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Waterton Lakes National Park

Alberta

Canada

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One drizzling morning in Montana, after I'd made breakfast under the hatchback
of our minivan (as usual, due to rain), Alissa suggested we go up to Alberta for the day and
have a look at Waterton Lakes National Park. Heck, I'd always wanted to see the place,
and since it was raining anyhoo, I agreed that it'd be a good idea. We'd been camping
now for better than a week in Glacier National Park (in the U.S.). It'd be good to check it oot.

Official flag of Alberta, since 1968
Provincial flag of Alberta
Here's a little Park Map
Waterton Lakes
Park Map 2008

We left our campsite and headed North, passing Chief Mountain, a big sedimentary
remnant of geological history. We figured we'd just toodle into Canada and have a long
look into the big U-shaped valley which Waterton Lake itself occupies, maybe get a
glimpse of Mt Cleveland doon the U.S. side, if the weather cleared up.

"Are those your kids in the back?" the customs agent asked me.

"Well, biologically, the boy is, and these are my stepdaughters," I answered. He put his
head in his hand for second. Then he told me we all needed to come inside the station.

It turned oot that we didn't have have the necessary legal papers to have all
these children across the border withoot the permission of both of their biological
parents. We actually even needed papers for Eli, who, at eleven months of age, had not yet
acquired the ability to speak Canadian, and thus needed some sort of I.D. It was
like something right oot of Alice's Restaurant. The officials separated us from each
other and asked each one of us what we were doing in Canada, and the like. It seems to me now that
we spent more than an hour on the premises, until the officers were satisfied that Alissa
and I weren't on the run from the Law. I could see their point, I guess, then eh?

Self portrait at the park edifice
A feral bunch
posing outside
13 August 1995
'Okay, let's do that again, kids!'
You always take more
than one, dontcha??
13 August 1995
A little sunshine at the 49th Parallel
Back in the van,
we'll get sunburned!
13 August 1995

When we reached Waterton Township, we jumped oot of the van and gazed around us, in a drizzle.
Funny, it looked alot like the moontains to the sooth of the border! The only difference was that
peoples' accents were more nasal, and they didn't mind the rain. They told me it was aboot time
they had a good rain, eh? The girls looked aroond a bit, but walking in the rain when you've
already been damp for a week already doesn't seem like such a good idea. They all buckled in to the van
whilst I wistfully glanced at the cloud-cover moving in and oot of the deep, green mountain valleys.

I wish I'd written stuff down back then...
Might be Vimy Peak
Waterton Park
13 August 1995
They call this a hill up there.
One of the many
peaks of Waterton
13 August 1995
'You go ahead, Sweety...'
I don't think
she's comin' out
13 August 1995
Best I can figure, this is Sofa Mountain
Sofa Mountain?
Well... maybe!
13 August 1995

Probably the warmest place we'd been in a long time was the Canadian Customs station. It snowed on
us a day or two later, in mid-August. So I was fantasizing on the way back to Montana...

Maybe I should just 'fess up and admit that we were on the lam.
Maybe then we could get some of their good bacon in detention, eh?

Copyright 2011 EBBoykin, Jr
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