We are in the town of Jasper, Alberta - in Jasper National Park. When we last checked in, we were on our way to Revelstoke, British Columbia. We spent 2 nights in this very nice town. We rented a car to drive to the top of Mt. Revelstoke, which climbs about 5,000 vertical feet over about 18 miles. It's beautiful up there with a fantastic view. Then, I took my bike out of the car, and rode (glided, actually) the 18 miles back into town - 30 minutes to go 18 miles. Allan Kaplan says that I cheated.

>From Revelstoke, we drove through the Canadian Rockies - spent a few days in Yoho National Park. We crossed over the Continental Divide and ended up in the town of Lake Louise. Building the trans-canadian railroad was a big deal - getting it over the mountains,etc., and there are lots of museums and monuments.

Driving through the Canadian Rockies is just off the scale of comprehension. We go up and down thousands of feet, and the views are beyond anything we've ever seen or heard about. You have got to do this sometime. The roads are fine, and there are plenty of little towns with motels, and restaurants, so you don't need an RV. It all just leaves us speechless - mile after mile of yet another incredible panorama, another mountain, another view, each more amazing than the last. We've been in this area for a week,decided to stay around here for another week or so, and know it will be a big shock to go back to the regular world. The Sierras and even the US Rockies are just bush league compared to here.

We drove up some mountain today and then hiked about a mile on a glacier. Nothing else like it anywhere below the Arctic Circle.

Lots of bears and elk in the park. We've seen elk on the side of the road, and even elk in our RV park - less than 25 yards from us, when we were walking the dogs on the road! The elk have become habituated to the people, but everyone is told to stay away, because they can become aggressive for no good reason. The bears are a real problem, and if you leave food or coolers or BBQ's out overnight, you can be prepared to find them gone or destroyed - the rangers will also kick you out. On the radio today, there was a story about 2 hikers who bumped into a grizzly nearby and are now both in the hospital after being mauled - they will be OK. People are encouraged to hike in groups of 5 or more, and carry bells, whistle, etc. Bears are seen even at the edge of town, and along the highway, not just in remote areas at all.

It does get cold at night - we've seen 37 degrees overnight, but the days warm up fast to around 60 or so. We had one rainy day, but it wasn't too bad. We're told that by December, the temps will start going below zero and Jan and Feb will see 20 below, easy, with wind chills to 50 below - so don't come up here then! COuld be 10 feet of snow on the ground, too.

Logistically, all goes well. We rented a car here in Jasper, so we can go up the little mountain roads and go back and forth from the RV park more easily into town - the town is like a Vail or Aspen, but not so upscale - touristy, but not obnoxiously so. Still not too many Americans get up here - lots more Germans and other Europeans. Cordula is speaking as much German to the people we meet as English.

Jasper has no used book store, but lots of great restaurants, shops and people. If it was 500 miles south, and in the US, we'd seriously consider opening the used book store and stay here. ...but if it were 500 miles south, it would be a whole different place.

Dogs seem OK - occasional stomach problem, maybe from the change of water or local meat or something. But, Cordula and I have been fine - healthier than when we are at home. She can walk up to 4 kilometers now (that's about 2.5 miles).

I should stay away from home - the stock market does much better when I am away. FOr all you IWOV fans -- gotta love it.

See many of you in mid-Sept.

- cordula & steve