Sunday, August 12, 2012

Canada - The trip home

Yes, I know we have been home for over a week and I hadn't finalized my trip story. It took a while to find my cord to transfer pictures. But I still wanted to finish up my story.

On Sunday, we said good-bye to all our family from near and far with promises to keep in touch, which we actually do. With email, Facebook, and Photo Bucket, it is easier and easier to do. The Gackle family have a  reunion every three years and it looks like that will continue in the future. We've been to Portland, Billings, Colorado, and North Dakota, with the one in 2015 in California and in 2018 in Germany!

The trip home was going to take two days, with some fun along the way. We spent half of a day at the cliffs of Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump near Macleod, Alberta. For over 5,500 years, the Blackfoot Indians hunted  buffalo by causing a herd of buffalo to stampede over the cliff. I love museums and have a special fondness for Native American museums. (I am using "American" here to mean "North American" because this was in Canada.)

The Blackfoot then use every part of the 30 or so buffalo to live on for the next year, such as dried meat, clothing and bedding, which with Alberta winters, that could be important.

We took a hike along the drive lanes used for herding the buffalo. It is amazing that you don't see the cliff until you are right up to it. No wonder the buffalo didn't see it coming. It's called a buffalo "jump' instead of a buffalo 'fall," because it is believed that the buffalo are willing to sacrifice themselves to give the Blackfoot people warmth and food to the people. Gotta love that kind of dedication, right?

We spent the rest of the day driving on to Yellowstone. We stayed the night somewhere in southern Montana, and drove into the park the next day.

I have a long and beautiful history with Yellowstone. I worked at Old Faithful Lodge during the summers when I was in college, and I have dragged my family there many times since. So we decided we were only doing to two a couple of things there before continuing home. We had to visit my old stomping grounds at Old Faithful and wanted to see the caldera exhibit at the Canyon area.

As we drove through Hayden Valley, we came upon the buffalo herd. This little guy was shading himself in the ditch. All I had to do is stick my camera out the window to take his picture.  I then warned him not to go north to Head Smashed In in Alberta.

So we made it home. We dropped Dane off in Fort Collins and Lorne off in Denver, and we got home to Littleton and collapsed into sleep. I already missed being with my boys, but it was wonderful to spend time with them.


  1. I enjoyed your trip but what about Neko? Was he still there when you arrived home?
    Jalia in Pueblo

  2. We had a house sitter who took very good of Neko, even though Neko was not happy about someone else being in our house. She did say that at time he was crying, like he was lonely, so it was nice that he missed us.