May 4-May 15, 2008
Zion NP to Jasper NP

From Zion NP to Salt Lake City and Glacier,
and then to Banff NP and Jasper NP (Canada)

State and National Parks and Monuments Visited:

Kolob Canyons (part of Zion National Park) Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Copper Mine (on the Nat'l Register of Historic Sites)
Bannack State Park
Big Hole National Battlefield
Glacier NP
Kootenay National Park (British Columbia)
Banff National Park (Alberta)
Yoho National Park (British Columbia)
Jasper National Park (Alberta)

We left Zion on a beautiful, warm and clear day to head to Salt Lake City where the Pursuit needed some basic service. And as sometimes happens, what we thought was a basic 15,000 mile "check-up" ended up lasting two days!

While waiting, we did drive through town one evening to see the Mormon Temple and some of the other sites. We had had a Perlite Institute meeting in Salt Lake City a few years ago and so we didn't feel we had to spend too much time visiting everything.....and so we went to see something a little different---Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Copper Mine which is located just southwest of the city.

The Bingam Canyon Copper Mine is huge! Owned by the Rio Tinto Group (the same company that owns the Palabora vermiculite mines and copper mine in South Africa from whom The Schundler Company had purchased vermiculite for years,) the pit is more than three quarters of a mile deep and almost three miles wide. Mining operations began at Bingham Canyon in 1906, it is still an operating mine, and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The Bingham Canyon Copper Mine

After two days, the work on the Pursuit was finally done, and we headed towards the Canadian Rockies with stops along the way in Montana---Bannack State Park, Big Hole National Battlefield, and Glacier National Park. (Yellowstone still had bad weather and lots of snow and closed roads, and so we had decided head past it.)

Our first stop in Montana was Bannack State Park which is a ghost town. It's one of the many ghost towns in the west which started when gold was discovered there in 1862. At one time the town had grown to over 3000 official residents, for a short time in May 1864, it was the capitol of the new Montana Territory, and eventually it had a hotel, school, and church. But when the gold deposits were depleted, the town slowly 1940 the hotel closed, in 1951 the school closed, and 1954 the Beaverhead County Museum Association formally donated the town to the state of Montana. Today, over 50 buildings remain....ranging from the old school house to the shacks of the Bachelors Row. And visitors can more or less roam around and go into many of the buildings! And we did!

Bannack State Park
The Main Street of Bannack

Sara and Oliver resting in front of the General Store
The Church of Bannack

After Bannack, we drove to Big Hole National Battlefield which is south of Missoula, Montana right next to the Idaho border. In the summer of 1877, five bands of Nez Perce Indians consisting of 800 people began a 1,170 mile journey from northwestern Oregon and Central Idaho over the Bitterroot Mountains and the Montana Territory. Unfortunately, what began as a peaceful exodus ended up in a terrible battle at Big Hole.

The Big Hole National Battlefield memorializes the Nez Perce men, women, and children, the soldiers of the 7th U.S. Infantry, and the Bitterroot Volunteers who clased at the Battle of the Big Hole.

From the Big Hole National Battlefield, we drove north to Missoula and then past Flathead Lake to Whitefish, Montana.....just west of Glacier National Park. The drive through Montana and along Flathead Lake was amazing....and it just reminded us why Bruce's cousin Betsy had gone to school in Missoula and loved Montana so much.

We were traveling early enough that there still was snow on many mountains, and so everything was just beautiful and it was hard not talking too many pictures!

Montana Countryside
Flathead Lake

We stayed in Whitefish, Montana just outside Glacier for two part because we found out at the last minute that KOA was offering a two nights for the cost of one that weekend! And so we relaxed a little, and drove into Glacier National Park for a day.

Much like Yellowstone, much of Glacier was not open. We could drive into the western entrance and up to Lake MacDonald....but no further. The middle section of the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road was still not plowed...with parts along the way covered in over 20 feet of snow! Nevertheless, we enjoyed what we could see, and we were reminded why Glacier NP (along with Zion) has been one of our favorite parks!

Lake MacDonald

The Canadian Border at Roosville

We we celebrated Mother's Day by talking to Mom Frazee, and to Rebecca and Brian, and by crossing over the U.S./Canadian border! We headed to a town called Fort Steel since we wanted to drive through Kootenay National Park and go into Banff NP in the daylight. And so we stopped and left the next morning for Kootenay and Banff!

Bruce and Sara--Travels in 2008 (Opening Page)

Jan to April 2008---The SAM Shortline in Cordele, GA

April 1st to April 13, 2008---Driving from GA to Big Bend NP, TX

April 14 to April 23, 2008---Driving from Carlsbad Caverns NP to Mesa Verde NP

April 24 to May 4, 2008---Snow in Yellowstone, a Change in Plans, and a Detour to Zion NP

May 4 to May 11, 2008---From Zion NP to Salt Lake City and Glacier, and then to Canada

May 12 to May 16, 2008---Kootenay, Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Parks Yoho)

May 16 to May 25, 2008---The Alaskan Highway---From Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Skagway, Alaska

May 25 to June 7, 2008---Southeast Alaska--Skagway, Sitka, Juneau, and Haines

June 8 to June 21, 2008---Haines Junction, Fairbanks, and Denali

June 22 to July 4, 2008---The Kenai Peninsula: Portgage, Seward, and Homer

July 5 to July 19, 2008---Whittier, Anchorage, Palmer, Valdez Prince William Sound and Wrangell-St. Elias NP

July 23 to July 28, 2008---Driving Down the Cassier Highay: Steward and Hyder

July 29 to August 14, 2008---Driving Home after 13,600 Miles

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