Yesterday we drove to Canada from St. Mary, Montana, our base camp for a few nights. We have a special place in our hearts for Canada and I am moved that this area is the Glacier International Peace Park.
Each country owns a portion of this part of the Rockies as national parks, they fly both flags and there are a number of ways that the two countries work together. They have meetings to work on mutual wildlife and fire management, search and rescue, educational programs and shared publications, ecosystem monitoring, research, and threatened species conservation. They also have staff exchanges.
We had encountered cattle on the drive to St. Mary so we knew to be on the lookout. This is a two-lane highway and we made several stops as cattle were standing in the road looking us over. This is no longer wheat country but cattle country and they have range cattle roaming around.
We reached Canadian customs and were waiting our turn when I saw two cows quickly moving from Canada to the U.S. with a custom’s officer close behind carrying a big walking stick.
I had heard that cattle freely roam between the two countries so as the custom agent is walking down the hill towards us, I ask if he had some illegal aliens. He said he doesn’t care if they come across the border but they have been pooping by his cabin and he gets his boots dirty. I took note of this technicality, and decided not to take a dump in his yard.
We gave all the right answers at customs and headed towards Waterton, where the famous Prince of Wales Lodge is located, stopping frequently to take photos of yet some more mountains. On the east side of Glacier National Park the mountains meet the prairie because the Pacific Rim went up over the North American land mass when the two collided many millions of years ago. As we drove along I thought about what it would have been like when it happened. I bet the earth shook a few times. Since then many glaciers have changed the look of both the mountains and prairies.
Every time I hear about this type of activities over the past kazillion years I wonder what will happen long after we are gone. Makes me feel very small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. To think that so many marvelous events have happened to shape our world, and my God still thinks I am important humbles me.
My earthly existence in this space at this time means that we need to go into the little town of St. Mary to see what we can find to eat as I decided tonight is “date night.” Then I want to go back to a portion of Going to the Sun Road to see if I can get some nice photos in the evening light. Bon Apatite.