled out some sagely words and when she saw me on the bus back and as I was leaving she grabbed my hands and said oh god bless you, and thankyou for your kind words. Go see the world I said, for soon we shall all be gone.

    Next stop, buy bus ticket for next leg of journey. Brewsters owns most of Banff and they have it all wrapped up. They are the only bus out of here and they wanted over 100 for the next leg of my travels...for a 4 hour bus trip...what a gyp! They gave me a little discount for a HI member, which brought it down to 94. 60 with tax. After spending ages finding the place, it was time for my other choice.
    But then I saw the springs are open until 11pm. Oh good then I will go somewhere else. I went on the roam bus to the cave, to where the men fist discovered the hot water. They called it sulphur mountain due to the smell. I had to get a bus back to town and wait for another one.

    Finally I was off to the springs and at 5pm was in the queue. $7.50 admission, I took a hotel towel and my togs with me all this way. Put all my gear in a locker for a buck, then precarously walked out on slippery wet floors to relax in the mineral water and soak. Oh my the water was so hot. We all kept getting out and sitting in the edge to cool off on the shady side of the pool.The views from here were fabulous, looking out over some mountains. It was strange sitting here so hot looking out at snow. It was very pleasant but at 39 * C I became too overheated. I thought I would be here for hours soaking the evening away. When I went to get out of the pool my left foot had swollen so much I could not put pressure on my heel, it was so painful. My feet that have been so bad for months before my trip have been doing ok most days. The life gaurd girl had to help me out. I sat for a while on an airondiack chair, awful things, not comfy at all. By 6.20 I was on the crowded bus back to town.

    Roamin around Banff is easy on a fiver, with lots of free places to go to. Brewsters have a free shuttle to take you to the gondola which is actually a ride up the mountain in a capsule. For 65 a ticket they should give you a ride out there. They own the gondola also, too much money, not going.
    So that was my easy day, a great little day out, it is lovely here, but oh so many tourists from all over the world. Most of the hotels say no vacancy. It is so expensive here. This has been my luxury break. There is nothing cheap here and I didnt want a hostel stay.. Just as well I paid for this room before I left home. Feel like a queen on my king size bed....zzzzz good night.

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  • 25Jun 2017

    13 Mountain Woman 25.06.2017 Kanada —

    Banff, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    When Mary peered out her train carriage at 4am in 1889, she was in awe of what she saw. Enticed by a poster of the scenic Lake Louise she came with the naturalist society from Pennsylvania. Oh those mountains. She fell in love instantly. Now this is a story of how travel can change your life. On this, her first journey to the the Rocky Mountains Mary"s whole life was about to change. She met her future husband who was a doctor and ametuer botanist. Also at the natural sciences meeting she met a woman who was to become her best friend, Mollie Adams. Every summer Mary Vernon Shaffer came to the Rockies with her husband.

    The railway had only been operating a few years, and progress was well under way. The railway owner promised the government he would build the Grand Pacific railroad in five years, yet he did it in two. Three railroad workers discovered a hole in a hillside and this was the thermal springs, where Banff now is. Van Horne the railway owner knew this was going to big. He said, "if we cant take the scenery to the people, we will bring them to the mountains"

    Most came for the mountaineering as the railways employed swiss treckers to teach visitors, or rather male visitors how to hike. Mary considered herself a genteel delicate woman, as that is what Victorian society had trained them to to believe. She would pick and press flowers, sit and sketch and stroll by the side of the lake. How many times did she peer into the forest and long to wander off, over the many summers she spent here.

    Suddenly, over a period of six months both parents and her husband died. Mary, overcome with grief was aided by her dear friend Mollie. They came to the mountains for healing, and it was now she first stepped into the woods. Although grieving the period became a turning point in her life and in her personality. Mary and Mollie would leave the hotel at Lake Louise and when they were not seen, remove their long dresses and pull on pants hidden in their packs. She completed her husbands book on flora of the rocky mountains.. Mary became great explorer and skilled camper. She was the first white woman to go up into the mountains. She employed 2 guides on her treks. After all, even a modern woman could not defend herself from black bears. She became a friend to many native tribes and wrote a book called Indian Trails of the Rocky Mountains. She became known as Yahe-Weha, the mountain woman by the Nakoda tribe.

    One summer the party of four decided to search for an illusive lake the Indians had spoken of. Along the way they met some Indians. One of them recalled his father taking him there as a child. He drew them a map. Finally they found the beautiful Maligne Lake near where Jasper is today. The hike, over treacherous country took them one month from Lake Louise. Once the news was out, the government asked her to survey the lake and knowing nothing of the task at hand, took the job. As a result the national park border was extended to include Maligne Lake.

    The national park was very different in the early days. It was promoted as a place to come and hunt and there were no policies of ecology or environment. Mary married her guide, Billy Warren, 20 years her junior. They lived in Banff from 1912 for the rest of their days. Billy Warren became interested in the new automobiles and started a sales and service garage in Banff and also bought a hotel. And they probably went hiking every weekend. Mary was a pioneer in her time. She led the way for women to take off those long skirts, don some dacs and a pack and walk to the tops of mountains, to see the top of the world. What a woman.

    With every step I have taken here I think of Mary Shaffer Warren and just like her I was intrigued by pictures. I saw images of the Rockies at the Canada pavillion at World Expo in Brisbane in 1988 and since then I have wanted to visit here. I grew up on a mountain, surrounded by pines. On a mountain is where I am happy. Where nature feeds my spirit. And now I have seen it I can see why Mary made this place her life her work and home.

    Mary Shaffer Warren, b1861, d 1939 buried at Banff, Alberta, Canada.

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  • 25Jun 2017

    14 Lakes and Mountains Day Tour 25.06.2017 Kanada —

    Banff, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    So looking forward to my full day tour with Brewster company. The mountain lakes and waterfalls to6r seemed a good choice for me. Not too much wàlking and plenty of time inbetween to rest on the bus and enjoy the view. It was a brilliant day at around 26 degrees. The warmest and sunniest day on my trip so far. It is simply gorgeous here in summer. All the places we visited were so crowded, with traffic direction men and overflow parking lots. On a tour isthe best way to do it. So without any more words I will upload the pics. But believe me, a tiny photo does not do it justice. The views in all directions were amazing.
    Really loved my day tour. Worth the money.

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  • 06Nov 2017

    15 Oh my! The Roses. 06.11.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    My main reason for starting my trip in Portland was to come here for the annual rose festival. It is a huge event lasting 3weeks with arts music and more, and of course lots ofrose events. The rose happenings or locations I attened and saw while here is were....
    1. The Portland Rose Society spring exhibition of cut flowers held at the lloyd centre mall. Had a chat to some members and viewedall the wonderful cut blooms.

    2. The Floral Parade. I got the bus into town..actually it is said here...caught the bus downtown to see the parade. I wandered around and had some good vantage spots. There was lots of brass bands and local rodeo queens with blonde hair and shiny teeth and the horses were all decorated with roses. I expected more floral floats but what was there was good.

    3. Visited the International rose test garden in Washington Park. The park is huge and you get the train into a tunnel in the mountain and then get an elevatorinside the mountain to take you to the top. Then a free shuttle bus to where you want to go.. the arboretum, the picnic grounds, memorials, forestry centre, japanese garden or the rose garden. I was going to see other things after the roses butI was just too cold so left and went home. The location up on the hill was getting chilly in the afternoon. The roses, without doubt were the best I have ever seen anywhere. They must love the rain and just enough sunshine to grow. No harsh strong sun like in Oz to wilt them. It was a beautiful setting. Roses are tested here for worldwide sales by rose breeders.

    4. Roses all over the town. .by the side of the railway track, in every front garden and in the city. Such a pretty city.

    5. Ladds Addition...was very close to the hostel. This area was a very old farm and around 1900 to 1920 it was divided up into a housing estate. But the roads are designed in a diamond design with 4 gardens at the 4 corners and 1 garden in the centre. I went here on my last day and walked all around looking at the wonderful old homes. Everyone had such a lovely garden. When I finally stood in the centre garden filled with rhododendrons, you can look north east south and west to the other 4 roses gardens. This was a free activity and one of the best things I did in this town, just getting out into suburbia.

    HOPE YOU ENJOY THE LOVELY ROSE PICS FROM PORTLAND!

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