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Glacier to Waterton

I started to use the Good Sam field campsite as Basecamp, then got an urge to keep moving, so I packed everything up and did. After I took a nice long hot shower. I drove up to West Glacier/Apgar and went through the info centers for Glacier and Alberta. I went to the grocery store. I tried to get my LP gas tank filled, but there was a long line. I ate lunch.

Glacier made me nuts. It was so crowded. Everywhere I went I had to wait in some kind of a line. And the campgrounds were very full. It all felt very closed in. So I just kept moving. Maybe another time.

I drove across Going to the Sun road and the views were spectacular. And the cars were bumper to bumper. The road is very narrow in places, and I can not even imagine what it would be like if they allowed any vehicles over 21 feet up there. I took some pictures along the way with the digital (after I discovered that the battery was dead on the Canon), and traveled with the rest of the mob. At one point I picked up some people thumbing their way back to Logan Pass after a 6 hour hike. They were old friends from San Francisco, North Carolina, and Minneapolis, who had met up at the park to celebrate the woman's 50th birthday. Since the going was pretty slow, I got to talk a lot, which was great. (For me, at least. :-).) I was feeling a tad hermit-like prior to that. Even for me.

I drove the 20 or so miles to the Canadian border and then got stopped and was interrogated by customs. I had to go into the office, while they asked me questions like if I had ever been asked to leave a country before. They asked me a couple of times if I was coming to Canado to do business. I had on a pair of Patagonia Baggies, a denim shirt, and hiking boots; it wasn't like I drove up in a BMW, wearing a suit, and toting a Coach briefcase. They asked at least twice if I'd ever been arrested. They were polite, but I finally looked at the guy and told him that I'd never had so much as a traffic ticket in my entire 42 years of life. Then he told me that I could leave. Maybe they thought that I could buy a bunch of stuff cheap and stick it in the Eurovan, since it's big. Ha! He should have looked inside; you could barely fit a hairbrush in there.

A really nice Vanagon drove through customs while I was getting grilled.

After that, I drove on to Waterton Lakes National Park. The park was packed full. No camping sites available. No rooms available. On a hunch, I drove back to Belly River Campground, which is a part of the park, but access is 20 miles back toward the border. I had passed it going in and it looked nice. I drove back, and the campgound was full. Again, on a hunch, (with a touch of desperation thrown in, since it was getting late), I decided to check the registrations on a couple of posts at sites that looked vacant. The first one that I checked was a hit; somehow it had not been tossed after the last campers moved out. And it was a primo site, overlooking the river and the mountains. Whew.

I filled out my registration and payed in American dollars (ten per night for two nights). Ugh. I had no Canadian money with me. Then a really nice '78 bus pulled in, driven by a Nordic God and his equally attractive girlfriend, and I ran over and checked out his bus. It was a very nice teal green color, and he had just finished a restoration on it and was very proud of it. Then they came over and checked out the EVC. I met a couple of other people, read a bit, watched the moon rise, and finally went to sleep.

Oh. And there are bear warnings everywhere. I was a little hesitant about sleeping with the poptop up, but about half of the campers in here are in little pop-up trailers. I figured that if a bear wants in, they're a lot more accessible than I am. I did carefully pack up all of my food and put it away, and I took my garbage out of the car and put it in the dumpster.