Friday, September 13, 2019

Waterton and Homeward Bound

Boy it has been a busy two weeks.  I better pick up where I left off on my summer travels.

After leaving Many Glaciers we headed into Alberta and Waterton Park which is a sister park to Glacier.
Waterton has a lodge called Prince of Wales which is called a grand hotel.  It was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927.

Many of the roads in Waterton were closed due to the Kenow Fire which occurred in 2017.  Waterton Lake is very pretty, but the area is very touristy.  About the only site to see is Cameron Falls.

One night I did spy a bear, but it is difficult to get pictures because as soon as a bear is spotted the rangers or RCMP would show up to shoo away the people.

The lodge that we stayed at we had a visitor.

This buck deer is in the "velvet" and he was rubbing his antlers all over people's car grills trying to rub that velvety coating off.

The one thing that I did see that I thought was interesting was this rock formation.  If you look closely you can see daylight underneath, so it is precariously perched there, waiting.

The next day we headed back to the states and I discovered that I could not locate a hotel heading toward North Dakota that would take dogs.  So we had to improvise.  We headed past St. Mary toward Browning.  There was a rest stop with some really amazing art, and information regarding Glacier, and the indigenous people.

Outside of Browning we saw another neat metal sculpture marking the entry into the Blackfeet Nation Reservation. 

I cannot believe how incredibly long Montana is and when you are driving diagonally from the Northwest to the Southeast it is a bit of a jaunt.  I did see some neat things and looked them up later. 

We passed a farm called the Kingsbury Colony, we could see many men out working in the field.  I discovered it is a Hutterite group.  Per Wikipedia Hutterites , also called Hutterian Brethren, are an ethnoreligious group that is a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the early 16th century.

At Great Falls, I got turned around and soon realized that I was heading west.  In Ulm, which was the first place I could get off the freeway and turn around I saw a sign for First People's Buffalo Jump State Park, which of course caught my attention, and so off into the prairie along a dirt/gravel road I traveled.  

I did not go into the visitor's center, but I did go up to the top of the buffalo jump.  Indians would create brush fences and then herd buffalo up onto the plateau,  then stampede the buffalo over a cliff.  At the bottom of the cliff injured buffalo were killed and the tribe would butcher them for the meat to sustain them.  

 Here you can see some of the rock ledge along the cliff, but it is pretty hard to tell you are heading toward a cliff until you are right upon it. 
 I cannot get over the vastness of the prairie looking out from the cliff.  You can also see that well worn path, where for many years the buffalo were driven. 

It sounds funny, but growing up on a farm certain animals have a scent, and if you have ever butchered a large animal there is also a scent.  I could smell the animal scent still after all this time.  
There were a lot of informative signs.

I saw a prairie dog town and had to stop and take a picture.

We eventually made it to Billings, Montana which total for the day ended up being well over 650 miles. 

We left Billings early the next morning heading across Interstate 90 and started running into a lot of groups of motorcycle riders.  Little did we know that it was the beginning weekend of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.   We entered Wyoming, and about 100 miles from the Wyoming, South Dakota state line the speed limit dropped from 70 and 80 to 55 mph for biker safety.  The speed limit did not pick up until about 100 miles past Rapid City, South Dakota.  We could not get over all the bikes, groups and singles, as well as motor homes with toy haulers, we passed.  

In Chamberlain, South Dakota I stopped at the rest area so that I could see the sculpture Dignity.  It is on a cliff overlooking the Missouri River. 

I had to stop of course because of the quilt.  We drove on to Mankato, Minnesota for the night.  At that time I realized that 700 + mile days would not be feasible for my parents, but they were having some tummy trouble and I knew that one more day driving would have us to my house in Michigan, so we powered through and arrived back in Carleton the next day.  The grandsons were happy to see their great grandparents and we took a much needed rest for a few days.  

Lessons learned.  I needed to find hotels for the next day the night before because of Miss Bobbin.  My parents limit was about a 500-600 mile day.  Saturday and Sunday nights should be spent in the same hotel so we were not dealing with weekend travelers. 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing these trips- the sculpture is just stunning.

  2. I didn’t know you were coming to Alberta. Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

  3. That was quite the journey! You really saw some beautiful sights along the way. We, too, have been unexpectedly caught in that Sturgis traffic. Trying to get a hotel anywhere within 200 miles of the Black Hills is next to impossible. Bet all were happy to reach your destination.

  4. Really love all your post showing me places in the States I would never really see without your journeys.

  5. Beautiful pics of a fun trip
    Thanks for sharing

  6. That was quite a trip! I’ve never traveled those areas before and enjoyed your pics!


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