Day 61 of 62

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When we awoke, we found even more dense gray skies overhead, though still no rain. Suddenly the trip felt very close to over for both of us. We had passed the two-month milestone. We were leaving Canada to re-enter the US. We could be in Gresham by the weekend! And while being out of the bus would feel good, and seeing our friends in Gresham would be great, it’s hard not to be sad about the trip coming to a close.

We managed to spend almost all our remaining Canadian money with gasoline and snacks on the road south from Calgary, with a few souvenir coins left over for the dashboard ashtray / change drawer. The border crossing was uneventful and soon we were back in a US National Park. It’s amusing to see the different reactions we get when we describe the trip to people. Both the guy at the border and the woman at the park entrance were shocked when we said we’d been on the road for two months. Many a waiter or fellow camper has said “oh my, I’d love to be able to do that!”. And I wish I could give everybody the chance! I feel really lucky to have had the right combination of cash, free time, partnership, and enthusiasm to embark on this adventure. Almost everyone seems to have as their first reaction “And you’re still speaking to one another?!?!?” but again I feel lucky that we have worked out the problems and enjoyed the intense togetherness.

Montana is the last new state or province we’ll enter on this trip, bringing the totals to 22 and 5 each. The Rockies feel like “home” and even after four days in the Canadian Rockies the dramatic views of Glacier NP were most welcome. Just one night’s brief trip into the flatter land was enough to remind me how I love these mountains. Despite the dark clouds there were gorgeous views in every direction.

Nice view of the Canadian Rockies

We spent a few hours just driving slowly over the Going-to-the-Sun road, observing the mountains from every angle. And the sun honored us with its presence for part of the day, changing the rocks and trees and water yet another set of colors. Another reason to love the bus is that it provides luxurious camping for two while still short enough to be driven on tiny, twisty roads like this one, which forbids all trailers as well. We took a few short hikes and stopped for a while at one swimming hole where a group of brave/crazy folk were jumping in from a short cliff.

Jumping from a rock face into the river

In the late afternoon, we found a nice campsite to settle for the night. I’ve been really happy on this trip sticking with mostly public campgrounds. Even in the camper, we’ve rarely needed or wanted “hookups” and definitely don’t want to pay for a swimming pool or cable tv lounge or some of the other non-nature-related amenities at the more expensive private campgrounds. Avalanche Creek campground is near the center of the park and allows for a nice border of trees around most of the sites. This late in the trip, the books we’ve finished reading completely fill the left side of the closet, but at the end of the night we were trying to squeeze more back there after a quiet night of dinner and reading. Tomorrow, from Montana into Idaho.

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