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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Waterton NP



Our next stop is in Waterton National Park.     It's our last stop in Alberta, Canada before returning to the U.S.A.

This is also home to the landmark hotel, Prince of Wales.     It is a 7 story gabled structure built in 1927 on a hill overlooking Upper Waterton Lake.    It was another grand mountain resort financed by the railway, except, unlike those in Banff and Jasper, it had no rail link and has always been U.S. owned.    It was built as part of a chain of first-class hotels in Glacier National Park and is still owned by the company that controls those in the U.S.




This is Upper Waterton Lake.       We decided to take advantage of this beautiful day to do another boat trip.




This trip would take us from Waterton, Alberta, Canada into Montana and back into Waterton.     These markers were for the international border.






International law requires that there be a clearly marked border between the two countries so they cut out a swath of trees along the border.       We spent some "land time" at the end of the lake, which is in Montana, but you only had to pass customs if you were not immediately returning on the same boat.   (some people like to hike this remote forest and return on a later boat)     The customs agents came over on the boat with us since we were the first boat of the day.



Our captain has been doing this for a couple decades, but the first time I saw him I thought perhaps he was homeless.      He was barefoot, shirtless, ponytail, etc.      At one time he literally jumped into the lake and swam around.

He then proceeded to put on a shirt and shoes, and his persona changed into the captain.      Shows you should not judge by appearance!        To be totally fair, he was a great captain, gave us lots of information about the trip and kept us totally safe.










Yes, we saw this bear on the shoreline.       I have been amazed at the number of bear we have seen on this adventure.     This is a black bear, despite it's brown coloring.     I've learned to look at ears, rears and humps to differentiate between black bear and grizzlys.    

The best indicators are the size of the shoulders, the profile of the face and the length of the claws. The grizzly bear has a pronounced shoulder hump, which the black bear lacks. It also has a concave or “dished” facial profile, smaller ears and much larger claws than the black bear. Black bears have a flatter, “Roman-nose” profile, larger ears, no visible shoulder hump and smaller claws.

This knowledge could save your life if you get caught in a potential bear attack situation.        If you are attacked by a grizzly you should play dead.    However, if you are attacked by a black bear, playing dead will be like wearing a sign that says "This is your dinner".      Fortunately, I never had to test these recommendations!








On the return trip we saw another bear at a different location.







I love the color and design of this rock wall.        To me it looked like an abstract painting.




These colorful rocks were in the lake.



The Village of Waterton is charming.       It has only a handful of year round residents  (single digits) but is vibrant with hotels, restaurants and shops during the summer months.

We fell in love with this town and park and will probably return in the future.


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