Not to be left out of the #FindYourPark series are the two prominent national parks along the Canadian Rockies, Jasper and Banff.
I preferred Jasper to Banff for a number of reasons. Not only did Jasper offer more unique formations and hikes (as Banff is mainly lakes), but the towns of Jasper and Banff are worlds apart. Jasper gives off a slower, more easy going vibe while Banff screamed of hyper tourism. Possible reason is that Banff is much closer to a metropolitan area (Calgary) and is more easily accessible.
Regardless, the Icefield Parkway that the parks share is gorgeous and is worth a few drives if you're ever in the area.
Phase three began by picking up Miranda in Seattle and driving to Alaska. It ended in Fairbanks, just before heading up the Dalton highway.
This time was filled with the incredible sights and people of Alaska. Miranda and I discovered quickly the "big state, small city" mentality that drives the attitudes here. Many parts in Alaska, as well as the state itself, are fairly isolated. This causes the necessity of strong social connections as well as a DIY ethic. As one would need to be able to survive on their own the best they could while understanding that you never know who you're going to need to help you out next. It's a strong individualistic and social culture that keeps itself in check.