Why Canadian Rockies and Yellowstone NP?
On one of my business trips to the U.S.IN 2008, a prospective customer asked me about my recent trek to the Mount Everest Basecamp. It turns out he was a regular trekker. He told me about his favourite hike-and-drive: the Canadian Rockies. That’s what created the spark to explore this Range.
Research revealed that it would be thrilling to go from Vancouver to Alaska via the Canadian Rockies. However, I had other trips lined up, so the Rockies had to wait.
In 2014, I went to Alaska. Though I wanted to drive to Alaska, I soon realised that taking a cruise to Alaska would be an equally exhilarating experience. So, we took a ship, and once more, the Rockies were put in the back seat.
After Alaska, I drove in Iceland, and completed the epic 22,000 kilometer ‘Road to London’ drive, I began to contemplate the big question: what’s next? I didn’t want to stop. This world is too beautiful to not explore! After some research, three options presented themselves: Egypt and Jordan, an African Safari, or the Canadian Rockies. Pushpa and I also desired to take some of our grandchildren on this trip.
Nishi, who was with us for the ‘Road to London’ drive, was going to begin her 5th standard in a new school. She didn’t want to miss the last few days in her current school, so she passed on this trip. Aarya is just 4, so she was out of the question. That left my other two grandchildren Arsh and Ruhi, who instantly consented to join.
I presented the options to them. Arsh was totally indifferent. Ruhi, however, was all for the Rockies, owing to the abundance of snow. She said, “I just love snow. Traveling in snow sounds really exciting to me.” The grandchildren had spoken. Rockies. Looking to their other educational commitments, early May appeared to be the only possibility.
Normal season for Rockies is July to October. May is an odd season as some of the roads would still be blocked with snow and the lakes at higher altitudes would still be in frozen state. But the month of May gives us an advantage. More of snow everywhere. Hiking and trekking on snow covered mountains, frozen lakes and river glaciers would be a real fun. Driving around these mountains during that period would be an added excitement.
Bingo! The plan was set. Pushpa, Arsh, Ruhi, and I were going drive around the Canadian Rockies. But as the title of this blog suggests, we are also going to Yellowstone National Park. Where did that come from?
Arsh and Ruhi’s educational commitments in India were very complicated. After factoring in these commitments, and the correct season, this is what we came up with: we had to start the trip on any day between the 1st and 3rd of May and continue for two weeks before returning to the motherland. For the Rockies, 8 to 10 days were adequate, but we wanted to spend the maximum of available time with the grandchildren. So, we had a few more days in hand. Hence, I decided to put in the Yellowstone National Park. That takes 7 days. We’d be done 3 or 4 days too late. I dropped Vancouver, and instead we would land in Calgary, and do a sort of circle, south into the U.S., to visit Yellowstone, and then back up north into the Rockies, making the most efficient use of our time. That was it! A drive through the Canadian Rockies and Yellowstone National Park was decided.