After a long, strenuous ride from Sparwood to Waterton, we finally got our first rest day! First off I want to acknowledge Scotty Mac’s fine planning for this trip.. If you look at our first ten days by no means did Scotty wean us into this unbelievable test of endurance. I would actually call some parts of it cruel and unusual punishment… I honestly think coming into this ride Scotty thought he was still a 22 year old varsity athlete, planning 140km days through the treacherous terrain of the Rockies. To be quite frank, our bodies absolutely despised us coming into Waterton! Scotty aka “the Filipino Lance Armstrong” literally almost killed us after these first 10 days..
One thing that has been killing Ryan during the last few days of this trip is my attempt to practice and learn French.. Having ten hours a day to bike you often have to find ways to entertain yourself and I figured that I might as well brush up on my French before we get to Quebec (figuring that French women would love a well spoken, young B.C boy). This wouldn’t be annoying to Ryan if I knew more the 8 words in French… Putting it lightly my French is atrocious.. For an hour everyday I ride up to beside Ryan and try to converse with him and frustrating him so much that he is forced to pick up his pace and ride 100 metres ahead of me. To make things worse, throughout Alberta there are countless historical sites that gives tourists a brief rundown on the significance of the specific place and I typically look at the French description, reading the paragraph at the top of my lungs, completely butchering it. I don’t think the guys like it very much, but I think at this rate I will be teaching French 12 by next year!
Even though we had been gassed entering Waterton, I must admit it was worth taking our first rest day in Waterton. Waterton National Park is by far one of the coolest places I have ever been to. As we biked in, the boys, who have all been there before, watched my expression entering this town that is placed in between the Rocky Mountain range. I think my jaw was dragging on the ground in front of me for the last 10km entering Waterton.
With our day off Captain Scotty, seeing that we were very sore and being sympathetic to our broken bodies, decided to plan a modest 2km hike. What he forgot to mention was the incline was at a modest 90 percent incline! We literally dragged our bodies up to the summit. With our slow pace we still would have made it to the top in under 45 minutes, but captain Scotty, who had worked a summer at the National park on the trails crew years before, legged behind and stopped at every wooden step to remind us he had built it.. Just a little bit annoying!.. After this occurrence, we voted Scotty out as captain and made Richy, who is pretty much a Waterton local, the new captain and this changed the whole day! The view from Bear’s hump summit was incredible, looking over the whole town, Waterton lake and the Rockie’s surrounding it.. Definitely the coolest thing I have seen on the trip thus far, (discounting Scotty running from that black bear, which might have matched this view).
One thing about Waterton that I found was similar to Comox was the amount wildlife that freely walked around the town. Comox, is well known for the amount of deer that are around the town, and how at times, these animals take crosswalks to avoid traffic. Mountain sheep, deer, and gophers freely walk around Waterton. So while checking out the town, when Ry had noticed a family of deer laying on the front lawn of a house, we were by no means shy when taking pictures with it.. Richy, our new and knowledgeable leader, sat back and watched us Mackinnon boys snapping pictures with these friendly, innocent animals. About five minutes later, still walking around the town we see a sign of a deer attacking a human.. Richy, seeing the sign, then decided to inform us that Waterton has had an issue over the last year with deer attacking humans. He must have forgot to mention that when Ry and myself were literally spooning with a family of deer five minutes prior to that.
Needless to say, the day off was well needed and the town was so cool. Richy was kind enough to have us in his Cabin for two nights and I am definitely coming back to this town again for a longer stay!