Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day Twenty-One: Canadian Foreign Legion to the Rescue

Today, Bob and I managed to turn what should have been a relatively easy biking day - 36 miles from Waterton Lakes, Alberta, to Cardston, Alberta - into a tougher ride. The problem was that we were in Waterton Lakes National Park and felt that we really hadn't done it justice in terms of exploration. So the thought was to add a small morning excursion - bike down one of the roads that leads to one of the Park's attractions, prolong our contact with the mountains, etc. The problem, however, is that we chose the road to Lake Cameron, which was the case of biking up one of the roads to an attraction. Six miles and 1000 feet of vertical climb later, we turned around, having seen some nice views, but having abandoned the quest to complete the full route.

We got back to our hotel, showered, and headed off to Cardston for real this time. Not that much to report about the scenery this time. The mountains began to recede, and the plains came on. With some mild contours, but nothing like the Palouse in Washington. But Cardston was an interesting town. First, I stopped at their famous "Alberta Temple," which, being a New Yorker, had me thinking: "They have Jews in Alberta?" Not exactly. Try Mormons. The town is about 70% Mormon, and my brief visit to the Temple, replete in biking togs, got me several invitations to services.

The more important consequence of the Mormonism is that the town is dry. Not something Bob or I were pleased to discover. But Bob's research skills came to the rescue, and, a brief bike ride away, he found the Canadian Foreign Legion, Branch 170, was hosting one of its semi-monthly Friday dinners -- cook your own steak night. Fortunately, it wasn't also bring your own steak - those were provided, along with salad, potatoes and dessert -- all for $8. Oh, and did I mention, they had cold beer for an additional $3 a can? Even Guinness. Ahhh.

We sat with Sean and Phil, two delightful residents. Sean spends his time training bird dogs. We maybe learned a bit more than we wanted to about them. Phil is a retired insurance broker who, ironically, now lives in a small town a few miles away called Aetna. No, he says, he never sold their policies - they stopped making them available in Canada for reasons unstated, leaving us all free to speculate on the matter.

Today's route and metrics:


No comments:

Post a Comment