Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Canadian Rockies + Glacier of USA Adventure Trip of a Lifetime

Brief Itinerary ( more details of each National Park and of each place later ):

Flew to Calgary International Airport ( YYC ). Sorry, no picture of the city (we are city snobs ), as we always prefer to spend our time in National Parks for very obvious reason, NATIONAL PARKS ARE CALMING TO THE SOUL AND HEALING TO THE SPIRIT.

From Calgary, we drove to Waterton National Park, where we stayed for 2 nights for Waterton Glacier International Peace Park exploring.

Days 1- 3: Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is the name of the union of two neighboring National Parks, one in Canada ( Waterton National Park) and the other one in USA ( Glacier National Park). Waterton and Glacier are not only 2 National Parks and a Peace Park, but also a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve. Aside from amazing scenery and sights so relaxing and calming, we enjoyed so much the wildlife in these 2 National Parks of 2 different countries.

Waterton Lake with Prince of Wales Hotel in the background, Waterton National Park, AB, Canada

approaching Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park, MT, USA

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bow Lake from Bow Glacier Falls Trail

Panorama of Bow Lake from Bow Glacier Falls Trail
Columbia Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada
photo taken by Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Mirror mirror on the wall, who is more fearless of the two? :)



Jumping pictures taken at Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, AB, Canada.

Moraine Lake at Canadian Rockies

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park,  Alberta, Canada
photo taken by: Samsung Galaxy Note 2

This is another cell phone shot of one of the places we visited in the Canadian Rockies during our day trip. Just got back from vacation, and no time yet to change format of my pictures from RAW files to JPEG, so, sharing cell phone shots for now. More of our Canadian Rockies trip later. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mono Lake

Blogging for Fun Friday again, time flies so fast and I am trying to catch up joining the fun this Friday night. This week, we are doing letter M, and I thought of Mono Lake, one of the most inspiring and amazing desert landscapes I have seen.
Stormy Sunset @ Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, CA
The very first time my sight viewed Mono Lake, I was totally awed by the place. Maybe because the first time I set my foot in this place was at sunset, which looked almost unreal for me. As I am used to the ocean, not with the surreal tall calcium carbonate rocks in front of me.
Sunset, Mono Lake
We felt that we did not have enough of Mono Lake on our first visit, that in just a few months, we went back to Eastern Sierra, to visit this amazing lake again.
Mono Lake, Sunrise, Eastern Sierra
What stands out in Mono Lake are the towering tufas. The tufas are these amazingly sculpted Calcium Carbonate towers above the water looking like those eerie guards at an Alien Kingdom. Walking along the shores of Mono Lake is like walking in a cave, only that the stalactites and stalagmites are not hanging from the ceiling, but stands above water with the beautiful sky above it. And unlike inside a cave, at Mono Lake, you can have these towering tufas with sunrise or sunset!
Mono Lake @ sunrise, Eastern Sierra, CA
Mono Lake is an ancient lake, one of the oldest in North America. The towering sculpted limsestone rocks are called "tufas", which at first, we had difficulty remembering and would say "tofu". Though calcium carbonate rocks grow exclusively under water, but because of the change in water level in this lake, the toweing tufas were exposed. Above water, the tufas can no longer grow and are susceptible to erosion.
Sunset @ Mono Lake
Mono Lake has no drainage and the only way for water to escape is through evaporation, as a result, the water at Mono Lake is very salty. But do not mistake this desert lake to be lifeless already because of the extreme saltiness. Though no fish can probably survive in this lake from saltiness, but this lake is abundant in alkali flies and alkali shrimps which millions of migrating birds feed on.
Birds and tufas @ Mono Lake
Swarms of black alkali flies carpet the shoreline of Mono Lake during summer. However, these alkali flies are not interested of humans, and even not of aliens. These macroscopic flies are only interested with the microscopic algae. These alkali flies attract birds, for the birds, these are foods a lot tastier and richer in protein than brine shrimp. Because of the richness of the alkali flies in the lake, the lake attracts a lot of migratory birds making the lake the busiest airport for birds. In October, these birds have there biggest convention, and this convention is one of the biggest in North America, only that the guests are birds. Aerial surveys have revealed 1.5-1.8 million birds on the lake in the fall—comprising a large portion of North America’s population!

Traveling tip: Mono Lake is located in the Eastern Sierra, it is only 22 miles southeast from Yosemite National Park’s Tioga Pass entrance. It is also close enough to Mammoth Lakes Mountain and Ski Resort. Coming from Southern California on your way to Yosemite National Park via Tioga Pass entrance or on your way to Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake would be a good short detour. Definitely, if you are in the area, and are interested with a visit that feels like in another world, do make a side trip at Mono Lake.

Boardwalk @ Mono Lake
The pictures above were a collection from our several visits to Mono Lake. My most memorable experience from this area ( Lee Vining) was when I woke up in the middle of dawn, opened our window, looked out at the sky outside, and the stars were just shining and sparkling unbelievably. I could not keep that amazement to myself, I woke up my husband who was heavily asleep in bed and told him, "dear, look at the stars, I have never seen this horizon of stars that goes as far as my eyes can see, with the sky just so filled and glittered with them, never in my life!" My husband instead of getting mad for waking him up, also excitedly got up and ran to the window, then, we both looked there at the sky amazed. We attempted to take pictures, but unfortunately, it was way too cold ( sub-freezing temperature), and we did not have tripod yet at that time, that the pictures we took were just blur and blur :( . But that was the moment we decided then to buy a tripod :) and hopes to go back one day to Mono Lake and photograph these tufas with the stars!