Monday morning......the beginning of the last part of our trip. My cousin Shirley drove me in from Strathmore to Calgary to meet up with Steve, Helen, and Angus. At 10:00AM, we loaded up and headed west. Yes......west through Canmore towards Banff National Park.
We wanted to see a little more of the Canadian Rockies. Since Canadian Highway 1 goes through the national park, they have a unique way of handling travelers. If you plan to stop anywhere in the park including the town of Banff, you must enter through the Visitors entrance and pay the fee. If you are just driving through, there is a bypass lane with no fee. Now you can still drive through the town if you want; however, if you stop and park, the fine is VERY hefty if you don't have the pass in your window.
There are a number of overpasses for the animals to pass across the highway. They are plenty high enough for RVs to pass through.
The scenery is stunning. Once we passed through Banff, we headed south on Highway 93 which we stayed on for the remainder of the day.
We crossed the Continental Divide....one of the many times we did that on this trip.
Next stop, Kootenay National Park.
We saw glaciers.
And places where there had been slides.
The road had assumed significantly more grade and we saw "runaway lanes" for out of control vehicles. I wouldn't have any problem towing my 5th wheel here though and there were lots of forest and provincial campgrounds.
Our next stop was Radium Hot Springs.
This way to the Springs.
The Radium Hot Springs were not exactly what we were expecting but then, neither were the hot springs in Banff. The water is funneled into a swimming pool structure but it is definitely hot. They had rates for day use as well as longer passes. There were lots of people enjoying the odorless waters.
Angus posed as a big cat.
He figured the least his dad could do was to get into the picture too. Our favorite mountain goats and the only ones we saw on our trip.
Another place with beautiful flowers even in the shorter growing season. The mountain air must really be good for them.
Back on the road again.
More unique mountain views. It seems that water develops these funnel-like structures.
A train carrying goods through the mountains,
By the time we passed the turn off to Cranbrook, we were starting to get pretty hungry.....the last of the Tim Horton lattes was worn off. We probably should have taken the time to turn off as food places were in short supply. We stopped at one place but they wouldn't serve us out on the patio with Angus even though there were no other customers. It was just too hot to leave him in the car.
We did find a place to eat a bit later on at a resort and gas station but I failed to get a picture. We got some great subs which we enjoyed on a bench in the shade outside.
Shortly after, we passed through Elko.
I was a little worried about crossing the border into Montana as we were crossing into the only county in Montana with some Breed Restriction Laws. However, the crossing couldn't have been easier. The guard didn't even ask for Angus's shot record let alone have any problem with him. He was mostly interested in where we were from in Texas and if we were Spurs fans. lol. We were on our way in minutes.
We passed through Flathead National Forest on one side and Kootenai National Forest on the other.
Next stop, Columbia Falls for the night.......and West Glacier tomorrow.
We stayed the Western Inn in Columbia Falls. They have motel rooms, cabins, teepees, and an RV park and....of course, are pet friendly.
We took a walk around the grounds before dark. There were a couple of older women sitting at a table on the balcony for the second story enjoying a glass of wine.
I have to mention that this was not our best night on the road. The motel was nice. We even had beds in two separate rooms plus a microwave and small fridge. Sounds perfect right? Well, the stomping banging noise from the room above us continued until 1AM when Steve couldn't stand it any longer. There was no one in the office at night so he finally went up the stairs and tapped on the door of the room above. No one answered; however, the noise did stop.
The next morning, we were very surprised to see the two older women who were sipping wine on the balcony the night before emerge from the room. I unfairly suspected teenagers and not two old women to have created the din, Live and learn.