Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 8 (full version)

Day 8 – Tuesday – July 2, 2013

0700 Slept in this morning because of the time change.  Ron made eggs and bacon for breakfast.  Yum!  The garbage man came by while we were eating which was good because the dumpster was full to the brim!

0920 Ron and the kids leave to hike to Avalanche Lake.  Rocco can’t go and he was not happy to be left behind.

0935 Rocco and I go back across the street to McDonald Creek to explore for a while.  Then we go back to camp.  Rocco watches the squirrels and I read my book.

12:19 p.m. Everyone is back from their respective adventures.  We make PB&J sandwiches for lunch.  The kids told me about the elk they saw on the hike - hanging out right on the trail and not in a hurry to move despite all the tourist paparazzi taking their picture.  After lunch we are headed for Canada.

12:22 p.m. Stopped in a construction zone.

12:41 p.m. Made it through. Phew.

1:15 p.m. Continental Divide at Logan Pass.  Currently 82 degrees.  There are a couple bighorn sheep lounging on the snowy hillside.  We want to stop at the visitor’s center but this one is also way too busy.

1:33 p.m. St Mary’s Lake

1:45 p.m. Sinkhole on the side of the road

1:48 p.m. Stop at the visitor’s center at the St Mary’s entrance.  Not nearly so busy.  Unfortunately we don’t really get a chance to look around because the fire alarm goes off and everyone has to evacuate.  There are a few informational signs outside the center though so the kids can still tell us something that they learned:
Ryan – Four Native American groups in this area – Blackfoot, Sakish, Pend O’Reille, and Kootenai
Felisa – There is a straight line cut through the trees to mark the international border.

2:32 p.m. Almost hit a brown cow as we come around the corner.

2:40 p.m. Leaving the USA

2:42 p.m. Entering Canada.

3:15 p.m. Stop at Prince of Wales Hotel.  It is a resort hotel built in 1926-27 by the railroad to encourage travelers to use the train.

3:22 p.m. Visitor’s Center at Waterton.  Small but I got an unofficial stamp for my National Park passport book.

3:35 p.m. There is a lakeside village here inside the park.  Rocco tests out the Canadian water as we walk along the lake.

3:45 p.m. Decide to walk through town.  We bought postcards and then had a late lunch/snack at Trappers.  After our snack we went to buy stamps so we could mail the postcards from Canada which would make them that much more exciting to receive!  Instead of going to find the actual post office, we take advantage of the mail can at the postcard store.  Despite the sign declaring otherwise, it looks a lot like a trash can so we’re really hoping the postcards make it to their destinations!  Rocco even has time to take a potty break before we get back in the car.  His day is complete – he has peed in Canada!  haha

5:30 p.m. Stop at the scenic overlook.

5:34 p.m. Sofa Mountain fire area.  The fire was in 1998.  We have seen a lot of wildfire areas on this trip.  It has been interesting to see how things re-grow and how long it takes.

5:40 p.m. Border crossing back to the US.  It was much more stressful trying to get back in that it was to get out to Canada.  Rocco growled when the guards opened the back hatch of the van (without warning!).  Sure am glad he didn’t decide to bite the intruders.  That would’ve been trouble for sure.  We saw the line in the trees as we crossed through no-mans-land but weren’t quick enough to get a picture of it.

5:47 p.m. Deer by the road.

5:48 p.m. Person crossing the road.  This is the same area we saw the cow earlier. Quite a potentially dangerous stretch of back roads highway!

5:50 p.m. Chief Mountain, 9080 feet

5:52 p.m. Cow crossing the road.  See what I mean about dangerous!

5:58 p.m. Scenic overlook out over the valley.  There is definitely a difference in the scenery on this side of the divide.

6:12 p.m. Pick up some roaming cell service.  Get in a quick check of email (things are not looking good for the Creative Memories digital products as they continue through bankruptcy proceedings –so sad- but will have to get the specific details later) and post a quick blog update that we are still alive.  The blogger app that I put on my phone before we left has been good for quick updates along the way, especially this year since we are spending a lot more time off the grid.

6:21 p.m. Back at the St Mary’s entrance to Glacier.  The sign shows that most of the campgrounds are full.  Hopefully there will be less traffic on the road as we head back across to Avalanche.

6:35 p.m. Check my phone dictionary app for the official definition of “glacier”.  Maybe I will remember to check the park website for more interesting glacier tidbits when I finally get around to making my scrapbook.

6:50 p.m. Logan’s Pass.   The bighorn sheep have crossed the street and are wandering through the visitor center parking lot.  Nice to be able to get their picture after all.

6:54 p.m. A mountain goat is posing nicely at the overlook but I miss the shot. Darn.

6:56 p.m. Avalanche zone – unstable snow- no stopping for the next ¼ mile.

6:59 p.m. “Another One Bites the Dust” is playing as we head down the pass.  Uh-oh!

7:01 p.m. Pass the Weeping Wall.  It’s fun to drive through a waterfall!

7:05 p.m. The word “vast” comes to mind with the views in this park.  The camera can’t begin to capture it.

7:06 p.m. I like the cool stair steps the water carves into the rock as it falls.

7:07 p.m. Bird Woman Falls, 492 feet high

7:08 p.m. The river in the valley is shining in the sun. So pretty and so far down!

7:15 p.m. Back at the Loop and Heaven’s Peak

7:28 p.m. Deer jam

7:30 p.m. Avalanche campground – home sweet home.  That’s the end of our 7-hour field trip to Canada. There is a lot of campfire smoke tonight.  Or is that the smell of our brakes after driving down the mountain?  We ate beans and rice for dinner.  After dinner, Ron, Felisa, and I took Rocco back across the street for one more walk along the river.  I iced my hands and Ron iced his feet in the water.  Felt good!

10:15 p.m. Bedtime.  Once again, it’s not even dark yet.

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