Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Journey enters new territory...

I have recently returned from an almost 2-week trip, hitting 3 new states that I've never been to before...Washington, Montana, and Wyoming, and a quick and circuitous route through British Columbia and Alberta. And being that they are 3 of the most beautiful states and 2 of the most picturesque provinces that I've ever seen, I'm wondering why I hadn't visited them earlier.

While I flew from Denver to Spokane on the second leg of the trip, my friend's car notched 3700 miles by trips end. Yep... lots of territory covered, many pictures taken, and unforgettable memories made. Some of my favorite pictures are below. 

The initial reason for my trip was officiating a wedding in Spokane. 

The groom's family and male side of the wedding party got to stay in a cool log chalet up near Mt. Spokane. It was an amazing first exposure to Washington for me, complete with a moose sighting the last night.

From Spokane, I went to Seattle (another first) and enjoyed a few days in a beautiful city. I enjoyed it with some of my best Kansas friends and their daughter.

The stereotypical rain of the northwest finally showed itself on our trip from Seattle to Vancouver. We didn't spend as much time seeing the sights due to a soaking, cold downpour, but did enjoy a Japanese Isakaya dining experience at a 'community table' with a french couple from Quebec City, an Australian 'casanova' trying to wine-and-dine a Japanese college student, and another couple who never said a word to us. No pictures were taken, unfortunately, but the conversation was good for international relations.

The 12-hr trip from Vancouver to Lake Louise was an exhausting and, again, rain and snow-soaked experience. And while Lake Louise was still fairly ice-covered, I enjoyed the opportunity to see an area famous for its beauty. Here's a couple pics from along the way...

After a quick trip through Banff, Calgary and into Montana, we hit some of the most ruggedly beautiful country, and my favorite of the trip.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks deserved more time than we were able to give them, but even a day was enough to give a good taste of some amazing territory. We saw a lot of wildlife, and I am now a big fan of the Tetons. (someone told me last night that they are the most photographed mountain range in the world... that's an unconfirmed statement, but one that I don't have trouble believing after seeing them).

Jackson Hole gave us a taste of the 'wild west.' We hit it on Saturday night as the town was starting to rev up for the Memorial Day weekend. We missed the "Running of the Horses" but got a picture of the Elk Arches and enjoyed a little country band during dinner.

The final leg of the trip was a quick overnight stop through Denver. We book-ended our trip with excellent sashimi and sushi at the Sushi Den. And Little Man Ice Cream is a must-stop (please excuse the finger on my phone camera)

Great times and life-long memories...

And my personal journey enters new territory as well... details to come. All prayers for wisdom accepted and appreciated.


Rebecca June 2, 2011 at 6:32 AM  

Your photos whet my appetite for a similar journey...and my prayers are with you as you enter your personal new territory, Jim.

DeMo June 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM  

Gorgeous photos! I'm inspired to travel now.

What's your new territory???? I think I might know.......... :)

Prayers prayed.

Allen and Debby Graber June 2, 2011 at 7:32 PM  

After we do our Kansas trips this year, I definitely want to do one like yours!!! Beautiful!

Jason Horning June 2, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

Great pics...I spent some time (3 week family vacation) in Yellowstone, Tetons, Jackson Hole, to name a few, when I was a kid...definitely beautiful and VERY different than the Ohio/Indiana landscape I'm used to! Thanks for sharing.


Momma H June 7, 2011 at 10:32 AM  

I grew up in dry/deserty southeastern Idaho, but could see the back side of the Tetons on a good day. Many many trips to WA and MT and points in between and north of there. I love the northwest and miss my mountains -especially in a KS summer!
Praying for you and for wisdom, Jim. May God bless you mightily!

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