Montana & Canada

Olla,Gerry and I both love to tour Montana and Canada.Canada is a great summer destination for Phoenicians. The weather was inthe60/70s and the exchange rate favorable. Canada enjoys just 10% of the USpopulation with more square miles of land mass offering unrepeatable beautyand serenity.We flew into Spokane Washington and set out from there. This is a greatgateway to Glacier NP in lieu of flying into Kalispel Montana. The cost ofairfare is much cheaper, and the four hour drive through Idaho and Montanaison a scenic byway.Cost per person $175 round trip and we were able to get first classupgradesboth ways. Air travel to Kalispel from Phoenix is between $600 and $900each.Year of the Great BearWhen you think of Glacier/Waterton you think of grizzly bears. Withintheseprotected lands roam one of the densest concentrations of "GRIZ" in NorthAmerica.We have seen many Grizzly bears in Alaska at Denali National Park, andwerehopeful that again we would see the bears at a distance. In Alaska theyweremeandering in the tundra eating berries.We got our wish, with two encounters, a little too close for comfort, oneinGlacier and one in Waterton. In Glacier we met Griz, only 20 yards away onthe Iceberg Lake trail. They had closed this trail the week previous due totoo high a concentration of Grizzly and black bears. A Mother with her twocubs had been surprised by a group of hikers and charged the group twice.Thefirst charge was a false one. The second one had the Bear within four feetbefore pepper spray was invoked.We did not have pepper spray but fortunately our encounters wereuneventful.We just carefully kept moving.Gerry thought that the Iceberg Lake, nine mile trail was the most beautifulshe had ever experienced. The Wildflowers were brilliant! Iceberg lake wasaqua blue. We were in awe of the mountains and glaciers.Other highlights of this trip include:--Hiking in unbelievable beauty in six National Parks-- Shopping and dining at the River Front Restaurant in Calgary. Calgary isa wonderful progressive city.--Seeing the splendor of Lake Louise--Visiting the icefield region, including the Columbia Icefield--Hanging out in Banff, feasting our eyes on the Canadian Rockies whileslamming down Molsons--Relaxing in soothing Radium Hot Springs--Enjoying the uncountable aqua green lakes, rivers, and waterfalls--Wildlife viewing of elk (one with the biggest racks I have ever seen),moose, fox, deer, mountain sheep, prairie dogs and of course the Griz.--hanging out in Sandpoint Idaho, visiting the Clear Water Creek store(ClearWater Creek Catalogue sales) that spans across a river, walking along PendOreille Lake--hanging out in Spokane Washington, walking the Riverfront walk to Gonzaga

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