May 16 - Banff, Alberta to Glacier National Park, Wyoming, USA
The decision has been made to, once again, not continue to Alaska. We've got 8,500 miles in on the trip so far and are enjoying every single mile of it. Using the DeLorme Street Atlas software to make our route from Lake Louise to Fairbanks and back to the lower states plus what we wanted to travel in Alaska added another 6000+/- miles. Add yet another 3,000 miles home for a total of 17,500 miles. We'd be worn out for a year! If we had known we would be on the road as long as we were before heading to Alaska, we would have signed up for Mike O's Xtreme Camper cruise to Alaska so we would finally have gotten there. Joe wants to save up and do a three week cruise with all the side trips of train, helicopter, etc. and plan that for next year.
Today was a travel day to get back into the USA. We walked around Banff this morning and then drove up into the HooDoo area. From there you could see the old Banff Hotel and an amazing view out over the Bow Valley. Talked quite a while to yet another Australian couple RVing around North America. We've yet to meet an Aussie couple without a great sense of humor and a spirit of adventure.
We took Provincial Highway PH1 to route 22 and then onto PH2. This route starts in the Rockies and flattens out into vast fields of wheat farms. We saw bison farms along the way and a lot of wide open land.
Crossing the border at Carway was totally uneventful. It is such a quiet crossing that they border guards seemed glad to see us. The did mention that we were a foot or so past the yellow cones where we should have stopped and waited to be motioned forward. We had gotten into the area of the yellow radiation detectors!! They don't emit, only sniff but if they go off because someone has been stopped in front of them too long, there is an inspection and a lot of paperwork the guards have to do. Next time, we'll stop way back. This statue was near the crossing.
Pulled into Glacier National Park at St. Mary's to find that the visitor center is not open yet. Signs did indicate St. Mary's on this northeast side was open and Apgar on the west side was open. We drove down as far as we could on the road that becomes the Going to the Sun road. Views out over the lake and mountains are why this park is one of my favorites. 55F, sunny, very strong wind, snow on the mountains and what looks like an overgrown population of ground squirrels. They are everywhere and chatter madly as you walk by.
We are camped at St. Mary's, totally alone, $5.00 boondock. There are times that being early in a season can be a pain if you want to visit a place or go into a museum, etc. This is not one of those times. I so look forward to walking outside tonight to see the stars. I'll keep a hand on the camper in case there is a loud snort from a grizzly passing by.