2007 06 29 – Big Trip – Day 60 – Across to Canada

Kilmorey Inn, Waterton Township, Alberta, Canada. Odometer – 6011

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Waterton Townsite local deer

Shabbat Shalom.

We started today in the US and ended in Canada. We began the day in Glacier National Park, driving into an area called Many Glacier. It is a beautiful part of the park that I wanted to see before leaving. We parked near the end of the road and took a two mile hike to Lake Josephine. People returning from the hike warned us that they saw fresh bear scat (poop, droppings) on the trail and to be careful.

The hike was very pretty and uneventful from a bearish perspective. Lake Josephine afforded us nice views of its surrounding mountains, but alas we cannot say we saw a glacier in Glacier National Park.

We had lunch at a picnic table where we parked, and while Paola was preparing the pasta I played Frisbee with the children. Ron is getting very good at throwing the Frisbee. All he has to work in is his aim; he keeps throwing to an imaginary daddy 30 degrees to my left.

We left the park and drove for about an hour north on a road called Chief Mountain Highway. There is a nice viewpoint along the way of Chief Mountain. When we reached the border crossing, we were the only car, so we didn’t have to wait. The young customs agent checked our passports, asked the standard questions and sent us on our way.

Another 30 minutes drive and we reached Waterton Lakes National Park, the equivalent of Montana’s Glacier Park. Together, these two parks make up Waterton Glacier International Peace Park.

At the park entrance we paid for an annual park pass which put us back $120 Canadian. For those of you who remember that the US dollar is much stronger, unfortunately for us, the exchange rate now is just 1.06. So it is more expensive to visit parks in Canada than in the US (annual pass just $80).

We found out that all the campgrounds in the park are full, as this is a long holiday weekend (July 1 is Canada Day), and that detracted a bit from our joy. We drove inside the park, noting the differences in road signs, but otherwise similarity in topology and fauna.

At Red Rocks Canyon I took Shir and Orr for a stroll while Paola and Ron rested in the RV. It is a nice little walk overlooking a small red canyon. The weather was sunny and warm, and we saw families sitting on the rocks inside the canyon and playing in the water.

We drove back to Waterton townsite, the center of the park, not knowing yet how to resolve our accommodation for the night. This little town inside a national park is something we did not see in any US park to date. There are real people living in real houses here. Luckily for us, we saw a vacancy sign in the first hotel as we entered the town. We checked the last room available, ground floor (good for strollers), lake view, room for all 5 of us, and decided to take it. The Kilmorey is an old hotel built in the 1920’s. The room definitely had antique flair.

After settling in to the room, with the usual bed jumping routine of Ron and Sisters Inc., we strolled along Waterton Lake into town. After watching a deer eat at a distance of a few meters from us, we started to get hungry too. We sat outside at Lakeside Restaurant and enjoyed a nice dinner. We did have to be careful though not to get any snow in our food. No real snow, just the fluffy Cottonwood seeds filling the air every time the wind blows.

Back at the hotel, the kids got a first class bubble bath before going to bed. The room is very warm, even though outside will get very old at night.

Good night,

-Hemi

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