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Alternate to Calgary

Kelowna, British Columbia.  On the way you will be in a desert
that has been irrigated to become the fruit and vegetable garden
of Canada.  From here consider going west to
Kamloops, an
important farming area made possible by irrigation, and north to
Jasper then south to the often pictured Lake Louise and on to
Banff
and east to Calgary.  Between Jasper and Banff, on route
93 is the
Columbia Ice Field – here you can go on to the glacier,
great fun.

This is in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.  Head south from
Calgary on Route 2 to I-15 into the U.S. to …

Glacier National Park.  Take the Going-To-The-Sun Road for a
scenic treat.  The mountains form a backdrop for the tranquil
lakes.  You’ll remember this one.  The roads
do not accommodate
RVs.  Continue south to I-90 to… jump to Montana  below
Grand Coulee Dam is the largest dam in the US for the production
of hydropower.  Tour the power generators in the dam and at night
see the laser light shows held during the summer.  This is a National
Recreation Area.  

From the Grand Coulee Dam continue to
Spokane and on I-90 east
to Idaho.  

Idaho

This is a rugged mountain area.  The highway goes through
mountain passes and goes past small mining towns, etc.  You might
be ready for a stop when you get to…

Coeur d’Alene which is situated on a grand lake.  This is a
picturesque area with the lake surrounded by the majestic
mountains.  A luxury resort area.  Then east through mountain
passes and mining area to...

Wallace.  This is a small town and a mining center.  It has a colorful
history from its heyday and they will share this with you at the mine
tour and at the museum you will learn the tawdry history of the
town.  Visitors get an insight of the early rough and ready era, which
extended to the 1980s when the “feds” stepped in.  From here
continue on I-90 to …

Montana

As you enter Montana from Idaho you are in the Rockies and going
eastward you go to rolling countryside and then agriculture — I’ve
never seen so much corn, thanks to ethanol.  It’s a fisherman’s
paradise.  

Livingston  From here you can cut south on US-89 to Yellowstone
National Park and connect to mid-country route.  See the page for
Route F.  

Go east on I-90 to…

Missoula.  Have you ever visited a smoke jumper base ?  Here’s
your chance.  Every summer these professionals come from all over
to fight forest fires .  Photo of parachute rigging table.




Butte.  Explore this city that has literally crept away from the
expanding copper mine.  Get a taste of the lore by visiting the
Copper King mansion.



South Dakota

Rapid City.  From Rapid City drive south to Mount Rushmore
National Monument
, which is in the Black Hills.  This is the
mountainside that has been carved with the faces of four presidents
– Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.  While in
the area, visit the Borglum Historic Center in
Keystone to learn the
background of the
Mount Rushmore National Monument.  Then to…






Custer to visit the Crazy Horse Memorial.  This is a fantastic
privately  funded monument of Chief Crazy Horse on horseback.  
The Lakota approached Korczak Ziolkowski to create this monument
to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American
Indians.  It is cut into the face of a mountain and when finished will
be the largest sculpture in the world -- a sculpture taller than the
Washington Monument.  (Photo of model of completed sculpture)
Go back and continue east on I-90 to exit 110.  Near here is …

Wall Drug… so what, you say.  Wall Drug is a phenomenon of
merchandising.  Back in depression days (early 1930s) a druggist in
this remote area gave free ice water to passersby and now it’s a
tourist attraction – not worth much time, but take a few minutes.  
Then go on Route 377 east to visit…















Mitchell.  What can I say, this is a very isolated area and small
communities do anything to get the tourist dollar.  Mitchell has the
Corn Palace – a building with pictures created with corn on the
exterior walls.  It’s refreshed annually from several varieties of
colored corn.  Dramatic, but if you miss it you won’t miss much.  
(The Chamber of Commerce does not endorse this last comment.)  

Then, on I-90 go east through the plains, referred by some as
“America’s breadbasket”.  You’ll see wheat fields, soybeans, maybe
fields of sunflowers, and herds of cattle.  We’ve gone out of our way
to get up close to view (and smell) the feedlots – some with
thousands of heads getting ready for the dining tables.  Continue
until you head north on I-35.  You may wish to visit …

Minnesota

Mall of America, the largest in the USA, in the outskirts of
Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We have not gone to the mall but know the
parking area accommodates RVs and tour busses.  Continue north
to US-8 or US-2 and go east through Wisconsin to…

Michigan

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  This area gives a unique view of
the development of the area – tour an iron ore mine; visit a state
park that preserves
Fayette, an abandoned town from the 1800s;
take a boat tour on Lake Superior to view the
Pictured Rocks
National Lakeshore
; see the large open pits from which limestone
was taken.  

We had a campsite on the lakefront.  The area was developed in
the late 1800s as a mining area – iron ore – and the miners enjoyed
“pasties” which is like a hash in a crust.  Try one, this is the only
place in the US that has them, you may enjoy.  View the open pit
mines.  Continue to…

Sault Ste Marie.  Here we took a tour boat through the Soo Locks,
on St. Mary River.  Going through the locks you rise over 20 feet.  
Then, on I-75 cross the bridge to…

Mackinaw City.  From this area you can take a boat to Mackinac
Island for the day.  The island is a hangout for the affluent.  No
motorized vehicles are permitted.  Rent a bicycle and ride around
the island, enjoy lunch.  From here, drive south along the scenic
coast of Lake Huron.  At Port Huron, MI cross to…

Ontario, Canada

Sarnia.  After crossing the bridge stay on Route 402 and when you
get to Route 21 go south on route 21 to the Oil Museum.  If you’re
like most Americans you think that the first oil gusher was in
Pennsylvania.  As you walk among the oil wells in
Oil City you’ll
learn that the first gusher was here, about a year before oil was
discovered in Pennsylvania.  You’ll be interested in the way in which
the wells are powered.  From here, head east to …

Niagara Falls.  The Canadian side is the better side to view the
falls.  From the falls go along the US side of the St. Lawrence River
to …

From here you can tour New York, New England, Eastern Canada
and other eastern destinations.  
             
                         
Connect to:
Route J New York and New England - Outer loop & Inner loop
Parachute rigging table at Missoula smoke jumper base
Travel Letters
Can you imagine going through grasslands and suddenly seeing the badlands?
Badlands National Park.  First the road goes
along grasslands and then you see it.  The
badlands are desolate rocks that appear like
giant sand sculpture made by children with the
sand dribbling.  After seeing it you’ll have no
question as to the reason it’s called “badlands”.  
You drive along the top of the butte to view it and
then the road dips so you can walk on the floor
of the badlands.  The color changes as the sun
moves.  We’ve stayed at the park’s campground
so we could see it at sunset and sunrise.  
Continue to  I-90 and go east to…
Four presidents at Mount Rushmore
Model of Crazy Horse Memorial as it should appear when completed
Rural Montana