Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break Road Trip - Part II

Tuesday morning of our Spring Break, it was time to leave Hungry Horse and get on the road again. We quickly packed all our stuff back in the car and started our trip around the southeastern edge of Glacier National Park towards Alberta where my sister Louise, my brother-in-law André, my two nieces Jolyane and Mélanie and their husbands were expecting us.

We had hoped to make a stop along the way where the Continental Divide crosses the road we were on because we'd heard there was a place where we could dump a cup of water to illustrate to the kids how water flows towards the oceans on our continent. Unfortunately, the special landmark's signs must have been buried under snow banks because we missed it altogether. We realized it fairly quickly because the road started dipping again, so we resorted to just talking about the Continental Divide and just 'knowing' that we had just passed it. 

 Another stop along the road that proved disappointing was Browning, Montana where we thought we'd be able to check out the Museum of the Plains Native Americans. As we approached the museum, its dilapidated appearance and vacant parking lot were sure indicators that we'd come too late---waaaay past the days of this museum's hayday. But just in case we might be totally wrong, we drove up to the main walkway that led to the entrance and found a subsitute to our museum aspirations: a gopher jackpot! There were gopher holes all over the grassy area surrounding the museum and cute little gophers popping here and there out of their holes. I'm sure we made fools of ourselves as we ran around taking pictures of what are probably one of the worst pests in the region. We couldn't help ourselves; they were so cute with their bobbing tails and rabbit-like faces! They were really quick too!! And good thing they offered a little entertainment because we had guessed right: the museum was all locked up.

So. we pressed on, choosing the scenic route north that went along the base of the Rockies, and for once that day, we were not disappointed. At least, Andrew and I weren't. I admit being a bit perplexed and frustrated that Isaiah and Brielle weren't totally able to appreciate how amazing the views were, but Andrew helped me to 'let it go' and just enjoy it for myself. I tried to capture some of the mountains' majesty with my camera, but none of the pictures do them justice.

So, after soaking the beauty in as much as we could, we finally left the Rockies and headed up to Lethbridge, Alberta, where, my nieces had warned us, "There isn't really all that much to do here." It was nice to know that going into it. We knew we were going there mainly to be with family and it turned out to be a rich time of visiting, eating together, and playing lots of games together. Our kids had a wonderful time and wished our stay could have been extended. One thing is for sure: they will never forget the unique way their Aunt Louise says the word ´potato´...or that their Uncle André makes amazing food!! :) 

While in Lethbridge, we did get to check out the Coulees that lie at the heart of the city.The coulees are these ravines with sloping slides of dry grass that actually divide the city into three sections: west, south, and north. Old Man River lies at the bottom of the valley, which happens to be a fine place for a city park. The main fairway that traverses these coulees and connects the different parts of town is called Whoop Up Drive. We couldn´t get over that silly name! As you can see in the picture below, there was a train bridge called a viaduct that also went across the coulees. This one happens to be the longest and tallest such structure in all of Canada. So there are things to be seen in Lethbridge after all!! That doesn´t change the fact that being with my family was the best thing and the only thing that really landed us there. Thanks, Louise and Andre, Sim and Mel, Jo and James for a wonderful stay!!