Friday, November 29, 2013

Canadian Rockies

Mount Amery
This long overdue post is continuing day 9 after leaving the Columbia Icefields.
 Just a few more photos as we head back to Banff to spend some time in town.
Finally we had a bear sighting. The lack of wildlife was disappointing but we saw this bear and cub by the side of the road and one other bear not far from this one. Not a grizzly like I was hoping, but at least we saw bear.
Mount Rundle
Bow River
 Banff is very much a scenic tourist town. The town's main street was intentionally laid out in such a way that it would offer the best possible views of Cascade mountain.
Driving down main street one looks as if he is driving straight into Cascade Mountain.
 St. Paul's Presbyterian Church
 I saw a lot of these unfamiliar birds in Canada. Finally found out they were Magpies. 
 We stayed at the Chateau Canmore a Quality Resort in Canmore. Air Conditioning at last! I guess the AC is what made it a Quality Resort because the rooms sure could have used some updating!
Some more of those beautiful delphiniums in front of the hotel.
 I think the three peaks in the center behind the lamppost and to the right are the Three Sisters. We will get a better view of them in my next post. On the other side of those mountains you will be in the prairies. 

I loved the long days in Canada. Still daylight at 9:30pm.
This was our last day in the Canadian Rockies and then we begin the long trip back home.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Cranberry Salad

I'm reposting this recipe because next week is Thanksgiving and it's not too late to add this delicious Cranberry Salad to your menu. It is hands down the best ever!

I thought the recipe I always used for Cranberry Salad was already the best one ever, but recently I had this one with the addition of a cream cheese layer. Well.....I always thought cream cheese makes everything better and now I know for sure. This is over the top delicious!

First mix jello with boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Add cold water and orange juice concentrate. Orange concentrate was not in this recipe but I love the citrusy flavor it adds so I adapted the recipe to include it. You can leave it out and add 1/2 cup extra water if you like, but you really should include it!
 Let this set in the refrigerator until partially jelled.

Meanwhile chop your cranberries and apples and mix in your sugar and drained pineapple. And nuts if you desire. I like nuts in it but my family doesn't so I omit those.

Mix the jello and cranberry mixture together. Should look like this.

Pour half of your mixture into a 9x13 pan. Let set in fridge until firm.

Meanwhile beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together. I could eat this by the spoonful!

Spread on top of jello layer.

Put remaining jello on top and let set til firm.

Cranberry Salad

1 package cranberries chopped fine
1 15 oz can crushed pineapple drained. Save juice for cream cheese mixture.
3-4 apples peeled and chopped
6 oz orange juice concentrate
1 cup sugar
3 (3 oz) boxes strawberry jello or any red.
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

1. Mix 3 boxes jello with 2 cups boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
2. Add 2 1/2 cups cold water and orange juice concentrate. Let this jel slightly.
3. Mix together chopped cranberries, drained pineapple, chopped apples, sugar and nuts if using.
4. When jello is partially jelled add cranberry mixture.
5. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into a 9x13 pan . Refrigerate until completely set.
6. Beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Add a bit of pineapple juice if needed to make a spreadable consistency.
7. Spread cream cheese over set jello. Pour remaining cranberry mixture over the top. Let set until firm.

Linking to
 Foodie Friday
 Mealtime Monday

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall at Mohican

Even though this years leaf color has been far from the stellar year we had last year here and here, a few Sundays ago we decided to take an afternoon drive to the Mohican State Park. We should have gone one week earlier for peak, but some areas still had nice color.
Couldn't resist taking this photo at the Amish neighbors gathered for church.
  Mohican State Park is located in southern Ashland county and is comprised of 1,100 acres. The Mohican-Memorial State Forest surrounds the park with 4,795 acres.
Our first stop was the firetower which is one of the last remaining in Ohio. We climbed the 100 plus steps to the top to take in the views.
A few views from the firetower.

 It was windy up on the tower and it caused just enough blur to make this picture look like a painting.
Covered Bridge over the Clear Fork of the Mohican River.
The Clear Fork of the Mohican River.
Clearfork Gorge from the Overlook

Wolf Creek/Pine Run Grist Mill
This grist mill in 1831 and was originally located north of Loudonville at Wolf Creek. It was moved and restored at this location in 1971 next to Pine Run Stream.
I was disappointed to find they had closed for the season.
Landoll's Mohican Castle
Since we were in the area we decided to take a little time and find this resort in a very remote area not far from Mohican. Up a narrow, gravel, winding road, miles from the nearest highway is not where you would normally find a castle. Just as we were certain we were on the wrong road, there it was.

Love the beautiful stone work!
We took a longer scenic route 'Wally Road Scenic Byway' on the return home and came across this beautiful old 1800s schoolhouse. Almost reminds me of Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains.
The plaque says Mohican Log Cabin, also on Wally Road.
LOVE old barns!

The Wally Scenic Byway is 10 miles long and travels through 3 counties on county roads that parallel the Mohican State Scenic River. Wally Road was named for The Walhonding Railroad that once ran this same route along the Mohican River. Today when you drive Wally Road you are driving over the exact same route the railroad followed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 9....Waterfalls and the Columbia Icefields

 Athabasca Falls
After spending the night in Jasper, we headed back down the Icefields Parkway on our way to the Columbia Icefields where we will take a tour out on a glacier.
First, we stopped to view a few gorgeous waterfalls along the way. 

A powerful, picturesque waterfall, Athabasca Falls is not known as much for the height of the falls (80 feet) as it is known for it's force due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge.

The Athabasca River thunders through a narrow gorge where the walls have been smoothed and potholed by the sheer force of the rushing water carrying sand and rock.

Next we stopped at the Sunwapta Falls which were not as massive as the Athabasca Falls but just as beautiful.

The Columbia Icefield is located on the boundary of the Banff and Jasper National Parks. This is one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle and covers an area of 233 sq. miles and receives up to 275 inches of snow per year. The eight glaciers of the Icefield provide meltwater that eventually flows into the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

Snow Dome Mountain and the Dome Glacier from the Icefields Centre.

The summit of Snow Dome is the hydrographic apex of North America. While glaciers in the Icefields melt into different oceans, water from this point flows to three oceans. So for a snowflake drifting down onto Snow Dome, three destinations are possible. If it falls on the western side of the peak, it is headed to the Pacific. A few inches north, it's going to the frigid Arctic Ocean. A bit east, it will eventually end up in the Atlantic.

 Mount Athabasca and Sunwapta River.  Mount Andromeda is the mountain to the far right.

  The Athabasca Glacier is one of the major attractions of the Jasper National Park and is the most accessible glacier in the icefield.

To give you an idea how massive this glacier is, the two dots in the middle of the photo are two of the Snow Coaches and at the bottom of the picture you can see hikers approaching the glacier.
The Icefields Centre is across the road and this is where we start the tour.

 First we are ushered onto a bus that takes us up a lateral moraine to the staging area for the Ice Explorers.

 The Ice Explorer takes us down a very steep slope out onto the middle of the glacier.

After being warned to stay within the designated areas, we were given 20 minutes to wander around on the glacier.
It was extremely cold and the wind was fierce, I think I lasted all of about 10 minutes before I retreated back to the toasty warm bus. I could barely stay upright on that slick ice!

 Looking back to the Icefield Centre. That road doesn't look bad from here, but seriously it felt like it was straight up and down!

This glacier is approximately 3.7 miles long and covers an area of 2.3 sq miles and is 1000 feet thick! To give you an idea how deep that is, the Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall.
The glacier is constantly moving, like a flowing river of solid ice.

While the Athabasca Glacier is huge in size, it is slowing diminishing having receded just under a mile in the last century. At one time this area back to the road was covered by the glacier.
 The shrinking glacier has left behind a moonscape of rocky moraines. As glaciers slowly move along, they accumulate rocks, dirt, gravel and clay. As the glacier melts this debris is deposited as land formations known as moraines. There are several types of moraines. A terminal moraine is the farthest most point a glacier reached before it started it's retreat. A lateral moraine is what is pushed aside as the glacier advances and retreats.

Another view of both types of moraines.

Walking on a glacier can be very dangerous. Moulins, holes worn by melting water, spiral down into the glacier and there are deep crevasses on the glacier that are difficult to see and many people have lost their lives falling into them.

Collecting glacier water.

Apparently I'm now ten years younger because I drank glacier water. Obviously time will tell, but it's not looking promising so far.

Heading back to the Icefield Centre.

  to be continued.....