American West Adventure – Day 9
We had a lot of driving yesterday so this morning we wanted to hang out locally. The Many Glacier area is really pretty and lots of things to do. We drove out to St. Mary to get some gas, ice and stuff for the cooler. On the way we saw this moose taking a bath in Swiftcurrent Lake. There are a LOT of bears on the opposite side of Many Glacier Road from the lake and as I walked up to this moose I wondered if he was a decoy. But I made it back to the car alive 🙂
After breakfast, we rented a rowboat and spent a few hours on the lake. Sofia, who normally is up for anything, didn’t seem to be thrilled with how deep we were venturing out on the boat. In fact she showed me her dismay in the pic below.
But she warmed up a minute later and we took turns rowing for the next few hours. The kids didn’t want to stop. We saw a mama duck and about 6-8 babies and watched them swim around the lake. A nice guy was fly fishing with his wife and talked to us for a bit. Sofia quacked to all the ducks and was in her own world for awhile. I asked Brandon if he wanted to go to Canada and he was like ‘eh, no’.
From Brandon: We rented a rowboat for about an hour and a half. While we were rowing around Swiftcurrent Lake we saw a family of about 8 baby ducks and a mother. Every few minutes they would start swimming away from the rowboat because we were getting close to them. I went to switch seats with Sofia for awhile and we have a funny picture because it looks like I’m going to sit on her!”
Since we were only a quick car ride away from Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, I took the kids anyway. I knew he
would probably have fun and we had nothing else planned. On the way we saw lots of cows, 1 sheep (the only one we saw on the whole trip to Glacier, even though we saw several signs that said ‘Don’t feed the sheep!”), and lots and lots of pretty horses.
All of a sudden we reached Customs and Sofia said, “wait Daddy, you didn’t tell us we were going to Canada!”. That was by design so my bud Brandon wouldn’t be a grump since he had said he wasn’t in the mood to make the trip (which was about 30 minutes). Just 5 miles later we reached Waterton Lakes. This National Park is actually considered to be attached to Glacier National Park and together are called by the governments the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
Anyway, it was just as pretty as Glacier and we headed over to the Price of Wales Hotel, which overlooks Waterton Lake. Unfortunately many of those photos didn’t make the cut as my wide angle lens is in bad shape, but we headed on a somewhat hidden path down to the village to check things out. On the way we saw this deer so quiet we didn’t even see it at first even though it was 5-10 yards away. Then we saw a red fox that trotted right in front of us and then headed towards the village.
One we got down to the bottom the lakefront seemed to be the center of everything. Lots of rowboats, canoes, kayaks, several deer standing right next to families having cookouts and lots of people enjoying their vacations in this relaxing small town.
We didn’t see many places to eat so I asked someone and they directed me to Weiners of Waterton. Sofia questioned me on the way down a few streets on why they named it Weiner. First off, the food was incredible. Gourmet hot dogs with tons of topping options, the kids got these with just ketchup (oh well). I got the sausage special with all the fixins. We ate at a picnic table outside and Sofia just stared up at the storefront sign for 10 minutes and finally asked once again why these owners would name their food joint Weiner. As much as I kept telling her it was a nickname for hot dogs, that didn’t cut it for her. A few more minutes of staring and she finally loudly asked what would happen if they name it…….(insert female part here)? We got a few stares from some Canadians and I wrapped things up and said ‘let’s head back to America’!
Just before we got back to the Prince of Wales Hotel and our car we came upon that deer again. It had moved another 10 yards up this hill and I took a few photos. Sofia slowly moved towards the deer and talked to it gently. Well, this deer whisperer got pretty close and I got a cute shot on my phone. That was fun!
As we left Customs and got back into Montana, Sofia blurted out, “Bye Bye California”!! And so it goes…..
Before we got back to Many Glacier a big bear crossed the road in front of us. There were no other cars on the road, so I had Brandon look out the back window and I pulled the car over to the wrong side of this 2 lane road. The bear was less than 5 yards away, and as I snapped a couple of shots he looked up and quickly looked away so he wasn’t looking to eat us. However, he was down an embankment a bit and I couldn’t get a clear shot.
We wanted a quiet day and we pretty much succeeded. A moose, some ice cream at the hotel, out on the lake, Canada and some different accents, deer, fox and bear. And tomorrow we have a boat ride across a few lakes and a guided hike to Grinnell Lake. Good night!
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