Chinese Lights…North Carolina style

I got a chance to visit another display of Chinese Lights, a cultural exhibit from China popping up all over the country. This time, the display was in North Carolina’s Daniel Stowe Gardens just outside Gastonia. The gardens themselves are lovely, but the addition of these beautiful silken, illuminated creatures made it a magical experience. I was also fortunate enough to share the evening with a great group of friends which makes everything better!

I also have a post from the Nashville lights, check it out!

Enjoy the photos!

Curly maples above the flamingos
Dragon – night
Dragon – Day

Chinese crafts – paper pop ups

Friends and other visitors:

Circle of friends
My good friend, Amy, with her dads
A little beauty among the beasts

Road Trip 2017 – Yellowstone National Park

We leave Kalispell, MT after an evening at the Moose Saloon –  eating delicious pizza and drinking many (too many!) Moose Drool Draft beers! If you ever find yourself in Kalispell, be sure to check out this place downtown. I loved it so much, I had to buy a hat! So, the next morning, we head into Bozeman, MT…a very hip little town! The downtown was thriving with a lot of young people and tourists. We chose to stay here because it was only 1 1/2 hours from the northern gates of Yellowstone.

Now, to really see Yellowstone National Park, you need at least a week. We were trying to do it in one day. That meant we had to sacrifice a lot of scenery. But, to me, Yellowstone’s real point of interest is the geothermal activity. So, that is what we concentrated on. And it was a full, full day of seeing the sights. From the Porcelain Pools to Old Faithful, we checked it all out.

Enjoy the photos and video!

 

Out where the buffalo roam.

Old Faithful video

Next, come along across Wyoming…from the Grand Tetons to Devil’s Tower!

Thanks for coming on the road with me!

 

Road Trip 2017 – Waterton & Glacier National Park

Leaving Jasper & Banff National Park was wrenching. It was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen. The mountains, the lakes, the wildlife, the people…all are a reason to plan a return trip. We headed down a two-lane highway south of Calgary and drove through gorgeous ranch and farmland. We arrived in Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada) and Glacier National Park (USA). We ended up staying in Waterton overnight and got to do a little exploration of the area. The town is charmingly nestled in a ring of mountains and a beautiful, glacier-fed lake.

The next morning, we had a fortifying cup of coffee at a tiny coffee-house in Waterton. We had a chance to meet and talk with a guy from Detroit that was preparing to hike the Continental Divide all the way to Mexico! I was so impressed! We wished him luck and we headed off to the American border and crossed back into the USA. We are entering Glacier National Park in St. Mary, Montana and driving on the wonderfully named “Going to the Sun Highway.” This drive takes you across Glacier from east to west and we exit near Kalispell, MT where we spent the night. Our luck held on this portion of the trip, too. The day we are driving this road, was the first day that it was 100% open to the public! Previously, the snow had been so deep, that visitors were turned back about the halfway point. Another lucky break!

While driving the road, we noticed these really cool red buses. When we made a pit stop at the summit, I had a chance to talk with a couple of drivers of these buses. The drivers are called “Jammers” because of the way they have to jam the bus into gear! And the buses, themselves, are from 1936-1939. The fleet of 33 buses in Glacier are widely considered to be the oldest touring fleet of vehicles anywhere in the world. According to their website, each red bus is estimated to be worth $250,000. Wow!

“Jammers” and their vintage vehicles
1936 Ford Red Bus from the National Park’s fleet of buses
1936 Glacier National Park Red Bus Tours

 

Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took along the Going to the Sun road:

Next up is the trip to Yellowstone National Park!

Thanks for coming on the road with me.

Road Trip 2017 – Jasper & Banff National Parks

After a great visit, we left Vancouver Island early on the fourth day of our visit and took the ferry back to the Canadian mainland. Driving around the city of Vancouver, we headed northeast toward a town called Kamloops. It was our halfway point on the trip to Jasper National Park. We stayed at a small resort on the Lake Le Jeune shore and headed out the next morning toward the western gate into Jasper. The four hour ride there was so beautiful…almost like a preview of things to come.

At the first sighting of Mount Robson, we both gasped. Snow covered and so majestic!

Not far from there, was the gate to Jasper. This year, there is a special free pass to all Canadian parks because of the country’s 150 anniversary…so Happy Anniversary, Canada! We spent several days in Jasper and then took a day long trip down the Icefield Parkway into Banff National Park and a small side trip to Lake Louise. Wow. Just wow is all the words I have.

Please enjoy the photos of the wildlife and the scenery of this amazing area of Canada!

Louis, our boat tour guide on Lake Maligne in Jasper National Park

 

Enjoy the views and thanks for coming along on my road trip!

Next post is “Going-to-the-Sun” road in Glacier National Park…more beautiful mountains and amazing waterfalls. You can’t get away from them around here!