Waterton Lakes National Park
24.08.2016 - 25.08.2016
When I got in the van in the parking lot of the Pine Lodge in Whitefish I asked aloud, "North or South?"
I turned the key and decided North.
First I had to go a bit South and then East until I could head North.
Once again, I had to cross the border into Canada.
This time when he asked if I had any liquor I replied, "I have wine for my dinner in camp."
Really, I had six bottles because Safeway in Whitefish had a great sale with even lower prices if you purchased 6.
Then he asked, "Are you carrying any firearms, switchblades or knives?"
I replied, "I have my Swiss Army knife for camping."
"I hope so."
Why do they bother to ask these questions? It is like in the pre-9/11 days when they asked you if you packed your own luggage.
I learned there was a Powwow at the Blackfoot Cultural Center in Waterton Village in the park. I had to go. It had been years since I had been to a powwow. I wanted to hear the drums and bend my knees to the rhythm.
I asked at the Cultural Center: In Canada, they are the Blackfoot; in US they say Blackfeet. Same Tribe, different preference.
The historic lodge in Waterton Lakes National Parks is named the Prince of Wales. It was also built by the Great Northern Railway as a tourist destination. It looms on the highest ridge over the lakes and the town.
After the powwow and a snack of bannock with Saskatoon (Service) berries, it was time to find a place for the night. In addition to the PofW Lodge, Waterton village has several motels and lodges. I wanted to camp.
All the campgrounds seemed so far away. I drove into a picnic grounds in town and had the perfect spot all to myself. I thought a Park patrol might come through and tell me to move on, but only a handful of dog walkers and lovers came and went the entire night,.
The magnificent PofW Lodge rose above me.
It was a perfect spot and just as wonderful in the morning.