[This post was written in early August and I just found it in my draft bucket and realized it never got posted – it is out of sequence here and chronologically it fits before “Rolling East” and after “Our Exit from Alaska]
A fair amount of time and miles have passed since I last sat down to write. We are sitting just outside Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park still in Canada by about 30 miles. We are preparing to drive over the border to stay near an entrance to Glacier NP for a couple of days. Have to see those glaciers before they disappear altogether, which is predicted for 2022.
Backing up to Jasper redux. As I noted when we came through Jasper in May we had not been able to go to Edith Cavell Mountain on our first trip because our rental RV was too long, at 28 feet, to make the climb. In may we could not make the trip because the road was closed waiting for the snow to melt. This time, as soon as we got the coach setup on site we disconnected the car and drove up Edith Cavell Road to the viewing area and trail heads. We did not have time for nor were we prepared for a major hike, it was already 4:30 PM. We did take a shorter circuit which took us to the edge of the Edith Cavell Glacier Lake and a great view of Angel Glacier up in the bowl above us.
The very next morning we hooked up and pulled out of Whistlers headed south on the ice Field Highway with Okotoks set into the GPS. We were returning to visit the Hoggs and get the hitch looked at since there would be plenty of service shops in the Calgary area. Tony of RVMD who is a friend of the Hoggs, met us at the campsite as we were setting up and took one look at the drop hitch and receiver and started wondering how we had made it that far. He found broken welds and other signs that the hitch was already in failure mode. He made arrangements for us to go to The Welding Shop in Calgary the next morning (at 8 AM a 45 minute drive away). The welder who looked at the hitch could not believe that we had done such damage to the drop hitch without ripping the receiver off the coach. I explained that we needed a drop hitch or some other way to lower the towbar’s connection to the coach so everything would be level when hooked up. He proposed lowering the receiver itself by the requisite amount. First he put in a new crossbar as low as he could then he had the receiver welded to the bottom of the crossbar instead of directly into it as we were used to seeing. It took half a day and it is beautiful and the tow bar is level when attached to it.
During our visit we also treated the Hoggs to dinner at a wonderful French Bistro they love in nearby Okotoks, we also had a happy hour the lead into dinner on the second night. Then we rolled on south.
Although out intended first stop was Parks Canada Waterton, we saw signs and Milepost said we were passing “Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump”. Had to stop there as we had read about it for so many years. It is part of a ridge line where bison grazed and for over 5,700 years the natives had herded the buffalo into gathering areas above the ridge and after separating out the number they could handle they would slowly herd that group towards the jump, in only the last quarter mile or so would they stampede them so they would rush over the cliff to their deaths. The name is derived from a story that a young man in the tribe waited under the brim of the jump to see the bison fall. When the bodies were cleared in the food processing they found that the bison had fallen back into the declivity he was in and smashed his head. We were assured by a docent from the local Blackfeet tribe that this story was apocryphal, made up when the park was being created in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s to make the place more fascinating.
We crammed that in before lunch and then headed to Waterton/Townsite where we found all the Parks Canada campgrounds were full. We drove a couple miles back up the road to Waterton Springs Campground. Here we experienced a new combination of available services. We have electric and sewer but the water is not useable as there is a boil water notice in the office window. Fortunately we came in with a full freshwater tank. Shortly we will move and I hope to able to post this by tonight or tomorrow.