– Denton, Texas to Salina, Kansas –

I didn’t have time to do any pre-travel posts for this trip, so Surprise! It’s a trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada. Those aren’t the only parks we are visiting, but I suspect those have the most recognizable names, so I’ll leave it there for now. We’ve been to Banff before, back on our Alaska Trip in 2015, but we really didn’t have time to do it justice. This time, we will be spending several days in the park, and several more days in Jasper. It should be pretty exciting!

We aren’t doing much on the way up through the US, but we will in in Canada on Monday and stopping in at our first national park the following morning: Waterton Lakes. We may visit Glacier in Montana on our way up, but we haven’t decided to do it for sure yet. Our park pass is expired, and we wouldn’t want to buy it if it’s the only park we will be visiting for the next couple of months. It would be better to wait.

The breakfast Dutch baby pre-trip

Today started out nice and slow. It’s only a little over six hours from Denton to Salina, so we got up at 6am and didn’t plan to leave until sometime before noon. We all went for a run, and Mark cleaned the pool for the last time before we hand the pool over to our pool-sitter, and I did some last minute packing.

We decided to finish off the eggs in the fridge by making a Dutch baby, which is basically a really eggy pancake that you cook in a cast iron skillet in the oven. They are always very fluffy and attractive. I mean, look at that photo! If you’ve never had one, definitely give it a shot. They are super simple to make, and much faster than regular pancakes.

Filling the back of the truck

Once we’d had our nice homemade breakfast, we hauled all of our gear out to the truck. In the end we were on the road by 11:30. We stopped briefly in Gainesville on our way through to pick up some new glasses that had just come in at the eye doctor, then we were off again on northbound I-35. We spent most of our day there, with a few detours. I won’t pay the tolls in Kansas, so we took a detour because I have weird road principles or something.

I any event, it was a nice, mostly uneventful day. We had several Quiktrip unsweet teas along the way. Quiktrip is very common in Oklahoma, and getting their unsweet green tea is frequently the highlight of a long drive for me at least. I sometimes think Mark just tolerates my obsession. At least he gets one too.

Ah, Love’s. The old standard.

We stopped for a late lunch around 2:00, where we grabbed some Qdoba burrito bowls. I bet that was our last opportunity to have Qdoba for the rest of the trip. That’s all right. Canada has those A&W veggie burgers that are pretty good for fast food, which we discovered on our Atlantic Canada Trip last year. Also, Harvey’s has vegetarian poutine, which makes Mark happy. I’m not sure how much opportunity we will have to revisit any of those in Banff and Jasper, but we should get our chance during the last leg of our Canada trip. We’re visiting some new provinces when we finish up our national parks.

The rest of our afternoon went by quickly, and we made it to Salina around 7pm. Since we’ve already enjoyed the dining pleasures of Salina on a previous trip (and there are no pleasure to speak of, unless you enjoy Taco John’s and their hideous combination of tacos and tater tots), we decided to eat from our cooler. Dinner was so much more pleasant that way.

Starting to sort out our cooler dinner

Tomorrow’s a long driving day, but we should be seeing some new territory. We are staying the night in Casper, Wyoming, which is on a road we haven’t taken through Wyoming before. I think the area will be pretty flat, but I’m not sure. We will definitely take some pictures of whatever scenery we find. Today’s pictures were a little scanty, so we’ve taken a family vow to do better tomorrow.

– Trip Total : 429 miles

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