Calgary Stampede & Rockies   4 comments

Calgary Stampede & Canadian Rockies

July 6 – 17, 2012



Jim & I have always talked about how we’d like to see the Calgary Stampede in Canada.  Then one day we received an email from Village Tours, Wichita KS that they were offering just that tour, and in addition to that we’d get to see a part of the Rockies that we’ve never seen before.  Jim was excited about relaxing on a coach tour and not having to drive.  So we booked it that very day.  We were impressed with the company and considered it to be a very well done trip. 

Map picture

We traveled approximately 2500+ miles by coach spending the nights in Denver CO; Sheridan WY; Missoula MT; Waterton Lake National Park, AB Canada; Calgary, AB Canada; Banff, AB Canada; Kamploops, BC Canada; and Vancouver, BC Canada.  We flew back to Wichita from Seattle WA.  We toured places of interest along the way which is included in this blog.  A great trip!

Our first tourist stop was at the Trail End Historic Site in Sheridan, WY.  Finished in 1913, Trail End was the mansion of the John B. Kendrick family. He was a cowboy who came up the Texas Trail in 1879, made his money in ranching and real estate, and later served as Wyoming’s Governor and U.S. Senator.


Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument: The Battle of the Little Bighorn is a famous battle in American History.  Here in the valley of the Little Bighorn River, in eastern Montana, on June 25 and 26 1876, soldiers and attached personnel of the U.S. 7th Cavalry met defeat and death at the hands of combined Lakota-Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians.  The Battle of the Little Bighorn is also known as Custer’s Last Stand, because in that battle a force of 700 men, lead by George Armstrong Custer, suffered a severe defeat, with more than 260 soldiers and Custer himself dying.  Small monuments dot the landscape marking the spots were Custer’s men fell.  Custer National Cemetery, is located on the battlefield, and is part of the National Monument. 



The following are photos taken out the window as we drove across Montana.  We really enjoyed seeing the countryside.


World Museum of Mining, Butte Montana:   Butte Montana experienced a century of hardrock mining and earned the reputation of being home to one of the world’s most productive copper mines of all time.  The museum is located on an actual mine yard – the Orphan Girl Mine, and exists to preserve the history of Butte and the legacy of its rich mining and cultural heritage.  Our guide was an old miner that had worked the mine and loved telling the story. 


DSC07742 DSC07724DSC07731DSC07737

Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada borders Glacier National Park in Montana to the south, together making up the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first of its kind in the world.  The uniqueness of Waterton Park is a blend of unusual geology, mild climate, rare wild flowers, and an abundance of wildlife. It is a scene which has remained unchanged for centuries. 

Our first stop in the park was the Lake McDonald Lodge, a rustic western theme lodge which was first opened for business in 1914.  We enjoyed a sack lunch overlooking Lake McDonald.  From there we boarded historic red 1928 open-top touring cars and crossed the beautiful park via the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  We discovered incredible mountain ranges, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and crossed the continental divide. 

DSC02439DSC07775DSC02445DSC02450 DSC02452DSC02453

The following pictures depict what we saw on the “Going-to-the-Sun Road.”  Our 3 1/2 hour ride through  Glacier National Park was absolutely breath taking!


We had the privilege of staying at the Prince of Wales Hotel which is located on Waterton Lake National Park grounds.  It’s soaring gables and distinctive green roof gave it an alpine chalet feel.  Constructed in 1927 by the Great Northern Railway, its stately elegance echoes the magnificent scenery of the beautiful lake and mountains that surrounded it.  Enjoyed the historic hotel, the scenery, and a delicious steak dinner…and what a view as we dined!



Calgary Stampede, Calgary, AB Canada: So today began the event we’d been eagerly anticipating. We were at the Stampede to help celebrate it’s 100th anniversary. It’s billed as Canada’s favorite festival, and they were expecting a million visitors. I think most of them were there the same days as we were!  Our first event was the Chuckwagon Races, where sixteen spirited horses and four determined drivers explode in an all out dash for the finish line. We really got to enjoy it and figure it out because they ran 9 or 10 heats. 



As the chuckwagon race begins the outriders throw stuff in the back of the wagons, and then the teams have to race around the barrels without knocking them over. 


The teams have made it around the barrels and are headed out on the race track.


Coming into the finish of one of the heats of the Chuckwagon Races. 


A close-up of one of the teams in the Chuckwagon Races. 

After the Chuckwagon Races we were treated to a spectacular Grandstand Show.  Paul Brandt was the signer, and all the young girls were going crazy.  He came down out of the sky, strumming his guitar and singing from the back of a Model T pickup.  There were daring trapeze artists, motorcycle daredevils, dancers, more music….you name it.  Oh, and lots and lots of fireworks every few minutes.  It was an extravaganza, what a show!


Jim & I spent several hours strolling around The Stampede Park.  It is a like giant state-fair with farming and agriculture exhibits, eating, an Indian Village complete with a stomp-dances, and our grand finale was the sky ride over the Stamped Park. 



 The Calgary Stampede Rodeo was everything it was billed to be.  We saw top professionals in the sport take on the untamed fury of the wests wildest horses and bulls during some of the most exciting rodeo action in the world.  The rodeo was opened with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 





 Banff National Park, AB Canada:  Is Canada’s oldest park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains.  We drove along the jagged peaks lining the Icefields Parkway.  The emerald waters of Lake Louise surrounded by snow capped mountains was exquisite.  We stayed in the delightful town of Banff



What can I say?  I think maybe Jim will be moving back to Banff so he can become a permanent participant in the “Oh Canada Dinner Show.”  They called him Stud Muffin.  In the photo below the three guys have been riding stick horses…….need I say more.  Fun!


The drive from Banff in a westerly direction towards Kamloops was one pretty view after another.  We stopped in the town of Revelstoke for lunch and got to enjoy some of the festivities of their “Timber Days.”


 Hells Gate is an abrupt narrowing of British Columbia’s Fraser River.  The towering rock walls of the Fraser River plunge toward each other forcing the waters through a passage only 115 feet wide.  The Hell’s Gate Air Tram was a thrilling way to experience rushing water from dizzying heights. 


   We spent our last two days in Vancouver, BC.  We boarded the Victoria Ferry and went from Vancouver to Victoria which is located on Vancouver Island.  The ferry ride was about 1 1/2 hours.


 The highlight of Victoria Island was Butchart Gardens.  In 1904 the highly successful business man, Robert Butchart, built a Portland Cement Factory on Vancouver Island.  After exhausting the limestone in the quarry near their home, Mr. & Mrs. Butchart turned the abandoned quarry into a spectacular garden.  Today it is a internationally known and renowned garden.

DSC03023DSC03031DSC03033DSC08014DSC03062 DSC03076

And thus ends my rendition of more wonderful things to see in this fantastic world that we live in. 


Posted July 30, 2012 by marilynfarmer in Travel

4 responses to “Calgary Stampede & Rockies

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Beautiful scenery. Thanks for the pictures, makes you feel like you were there.

  2. Thank you so much for your “trip” through absolutely GORGEOUS! We have been through a lot of the territory you described and enjoyed it as much as you. Your pictures are absolutely fantastic! Made me want to make another trip that way! Did you get the salmon dinner at Hell’s Gate? I guess everyone in our group enjoyed it…but I’m not a fish eater of any kind…fish tastes fishy!!! And altho it was an experience, I was apprehensive about that tram!!! And you’re absolutely right…the Gardens were beautiful…beautiful!!! And to think his wife did so much of it with a bucket and pulley going up and down from the top! What dedication!
    Again…thank you for sharing your trip with me!!!

    • Thank you Dixie for the kind words. It was a fun trip, glad you’ve been the same places. At Hell’s Gate Jim & I had salmon chowder and is was delicious. It wasn’t an included meal but we had time to eat if we wanted. I’m like you I don’t like “fishy” stuff as a rule. And guess what, there was a little storm and the electricity went off and the tram got stuck in the air. We were waiting to get on to go back up and had probably a half hour wait before it was up and running again. Half of our group was stuck near the top…glad it wasn’t me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: