July 25th ~ Completed the Going-to-the-Sun Road
We only had one day left in Glacier National Park and wanted to complete the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Earlier on the trip we had driven from Apgar to Logan Pass and then taken the shuttle from there to the stop for Mary Falls. That left the dozen miles from Mary Falls to St Mary to see it through.
Our campground at Chewing Black Bone was only six miles from the turn off to St Mary where we once again got onto Going-to-the-Sun Road, coming in from the east side this time.
Wild Goose Island Overlook was our first photo stop.
A side road took us to the Sun Point Trailhead which is a very easy, short walk out to a point that provides a sweeping view of St. Mary Lake and the surrounding mountains.
You can also continue on this same trail which will take you past Baring Falls, and then connect with the trail we took a week earlier that goes to St Mary Falls and eventually to Virginia Falls.
We had now completed the track and still had a half day left. Concerned by the reports that finding a campground at Waterton Lakes National Park was going to be difficult, we decided to swing back by our campsite, grab our passports and head north into Canada for the afternoon.
Clearing the border crossing into Alberta was a breeze, and we were swiftly passed through. They did want to know if we had any weapons, firewood or alcohol. Food was not questioned.
Dick and Karen had stayed in the Townsite Village Campground years earlier when driving an RV up to Alaska and had expressed that it had been a favorite stop along that journey. All reports were discouraging regarding getting a spot there in Waterton, but we decided to find out what options we had.
First stop on our reconnaissance trip was to speak to the attendant on duty at Townsite Village. She informed us that there was a possibility that IF one of the walk-in sites did not get renewed, or IF there were any cancellations, we might be able to get in, but highly recommended that we come early.
She also suggested that we take a look at Crandell Mountain Campsite which does not take reservations. Crandell was more remote, had no services, plenty of trees, and was closer to some of the hikes we were interested in. This could serve as “Plan B”.
But Karen and Dick had such fond memories of Townsite, love being on the water/lake, it was right on the edge of town which offered walking opportunities as well as places to eat out/shop/etc. and was close to a beautiful falls.
Next a stop at the visitors center to get advice on hiking trails and what else to see in the area.
After a bit of discussion, we all agreed that staying at Townsite made the most sense if we had any chance of getting in. It was decided that Karen and I would get up early, drive our Subaru the one hour drive from our campsite at Chewing Black Bones and get in line for any possible openings. The guys would drain the RV’s, refuel, get water and propane and then meet us at the campsite.
While in Waterton Village, we decided to have dinner at the Lakeside Chophouse. It was a little spendy, but the food and service was good. If you are seated on the patio, you will have a view of the lake.
Crossing back into the USA, was also quick. They wanted to know where we were from, how long we had been in Canada and if we were carrying money in excess of $1000.00.
Time to get a good night sleep to be refreshed and ready for the early morning departure.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for all things “Huckleberry”. So far we have tried huckleberry pie, huckleberry ice cream, huckleberry taffy, fresh picked huckleberries and huckleberry margaritas. Still curious about the huckleberry vodka and want to try the huckleberry milkshakes.