For the next two days we are really going to put on the dog. We’ll be staying at the Prince of Wales Lodge, built in 1927 to woo away rich American tourists who were sailing to Europe for vacations, and taking their money with them. The Canadian Pacific Railroad built a series of these lodges in the Glacier and Waterton National Parks area and for a $1000 a week (1927 prices); you could spend some quality time in the “wild,” so to speak.
Before you think of us as some of the rich and famous, let it be known that my colleagues at work gave Linda and me, two nights at the Prince of Wales Lodge as a retirement gift (photo 1 & 2). Many thanks to all of those fine folks. We will always remember your generosity.
As we were getting ready to check out of the Waterton Glacier Suites, we met this wonderful English couple and their Canadian friend. They were interested in our motorcycle and, of course, we had to tell them about our trip, and they thought that was just grand. Linda admitted to our new found English friend that she was a little intimidated by going up to the Prince of Wales, and the English lady says, “Oh don’t be dear. We were up there yesterday and there were no tiaras or bowties to be seen anywhere.” Her husband remarked that they were some of the “smartest” dressers there and they were in shorts. The lady remarked that she even saw one person who was without shoes and she was quite surprised. We felt a whole lot better.
Since we have two days to visit, we decided to take a tour of the “village,” (photos 3 & 4), get something to eat, walk around the lake a bit, and generally see what was happening. We were able to see the camping grounds, walked along a stream, and had a very nice afternoon. I’ll let some of the pictures tell the rest of the story (photos 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15). I think you’ll agree that Waterton Park is some nice place to visit.
One of the things that jump out at you when you visit Canada is the use of two languages on everything, for example the explanation about Cameron Falls, which we visited (photo 16). It’s on soda cans, every place you look, English and French, and it must cost the country a fortune. I have always been a person who supports diversity and respecting different cultures but having two official languages may be taking this idea too far. It would seem to make more sense to have the French in Quebec to learn English over some established period of time or the English to learn French, but trying to conduct all business in two languages in just not practical. Since the United States is so close to Canada and since English has become the unofficial language of business, worldwide, converting to English would seem to make more sense. Anyway, that’s just my observation and may be another example of an American poking his nose in where it’s not wanted or needed.
We took a ride on the bike out to Cameron Lake, a nice ride through a deep valley and forest area. Cameron Lake is a small lake with lots of recreational activities for those who want to take the time (photo 17). There’s fly-fishing for those who know how and a fellow actually caught a Brook Trout while we were there (photo 18). There’s canoeing, hiking, swimming, bicycling, you name it, there seem to be plenty of activity here (photo 19,20,21,22,23, & 24), and we were told it’s also the best place to come see a bear, early in the morning. It also a nice place to just sit and read a book.
We head back to the village in time to check into the Prince of Wales. It’s an interesting place, built in the old style, five stories with no elevator to speak of, and rooms on the smallish side. The last four pictures are of the Prince of Wales, the lobby, and the view from our room the first night (photos 25,26,27,28).