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Published: September 10th 2013
It’s still raining, it’s still pouring and the old man (that’s still Jon) is still snoring! We’re over it now. Since we’re ill-equipped, ignorant to the basic survival skills required in this wilderness and precious about getting drenched in the rain we decided today would be as good a day as any to drive further north into Canada
for a cuppa tea.
This was a very sad day for the Dress. After a few heavily accented questions from the Canadian border control, we were in Alberta
. Even though it was raining, we didn’t want to miss this photo opportunity. We owed it to the Dress. I reclined the passenger seat in the car as far as it would go, stripped down to my skivvies and shimmied into the dress. There was only one problem now. I was in a supine position with a corseted dress on that wouldn’t let me bend at the waist. As I shifted and rolled and struggled to get myself up and out of the car, I slipped and their was an almighty rip along the back of the dress. My butt was now hanging out visible through the lace overlay. Let’s all just take a moment
to grieve for the Dress. This was the first of what I feared would be many irreparable accidents and I wasn’t as prepared for it as I thought. So please, enjoy the picture we all owe it to the Dress.
Once this business was taken care of, we definitely needed a cuppa. So we headed straight to the Prince of Wales Hotel
in Waterton Park
for High Tea and the “opportunity” to contribute almost $100 to the Canadian economy for the privilege of it. I will say, they did a nice job. The cucumber sandwiches were lovely, the egg salad was delicious, the scones were divine and the lemon custard tart was the icing on the cake. The tea was strong enough to strip the enamel from our teeth. Just what we needed. Plus, as we were enjoying our tea, the sun returned. Hooray!
We picked up our complimentary tea in the gift shop, bought a few postcards and giggled over the Canadian breath spray designed to allow the consumer to:
“Succumb to the fantasy! Look and feel Canadian instantly.”
We decided to restrain ourselves. What if Jon is sexier as a Canadian than a Welshman? We’d have to bulk order the stuff.
a choice to make, stay and enjoy Canada or go back to the US and try the Going-to-the-Sun road one more time. The brochure we were given upon entry into the park warned us of cougars. Unlike the advice we were given should we encounter a bear - make yourself small, back away, play dead if the bear attacks - they advised us to make ourselves as large and loud as possible should we see a cougar and, if it attacks, fight back. We were out of there! No thank you. We didn’t even need to reference our survival book to make this decision although it did make for entertaining reading whilst waiting in the queue for US border control. For each of the different types of dangerous animals one might encounter in this here part of the world, it provided sensible and somewhat hopeful advice. We thought it all seemed a little too optimistic and potentially misleading. Then we got to the section on the cougar which read “If you don’t have a firearm, you don’t stand a chance”.
The only thing scarier than reading about all these cougars was the US border control guy. Come on. It’s
a sunny day, there is hardly any queue of people waiting to get into the States, we’re nice people on our honeymoon in an unassuming Hyundai Elantra - crack a smile mister and stop being so unnecessarily threatening.
The exchange went something like this... "Turn off your engine and take off your dark glasses ma'am."
Ma'am? When did I become a ma'am?!?!?!?! I knew straight away this wasn’t going to go well and he’d already pissed me off! "Where do you live? Where? Oh." Our London, England answer had him foxed there for a moment. "Do you have currency or financial instruments greater than $10,000?" I cracked a joke about wishing we did but he was having none of it. "Do you have any firearms?" I thought of making a joke about the weapon that is Jon’s backside and the biological weapons of mass destruction he generates but decided the better choice here was to shut up. "Has anyone asked you to carry anything across the border? Do you have any alcohol? Do you have any fruits or
vegetables with you?"
At this point Jon was starting to sweat. I was nervous all along about taking Jon out of the country and bringing him back to the States via a small border control check point and this was why. But in the end, the guy exhausted his questions decided we were not enemies of the state and let us through.
Back on the Going-to-the-Sun Road
, the sun was out and we were gearing up for a beautiful sunset. What a difference a day made. The road is terrifying still but so captivatingly beautiful. We could see snow on the tops of the mountains and the valley floor over the edge of the road barriers. With the clouds and fog lifted, we spied some mountain goats and found the trail that leads across the cliff face past the Weeping Wall
from Logan’s Pass
. We opted to hike the Cedar Trail instead as it was at ground level with no steep cliffs to plummet down. The sheer size and grandeur of these trees was amazing and we were getting excited about what we would be seeing in the days to come as we travelled to Washington and the
Pacific Coastal Forests. But first, we had to drive the GTTS Road one more time to get to our hotel for the night. Luckily, we were heading east with the setting sun to our back and we could enjoy the stunning colours, lighting and effects of the golden hour without being blinded by it.
Once out of the park, we had another 30 miles to drive before we arrived at the hotel in East Glacier Park Village
. This was almost as spectacular and just as difficult a drive as the GTTS Road. Most unexpected were the herds of cows grazing here, there and everywhere, including in the ditches on the side of the road. Jon’s knuckles were white by the time we finally arrived at the Glacier Park Lodge
This hotel may just win the award for most impressive lobby. Another traditional national park gallery style with a huge open space similar to the others in which we’ve stayed. However, it was constructed with 40 ft trees complete with their bark rising from floor to ceiling. Breathtaking. The sheer size and magnitude of this room and the trees which built it was awesome - in the true sense
of the word not the California valley girl sense of the word.
For dinner, we headed into town and were drawn by the live music to one of the local places called Lulu’s
. Again, we ordered way too much food. Appetizers over here are family style meals for eight not an amuse bouche for one. Oops. The mixed platter of fried food was equally daunting and embarrassing - sweet potato fries, fried green beans, onion rings, fried courgettes - and a heart attack to go. The beers helped it go down and the couple playing guitar and singing their hearts out were fantastic. He was funny and laid back with an amazing voice. She had an ethereal voice when she sang and a completely incongruous droll monotone speaking voice which made us chuckle. But I’m trying to be nicer about the people we come across so I won’t labour the monotone point!
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