Our trip from ST. Mary, MT to Waterton Lakes NP, AB was a short 48 miles though it took us an hour and 20 minutes including a very short stop at the border. Our route took a shortcut through the corner of Glacier NP along the Chief Mountain Highway. The highest speed limit was 45 mph in the U.S. portion and 80 kph (50 mph) in the Canadian part. Even though it is fairly twisty-turny and has a couple of grades, it's a pleasant drive and definitely a much better drive than going up through Cardston, AB. Going up through Cardston adds 21 miles and about 10 minutes to the trip though on much better roads.
We are staying at the Waterton Townsite
campground at the edge of town. I may have mentioned earlier that Canadian national parks do something our U.S. ones could emulate: they have a town within the park which always give you access to a certain amount of amenities including a bank, post office, restaurants, and other retail stores. Waterton Lakes is no different and has a number of restaurants, lodges and other retail shops.
Our campsite is very large and we have full hookups with 50 amps. Kind of crazy but the sewer hookup is in the middle of the drive and the best we could position the Mothership still left it under the coach about three feet from the rear. This requires you to get down and crawl under a little bit to get the hose in place! Satellite acquisition was easy and we have limited cell service with our expanded Canada-Mexico plan. The campground is full this weekend but we expect it to empty out a bit during the week.
We, of course, spent the weekend watching football, but during the week we went out to the Blakistan fan
at dusk to see the elk. We saw them on five different occasions but this last Monday was the best by far. We have had a lot of rain and very high winds (60 mph gusts Sunday) but Monday was a beautiful day, bright and crisp, and the elk really came out at dusk. We saw several different herds and had the opportunity to see two big bulls fighting over one herd. We also saw a couple of young bulls duking it out like they were rehearsing for a future year! We included several pictures of the action. I also have a film but my connection is too low to upload it here so will upload when we get to Great Falls and remind you in that posting that is here then.
We did manage to hike the Cameron Lake trail which is an enjoyable two mile or so hike alongside the edge of Cameron Lake. It was good exercise and a very enjoyable hike. On the way to the lake, fall was very evident as the many birch/aspen trees were turning a bright yellow which was very pretty contrasted with the deep green firs beside them.
We have decided to leave a day early so we will leave tomorrow for Great Falls, MT where we will stay at the Maelstrom AFB FamCamp three nights so we can take advantage of the commissary there before traveling on back to Florida. We try to have our refrigerator as empty as possible for the border crossings between Canada and the USA going both ways but that means we need to stock back up on arrival in the new country.