Traveled: Conrad, MT, USA - Banff, AB, CAN
Miles Driven: 350
Hours on Road: 8
Weather: Sunny & Breezy (75 degrees)
There is no doubt the past several days have been an incredible experience. While traveling across the US, we have seen lots of sites and attractions that have been great. We've enjoyed every second of it and can say that without a doubt we have been blessed to be able to do what we have done. For this we are very thankful.
Today we started out on our journey through Canada. To say we were a little nervous about crossing the border for our very first time would be an understatement. We spent the night prior, preparing all of our documentation, talking to the kids about how to answer, should they be asked questions and so on. We awoke early this morning because we knew we had a long day. We pulled out of Conrad around 9am and headed north toward Sweet Grass to cross the border. As we traveled that way for the next hour, we reviewed the items we needed to pass and made sure we had them all one more time. When we finally arrived at the border crossing, I approached the terminal slowly and handed the lady our information. She asked where we were from, where we were headed and if we had any alcohol, tobacco or firearms. I answered them all directly and she told us to have a nice day and just like that, our 24 hours of worry/nervousness had come to an end in a little less than 4 minutes.
Excited that we had made it across without incident, we traveled north just a few miles before stopping at the Alberta Visitor Center. This location had a large life-sized T-Rex outside and of course the boys had to get their picture made in front of it. They also had several rock formations the boys climbed on. Once we went inside, there was a plethora of information available. The ladies behind the counter were extremely helpful and provided us with a ton of information, once I explained where we were headed. We continued north on Interstate 4 to Leatherbridge and then on over to Fort Macleod. From there we took Interstate 2 to Nanton where we exited and went over to Highway 22 so we could avoid Calgary and it's traffic. We continued North on Highway 22, and really all I can say about from this point all the way to Banff (where we are now) is WOW!!! I've been blessed to call TN home for 35 years and no doubt TN is some of the most scenic and beautiful country on the Eastern side of the US but I must say that I have never before in my entire life seen anything as awe inspiring as the trip we made today though the Canadian Rockies. Road after road, turn after turn, we were met with more and more beautiful mountains, some of them snow covered while others had beautiful blue rivers flowing at their bases.
We are now in Banff at one of their campgrounds, where we were very fortunate to find a camping spot. Little did we know that this coming Monday is a Canadian holiday and all the parks and campgrounds are packed. This evening we pulled up to the entrance, asked if they had any spots left to accommodate us and they said yes, but only a few and we would have to share hook-ups with another camper. After a little searching we found our spot and were set-up in about 20-30 minutes. Now get this, literally standing outside the front door of our camper, I have a huge 8000+' snow capped Rocky Mountain directly in front of me, another one in the distance to my right and two more mountain ranges to my left and directly behind me. It really is incredible! The temp this afternoon was around 65-70 with a nice constant breeze. I grilled burgers in front of the camper while passing football with the boys and looking around at all of God's handy work. Really I don't know what more to say other than WOW… God is so good! Be sure to check out the pics and video of today's journey. Honestly, I don't think either will do this trip justice but at least you will have something to view.
Pictures from Conrad, MT to Banff, AB:
Tomorrow we plan to explore the town and take the Gondola up the mountain to see even more spectacular views. Then on Monday, we plan to continue north to the Columbia Ice fields where we will take the Terra Bus out onto an actual glacier for an hour and a half long tour. From here we will continue on to Jasper where we hope to camp again. I'll be sure to post a separate update on these experiences as well as I am sure they will all hold more fascinating views and experiences.
God Bless & Safe Travels!