Canada 2015. Days 6 & 7 (Aug 4 & 5, 2015). The West entrance to Glacier National Park is only 56 miles from the Swan Lake Campground. After coffee in the morning, we prepared the bikes and started the short ride. It was hard to see any details on the mountains around us because it was very hazy. The air felt humid as if a storm was developing. It could have also been smoke because, as we would discover later, there was a fire in the National Park. We stop for gas at Hungry Horse and entered the park at West Glacier. The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road crosses the park from West Glacier to St. Mary. This is a narrow and winding road that climbs up the mountains to cross the Continental Divide at Logan Pass (6640ft.) Apparently this is one of the hardest roads to snowplow in the Spring in North America. The road is a lot of fun to ride and offers spectacular views of the high peaks of the park. We made a stop to rest at Lake McDonald. As we were getting ready to go down to the lake, a fellow on a Honda Transalp approached us. His name was Dani, and he was from Cologne, Germany. Dani has been recently living near Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, so he spoke very good Spanish. Dani has travelled on a motorcycle all over the world. You can read about his adventures at Odyssey2010.JIMDO.com After talking to Dani we continued on Going-to-the -Sun but we were unable to reach Logan Pass because the road was closed due to a fire near St. Mary Lake. We had to turn around, come back all the way to West Glacier, and take routes 2, 49, and 89 to get to St. Mary. We wanted to visit other areas of the park but we could not because of the road closure. That day we were in a bit of a rush to cross the border into Canada (you never know what to expect at a border crossing). We arrived at the Chief Mountain crossing at around 5:30. The two officers we talked to asked a lot of questions, some of which were frankly ridiculous. When one of the officers asked me if we were carrying alcohol, I mentioned that we had a bottle of beer. He asked why we only had one bottle. It seems suspicious to him that we were carrying a single bottle. After approximately one hour of waiting at the border they let us into Canada without checking any of the stuff we were carrying in the motorcycles. Once we arrived at Waterton, AB, we set up tent at the campground by the lake. It was a good thing I made reservations because the campground was completely full. We did not feel like cooking so we went for a bison burger and a beer at a restaurant in town.
The following day we got up very early and took a hot shower at the campground. We went for a walk to Waterton Lake and I collected a few beautiful brown hydra. After that we loaded the bikes and went to town to get a coffee and gas. It was a very cold morning so we put on our heavy gear. We rode on route 6 and then 22 north mainly through rolling hills covered with grass and some aspen groves. We stop to rest at a small campground by the Oldman River where I was able to get some hydra. At Longview we filled up the tanks and took route 541 towards the mountains; moving slowly from grasslands to conifers forests. We turned north on route 40, which runs through a gorgeous valley flanked by glacier-carved mountains. At Peter Lougheed Provincial Park we visited the beautiful Kananaskis Lakes and took a nice walk by the shores of the Lower Lake. On route 40 we encountered several groups of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheeps and a moose grazing by the road. Route 40 is a great ride highly recommended if you ever visit the area. At the end of route 40 we took the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1) east towards Craig’s house outside Calgary. As we were getting closer to Calgary we could see at the distance very dark skies and regular lightning. By the time we left the highway, heavy raindrops begun to hit our helmet shields. We were approximately 4 miles from Craig’s house. It was raining but not very hard yet. We finally reached the intersection that we had set in our GPSs; the closest to Craig’s house. We turned left onto Township Road 242 which soon became a gravel road. The loose gravel was at places almost completely covered with leaves from the aspens that bordered the road. We were riding very carefully standing on the motorcycle pegs. We finally turned onto the service road that leads to Craig’s home. There was a guy wearing boots who was walking under the rain towards the house. He immediately turned around to greet us. It was Craig. He yelled instructing us to go around and park at the back of the house. As soon as we got there we saw the grass covered by the hail that had fallen that afternoon. We apparently had just missed a major hail storm which had destroyed a large portion of the garden. It was great to see Craig again after our fortuitous meeting at a hostal in Argentina more than a year ago. It was also very good to meet Brenda, Craig’s lovely partner. That night Brenda and Craig prepared a delicious dinner for us (grilled salmon and sweet potatoes). We had finally completed the first leg of our trip to Canada.