When I came up out of Yellowstone, Bozeman, Montana, was the first big population center I hit. I wanted to mention and say thanks to this yogurt/coffee shop that was open till midnight, enabling me to relax and work in a comfortable space. It was only a couple weeks old when I arrived. Hope it does well.
Culture on College St.
Next up was Butte, Montana, where I had a super pizza here, at the Broadway Cafe 302 East Broadway Street.
And yes, Butte is as adorably bleak looking as that. But it has real charm. This what an old folks home looks like.
The one on the right.
And a general shout out to, I hate to admit, Starbucks, who beyond being ubiquitously reliable, always provides that one thing I need more than anything else when working: big windows. If what's out them is beautiful, great, but it can be a parking lot as long as the walls are mostly transparent. I wish I could be one of those back of the dark restaurant writers, but that just makes me drowsy. The image above was from a Starbucks along this path towards the Canadian Rockies and I think some kids were having fun with the pins. Or not!
Next up was Missoula. I used to shower exclusively at the Y, but I've only used their services once this trip so far (I have showered more than once, fyi). The facility in Missoula was, as usual, top notch. Not sure if they've all updated their branding like this, but the whole place felt brand new.
"Daddy, I have an idea," is how I imagined this project started when one of the kids saw their barn from the freeway coming home on the bus one day.
Whoops! Almost forgot back in Butte, one more charming local stop: The Berkeley Pit
Also charming. Though I think this was Bozeman.
This was on the way to the Glacier, just after stopping for fresh cherries.
Here was a weird thing. Before you start into Glacier, an American National Park, there's an official Canadian welcome center. Turns out their connecting National Park, Waterton Lakes, combined with ours is known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
This is from the Solomon vs Baby Tree morning. We camped in GNP and he had a lot of fun exploring the campsite. He normally eschews the nature stops, preferring back alleys or park benches, places he can score spider webs (his favorite food).
This is what he does, lit by lantern, while I work at night in Hobox.
And then, after Glacier and the ordeal at the border, the first little town is Cardston, which turns out to be the hometown of Fay Wray! Here is her lovely tribute :( The town is rather small, so when she was born here in 1907, it must have been her farm and the saloon.
WARNING! Fill up your tank in Babb, Montana, or before, because Canada uses metric gas, which is somehow WAY more expensive then real, American gas!
Eventually you will get to a city. And that city will be Calgary, Alberta. And you will see something like this if you accidentally drive to this weird business park high and south of the city. My original plan was to check this place out, mainly to see if their bookstores had bande dessinee (they don't) and then check out Edmonton because, well, I was in the neighborhood. After Edmonton, I'd be lateral to Jasper National Park, so I'd head west into it then down to Banff and out towards Vancouver. However, I was anxious to get back to GlacierNP-like environs. Luckily, every soul I questioned said, "don't bother going up there, Edmonton sucks." So we crashed here ...
That is the high ski jump from the Calgary Olympics that Solomon is considering trying out. The Olympic compound was cool and still very active.
I play soccer in L.A. with someone who I think was created in this building. He is a gymnast for Cirque de Soleil and told me he was from Calgary.
Also on the premises was the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.
And so we turned West towards Banff ... and the real adventure began!
Next up ...