Roadtrip 2014 – Yellowstone – The beginning

The drive to Yellowstone from Glacier National Park, and through Montana was lovely. Possibly one of the most remarkable drives we’d taken on this road trip. We started out on US 89, 287, 191 and worked our way up through several National Forests and historic sites, stopping occasionally, but mostly just pushing on, enjoying the rich diversity of terrain and elevations between Glacier and Yellowstone. We stopped in Helena, Montana to pick up a few provisions and grab a bite to eat and drove on. We also, as tradition dictated – stood beside the Continental Divide sign. This time at an Elevation of 8391. We arrived in Yellowstone, through the West entrance, in the late evening just a few hours before sunset. The whole length of the road has inviting signs sending you on to different sites and drives and campgrounds, so we stopped to take a look at Fountain Paint Pots, and Old Faithful before heading to our pre-reserved site in Grant Village Campground. Fountain Paint Pots was a great walk through with amazing colours, bacterial mats, springs, mud pots, steam vents, geysers, and a long stretch of boardwalk. I was happy we ended up there in the evening, in the rain, because the steam was even more dramatic in lower temperatures, and it was just nicer to be outside in the sunset than the sunny +30 C temperatures we’d experience during our subsequent days in Yellowstone. It was our first taste of the incredible alien wonder that Yellowstone…

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2014 Roadtrip – Helena, Montana

It wouldn’t be my first visit to Helena, Montana, but it had been at least a couple of decades since my last time there as a kid. We had left Glacier National Park, and were heading to Yellowstone National Park for that evening. Helena is conveniently located right between Glacier and Yellowstone so it was the perfect place to stop, pick up some food, and ideally grab something to eat. On the way there we visited a couple of scenic rest stops, one of those was the Missouri River Canyon. One of the cool things about our road trip is that occasionally we followed along the path of Lewis and Clark’s expedition – there are the occasional highway markers indicating this. “The Lewis and Clark Expedition pass through this canyon of “nearly perpendicular rocks during its journey up the Missouri River in July 1805.” We were hungry and wondering if there was anything vegan in Helena- according to happycow we had a couple of natural grocery store options, but I had a suspicion that there might be a Taco Del Mar there. And thankfully, I was right. So we went to the one and only at 3215 Dredge Dr, in Helena. Taco Del Mar is the proto-Chipotle. They started in the west coast and spread around offering a variety of tacos, burritos, and Baja Tex Mex cuisine. They were also one of the first fairly mainstream chains I can remember that had “vegan” right on their menu. So when I found…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Glacier National Park, Montana

Driving away from Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada – we passed through Chief Mountain Border Crossing, it’s an incline to get up there, followed by some rolling roads. It’s a lonely looking station, but one fits in with the surroundings with stone and wood accents, and a gruff agent was working the booth. He asked us what our destination was – which was hard to pinpoint really depending on how far in the future we wanted to look – but more immediately our focus was on Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. He told us to have a good time and sent us on our way – we would not be back in Canada for a bit over 3 weeks. Yes, here I am continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, in the belief that it’s always better to be late than never, you can see some of the past posts on this helpful board on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag to peek at some of our past summer adventures sightseeing and eating delicious vegan food across Canada and the USA. I have some stories to tell, and at bare minimum I want to write them out so I remember them a few years down the road. Once you’re in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park  – there are so many different activities you can do. We ended up buying a season’s pass for all of the National Parks in the USA, America The Beautiful pass and…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Alberta – Waterton Lakes National Park

I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this helpful map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag to peek at some of our past summer adventures sightseeing and eating delicious vegan food across Canada and the USA. After we left Head-Smashed-in Buffalo heritage site and Vulcan nerdville, we drove on the hour or so south to Waterton Lakes National Park. It was cloudy and blustery in the afternoon when we left Calgary, countering the very hot day we’d had the day before, and the wind was escalating as we moved southward – it turned out that the day we were there was the windiest day of the entire year. I get a bit nervous in National Parks during storm conditions, but mostly we were trying to get there before sundown (which shouldn’t have been hard since it was still one of the longer days – sunset was nearly 10pm officially) but the clouds made it less obvious. I spent a nonzero amount of time during the trip checking out sunrise and sundown levels, especially when we were planning on setting up camp through our travels. Conveniently, google has a feature that lets you just type in sunset or sunrise and it will give you that information for whatever location you’re in. As we entered Waterton Lakes National Park, and checked in at the ranger station and got our site pass, it started to rain heavily. Like…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Vulcan, Alberta

I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this helpful map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag to peek at some of our past summer adventures sightseeing and eating delicious vegan food across Canada and the USA. After we left Calgary, we had two stops in mind before heading over to Waterton Lakes National Park. First of all, we had to go to Vulcan, Alberta. The town was actually named by a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 1900’s, after the roman god of fire – but since then, they’ve capitalized on it’s name with Trekkie tourism. (since for those not in the know – Vulcan is the planet where vulcans are from, an extraterrestrial humanoid species that tries to live by reason and logic, rather than emotion, in the Star Trek universe.) We didn’t get there on a particularly busy day, a Wednesday afternoon, but the Vulcan Visitors Centre was open and we got to wander around and take pictures in the museum. The staff seemed pretty bored, just generally tired of weirdos like us, they were nice enough as we wandered around gleefully looking at some of the silly or ancient things in the store/museum space. We bought a few postcards, and mailed them off at the Vulcan Post Office, but if you do find yourself passing through or visiting, you’ve got to get a picture with the Enterprise, just outside the…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Calgary, The Coup, and Phil and Sebastian.

I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this helpful map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag After Drumheller, we drove on to Calgary, with a brief stop at an incredibly windy power station along the way. The weather was stormy, but it was easy to see why there were so many wind turbines out in the fields. Our first stop was The Coup – a lacto-ovo-vegetarian restaurant that’s been serving meatless meals in Calgary since 2004. It was a frequent enough stop for me, when I still lived in Edmonton, and it’s changed and evolved a bit over time, but has maintained a very similar vibe. It was nice to pop in and see it again with JC. We got a seat right away, I’m sure coming in on a Tuesday evening helped, and started with some cocktails and the pseudo sushi. Which was yam, green onion, marinated tofu, with pear and ginger rolled up in organic brown rice, served with a spicy soy sauce. But they have something new on the menu since we were there that’s pretty fantastic looking – something called Waffle Sushi. You should check it out! Any time I’m at a restaurant or bar with a spicy tomato based cocktail, I order it, so I had a gin smoked tomato mary. It was fun – I liked the pickled bean with the capers, and anything with a spicy smoky tomato wins…

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Drumheller, AB – Royal Tyrrell Museum – Roadtrip 2014

After we got our car serviced for the first time – since we finally hit our first 8000 kms, over half of which was done on our road trip and ate breakfast at Cora’s with my parents, we hit the road. I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this lovely map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag Despite what you may think, and sometimes now living in Ontario, I get to hear all the misconceptions from people that have never even visited (or have only been to one city) – Alberta is a beautiful province. You can go from river valleys, to mountains, to deserts with cacti, to parks, and glaciers, and more, and we drove through so much of that in the span of a few days. Drumheller is approximately 3 hours away from Edmonton (and just under 300km), and we (kids that lived in Edmonton) would occasionally bus down there on school trips. It’s also a family friendly road trip destination, so I’ve been there a few times before (especially when paired up with a trip to Calgary or Banff.) This was the first time JC had been to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, so I was looking forward to showing him around and exploring the museum together. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is Canada’s only museum dedicated to the science of palaeontology and houses one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs, and…

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Edmonton – Loma House – Road Trip 2014

I’m now a year behind on these posts about our 2014 road trip across North America, but I’m going to keep chugging along. They’re stories I want to tell, there are pictures I want to share, and they are memories I want to remember later. You can see some of the past & present posts on this lovely map on Pinterest. On one of our last few days we went over to Loma House – primarily because they were open on a Monday, unlike nearly everyone else, and I’ve heard good things from local vegos online. We were hoping to check out Padmanadi on this visit, but sadly it just didn’t happen. I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience, and so I have been avoiding writing about it – but that morning we were woken up with the sounds of jackhammers outside of our downtown hotel at 7am. So the mood surrounding the visit wasn’t high, and there are some negative factors with my experience and my day. I also don’t do particularly well with heat, and it was around 30. So, take my thoughts with a grain of salt. @CityofEdmonton I’m amazed that construction & jackhammers are permitted to begin at 7 am. Can you tell me what the noise rules are in #YEG? — MeShell (@mdgee) July 28, 2014 That said, service was friendly, JC’s meal looked pretty good. I ordered a big bowl of Hot and Sour soup, which was okay, but not what I was looking for. On a normal…

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Double Greeting Wonton House – Edmonton – Roadtrip 2014

When I went vegan a few decades ago Double Greeting Wonton House was one of the vegan-friendly Asian restaurants that was open super late and open almost everyday. My dad and I would go after he finished work, my friends and I would walk over at 11 pm, and get something to eat, and I suppose it still has a certain legacy within my social circle. I don’t know how truly vegan friendly it is, so your comfort level may vary, but of the dishes I keep ordering, I’ve been assured they are. We’ve kept going back for over 10 years out of a blend of nostalgia, and enjoyment. In that time, it hasn’t changed much if at all. The neighbourhood surrounding it hasn’t changed much either, though on our most recent visit I noticed there was a lot more construction than I remember in the past, so I imagine that can be a blend of good and bad. My go-to dish has changed over time, but the last few years I’ve wanted the sweet corn on rice, and my friends tend to order the shanghai noodles and the mushrooms mushrooms mushrooms on rice. Of course, the important thing to specify that you want the vegetarian version of whatever it is your ordering, especially if you’re just writing numbers down like we usually do) You’ll notice that there are two shanghai noodles, but both have the same numbers – and default will result in a meaty noodle dish. That said,…

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Blue Rose Vegan Baking Co. & the Vegan Snack Attack – Edmonton

After our visit to Clever Rabbit on our Roadtrip Adventure – we decided to check out a little market that was happening down the street called Eden’s Market. There were a variety of vendors, but we made a B-line to Blue Rose Baking Co, because I’ve followed the owner, Sarah Louise and her blog The Cozy Vegan on The Twitters since before she moved to Edmonton from Calgary. We bought a four pack of cupcakes to share with my parents later in the evening (p.s. they were a big hit.) Sadly, since our visit Eden’s Market has closed permanently due to lack of traffic, which is too bad, because I liked that they were also supporting the Youth Emergency Shelter Society with their market. On a more recent visit to Edmonton I had the wherewithal to pre-order a Vegan Snack Attack box from The Mercury Room and Blue Rose Baking Co. And I highly recommend you do so too. My visit coincided with the 100% Gluten-Free box, so I was a bit hesitant, but it turned out alright and delicious in the end. These two talented local vegan bakers and makers have teamed up to create Edmonton’s very own vegan snack attack box – every box features handcrafted treats both savoury and sweet, with something for everyone in the box – which is true, I ordered a Valentine’s Day special delivery box for my parents earlier this year – and they seemed to really enjoy it too. For myself though – I ordered the Notorious B.I.G box, which…

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