Canada Welcomes Us

Trip Start May 29, 2009
Trip End Oct 03, 2009

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Where I stayed
Waterton Lakes Townsite Campground

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, June 21, 2009

The drive from St. Mary in Montana to Waterton Lake National Park was a scenic drive, but Jim didn't think so as he had to concentrate on the curvy mountain roads. He was able to slow down enough to see the momma grizzly and her three cubs on the roadside. 

We arrived at the park and bought an annual pass for all of the Canadian National Parks.  We plan on visiting a least nine of them this summer.  After setting up our campsite, and watching the prairie dogs scurry around the RV park, we had the entire afternoon to go and do.  We started at the information/visitor center. 

One of the highlight activities in the park is the Waterton Inter-Nation Shoreline Cruise.  Even though the weather was chilly with off and on showers, we caught the 1:00 boat for the 2 hour cruise across the border back into US Glacier National Park to a ranger station called Goat Haunt.  Despite the name mountain goats no longer frequent this area. For increased border security the forest has been cut along the border, and you can clearly see the obelisk border markers.  Many hikers backpack from Goat Haunt.  There are two customs officers (one from each country) at the trail head.  If you go past that point, you must follow all the regulations of a border crossing including a valid passport.  Passports are not necessary if one just gets off the boat and walks around on a paved path. Since there are only three boats a day, and it is the only way to get to Goat Haunt, we suspect that the customs officers don’t have much to do.

Following the cruise, we visited the famous Prince of Wales Hotel.  From the outside, Jane thought it looked like a gingerbread house.  The lobby is four stories high, warm and comfortable, similar in style to the exterior and surrounded by a gift shop, restaurant, and bar. By the windows overlooking the lake, you could stop in for high tea.

We walked Waterton Park (the town) looking at the shops and restaurant menus. The deer were all over, including in front lawns.  Even though the town is situated inside the park, it is run independently.  Shops and restaurants are owner operated and those few brave souls that live there year round own their own homes.   
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