Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day Twenty: Oh Canada!

Today we started our Canada detour, leaving Babb, MT and heading out over Chief Mountain International Pass (yes, don't ask me why, but we added another pass to our route), crossing the border into Alberta, Canada, ending up at the picturesque village of Waterton, entryway to the Waterton Lakes National Park. The Park abuts Glacier to the North and shares some of the same majestic vistas: mountains rising up from valleys and lakes. Again very beautiful.

But Bob and I, if the truth is to be admitted, were mostly excited to get internet and cell phone connectivity again! Pathetic, I know, but it's frustrating to have no phone signal and no wifi for essentially 3 days. If you scoff, try it yourself some time!

Our three days in the Glacier system were delightful in terms of scenery, but a vast wasteland in terms of communications. Perhaps because the area of Montana we were in was mostly an Indian Reservation? A number of places advertised having wifi (including both lodges we stayed at), but actually had no connectivity -- most would say an essential component of having meaningful wifi. Interestingly, Verizon has an exclusive on cell phone service in the area (helping Bob and myself, both AT&T lock-ins, not a whit). So it was ironic that on July 4th, our Nation's birthday, Bob and I were looking forward to the next day in Canada. Somehow, we just knew that the Canadians would make things work -- and, indeed, they have. Phew.

Oh. Biking. Right.

The route today wasn't that long -- 38 miles -- but it was hard in terms of climbing, with over 3000 feet of total ascent broken out into 3 separate and difficult climbs. Scenery wise, I may be jaded for the foreseeable future after our 3 days in the Glacier area. Leaving Babb was lovely, but not spectacular (my new standard). Fortunately, the last 10 miles or so, into Waterton, re-introduced the views that stole our breath in Glacier. Maybe not quite as majestic, but still incredible.

Tomorrow, we're going to see if we can figure out a short hike or exploratory bike ride into the Park before heading East to Cardston, Alberta.

Here are today's route and metrics:


1 comment:

  1. What is that fascinating rock formation in photo 2? Mesa? (I thought you saw those only in flatter terrain) Arete? (Not too sure; mostly a crossword puzzle word to me.)

    Huge congrats on making it across the Continental Divide. It's all downhill from here (well, in one sense, I guess).