There was an interesting looking B&B that served breakfast, so we were planning to stay more then overnight in Kootenay. Unfortunately the B&B only served meals to overnight guests so we decided to head for the border. The remainder of our Canadian money was spent at the last gas station before the border, just enough to cover the last penny and no more. We returned to the States through the Roosville-Eureka Port of Entry. The US Border Patrol and Customs took the keys to the tool box and the trailer. They wouldn't even let Debby come inside the trailer with them. she saw them going through the refrigerator and looking at our chicken sausages and tuna steaks before they asked her to move away from the door. I am not a lawyer and don't know if they can really search the trailer without you as a US citizens, we had our passports, but they didn't mess anything up and were quite courteous. They did however confiscate some peppers and tomatoes which were unmarked and looked Mexican and they would have confiscated any beef had we had any. We had heard of an American couple who prior to a trip to Canada purchased $40 worth of meat in the US. They didn't finish it in Canada and the remainder was confiscated when they returned by US Customs and this was before the "mad cow" scare.
A review of the Trailer Life Directory showed that one of the Eureka campgrounds had a modem connection so we planned to stay for the night. The campground was a joint campground and casino. When I asked about the modem they didn't have a connection so we decided to go on to Glacier National Park. We stopped to finish filling our gas tank, gas is cheaper in the US and we stopped for groceries in a supermarket. We also used our cell phones to make a few calls.
Since Debby had turned 62 2days before we went into Canada the West Entrance to Glacier National Park was her first opportunity to purchase a Golden Age Access Card. So now we both have them. We found a nice level site at Apgar campground the only Glacier campground that has sites big enough for our trailer. We needed a level site because our refrigerator was giving us trouble. When it operated on gas it sometimes cut out. This problem had been occurring intermittently since Death Valley whenever we had no electric shore power.
It seemed that the clouds had rolled in with us, so after setting up we walked around Apgar village and stayed close to the campground. the next morning we took the obligatory drive on the Going to the Sun Road. It's what to do at Glacier.
Unfortunately the Logan Pass Visitors Center was closed because of inclement weather. As a result we drove the 32 miles up to Logan Pass and came back without going down the 18 miles to St Mary's. It seemed the prudent thing to do. If they closed the pass and we were on the St Mary side we would have had a 3 hour ride back to the trailer. The view at Logan's Pass was worth seeing.
I think the tour bus was built in the 20's but they have been repainted and converted to natural gas. There are 57 of them that take people on tours of Glacier and on those narrow, steep winding roads it's probably easier on the nerves to see the heights from the bus.
When we got back down we hiked the 4 mile round trip to Avalanche Lake.
It was Grizzly Bear country but it was so crowded even in the light rain that no self respecting Grizzly Bear would hang around. We finished the hike by walking the board walk and reading the interpretive signs on the Trail of the Cedars an old growth cedar/hemlock forest.
The next day we hiked around the John's Lake Loop and went exploring several trails whose end points we weren't really sure about. At night we went to the Lake McDonald Lodge for dessert and an evening Ranger Program.
We left Apgar and drove around 2 and a half hours around the park to St Mary's. In Canada I had gotten out of the habit of consulting the "trucker's atlas" for low clearance and restricted routes so I was very happy to see a sign that said "Charlie Yaker don't go this way" just before I was to make a turn taking the shortest way to St Mary's. We continued on the road and went the long way adding about a half hour to our trip. On the way to St Mary's we stopped at Goat Lick to see the white mountain goats. Didn't get any good pictures but we were able to watch the goats scampering up the cliffs with our binoculars.
When we started this trip we had joined Passport America, an organization that arranges half price discounts at many U.S. campgrounds. Unfortunately we never managed to be along the route where any of these campgrounds were. However St Mary's had one and we were still eligible for the discount since our year had not expired. We drove the six miles past St Mary's to where the campground was located. The directory said it opened the week before but to our dismay it was still closed so we drove back to Johnson's Campground in town.
The Johnston's quit ranching in the fifty's opened a campground and restaurant and now have the campground, restaurant, bread and breakfast, a motel and they are adding cabins. It's an interesting operation but only operates from late May to early September when Logan's Pass is open. I guess the more they squeeze in during that time the more successful the operation is. We took advantage of the restaurant as well as the campground and had breakfast one day.
The next day we drove the 18 miles of the Going to the Sun road and went to the Logan's Pass Visitors Center. It was open this time in a bright sunny day. There isn't much to do in the center other then talk to rangers and buy books but beyond the center is a trail that leads up through the snow to a look out.
The look out was pretty far away straight up on snow so we never made it to the top.
On our way down we stopped and took a few short hikes to several waterfalls.
The next day we went to Many Glaciers.
Saw the Swiss style lodge, walked around the lake and hiked to Red Rock Falls then returned to the campground for breakfast around 12 o'clock. In the afternoon we took a short hike on the Sun Point Nature Trail. That night we went to a program of Indian dancers at the St. Mary's Visitors Center put on by members of the local Blackfoot Tribe. Since part of the tribe is in Canada I wonder if they require passports when they go back and forth to visit family.
Glacier National Park is contiguous with Waterton National Park in Canada. The park was established in 1932 and is known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. It is the first of it's kind in the world. cooperation extends to wildlife and vegetation management, search and rescue programs, and joint interpretive programs. both parks have been designated Biosphere Reserves and the combination is a World Heritage site since 1995. We never did get to a joint interpretive program but we did go to Waterton through the Chief Mountain International Port of Entry. This border crossing is actually in the park although you go out of the park to get there. Yes you do have to clear customs in fact there is a Ranger Station at a place called Goat Haunt is at the end of a lake accessible by boat. If you return to Canada on the boat you don't need to show proof of citizenship to get off the boat in US territory but if you go on the hiking trails it is assumed you are seeking entry and must present proof of Canadian or US citizenship to the Ranger.
We took a short but strenuous walk almost straight up on the Bears Hump Trail for a great view of Waterton Village.
When we got down we stopped to use the rest rooms at the Prince Of Wales Lodge but didn't stay for tea. We drove over to Red Rock Canyon for a hike.
On the way we passed a prairie were the Canadians are planning to reintroduce bison and we stopped at a place were scientists found evidence of a buffalo jump.(place where buffalo were driven over a cliff to their deaths in order to provide food and hide for primitive peoples.)
The sheep were pretty friendly, I suspect that people were feeding them.
Then we went and walked along the shore of Cameron Lake before returning to the US.
The south side of Cameron Lake is in the United States but there are no roads, trails and no Port Of Entry and the Golden Arches aren't really there.
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