Friday, June 11, 2010

I promised you last night that I would get around to sharing yesterday's adventures with you, and I don't want to break my promise! We woke up fairly early yesterday after a great night in the Driftwood Motel in Waterton National Park, Alberta, Canada. See the red awning in the pic? That is the entrance to our hotel. It was clean and very comfortable and one of the most reasonably priced places we've found so far.
Yesterday morning was full of fog and clouds and more rain, but Mike was up before Si and I and went outside to get some pictures. He managed to find this beautiful rainbow, and take a few other amazing shots. Like most of our days in the Rockies, it was very chilly, and it rained on and off all day.
We found a beautiful frozen lake . . . partially frozen, really. It was COLD! up there!
We had a lovely hamburger picnic for Second Breakfast - yum!
Then we drove up and down the mountain roads in the park VERY slowly, looking for wildlife. We spotted this moose right near the road, munching on bushes and leaves. He was big, and he didn't seem to care about the cars going by. Simon even got some movie footage, but we'll wait til we're home for that project. (Oh wait, maybe this was in Glacier and not Waterton)
We didn't have to look far for the Bighorn Sheep, as they were right near in the town in Waterton. They are obviously shedding their winter coats and looking rather bedraggled. I must admit that I was inclined to try to collect some of that wool and get it spun into yarn, but Simon reminded me that those sheep are most likely dangerous, not to mention protected by law, and I don't want to be knitting unlawful scarves and hats!
And speaking of the law . . . . we crossed back into the US around 1:00 or so yesterday afternoon. (I have to say the border gate is a really boring picture!) We had our passports ready for them and so on, and they opened our van and looked into our coolers and asked us questions. They seemed to ask Mike a lot of extra questions, though. Then they asked us to park and asked Mike (only Mike) to come inside. He was apparently going to be undergoing further questioning. According to Mike, there is another person with his exact name who is wanted for murder in Atlanta, GA. When the border guards looked up the file and picture, though, one guy said "Uh, I don't think this is the guy. The guy who's wanted is 6' tall, weighs 122, and is black." One of the other guards said "Well, you've been a better sport about this than most people we bring in for questioning. Thank you for playing!" Mike said it was a little nerve-wracking, but it sure makes for an interesting story! I guess that's what you get when you have such a common name! I figure since we didn't have to give them any money and Mike didn't have to be stripp-searched, it's no harm/no foul.
So we've made it to Glacier National Park. Yesterday and this morning we've been exploring, driving around, looking for wildlife. We did see some Mountain Goats way way up on the mountain through our telescope - that was really cool! It is beautiful here, and we've seen some spectacular waterfalls, but the main road, the Going-to-the-Sun road, is still closed in the middle portion because of weather. Sigh. Mike and Si are still out exploring this afternoon, and I am using this as some quiet time for myself. I do love them, but a.) this altitude is hard for me to deal with and b.) they're wearing me out and c.) we're doing so much chatting in the van I can't get my naps in!
Ok - some quick stats before we sign off. As of 2:00 this afternoon (Mountain Time):
  • we'd hit 3005 miles on the trip odometer
  • Mike has seen 30 new life birds
  • we've seen 22 interesting new mammals
  • we haven't had to call home for more money (which is a good thing because honestly, I don't know who we'd call! LOL
  • we've seen license places from all US states except for, I think, 4 of them (Hawaii, Delaware, Connecticutt and Vermont are the only ones I can remember)
  • we have gotten no traffic violations or any other arrests (although apparently there was a close call at the border! yipes!)
  • stuff we've forgotten in hotel rooms: bottle of shampoo (big deal), Simon's retainers (ugh)

More later!