Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heading into Unmarked Territory!

Okay so perhaps not unmarked territory but definitely into a place which is a sore spot amoung Canadians - we went to the USA! Yep, we hit up MONTANA!

Dylan has Wednesday's off thanks to having his hours cut due to "the recession" so we decided to do a day trip to Montana seeing as though it is only a few hours away.

We get a car for the day - this time one which doesn't have a punctured tire - and set off bright and early to make our way across the Canadian border and into the U
.S of A! We get to the border, flash our passports, get fingerprinted (American security measures suck) and then wait for half an hour while they check our passports and finally stamp them so we can get through to Montana.

Immediately, there is a different feel in the air. The praries look different.. the sun hits us in a unusual light, we feel... Americanized. I feel like shouting "Hey Ya'll" out the car window and Dylan may or may not have felt like screaming "yeehaw" which unfortunately he forgot to do - ah well, next time!

Our first stop is of course a bathroom stop and food! We wanted American grub and we wanted it now! Stopping off in some hick town with loads of Natives we manage to find a bathroom for me and a diner which served cheeseburgers (NO substitutes) which consisted of two slabs of greasy meat and something that resembled cheese but wasn't quite the cheese we're used to and a side of fries... greasy but it sure hit the spot.

We keep driving to Glacier National Park and one word... WOW! We went to St Mary's and saw this absolutely stunning lake for which the picture does not do justice...

We drive around and are impressed by the beauty that is Montana when Dylan says... "I think we should stay the night." I agreed so we went in search of a place to stay... we drove to these dodgy looking campground/cabin site which had an old guy standing around - it looked like a scene from a horror movie. Woods. Old guy. Axe... okay maybe I made up the axe part but it looked kind of scary so I said a hell no to that place. We drove around a little more and found a place just before the entrance to Glacier National Park which was.... doable... and decided to go grab some dinner before going back to the hotel... went to an awesome restaurant where I ordered the pulled pork BBQ burger, which is basically pork which has been pulled apart and marinated in BBQ sauce - yummy - and the owner of the restaurant told us about these cute little log cabins and was so friendly we couldn't resist when he told us to go and check the cabins out... so off we go... back to the same place where the axe murder lived.. and it turns out the log cabins were gorgeous AND they were the same price as the 'doable' hotel! So we grabbed the lucky last cabin (luck seems to follow the both of us) and settled in for the night.

We wake up bright and not-so-early the next morning. Dylan is feeling less stressed after having lied to work that his buddies car broke down in Edmonton and we set off for the day... only to discover our $25 seven day Glacier National Park pass has gone M.I.A! Oh no! We go down anyway, bypassing my need for breakfast and juice (again, never listen to Dylan!) and go straight to the park where we get let in for free because the same lady as yesterday was working... but we couldn't get out! And there are no drinks or food in the park because of BEARS! So, we leave the park and get food and juice and explore other areas...

Now, you have to know the entire time we were driving through the park I was looking for bears and kept yelling at Dylan to SLOW DOWN because we might miss a bear if you drive too fast! So, at this point I'd stopped actively looking for bears... and Dylan stops the car. Says "Oh. My. Gosh." - I look up and see a HUGE grizzly bear crossing the road with four baby cubs trailing behind! It was the most amazing thing ever but it happened so quick we didn't have a chance to grab our cameras but in our hearts and burned into our memories will be the USA Grizzlies!

We also saw a real live moose the day before and driving home we saw a coyote so I've now seen quite a few Canadian animals so I was pretty stoked.

Since we lost our park pass, we decided that we'd drive out of Glacier and back through the Canadian border - which they didn't even check our car for booze so we could have brought back tons dammit - bought a soda on Canadian soil and found $50 which the cashier promptly said in her old lady voice "Oh I'll return that to its owner" and which Dylan quickly said, after glancing in his wallet "Oh, actually that's mine" and $50 made its way into our pockets. Sweet.

In typical Simone and Dylan style we had some random adventures. Driving down the highway we come across two little dogs - a small black one and a small white one... come to think of it, Michael Jackson was playing on the radio too... and I made Dylan pull over so we could rescue the cute little rascals because I was scared they'd otherwise get run over. The white one was quite happy to be caught and came easily. The black dog, not so much. We chased it - on foot and by car. Gave up after it ran through a field to a house - so we deliver the white dog there too and hope for the best.

On the way to visit Dylan's best buddy in Fernie, we drove through what used to be a town but is now called Frank's Slide - the wall of the mountain collapsed and buried the whole town and now the mountain face looks like a slide! Pretty amazing and so sad. 

Made it to Fernie and had some pretty amazing curry at a curry house in Fernie and did not tip the stupid Aussie server because she was too lazy and refused to walk upstairs to bring us our bill. No tip from me and Dylan copped a pretty nasty look when I went to the bathroom. Do your job woman and we'll tip you next time. 

As I drove back from Fernie, Dylan told me to watch out for deer as dusk is prime deer time and ... "riding along in my automobile", Dylan grabbed my shoulder and shouted "stop" - and thank gosh because a deer bounded right in front of the car and I definitely tested out the car breaks only to discover they work quite well! Phew. No, we didn't hit the deer and we ended up eating a vegetarian meal for dinner that night, damn. I was a little shaky but was okay to drive home!

Pretty amazing trip - two Canadian provinces and the USA all in 2 days! We are thinking of heading back to Montana to do some camping but we'll see how we go for time. Should be amazing if we do though, there are some gorgeous spots to camp! 

That's all for now folks... Be prepared for another update next week after our camping trip in Jasper! 

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