Monday, September 10, 2007

Princely Views

We left Whitefish, Montana yesterday morning. It didn't take long to get to the southwest entrance of Glacier Park. We camped in Apgar under the tall pines. If there was sunshine you wouldn't know it tucked away in that dense haven. It was quite chilly and we weren't allowed to run the generator. The night owl that I am, I ran the battery down and we had no heat by morning.

However, there was plenty of sunshine on the Going to the Sun Road. We left the Airstream and tackled the long incline up the gorgeous peaks. We drove as far as Logan Pass (about 35 miles) before doubling back. Once again I hung my head out the window to videotape while Robert was steady at the wheel.

Glacier Park is magnificent and we could spend a lot more time exploring, but we want to keep up the pace to get through Canada while it's still warm. This is the end of the summer season. So, this afternoon we headed north to Waterton Park in Alberta. This is the first time any of us has ever visited Canada. We had absolutely no trouble crossing the border. I imagined I'd see more security, or at least the Royal Mounted Police, but it was uneventful. The drive up was beautiful, breathtaking. Hard for Robert to keep his eyes on the road for all the wandering cows (kinda like in Baja!)

We are staying at the full-service campground in Waterton near the lake and below the Prince of Wales Hotel. We were so excited to have dinner in the Royal Stewart Room where the waiters wear Scottish kilts. We imagined Prince Edward hosting his royal friends there, hunting and fishing, dining in the grand room overlooking the spectacular mountains and lake.
I was very disappointed to learn that the Prince of Wales Hotel was actually built by ambitious American railroad big-wigs. They created it as a getaway spot for Americans looking for a drink during the Prohibition era. They boldly named it after Prince Edward (who owned a large ranch in Alberta) betting he would draw patrons. I don't believe he ever even visited the place. Prohibition ended after a few short years and the depression hindered profits further. Still, it was a nice idea. It must have been quite a sight years ago to tourists coming in on the train, just as it impressed us as we pulled in, Airstream in tow.

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