Monday, June 28, 2010
Day 6 June 27, 2010 Livingston MT to Calgary
We woke up early and looked outside. Snow capped mountain peaks were glistening in the sunshine. We totally missed them the night before on our madcap race to find a motel room anywhere on the road! We gassed up and stopped at a local place called Pop's Stand for breakfast. The food was mediocre even though the portions were enough to keep us filled for half the day. The smell of fresh pine and mountain air made its way into our nostrils and put smiles on our faces as we got back on the road for a long drive to Calgary. The valleys and rivers of the Montana Rockies were stunning. There were great big sections of the state that were barely populated and wild as could be. I was always on the lookout for wildlife as Sarah navigated the hairpin turns of interstate 15 through Beaver Head forest to the Canadian border. The rivers were dotted with a few fisherman and the clearest fresh water you could have wanted to fish. We saw the upper Missouri, the Blindman, and many other rivers with names you would recognize from old history books. We crossed the continental divide twice and passed by Glacier national park, but this time we did not stop.
We celebrated Sarah's first ever crossing into Canada with the border patrolman commenting, "That sucks." after explaining to him that she was being transferred from Puerto Rico to Kenai, Alaska for a new position in the Coast Guard. Upon gaining entry we started the long haul to Calgary, the nearest city, through the largest grain fields and flattest roads in Canada. Sarah fell asleep while I listened to music and kept my mind occupied with mileage and stupid questions in my head like, "gee I wonder how many acres that farm is? -or- I wonder what the largest grain export in Alberta is? (wheat and canola being the answer....I just looked it up!). The province is big and flat until you start reaching the Rockies again near Calgary. Sarah took notice of how bad the signage sucked in Canada. There were many times where the interstate would just turn into a town and you wouldn't know to slow down or that a big curve was coming if you weren't paying attention. We vowed not to drive at night here. The big roadkill blood stains on the highway told us another story about night driving that confirmed our decision.
We ended up at a nice hotel outside of the city and Sarah caught up on her "Bones" episodes while I went down to the gym for a workout and a swim in the pool. The pool had an indoor water slide that would shoot you out so fast you would go skipping across the water. Of course I started playing games with the couple of kids left in the pool; including a crazy water slide game we made up where we threw a nerf football inside the slide from the bottom while the next kid went flying down the twisty tube towards the bottom. They had to blindly "catch" or find the football in the tube on the way down then throw it back to us while skipping across the water. It was violent... as all good kids games are. It was after 11pm by the time I made my way back to the room for the night.