Summer in North America is a good period for vacation since daytime is longer than nighttime. Outdoor is one of my favorite recreation especially visiting national parks, absorbing natural scent and taking some pictures. My first trip began in Summer 1996. I dropped by many national parks around northwest of the US and west Canada. Southern part of Utah and some part of Arizona were my second trip. My third trip, the Big Bend, was slightly different from the first two because it was a trip in winter. My Fourth vacation started on Aug. 1, 2000. I paid a visit in Montana, Alberta, Saskachewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Wyoming. Here are the summary of my vacations.

The first summer trip is about Northwest of the US and west Canada, I went to Crater Lake (OR),  Mt.Renier (WA), Crater of the Moon (ID), Grand Teton (WY), Yellow Stone (MT,WY,ID), Glacier (MT), Banff (Alberta/BC,Canada), Butchart Garden (BC,Canada). Since ButChart Garden is on the Victoria island, therefore, I had to take a ferry (Tswansee-Nanaimo). All pictures were taken using Minolta Maxxum 700si with 28-105mm.(f3.5-4.5) Minolta lens and Kodak Gold 100 color negative films.

I spent second summer vacation on desert lands in Utah and Arizona. I dropped by Zion (UT), Bryce Canyon (UT), Capitol Reef (UT), CanyonLand (UT), Deadhorse (UT), Arches (UT), Navajo (AZ), Lake Powell (Glen Canyon, AZ), and Grand Canyon (AZ) both north and south rim. All pictures were taken using Minolta Maxxum 700si with 28-105 mm.(f3.5-4.5), 75-300 mm.(4.5-5.6) Minolta lenses and Kodak Gold 100 color negative films.

My third trip was in winter. I went to the Big Bend (TX) with my Thai friends. We camped there for two nights.

My fourth vacation embarked on Aug. 1, 2000. The trip took 2 weeks and only one word explains it all, WONDERFUL !!!. I flew from Baton Rouge airport (LA) and got together with my friend at Salt Lake City airport in Utah. My friend, Tim, flew from Phoenix (AZ). We rented a car at the airport, drove to Missoula and stayed in a motel for one night. On the next day we drove to Glacier NP. The Scenic view along the road that leads to the park is gorgeous. Once we got to the park, it's even more gorgeous. We spent one and a half day in both west and east Glacier NP. There are many trails in the park. The most recommended trails are Logan Pass and Many Glaciers. We left the park around three o'clock in the afternoon and headed to Canadian border. Having checked passports and visas, answered some questions and said goodbye to the customs we went to Calgary. We stayed one night in an int'l hostel. It was the place we met our new friend, Reinhart. He is a canadian from Toronto and also a backcountry hiker. We, three of us, left Calgary around 8 o'clock in the morning and headed to Banff NP. The weather in the morning was not good. It rained all the way to Banff. According to the weather forecast, the sky should open in the late morning and the forecast was right. While we were driving to Banff Tim and I talked about the places we stayed while we were in Banff. Surprisingly, in the third night Reinhart had booked the same hostel as us, therefore the three of us will get together again in the third night. We dropped Reinhart at SunValley which was the place I saw mudslide. The mudslide had stopped sliding about three or four hours before we reached there. Having dropped Reinhart at the Sun Valley we went to Lake Louise. There are about 5-6 trails at Lake Louise, we took the trail that leads to Agnes lake. It's a moderate trail, easy but steep. At first, Agnes lake didn't look beautiful until we walked to the other end of the lake. From that point, she seemed to be new Agnes. After we left Agnes lake we went to Moraine lake. We hung around the lake a few hours then went back to Banff townsite hostel. It's totally different from the previous two hostels that we had stayed. It also was the place we met two new friends, Yuri and Aya. They are japaneses and very nice. On the second day we travelled both in Banff and Jasper. Icefield parkway is a must of Jasper. We also walked on the trail at Mt. Edith Cavell. On the third day we invited Yuri and Aya to go with us since we just knew that they had never been to Jasper. At first we planned to introduce them on the valley of five lakes trail and Maligne lake trail since we haven't gone there before, unfortunately, our plan was sterilized by heavy rain on the first half of the day. In the afternoon we let them took their time at Athabassca fall and the Icefield. The third night we did not stay at the Banff Townsite but Castle Mountain Hostel. Once we stepped into the hostel we were stunned by its coziness. The manager, Karine, is very nice (and neat) also her best friend, an alaskan malamute, is very friendly. The hostel consists of four main rooms, i.e., a male bedroom, a female bedroom, a living room and a kitchen. Each bedroom has eighteen beds. Even though the beds are bunk beds they create less squeaky noise (when one climbs up) than other bunk beds we slept in other hostels previously. We left Banff in the morning of Aug. 7 and headed to Niagara fall. It took us about 3 days to get to the fall. Yes, it was a very long drive. We drove pass Saskachewan and Manitoba. When we entered Manitoba/Ontario border the weather was so bad. It was cloudy and rained all the way to Sault Ste. Marie. We took a ferry, Chi-Cheemuan, from South Baymouth (southern coast of Manitoulin island) to Tobermory (northern tip of Bruce Peninsula). We pulled in at the Niagara Fall hostel around 1:00 am of Aug. 10. We spent half day to see and to take pictures of Niagara fall on both Canadian and American side. It is the most spectacular waterfall I have ever seen.

We left Niagara fall around two o'clock in the afternoon and entered the US at Port Huron (MI)/Sarnia (ON), US/Canadian border. We drove pass Michigan, Indiana, Chicago (IL) and stopped at Janesville (WI). On the second day after entering the US we drove pass Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and pulled in at a motel in Gillette (WY). However, in South Dakota, we dropped by Badland NP about sunset time. In Wyoming, we spent 2 days getting lost in Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP.

This trip we saw many wild animals i.e. bisons, elks, bald and brown eagle, pelicans, swans, clark's nutcracker, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, groundhog, and mooses. In addition we saw many wild flowers as well. We drove back to Salt Lake city on Aug. 14 and took some pictures of the city in the night including one of famous temples in the world, the Salt Lake temple.

We started our trip at the Salt Lake City airport and ended at the same place. This trip took 7,197 miles driving (Salt Lake City airport (UT) - Idaho Fall (ID) - Missoula (MT) - Glacier NP (MT) - Calgary (AB) - Banff NP (AB) -Jasper NP (AB) - Regina (SK) - Winnipeg (MB) - Thunder Bay (ON) - Sault Ste. Marie (ON) - Manitoulin island (ON) - Niagara Fall (ON) - Sarnia (ON) - Port Huron (MI) - Indiana - Chicago (IL) - Janesville (WI) - Madison (WI) - La Crosse (WI) - Rochester (MN) - Badland NP (SD) - Gillette (WY) - Yellowstone NP (WY) - Grand Teton NP (WY) - Pocatello (ID) - Salt Lake City (UT)).

All pictures were taken using Minolta Maxxum 600si and 700si with 17-35 mm.(f2.8-4) Sigma lens, 28-105 mm.(f3.5-4.5), 75-300 mm.(f4.5-5.6) Minolta lenses, Kodak Gold 100 and Fuji Superia 100 color negative films.