Friday, October 07, 2011

Daydreaming about travel

Access to Google Maps can occasionally be dangerous.

I was wondering how much out of the way it would be, if I get back to Glacier National Park sometimes in the nearish future, to pop up over the border and check out the Banff/Jasper/Yoho/Kootenay park complex up in Canada.  Turns out it's less than 300 miles from Glacier to Banff.

Then I thought, it'd be fun to take my youngest two on a trip out there.  A big road trip with lots of hiking and driving and taking pictures and wading in ice cold mountain lakes, and all that jazz.  The boys are really excited about the prospect of the Rocky Mountains, and seeing them, and you can't do much better than Glacier and Waterton Lakes up on the Montana/Alberta border and then pop up north for the big Canadian Rockies super-park.

So I added more destinations, bracketed it with our address on either said, and whipped out a route in Google maps.  Except... well, my one son really wanted to see Rocky Mountian National Park specifically.  I think it's the name.  So, I added that.  It wasn't too far out of the way, really.  Well, it kinda is, but if I'm going to go to all this trouble anyway, why not?  My other son really wanted to see Yellowstone, and it turns out that between Rocky Mountains National Park and Glacier Naitonal Park, you have to go pretty darn close to Yellowstone anyway.  And if I'm going to go to Yellowstone for his sake, then I also want to see next-door Grand Teton National Park for mine.

Now we had a lot of destinations and a lot of miles.  But it occurred to me that I could make the drive from the Great Lakes to the Rockies a little more palatable if I looked for a stop or two along the way.  It wouldn't add too much distance to put Mt. Rushmore on the trip.  And then Devil's Tower which is nearby.  And then, hey, it looks like from Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower National Monuments to Rocky Mountain National Park, well, you have to drive within a few miles of Scott's Bluff National Monument.

All of this took me about ten to fifteen minutes to plan out with Google Maps.  I need to save this ambitious route and plan for taking the entire month of July... sometime... to do this.  After this, my boys (and maybe even me) should be completely Rocky Mountained out.

And just to punctuate how awesome all these Rocky Mountains are, here's a shot of the "Twenty Dollar View" across Lake Moraine in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park.

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