July 27

28 07 2009

Day 51:

We awoke to a beautiful sunny morning in Waterton National Park. Waterton is often referred to as the most beautiful of the national parks and we can certainly see why. We started out today with a ride through the village among the deer / elk and along the lake surrounded by majestic mountains. Truly an inspiring sight. Leaving the village we stopped for breakfast at the Prince of Wales Hotel, which sits high on a hill overlooking Waterton Village. We enjoyed an incredible view from our breakfast table.

After a substantial breakfast and requisite pictures we started to climb. We climbed for most of the day and followed the Chief Mountain International Highway across the border back into the US. A couple driving in the opposite direction stopped to advise us of mother and baby bear a few hundred yards ahead. However, when we arrived they had disappeared. During a trip today though we saw even more cattle as they roamed freely through the mountain forest and on the highway, which was traversing an Indian Reservation. We got a few laughs watching the cows react to various comments.

Continuing our climb, we arrived at a scenic overlook with a commanding view of Chief Mountain. Maggie correctly translated “scenic overlook” to mean “ downhill from this point on” and with few exceptions we cruised swiftly down the highway to a late lunch (4:00 PM) in Babb, Montana. We then traveled the few remaining miles to Saint Mary, our destination for the night, which is located at the entrance of the “Going to the Sun Road”. We are camping on the St. Mary River at a beautiful KOA with a wonderful hot-tub and pool which we welcomed after our day of climbing through the Rockies under brilliant sunshine. Our “biker tans” sparked numerous conversations from strangers who ask what we have been doing to have such “unusual and dramatic” tans.

Late night Pizza and numerous other snacks and we need to get well rested for our climb to Logan Pass in the morning.