Alaska Road Trip: Day 2

I woke up in the middle of the night and took over driving through Western Montana. It's a shame that most of it was done in the dark because it is a beautiful drive. We entered Glacier National Park through the west entrance early Wednesday morning. I tried to pull over for a nap, but all of the kids woke up and wanted breakfast. It was raining outside, so Steve set up the table in the trailer and we ate breakfast inside. Lake McDonald is just outside the trailer window.

We continued up Going-to-the-Sun Road, but just past Avalanche Creek, there was a sign saying the road was closed. We talked to some men in work trucks who told us there were fifty feet of snow in the middle of the road. We hadn't even thought about checking to see if it was open for the year. So we turned around and drove out and around Highway 2 to the east side of the park.

East Glacier Park:

We continued north to the St. Mary Entrance:

It was crazy windy outside, but at least the sun was out and the sky was blue. 

Here we are at the St. Mary Visitor Center. Adam was fascinated with the 3-D models and Kaleigh spent some time growling at the animals over the phone.  

We watched a video about how Glacier National Park's mountains and lakes were made. Did you know the sun and the moon got into a fight? The gift shop wasn't really open, but they let Rachel and Lucy buy patches to add to their collection because we had exact change. And then we kept driving through this beautiful scenery:

 This is what we looked like:


The kids were all super excited to go into Canada--their first time out of the United States. But, it didn't go quite as smoothly as we anticipated. Adam excitedly took some pictures with his iPod of the border guard who came to our window. The guard became very aggravated and demanded that we immediately delete the pictures. He was really harsh and used a few expletives. We had our passports, but we were missing some other documents. He threatened to send us back to Babb to wait for our paperwork, but after interviewing me and Steve (individually) he let us through. 

The confrontation was upsetting enough that nobody wanted to get out and take a picture by the Canada sign. And I forgot to walk back and get a photo of the clearing of trees along the border. Too bad, it was cool.

We drove to Waterton Lakes National Park and had to stop at the Prince of Wales Hotel to duplicate some poses from the last time me and Steve were there, some eleven years ago. (I wish I had the original pictures with me, but I will have to add them later.)

The hotel hadn't opened for the season yet, so we had the place to ourselves.

It was so windy. Look at Rachel's hair:

The clouds moved in and it started to rain. 

We had planned on going for a hike, but we didn't want to go out in the rain. And my foot was still hurting from the marathon. 

All of that rain and skipping out on hikes put us ahead of schedule, so we arrived in Cardston mid-afternoon. We were all excited to visit the Nunns, who were some of our good friends when we lived in Nibley. Their middle daughters, Hanna and Lucy, were participating in an after-school yoga class that was being filmed for a grant application. They needed one more girl to participate, so Lucy (Ballard) jumped in. It's not every day you get a chance to star in an Canadian yoga video. 

It was fun to walk around the elementary school. It looked just like any U.S. elementary school except for all of the Canadian flags. They call their restrooms "washrooms".

And they have a neat school garden: 

We had planned to stay the night with the Nunns, but since we had a few more hours of daylight, we decided to keep going towards Edmonton. 

I wish I had a picture with all of the kids, but at least I got one with Lucy Nunn and Lucy Ballard: 

This picture shows Lucy, Lucy, Hanna, Carly. We missed seeing Jill, who had a softball game. 

We didn't make it all the way to Edmonton. As we were approaching Calgary, Steve told me that we weren't going to have any energy left to get everyone showered and set up for the night if we tried to go any further. He was right.

I looked online and decided Calgary West Campground was our best option. After arriving, we realized that it wasn't really "in the city". And so much for the claims of being "the only campground in the Calgary area with a swimming pool". . . the pool was empty. And do you want to know how much money it cost to park our trailer on a rocky (treeless) hill scattered with other RVs and trailers? Forty-six bucks! (They charged us four extra dollars because we were paying in U.S. currency.) Steve sent me to Subway to get some sandwiches for dinner, and I came back with food for everyone but me. Sandwiches were eight-something each, and I was not okay with spending that much. Figuring out the cost of gas was tricky because it was in liters and Canadian dollars. . . and then once I calculated it out, I wished I didn't know. I was tired, hungry, cold, and I was NOT happy about the idea of taking three girls to the shared campground showers. . . in the rain. 


Kayli said...

How could you just DRIVE THROUGH all my favorite places?! Just kidding, I understand. But I was born in Cardston, and have family there and my grandparents ranch was about 10 kilometers outside of Waterton National Park and I just looove it there. Most of my siblings are going this summer and I'm really jealous.

What a lame deal at the border! What kind of paperwork were you missing, if you had all your passports?

Kaylynn said...

It was so good to see you. The pictures are cute. Your Lucy and my Lucy are only like 8 months a apart. Your Lucy is so tall. I was laughing that you thought Subway so expensive. Welcome to my life:)

emily ballard said...

I know, I know. We LOVE Glacier and Waterton, but we will be going back there in a few years. We needed to make more time for Alaska.

And Kaylynn, everyone told us how expensive everything is in Alaska- but prices were higher in Canada!