Waterton Lakes National Park
Going to the Sun

September 7th, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: I started the day off a bit disappointed. I had such high hopes for stuffed french toast, but it ended up being a single slice of toast, cut in half, with cream cheese in the middle, and blueberry compote on top; nothing else. Not even an orange slice or sprig of parsley. For $14?!?! I should’ve just ordered another medium pizza for breakfast. Still, I got to finish updating the blog, and Amanda chipped in too. Then Amanda got pissy because she had wanted to be on the road at 0800hrs an here we were almost 1100hrs and we were still holed up in the cozy cafe. I tried to placate her with a Yankees baseball game which was due to start at 1105hrs but she insisted we ride bikes today. *sigh*

We had a tailwind as we wound our way up and out of Waterton Lakes. Then we had a choice between two routes, east on Hwy#5 to Cardston which then turned south towards the border, or just head south on Hwy#6 which was the harder of the two. Naturally we chose the harder, and definitely more scenic route of Hwy#6. After climbing out of Waterton Lakes, we kept right on climbing, up, up, up until we were level with the snowmen of these gorgeous Rockies. Then we swooped back down into a valley, all green, gold and orange. Fall colours are definitely in season! Finally we climbed up Chief Mountain to the Chief Mountain border crossing.

We stopped for lunch at this point since we had a few eggs we wanted to use up before crossing into the US. There was a group of hikers coming the other way, they had hiked 59km over 4 days in Glacier and now were hiking to Waterton Lakes which was 30km away. And people think we’re crazy?!? Surprisingly, we avoided being strip searched by US Customs, although the guard wanted detailed information on how I planned on returning home after reaching Argentina in two years. Dude, I’ll be in your country for 2 months. What happens after that shouldn’t concern you.

The Glacier Nat’l Park has a shuttle service and we asked the driver what we were in for. “It’s downhill all the way to Babb!”, he assured us. What a crock of shit. The road on the US side ended up taking us down 200m and then up what seemed like another 500m, about 4 times, before finally 3 hours later we enjoyed a gusty-descent into Babb proper. Actually we were a few miles outside of town and didn’t much enjoy the headwind we faced just to get in.

The plan now was to head to Many Glacier Campground, east of Babb and then join the “Road to the Sun” at its halfway point. Except according to the locals, that wasn’t possible. They wanted us to ride 10 miles south to St. Mary, and just start at the beginning of the RttS. The internet had already told us that the campground in St. Mary was closed to bikers due to bear activity, and the other camping option was going to be $35. Ugh. In the meantime, Amanda had gone next door to an “antique” shop and walked up proudly holding a 10-cup aluminum coffee maker. For $3, I’m willing to give it a shot, so long as she carries the darned thing. It’s huge.

In the end, we bought a big bag of cookies and cycled a bit down the road and found a wild camp spot alongside the river. There is evidence of cattle here, so hopefully they don’t stampede in the middle of the night and disrupt my sleep.

Amanda writes: The riding was hard today but beautiful. I had told Andrew before we went to bed that I wanted an early start and yes I was frustrated when he pulled out his bloody computer at breakfast. In any event, we started riding and it was hard, but pretty.

I enjoyed our wild camp spot and while the day was uneventful I enjoyed it very much. I was excited to be in a new Country and to try the new coffee pot!

Today’s Photographs

Waterton Lakes National Park
Going to the Sun