Monday, July 17, 2023
Stats: 305 miles driven, 9 hours travel, 1 hour at the USA border crossing, 2 miles walked, Banff to Kalispell, Montana through British Columbia
I’m happy to report, no lights mysteriously turned on last night as we slept (well, as far as we are aware.) Then again, they may have. We turned off all lights when we left our room this morning, assuming we were going to check out. The front desk attendant was AWOL for an hour so we went to breakfast, then returned to the room for a potty break before checking out. Guess what?! The light was on!
Someone could make a sit-com based on the King Edward Hotel. It was an unexpectedly entertaining adventure/stay.
We returned to Wild Flour for breakfast. Gregg and I both ordered the yogurt with wild berry compote and homemade granola. I also selected an Orange Date Square which was delectable! The chai latte and flat white coffee hit the spot again. They were served in ceramic coffee mugs today, a nice touch!
Father Seth, his wife, and three young children (one in a wagon) came to Wild Flour for breakfast. They are beginning a two-week staycation. We said hello on our way out and thanked them for ministering to us yesterday. I commented that this must be a good coffee house and bakery if this is where the locals eat. His wife agreed that this is one of the best.
The mountains were still in plain view today, although maybe a little smokier than yesterday. Maybe it was just clouds as they may get rain later.
The view driving south was stunning. We saw ice fields and glaciers in the distance. The colors, types of trees and foiliage, the makeup of the mountains and valleys, and the waters seemed to change with each curve in the road. We stopped at several overlooks to enjoy the views.
The first few hours, we were in a “dead zone” with no cell service. We wanted to listen to The Morning Office but it couldn’t stream. I volunteered to read it out loud, then realized that I’d miss the beauty around us with that plan. So we waited until we had cell service to listen to the scriptures and prayers.
Since we were driving south, I was surprised when we crossed into the Canadian Province of British Columbia! A fun bonus! We had been in B.C. after our Alaskan Cruise which terminated in Vancouver. We LOVED that city! But it was too far west to return this trip.
We were in five of the ten Canadian Provinces this trip. We’ve been to the other five provinces on other trips as well as one of the three territories.
The national park changed from Banff National Park to Kootenay National Park when we crossed the province boarder. This road took us through Radium Hot Springs, BC. It has public hot springs but we didn’t stop. Gregg was not enticed by that name. Scary.
We DID stop at the Park Service Information Center for a bathroom. A few blocks up the street was Screamers Ice Cream Shop so…when in Radium Hot Springs, eat ice cream! It was a fun, 60’ish looking ice cream parlor and coffee shop. Gregg got a milkshake made with sour cherry ice cream. I had two scoops of ice cream in a bowl – one scoop of “Bigfoot” and one scoop of Algonquin Canoe.
The Roosville, Montana US Border Station had only one lane open so it took us almost an hour to cross the border. There was a horse trailer in front of us with a very inpatient horse, whinnying, stamping its foot, and causing the trailer to sway. OK, maybe the swaying was from the strong wind. Once it was our turn, we were quickly approved to enter.
We drove through Eureka (they have a quilt show the first Saturday in August) and are staying in Kalispell which is much larger than I expected. Once I saw all the businesses, I quickly did a search and found they have a Costco! So we took a detour there for gas and a few snack items.
The Hampton Inn in Kalispell is one of the nicest I’ve been in. Maybe I’m easy to please – they have a water fountain with a bottle refilling station in the lobby.
When we checked in, we told the agent that we planned to get up early to get into Glacier National Park before 6am. She suggested we leave by 4:30 a.m. at the latest. It will take half an hour to get to the entrance, then there will be a line. She wrote a note, requesting a bagged breakfast for us to pick up at 3:30. We decided we’ll get up at 3. Yes, 3:00 a.m.
If we aren’t through the gates by 6:00 a.m., we won’t be able to visit Glacier National Park. They require you to have a car-reservation as they limit the number of cars going into the park each day. The car-passes are all sold out. But they don’t check for passes before 6a.m. and once into the park, you can stay as long as you like. Another adventure.
Since the days have beewn so long, we go to bed before the sky gets completely dark. I love star-gazing but haven’t wanted to stay up that late. So…hopefully the sky will be clear and we’ll get to see stars tomorrow morning!
Another potential “plus” to going early is we may have a better chance to see wildlife. Most are out at night and early morning.
Speaking of wild life, we didn’t see any today. Only a sparrow eating crumbs in Wild Flour (the windows are open with no screens), Magpies, huge black birds, horses, cows, and long-horned cows.
Well, it is almost 7:30pm. Time to get ready for bed. 3:00 a.m. will come early!