Padinago's trip to the USA and Canada in 2011

Day 13 - Waterton Lakes National Park

Today is our long expected trip to Waterton Lakes National Park but we have to drive around Glacier National Park as the Going to the Sun Route is still closed. It is a long trip but we see beautiful sceneries.
About 27km before the Canadian border (which we have to cross) we are stopped by cattle drive that needs to cross the road. It is nice to see and Nathalie enjoys watching the cowboys on their horses! Unfortunately also the cowboys are becoming more modern as one of them is not on a horse but on a quad.
Later on, about 3km before the Waterton Lakes entrance we see our first big black bear. We take some pictures and at the entrance our name is written in a ledger of bears that have been spotted. Nice!
We enter Waterton Lakes and we immediately notice the beauty of this national park. We turn on Township Road and on our left side we see a brown bear. It seems to be a young animal. We take our time to observe it and take some pictures. Suddenly it crosses the road just in front of our car, we leave the bear alone and continue.

We arrive at Cameron Lake which is still entirely frozen. We are now on an altitude of about 1700m and it is quite cold here with lots of wind and some snow. We take some family pictures and then take the same road back. Suddenly on our right side we see a black bear with 2 cubs. They are very close so we stay in our car and Nathalie takes picture out of her window while Patrick keeps his finger on the button to close the window as soon as they would come too close but fortunately it is not necessary.
There where, earlier today we saw the brown bear, we now see a small herd of bighorns coming towards us. About 10m in front of our car they decide to leave the road and walk into the woods and disappear. We then see, under a shelter some bighorns. We never saw as many of them together.
We drive into the village of Waterton and drive on Mt View Road where we see a deer crossing the road and then suddenly Nathalie sees something very small at the left side of the road... it is a very young little deer, it looks like Bambi. It is so young, it is still unsteady on its feet and the mother waits on the other side of the road. Fortunately everybody saw this very young deer so all the cars stop and wait until 'Bambi' has safely crossed the road and joined its mother. Beautiful!
When we drive to the north on the Red Rock Pkwy, we see on our right side some black bears, it is so nice to be able to see these animals. Especially with Sofie's help we see a lot of bears this year, she has practiced on her lure!
When we leave the park, we drive to the north to the bison-paddock. Here you drive on a loop where bisons are scattered everywhere and resting. Also here there is no fence (same as in Yellowstone NP) and you must drive carefully.
On our way back we make a short pitstop when suddenly Nathalie notices a fox walking on the parking lot. She makes some kind of sign language to Patrick in order not to scare off the fox and he gets his camera. Just in time...
Later on we cross the American border where we are interrogated by two severe Americans but apparently they are not so severe as they look...

The way back is long but beautiful and around 8pm we are back in Nickel Charlie's for, again, a very nice dinner. A bit later we go back to the hotel, we are exhausted!

Daytrip approx. 616 km

On Duck Lake Rd on the other side of Going-To-The-Sun Mountain @ The entrance sign Our first bear of the day... Prince of Wales hotel Near Township Rd @ Cameron Lake Near Akamina Parkway Excuse me, bighorns coming through... @ Township Road Near the Waterton Park Ranger Station Bambi? Is it you? Did you cross the street safely? @ the bison-paddock A fox @ the overlook