OK, before we started this morning I put a new fix in for the tablets and phones, thanks Clint. If the story doesn't load for the day, there is now a "Reload page?" button. Click this button to force the browser to return to the server and reload the changed page instead of using the page in the browser cache. If the page comes up without the "Reload page?" button, you may have to revert to the cache clearing process described on Saturday 10 September. Search Google for instructions on how to clear the cache on your particular browser.
Today was a real experience. If you have been looking at the GPS Tracker page, you must be wondering what we have been up to. If you recall from yesterday, we left Banff so as to avoid being in rain at 2 degrees C. So we wake up this morning, it has been raining most of the night and the forecast temperature is 7 degrees, at least that's better that 2, and the rain is supposed to be stopping then another shower later in the day. Planning tonight's stop took great importance as the forecasts through to Browning, Montana did not look good with rain and possible snow forecast.
Anyway, after holding off leaving until 9:00am, we left in just very light rain for a look around Calgary then on the road to Fort MacLeod. No sooner on the road than it started to rain steadily with the temperature remaining about the same. Then further south we went, the heaver the rain got and the temperature kept dropping to the lowest of 1 degree. Yes it was cold but no problem, we can do this. Finally through USA immigration after being left to wait in the rain for our turn for at least 15 minutes, we were back on the road approaching Babb and our turn to Browning across the mountains. All the while the white rain clouds hung on the mountain in front of us until finally they lifted. Unfortunately, the white remained and there was snow, not high up on the slopes but right at and below road level. With it apparently clearing and not too heavy, we continued on climbing the range but the cloud built up in front of us and the snow started again. Cars coming towards us came out of the gloom like a thick fog and that was enough for me. I don't ride ice and don't want to try so back to Babb for some accommodation. One motel in a little town no chance, too many had stopped before us. Headed further south to St Mary on the off chance but no luck, no option but to head back to Canada and Cardston. At the border, they ask "How long since you were in Canada", "2 hours" was my reply. So here we are, hoping that the cold front will be gone about mid-morning and the roads safe to travel.
We did do some touristy things today though. Took a look around Calgary, the city centre, the Calgary Tower then out to the site of the Calgary Stampede for a look see and some photos for you, including one of a black squirrel. From Calgary, the next stop was the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. Yes, it was as violent as it sounds. For over 6,000 years the local Blackfoot native people had a custom where they drove an entire herd of buffalo off the sandstone cliffs then butchered them for food and skins. It is named after a young brave who became trapped between the animals and the cliffs. When they found him with his skull crushed by the weight of the buffalo carcasses they named the place "Head-Smashed-In". A very well defined and interesting presentation and a terrific place to look out over the plain. Unfortunately it was raining the whole time, and also unfortunate that we stayed there for two hours, we may have got through to Browning if we had been quicker but it was very interesting. Apparently the area below the cliffs is metres deep in skulls, bones, native tools etc all buried in centuries of accumulated soil and rocks which is an active archaeological site.
Last thing, much excitement when what we believe was a wolf, crossed the road in front of us, can't prove it as it was raining, surprise, and the camera was in protective custody.
See you tomorrow.
421 klms today, total to date 1490 klms.