Alberta. We exited the US at the Waterton crossing – in Glacier National Park, and across into the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada – Alberta, to be more precise.
After dutifully instructing my bride not to answer any questions at the border crossing, we were (surprisingly) admitted into Canada. What were they thinking!?!
We are minutes into Canada and I am already in love with the country! After crossing the border, we drove towards Crowsnest Pass. Approximately every 12 seconds between crossing the border and making it to Crowsnest Pass, I wanted to stop and take pictures – just stunning views! But good judgment (some would argue this point) and a strong marriage (indisputable) helped me resist this temptation.
In Crowsnest we stopped for lunch and after continuing on the main road, my bride said to me – “You missed our turn”! I said, “But that was a logging road!” Her response: “Yes, and your point?” So we turned around and headed up this gravel logging road, although on a map it says it is Route 40. Right.
We stop about a mile up this dirt road where there is a sign saying the road is closed from December 1st through June 15th (this is after all May 24th). While pulled over trying to decide what to do, a woman in a jeep pulls up next to us and kindly asks if we need help. Little does she know!
Anyway, we explain the dilemma: the sign says the road is closed. She says, “Oh, don’t worry about that sign. I’m certain the road is open. Well, pretty sure. Well, it could be open… I think. You know, there is a fire station up the road – they might know.” Good enough for us! That’s as good a testimony as we ever get, so off we go, up the logging road!
I should note that by the time we got to the fire station (about 20-30 miles on gravel roads), we were so cocksure that we elected to skip the part about stopping and asking if the road was open. I mean, who knows more about remote timber roads in rural Alberta, Canada than us? Even GPS coordinates have a hard time where we are.
After a few hours on this gravel road we decide it is time to find a campground. Am I funny or what? No, actually, there are provincial parks on this road for camping, but that is so déclassé. I mean, commoners stay there! Cha.
Instead, we found a place to ourselves off the road where we are quite certain the neighbors will not annoy us. Unless, of course, they growl or howl at night. We did have a wolf cross right in front of us on the road, but sadly he (or she) was not photo savvy. We have now been here for 4-5 hours and so far only one vehicle has passed by; a pickup truck, by the way. Who would have guessed?
We spent the night, by ourselves, on the shore of some roaring river in a pristine evergreen forest – in a snow squall! While I am sure our peeps in the Atlanta area are already complaining about the heat, we are enjoying our own private winter wonderland. While the snow ended up being just a dusting, it was exquisitely beautiful and perfect while it lasted.
So far, no lions or tigers or dancing bears, but we did see Bighorn Sheep. We remain ever vigilant for the other creatures.
Oh, and if you were interested in the condom we had temporarily installed on the front of the Airstream for this trip, this might help explain it a bit.
Onwards toward Banff!