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10 March 2008 @ 06:56 pm
Calgary Or Bust!  
So. Finally starting to get over "the sickness." Seems to be going around on campus, Chinese teacher seems to have the early stages, hopefully she won't completely lose her voice like I did. :(

But anyway, in a couple of weeks, my birthday. And for that auspicious day, continuing the (very recent) tradition of a new country every year, Canada!

Anyway, tentative plan:

March 21st: Last day of classes at Metro before spring break.

March 22nd: Pick up Anders (trip mate) bright and early up near Boulder, make like bat out of hell up I-25, I-90, and US-87 to Great Falls, MT. I do the morning driving, Anders doing more of the late driving and/or spot relief. I like driving, so I imagine I'll do most of it, but it'll work out how it works out. Two drivers is always better than one.

March 23rd: Birthday! Starting early again, take I-15 to Canada, cross over to Canadian highways #4, #3, and #2 to Calgary. Hopefully get there early enough to see some of the city -- if we're making good enough time, perhaps we'll leave from farther north than Great Falls, but we'll see (don't want to do too much night driving. Especially in wilder places like western Montana, night driving is a bit riskier, but a little bit wouldn't be too bad). The main point, though, is to have some sort of birthday thing somewhere in Calgary that evening.

March 24th: Banff National Park! This will probably take up most of the day, as we wander around, and perhaps take some pictures (okay, no perhaps about it, lots of pictures). Stay in Calgary.

March 25th: Back south from Calgary, cross back into the U.S., then take I-15 all the way down to US-26 at Idaho Falls, and over to Jackson Hole.

March 26th: See the Tetons and Yellowstone, stay another night in Jackson Hole.

March 27th: From Jackson Hole back to Denver by one of various possible routes (possibly the more leisurely and scenic way south to I-80 and over).

So, good things about the trip:

- Birthday in new foreign country, continuing the (very recent) tradition. Of course, since I can't afford to fly off to anywhere like Japan this year, it'll have to be Canada. Made even more affordable by sharing trip expenses.

- Visiting two of the last four states I haven't been to yet, and also one of the major national parks I haven't seen.

Bad things about the trip:

- March in the north country -- weather could be interesting. Fortunately, we have 4WD. But, it could slow down a leg or two and/or make it much more interesting. Not sure how much of Yellowstone or Banff will really be open that early, either.

- Not really enough time to hit Glacier, too, which I also really want to see, but maybe I can do that sometime in the summer in a slightly less ambitious trip.

So, anybody have suggestions of things to see, especially in Calgary, especially that might be worth a birthday party? Remembering, of course, that it's Easter Sunday this year. Not sure how that might affect things.
In the mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Allison Steinastein142 on March 11th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Cool itinerary. I'm supposed to go to Idaho Falls in Sept, and was wondering if Yellowstone was a doable side trip. Let me know how it works out for you.
Douglas Triggs: wildflowersdoubt72 on March 20th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
Dunno, looks like it's about 100 miles away. Depends how much time you have, I guess.
Jelliskyjellisky on March 11th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Sounds like fun. Banff should be beautiful in late winter (best in late summer, but should be nice in March also). Glacier is effectively useless in winter, as Going-to-the-Sun road is closed from about October to April/May... and that's the one you want to take when you go! So, really, not much of a loss not hitting Glacier in March.

Have fun, though! That should be a nice trip.


arwensouth: Impala!RoadTriparwensouth on March 11th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
This sounds like so much fun ... I love road trips.

Unfortunately, having never been to Calgary, I have no suggestions for you. But I will be eagerly awaiting the pictures!