Top 5: Roads for Cruisin’

I am a big road trip fan, and I always need to be the one behind the wheel (except when driving a manual transmission in Italy – thanks Katie for taking on that job!).

I’ve done a few gorgeous road drive in my day, and I am going to attempt to pick my mostest favoritest ever.

This is going to be hard.

5. Highwood Pass – Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada

I’ve been back and forth on this road a billion times, it feels like. I know it like the back of my hand, I suppose! It was all those early morning and late night drives in search for the perfect grizzly bear to observe.

4. Rogers Pass – TransCanada Highway in B.C., Canada

I didn’t expect much on my way to Revelstoke, B.C.. But this pass was absolutely breathtaking. The wildflowers were the most colourful and widespread I had ever seen!

I wasn’t able to stop and capture my own photo!

3. Going to the Sun – Glacier National Park: Montana, U.S.A.

I’ve completed this drive 3 times now, and I will never, ever get sick of it. It would really be nice to drive it some day when I can actually see the sun peeking through the gloomy clouds. Still – jaw-dropping beauty with all the glaciers, pine trees (ohhh the smells!), and mountain goats.

2. Amalfi Coast – Italy

Zing – jaw dropping scenes and those crazy little towns like Positano hanging off the side of those sheer rock cliffs. Sure, I would move there though!

1. Road to Hana – Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A

WOW – the views! At one spot, there was a very unique tiny town that sold the best banana bread and shave ice. The volcanic rocks and huge crashing waves there were amazing! Once in Hana, we noticed that it was getting late in the day and we had to turn right back around. I was kicking myself for not booking a room there to spend the night (they were full). Try to keep your windows open when you pass the eucalyptus trees – wow! Wow. WOW!

Honourable mentions to Beartooth Highway, the Canadian gold rush route through the Fraser Canyon, the drive from Vancouver to Whistler (Sea to Sky highway), and any driving we did in Italy and Hawaii – there wasn’t a dull scene anywhere!

 

My Happy Place

When you are asked to close your eyes and think about a place that makes you so happy and at peace, you often picture a specific place that you have been to before. Somewhere that you feel totally, absolutely, amazingly relaxed. Often it involves a beach, waves, a thunderstorm, sometimes crickets chirping in the background….you get the picture!

One of my favorite places in the world now has to be Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, and that’s the one I picture now when I have to go to my “happy place”.

It starts at the Tower Juction across from Roosevelt Lodge. If you take that road all the way down the valley, you end up in Cooke City (where you will find amazing pizza! But that’s a separate story).  Beyond that, you enter the scenic Beartooth Highway. Not too shabby of a drive!

It just makes me feel so relaxed when I drive through the winding roads, past the meandering stream, herds of bison, and rolling hills. The light seems to be the most beautiful golden shade all day long.

One of my favorite hikes is along this stretch of road too. Trout Lake is a quick jaunt, but the lake you end up in is so quiet and peaceful, I could sit there beside the otters and snap picture after picture as the light changes during the day.

What also entices me to hang around that valley is the concentration of wildlife, especially wolves, grizzlies, pronghorn, and bison. When I was there this summer, I witnessed an amazing show with the bison. They had to cross a raging river with one of their young that could not swim yet. So in order for this baby to cross with the rest of the herd, the older ones started a chain in the river which allowed for the baby to float across and hit this chain of bison, then crawl along beside them until it reached land. What team work! It was fascinating to watch.

Luckily, this section of Yellowstone is one of the quietest places to be. Not many tourists head to the northeast part of the park. So it just seems so much wilder and isolated…the true wild west.

So now that my work day is winding down, I am going to kick my feet up, close my eyes, and picture my happy place – Lamar Valley.