A short trip exploring desert mines

Location

As a trip I have taken on my motorcycle before I wished to explore the El Paso Mountain area at a slower pace and take my larger camera with me. This happened a few weeks ago and I had such a fun time exploring I will return again as there are so many additional sights that I could not visit in one day.

 

The trails took me from Red Rock Canyon State Park through the El Paso Mountains finally exiting close to the old gold mining town of Garlock. This west to east trail can be traveled in either direction and has many side trails leading to other areas.

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The Canada adventure is in planning

ADVENTURE – An exciting, daring, bold, risky or very unusual experience or undertaking fraught with physical, financial or psychological risks.

Lets go on an Adventure

What does this mean? It can be different for everyone; skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river rafting, caving (spelunking) traveling, exploring…… anything that is outside the ordinary for that individual is an adventure. Many make their adventures a way of life and never stop. For some it is just a day, weekend or short trip. Does it need to involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion or highly specialized gear, some would say yes. I do not think that at all, it is up to the individual the extent of the adventure to be accomplished.

Next August my ADVENTURE will involve a 45 drive from Southern California to Dawson, Yukon Territories in Canada, up the Dawson highway to the Arctic Ocean and back in my 2017 Subaru Outback. It is something I have never done and it has always been on my bucket list. I have taken 2 cruises to Alaska and have loved the experiences. I now want to experience the lands of Canada and Alaska from the ground driving through the countryside.

2017-10-31 OverallMap

·      Will it be scary? …..Probably as I will be doing it alone.

·      Will it be exhilarating? …..Yes.

·      Will it be fun and exciting? …..Definitely.

·      Am I excited to plan and start this adventure? …..OH YES.

The trip will leave Southern California and head up east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains then I will cut over to Vancouver, WA to visit my son and his family for a few days.

2017-10-31 CA2Van

The Adventure really begins after this visit as I head to Glacier National Park, Montana; Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. Continuing north to Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta, Canada. Then going north into the Yukon Territory, the smallest and least populated province in Canada to the small town of Dawson. From Dawson I will head up the Dawson Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada and then continue the final 130 km on the new all season road to Tukoyakuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. Returning to Dawson I will then head east to Chicken, Alaska turning south for Haines to cross on the ferry to Skagway, Alaska. It will then be time to head south after a few days rest in Skagway. Stopping again in Vancouver, WA I will hopefully finish with a camping trip in the Sierras with a group of Overland Bound friends to end this adventure. That is the rough itinerary at this time.

·      Adventure? …..I think so.

·      Something out of my ordinary routine? …..DEFINITELY for me.

So what does this involve? A lot of investigation on the Internet, reviewing maps and with the help from individuals who kindly share their knowledge of the areas I am visiting. I will be camping along the way when possible and staying at motels, hotels or lodges as needed. Road conditions, places to stay, services (food and gas), places to visit all need to be investigated.

·      Will schedules change?

·      Will additional sites present themselves?

·      Will destinations be revised?

All a YES to me, it is still being planned so anything is all possible.

My vehicle is still getting prepared for the adventure with items to makes it’s life and mine more enjoyable. Better suspension, all-terrain tires, roof rack, navigation equipment, full size spare tire, tow strap, tools, tire gauge, tire repair (plug) kit, gloves, fire extinguisher, shovel, axe, extra gas can, repair parts, extra power outlets added for charging all the electronic gear that we all carry now, tint for the rear windows, communications, boost jump starter battery charger and jumper cables, and a portable air compressor for a start.

w: Springs 1

My clothing and toiletries will be my normal travel items (see previous post) modified for the weather. I will possibly be adding a Go Pro video camera to my photographic equipment for additional documentation of the adventure.

Then I must go through the camping gear to pare down to the basics on what I really need to take along. It will include tent, tent ground cloth (footprint), sleeping bag and pad, stove, pots, fry pan, plates, cooking and eating utensils, dishpan, dish soap (Dawn), camp chair and table, tarp, mosquito repellant and head netting, camp lights and batteries, propane, lighter and matches, trash bags, cleaning bucket, 5 gallon drinking water container, a cooler and food storage containers.

Additional gear will include a hand held GPS, first aid kit, whistle, cordage (para-cord), knife, bear spray, maps, compass and possibly a small backpacking hammock.

Now what am I visiting along the way.

Part 1

The real start of my trip will be when I leave Vancouver, WA for Glacier National Park in Montana where I will be overnighting at the Apgar, Sprague Creek or Fish Creek Campgrounds depending on availability in the south end of the park.

 

From there I will head over “Going to the Sun Highway” to see the sights and stop as needed for the night.

2017-10-31 Glacier

The next day I will enter Canada and stop for a few days to explore the area of and around Waterton Lakes National Park.

After Waterton, I will head to Banff to stay for about 5-6 days in a condo (timeshare exchange) to explore the surrounding area. Along the way to Banff I will stop at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site to look around.

2017-10-31 Glacier2Jasper

The fist day I will wander around the town of Banff getting current information at the Visitor Center and the Banff Park Museum, visit the Whyte Art Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Natural History Museum and the Buffalo Nations Museum. Just outside of town I will visit Cave and Basin National Historic Site and the Upper Hot Springs.

In my remaining days in Banff I will explore up Highways 1 and 1A as far as Lake Louise visiting locations and scenic overlooks such as Backswamp, Muleshoe, Sawback, Hillsdale Meadows, Johnson Canyon, Moose Meadows, Silver City, Rock Lake, Castle Cliffs, Storm Mountain, Castle Lookout, Protection Mountain, Baer Creek, Outlet Creek, Corral Creek, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Returning at the end of the each days adventure to sleep in a nice bed with kitchen area. If the condo idea falls through I will just head north along those highways stopping at campgrounds along the way to Jasper, Alberta, Canada.

2017-10-31 Banff2LL

Now, how have I found this information? From maps; computer mapping programs; books, searching the specific areas I wish to visit on the Internet (Google is my friend); country, territory and city visitor information sites; and information from other travel bloggers. I have gone to my local bookstore to wander and peruse the shelves looking for interesting travel books of these areas. I will go to my local Automobile Association to find out what information they might have available there. A travel book, map and your time searching are well spent in preparing for a trip. Information gained ahead of the trip will help insure you plan the time to see the sites most important to you.

I will continue with the planning of this adventure in additional posts so please stay tuned.

Any ideas of what to visit in the areas I am traveling would be appreciated, not all sites are noted somewhere, secret spots abound. And if you share these secret spots with me to enjoy I will not post where they are but will relish in the beauty around me and be grateful you trust me with this information.