One for the sea, One for the land...... Living the Nomadic Life is our plan

Who: Janice & Steve

Click: Where are we now?

'OMG It's Almost Time' in 'Getting the Boat Ready' attempts to describe my excitement of our impending departure.
Check out our Favorite Anchorages and best snorkeling spots in Blog Catagory 'Our Favorite Things'
And our thoughts on the completion of our first year in 'Our Cruising Advenures'!

Theodore Roosevelt - Voyagers - Isle Royale

24 October 2017
National Parks
Our intended plan is to head north on our boat next spring continuing the Great American Loop. Because of this we needed to visit three more National Parks near the Canadian border. These are parks that only the heartiest of souls would visit in the winter.

First of these was Theodore Roosevelt in North Dakota. We visited both the north and south units and found it very similar to The Badlands and Black Hills area of South Dakota. One afternoon we had a heard of Buffalo grazing as they wandered through our campground and on to the river.

President Roosevelt claimed that his time on his land here helped him overcome personal tragedies and go on to transform his love of nature into law. While in office he established the US Forest Service and the Antiquities Act to protect 230 million acres of land. Protected land now exceeded many more million acres so we all need to thank our early environmentalist for their foresight.

It was time to get out water fix so we headed east toward the Great Lakes.

The next park, Voyagers, is part of the rugged and remote area that borders the Boundry Waters. Over 1 million acres, the Boundry Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a huge network of bogs and waterways. Voyagersis a park that is as much water as land, with unspoiled shoreline of over 500 islands. Many visitors come here to fish and camp in one of the 200+ boat-in camp sites. After checking in at the visitor center we hopped on a boat to tour some of the park by water, which is really the only way to visit this park. Bald Eagle sightings were the highlight for most passengers on our tour although we did stop to visit a historic hotel on a remote island in the Kettle Falls District. Unlike most lodges of the National Park system, this one was a small run down wooden structure that is still in operation by a concessionaire. House boats are also available to rent and we passed several even though the weather was quite cold dipping into the low 40s at night.

The last park in the North was Isle Royal which is only accessible by a 2 hour boat ride and has fewer visitors in a year than Yellowstone has in a day. This island sits in the middle of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, and the worlds largest freshwater Lake. Only 25% of the 850 sq mile park is above water.

It is a paradise for back country campers but impossible to get my motor home to. Again, a bit cold and remote for our liking. We had packed a picnic and enjoyed a ranger led hike and a few ranger talks. I had a bit of childhood reminiscing of growing up on a lake in the North Woods, of growing up in "God's Country".

These two parks would be a great destination for city slickers that have always wanted to spend a weekend inside an idyllic Hamms commercial.

A few of Canada's National Parks

01 September 2017
We so loved Victoria on Vancouver Island that we decided to drive through part of Canada on our way east. In honor of Canada's 150 birthday celebration all park access was free for the entire year, how could we turn down a deal like that?

A quick detour to Oregon to visit sailing friends that have since started RVing part or full time. A great time was had by all!

We drove north after our Cruisers Rondesvous in Oregon and crossed the border in northern Idaho. We had expected to have to declare many items including fruits, vegetables and alcohol. We had all the medical paperwork ready for DeeO'gee. Instead, we simply answered a few questions about where we were going and what we had on board, then we were sent on our way. We have heard of others that had experienced a lengthy search of their RV, but I guess we must look pretty harmless.

Four of Canada's National Parks crowd together in the northern Rockies. Kootenay, Yoho, Jasper and Banff often share borders and it's hard to tell when you leave one and enter another.

Banff is Canada's first National Park and one of the oldest in the world, preceeded by Yellowstone. As I researched this I found that some say that Bogd Khan Uul Mountain is actually the oldest national park in the world designated by the Mongolian government 100 years before. Either way....I am happy our forefathers were concerned about protecting our natural wonders.

The town of Banff is picture perfect! An alpine resort and ski town with chalet style buildings nestled amonst the towering mountain peaks. This area is also famous for it's 19th century hot springs that are still open to the public.

Almost every national park has its historic hotel and in Banff it's the Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel. Also known as Canada's Castle in the Rockies, a night there starts around $500, indeed this is not an area for travelers on a budget!

Lake Louise is a stunning glacial lake, the vibrant turquoise color is a result of the rock flour created from the glacial run off.

Another historic hotel, the iconic Fairmont Chateau, sits on one end of the lake with the majestic Victoria Glacier at the other. A lovely walkway spans the distance. Lake Louise, in my opinion, is the heart of Banff National Park.

Canada's park system clearly has a more generous budget than America's. Roads, campgrounds and even overlooks were pristine.

The drive to Jasper on the Icefield Parkway is one of North America's most rewarding experiences. A unique landscape includes numerous glaciers including the famous Columbia Icefield.

Raged peaks, valleys and te resulting mountain lakes and waterfalls line the entire route. We were glad to drive it in both directions so we didn't miss anything.

Mt Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies overlooks the town of Jasper. Just outside of town is the SkyTram. The highest and longest aerial tram in Canada, it crests Whistler's Mountain at over 7,400 feet. Our fur baby wasn't allowed and it was a sunny warm day so leaving him in the car wasn't an option. Maybe next time!

Our favorite park that we visited was Waterton Lakes. This chain of lakes is located on the border north of Glacier National Park and together creates the worlds first International Peace Park.
'The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (WGIPP) was created in 1932 to commemorate the peace and goodwill that our two nations share. It was the world's first international peace park, and there are now 170 such peace parks globally.'

Another historic hotel, Prince of Whales overlooks Upper Waterton Lake and it's stunning views.

Hiking the trails through Red Rock Canyon that led to Blakiston Falls, strolling Cameron Lakeshore or walking through town DeeO'gee was a welcome guest. Most U.S.N.P. restrict dogs to paved surfaces which is an extreme disappointment.

The last park was a mistake! We decided to visit one more before heading back to the U.S. and Grasslands was located just north of the border of eastern Montana. A long gravel road beat us up pretty bad and Toad needed a new windshield when we left. Pretty much the same terrain as Theadore Roosevelt or most of the Dakota's it is one to be missed.

Crossing back into the U.S. was as easy as leaving. No search ensued and nothing had to be thrown out. We were glad we went and will definately go again.
Vessel Name: Nomadic Spirit
Vessel Make/Model: 32' Island Gypsy & 36' Monaco
Crew: Janice & Steve
This adventure began in October of 2007 when Steve came to look at a boat that Janice had for sale on Craig's List. Steve wanted to learn how to sail and Janice needed a new kitchen. [...]
FAVORITE QUOTES: 'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do then by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' Mark Twain 'We went cruising not to [...]
Nomadic Spirit's Photos - St Vincent and St Lucia
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One for the sea, One for the land...... Living the Nomadic Life is our plan

Who: Janice & Steve

Click: Where are we now?

'OMG It's Almost Time' in 'Getting the Boat Ready' attempts to describe my excitement of our impending departure.
Check out our Favorite Anchorages and best snorkeling spots in Blog Catagory 'Our Favorite Things'
And our thoughts on the completion of our first year in 'Our Cruising Advenures'!
'You're lucky if YOUR LOVE loves what you love the best' Eileen Quinn