With cloudy days forecasted for the weekend, we decided to add a day to ensure better weather once we reach Glacier National Park (we have been told it is well worth the wait) and to avoid weekend traffic. So we planned two shorter days before the BIG climb; to veer off the route towards Waterton, Alberta today, and then head south to Glacier tomorrow.
We all took advantage of the short day ahead to sleep in and enjoy a late breakfast (though it took a much longer than anticipated). We didn’t leave Cardston until close to 11 o’clock, but were eager to knock out today’s forty miles. With the Rocky Mountains visible behind the clouds, we continued to climb the gradual hills, interspersed with some nice down-hills too. We cruised through the first 15 or so miles, winding around the farms and green mountain sides…a great ride! Zach and I stopped outside a general store, and waited for the others. Having broken my second spoke on the way down the previous hill we went to work on the quick repair before grabbing snacks inside. From there we headed out for the last 18 miles to Waterton Lakes National Park. Our ride was briefly interrupted by thunder and lighting, so we pulled over and took shelter under our bike/tarp fort. We waited it out then continued on, just as the rain began to really pour and the thunder picked up…and the cows went crazy. The storm didn’t last long, but the dark clouds lingered over the mountains as we approached the park. Upon arrival, we climbed up to the beautiful Cameron Lake and then coasted downhill into the village. Even with the cloudy skies, the mountains were very impressive, and we can’t wait till the storms pass and the skies clear…hopefully tomorrow! We arrived in the village around 3 o’clock to deer casually walking the streets and wandering about in front of the hotel. We checked in to our room, cleaned up, and headed into town for an early dinner. The food and the view at the Bayside Inn was fantastic! We wandered around town for a bit then headed back to the room for a relaxing night. Tomorrow’s short ride to the base of Logan Pass will allow us to begin exploring the Rockies and preparing for the big climb.