In Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

Glacier National Park in the US and Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada together form the International Peace Park. Glacier National Park had 150 glaciers back in the 1850s. Today there’s about 25 left (and yet Trump doesn’t believe in climate change). The area is home to black bears, grizzly bears, mountain goats, long horn sheep, elk, deer, marmots, squirrels… We get to see a lot of wildlife while walking the Hidden Lake and Avalanche Lake trails. Unfortunately Montana has a lot of wildfires burning so the sky is filled with smoke, transforming landscapes in just silhouettes. After a full day of exploration through the Going-to-the-sun road (built in 1932), we drive to Whitefish on the west side of the park.

As we reach the town Sully starts shutting down its electricals. Windows, radio, fan, signals, all slowly stop working, and as we park in the street the battery is fully gone. We decide to go have a beer, sleep parked in the street and call roadside assistance in the morning. They come and jumpstart Sully and we head to the only mechanic open on a Saturday. He can’t take us and recommend a garage south of the town. As we drive and want to make it left at a four-way stop, Ben puts the left signal on and Sully completely shuts down in the middle of the road. The locals instantly rock up to push the van out of the way. We call roadside assist again and get towed. The towing operator is a redneck with a gun, he backs up straight in our poor back bumper, he lifts the van but make it fall on the towing arm, he then tows it from the front which is apparently bad for the transmission (it’s a rear-wheel drive, so gears are moving but fluid is not)… We make it to the garage finally and the Meyer family takes care of it. Turns out, the auxiliary battery overcharged and is fried, the main battery is fine but empty, the alternator is dead, the isolator is dead and a lot of connections are fried. All work is done by the evening but as we happily drive out the electrical starts slowing and shutting down again, the battery gage is at the minimum, so we turn around and make it back quickly to the garage. It’s the new alternator, dead. It’s late and shops are closed now, so we spend the night at the garage and get a third alternator the next day. With church in the morning, works gets finished in the afternoon, but it seems we got a working alternator this time. It’s rainy so we go see the movie “Dunkirk” (Dunkerque in french).

Next day we are back in Glacier national park! This time we go to hike the Highline trail, a 21km walk along the Continental divide, offering amazing views of the park including the Grinnel Glacier from the top. At the end of the 8 hours hike we are rewarded when spotting a black bear eating berries.

On a last day in the International Peace Park we cross the border and drive around the Waterton Lakes park in Canada.

 

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