Monday, October 31, 2011

Rags to Riches

To begin the trek back to the south, we left Browning around 8am.  The Lord blessed us with a gorgeous sunrise to send us on our way.  As I have said a thousand times, it was BEAUTIFUL!!


To start out the driving, Brittny took the first leg.  She drove us for a few hours to Dillon, MT where we made a gas stop.  Then it was time for me to take over.  I actually drove the rest of the way.  It was an easy drive, but now I am plum tuckered out.  I guess the combo of yesterday’s hike, not much sleep, and hours of driving will do that to you.   Oh and here our pictures from entering into Idaho and Utah. 


Around 7pm we finally rolled into Park City, UT.  This town is so nice!!  I guess when you have had the Olympics, it has to be ha!  Well when we checked into the resort, we got a pleasant surprise.  Our room had gotten upgraded to this shmancy two bedroom, full kitchen suite.  The night before a guy had been very rude to Brittny when she called to let them know we would be past check in before we arrived.  I guess the manager felt bad for us and bumped us up.  No complaints here.  This place is spectacular.  I will try to take some pictures to show this puppy off :)

I can’t wake up tomorrow and drink a big cup of coffee on the porch and gaze out at the mountains.  Ahhhh! The life!  Also this is major culture shock.  Browning was almost third world-ish and this is like life of the rich and famous.  Crazy!!  

Bears, Bears....

October 29th
Wow, what an amazing day!  First off I would like to play a song for you…

So yea, I bet you know what we saw today…BEARS!!!  Well we started the day around 7:45am when Kerry came to pick Lindsay and me up from the trailer.  We made him make a coffee stop at the gas station and then we were off to hike Many Glaciers.

As we drove into the park we stopped several times to take pictures.  Also we were on the lookout for animals.  Well as we drove into an area where some summer cabins were, we got quite the surprise…GRIZZLEY BEARS!!  Yes ma’am, a sow and three cubs.   They had just walked out from a hiking trail and were rubbing on some logs.  (Bears have itchy skin too!)  They were soooo cute, but I was so thankful we were in a truck and not in the middle of a trail.  We followed them for a while and took lots of pictures.  We even chatted it up with a park ranger as we watched them graze in the woods looking for food.  I could not have planned a better way to see grizzly bears…standing behind a truck that is behind a park ranger truck, taking pictures :)









After we took a bajillion pictures, we decided it was time to hike.  So Linds and I followed Kerry down towards a trail.  After a few minutes of walking we saw some moose tracks, so we off roaded it and followed the tracks down to a lake.  The lake was beautiful, but we didn’t get to see a moose :(  Oh well.  We then got back on the trail and went on our way.  Along the trail Kerry noticed a few mountain sheep, goats, and even a boar griz bear (a boy one) up on the mountain ridges.  Kerry had brought all of his high tech photography equipment so we were able to zoom in and see them.  It was sweet.






Also on the trails we stopped off at a few different lakes (Red Rock, Bullmoose,… ).  We also saw a gorgeous waterfall called Red Rock Falls.  Parts of it has iced over which made it look like a winter wonderland.  Actually as you can see from the pictures, there was a good bit of snow.  I felt like I was walking through the North Pole and that at any minute Buddy the Elf or Santa may pop out.  Ha!!  Being up here in the cold weather has put me in the Christmas spirit, too bad it is just Halloween ha!!







We got done hiking close to 4pm.  As we were heading out we ran back into the sow and her cubs as they were walking a lot the mountain ridge near the road.  Along with a few other on lookers, we watched them graze for food and eventually come down off the mountain.  They were not scared at all that 15ish people were standing around, taking pictures as they walked right in front of us on the road.  INCREDIBLE!!! Man, what a day!!






After our exciting day of hiking, Kerry dropped us off at the trailer.   The rest of the night we were pretty boring.  We just did laundry and packed up all of our stuff.  Unfortunately this adventure in Montana had to end.  In some ways I am so excited to get back to Jackson and Birmingham, but in others I never want to leave.  This month has been incredible and I am so thankful for each moment of it!!

Picture Time

October 27th
I can’t believe this was my last day at Blackfeet Community Hospital.  This month flew bye!! Man but what a good month it has been!!

So at work today I did the normal inpatient stuff…fill pyxius machines, make up some IVs, go on rounds, counsel patients on the medications they are being discharged with, and whatever else comes up.  It was a great day!  I really like working here and especially when I am working with Aaron.  He is really good at explaining things and asking challenging questions.  He is a great pharmacist and a great teacher!
After work we went over to Kerry Nickou’s house for dinner.  He is a PA and nurse practioner who has worked at the hospital for 23 years.  Also he is phenomenal photographer.  Check out his website, http://tripledividephoto.com/. 

 Pretty much every month he invites the pharmacy students over to cook out and to watch a slide show of his work.  Normally Harold comes, but he was off this week to get some stuff done on the farm.  So the three of us kept the tradition and picked up some chips and headed out to his cabin in East Glacier. 

We had a great night!  His photography is amazing and he has some neat stories from his days out in Montana.  Actually he told Lindsay and I he would go hiking with us tomorrow.  He said we would go to Many Glaciers because that is where he normally sees a lot of animals.  Brittny was invited too, but she didn’t feel like going…so tomorrow Linds, Kerry, and myself plan to the trails bright and early!!

Just Dance...

October 27th
Happy Thursday!  Work was same ole, same ole.  Just another day making IVs, counseling, and saving lives…ha!

After work we were invited to go over to Ronnell’s house.  Her mom wanted to cook for us and for us to come hang out with their family.  Her family is wonderful and full of so much joy.  When we walked in everyone welcomed us…it has both pairs of her grandparents, her two brothers, her sister, her cousin, and her mom.

Her mom had cooked a delicious dinner of chicken, cranberry sauce, rice, stuffing, and cake.  We were pumped for a home cooked meal!!  Then after dinner we got the full tour of the house.  THEN we danced the night away on their Wii Just Dance.  It was hilarious because of us were dancing – Me, Lindsay, Brittny, Shandelle, Jaime, Ronnell, Grandma Annie, and all her siblings (including her lil bro Preston that we renamed Uncle Leroy ha!).  Ronnell took lots of pictures and videos, so when I get a hold of them I will post them.

After a long time of dancing we played Taboo.  IT WAS HILARIOUS.  I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard.  I mean when you have a game like that you are bound to have funny comments made along with some people who just can’t give good descriptions, which makes for a side-splitting time.  Oh goodness things that I will always remember from this game will be the word Carrot (its round), what horses do --- Giddy Up!, and another name for lady bugs is woman bug.  Hahaha!!

Slacker

October 26th
Ok to start this off, I must be honest…I normally try type up my blog every night so I do not forget the details of the day.  However, for this I am several days behind.  My bad.  So here goes nothing… I will try to recap to the best of my ability.
So I went to work.  It was great. 

After work a whole crew of us went out to dinner at Ramsey’s.  It was Brit, Linds, Andrea (our PA student roomie), Shandelle (one of the technicians), Gary (the head pharmacist), Jamie (a pharmacist), and Aaron (a pharmacist).  It was great as usual.  We had a superb time chatting and I had a phenomenal veggie burger…yummm!  I give the night an A+

After dinner, Shandelle stuck around and hung out with us for awhile.  She taught us about some Blackfeet culture.  She told us about the different religious ceremonies, like Beaver Bundles and Sweat Lodges.   It was so interesting! Basically those that still follow the Blackfeet religion are very prayerful to the creator and to the spirits of animals and the land.  It was neat to hear all about it. 

Lindsay and I then told her about what we believe as Christians.  Shandelle had grown up in a Catholic church so she had some exposure, but didn’t know too much.  It was such an educational night ha! Learning about Blackfeet and Christianity :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just another day...

October 25th 
First off, Happy Birthday Megan!! Welcome to the 24 club…it’s grand!  Well to celebrate the birth of my good friend, I went to work and sold drugs :)  Actually I primarily made IVs and ran back and forth from the pharmacy and the ward.  It was fun.

Ummmm I don’t really know what else to say about today… After work I worked out and now I am chilling at the trailer.  Linds went to go see Paranormal Activity with Jamie (pharmacist) and Ronnel (technician).  I thought about going, but I watched the trailer and decided not.  I wanted to be able to sleep tonight ha!  

In-patient

October 24th

Switch it, change it!  This week you can call me IV girl, aka in-patient.  This week I will primarily be focusing on the patients admitted into the hospital.  I will review their charts, review their prescriptions, fill their meds, make their IVs, and fill the pyxius machines.   This week will be the most academically challenge compared to the rest, but I am so ready for it.  I am ready to learn! (aaaand I sound like a nerd, good!) 

Today I am shadowing Aaron.  He is the best to learn from in this setting because he lets you do everything, but talks you through it.  He let me work on the computer for a while, then he helped refresh my memory on the techniques to make IVs.  It is amazing how I had forgotten so much since first year.  I have some major studying to do before June when I take the mother of all tests, the NAPLEX.  Yikes!

After work I hit up the gym with one of the technicians, Shandelle.  After we worked out, we went over to Pedro’s house to watch the World Series and to eat dinner.  Pedro is one of the pharmacists at the hospital and he has everyone over every Monday night to watch football (except this week).  He makes awesome salads!! Yumm!  We had a lot of fun :)
So yea, good day!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reconnected

October 23rd

Happy Sunday from Kalispell, MT.   At the moment I am sitting in Starbucks updating my blog and answering emails.  It is so nice to have internet right now.  It is kind of sad how much we rely on it these days ha!  I can remember being little and we didn’t even have a computer and now having minimal access to internet seems like a big deal.  However, in the other hand it is nice to be disconnected.

So today we went to church with Gary and his family.  They go to a small church in downtown Kalispell.  It was so nice to go to church since it has been since the end of September.  We went to Sunday school and then to the service.  I really liked the pastor.  He was this funny, quirky man who was just down to earth and had sound, biblical preaching.  So refreshing :)

After church the three of us said good bye to Gary and his family, then grabbed lunch, and made a Walmart stop.  When we get back to Browning we are going to have dinner with Jamie, one of the pharmacists we work with.  So yea, today has been chill, but great!!

Kalispell

October 22nd 
Today we got up early and headed to Kalispell to hang out with Harold and Pam.  The drive once again was BEAUTIFUL, but yet different than two weeks prior.  The leaves on the trees are changing colors quickly. 
When we rolled into the Clarke farm, Pam showed Brit and I all that she is doing to renovate their kitchen while Harold took Lindsay to show her different things on the farm.  When they got back we took a few pictures with Harold, then we went to grab brunch at Pam’s favorite restaurant, Echo Lake CafĂ©.




Brunch was soooo good.  I had eggs, grits, and coffee cake.  Brit had huckleberry pancakes and Linds had rancher style eggs and potatoes.  We ended up staying there for a few hours because Harold gets quite chatty at times.  We didn’t mind because this was our last day with Harold since he has next week (our last) off. 
After brunch Pam and Harold took us on a tour of Flathead Lake.  We drove all the way around it, but we made lots of stops.  Our first stop was in Big Horn where we took pictures along the lake shore and then stopped in at a local brewery.  I am not a big beer drinker so I just tasted a few, but we did get a tour of the brewery part to see how it is all made.  Main thing I learned was the yeast is a big deal.   “Watch out for the yeasty beasties!!”  At the brewery we made friends with Glen the bartender, Chris a seasonal worker, and the owner of the place.  They were all so nice and it was great to chat with locals about what it is like to live and work there.  They all had such interesting stories…living in Hawaii all the way to wanting to me a biologist. 
The next few stops were just picture taking opportunities…






Our last stop was at this small general store to buy elk and buffalo jerky.  I actually didn’t buy any, but I did buy some huckleberry wine.  Yummm!  After that we headed back to Pam and Harold’s to get the truck before going over to Gary, the head pharmacist at the hospital in Browning.  He had invited us to go out to dinner, and to stay the night with his family, and go to church on Sunday.

For dinner we drove into Whitefish to eat at Mambo’s (that same place we went last time).  Pam and Harold actually came to join us which was fun.  Even though this is where we ate two weeks ago, we were pumped since last time we just got an appetizer.  Not this time!!  Between the three of us we shared a salad, egg plant parmesan, and some chicken pasta dish.   It was delish!!  Man we ate WAY too much today ha!

After dinner, back at Gary’s, Gary showed us where we would be sleeping…his decked out camper.  Ha!  At first I thought this kind of weird, but it was actually really nice.  We were able to have our own space and not have to worry about being loud.  So, neat experience and what a great day!!

Last Day in Heart Butte

October 21st
Today was my last day at the Heart Butte clinic.  I was so sad because I have loved it out here! 

One interesting thing about today was that Lisa, the front desk receptionist, wasn’t there and there was no one filing in for her.  So that meant we all had to do her job.  I found it fun running to the front when I heard the phone to answer and schedule appointments.  :)  Lisa had taken the day off to attend the funeral of Elouise Cobell, the native who sued the government and won years ago.  They had been good friends, so she was helping out with the funeral all day.  So with Lisa being gone and it being Friday, it was a busy day!

When I got back to the trailer, Linds, Brit, and I mapped out our plans for traveling home.  We changed up a few things.  We cut a day off or two off of Park City, UT and added a day to both Santa Fe, NM and Dallas, TX.  With all of this, we should be back in the south Nov. 8th.  Yayy!  I will definitely miss it out here, but I will be ready to be home.   

Where Did the Day Go?!

October 20th

Is it bad that I can’t really remember details of today?  Alzheimer’s? Yikes…well I will take a stab at it anyways…

This morning I rode out to Heart Butte with one of the PAs, Paul.  He is an ex-park ranger/paramedic turned PA.  He is a pretty cool person and I really enjoyed chatting it up with him on our rides.

Today at the pharmacy in Heart Butte was splendid.  I really enjoy working with Stacey.  She is just real chill, down to earth, and is a great pharmacist.  I just love how she knows all of her patients and they all respect her, even though she isn’t a native.  I would love to one day practice in a similar setting if ever possible.
 Also another great thing about today was when we were looking up clinical questions.  I really enjoy using my knowledge base to figure out situations instead of only making sure the right pills are in the right bottle.  Also since the Heart Butte pharmacy acts as in-patient and out-patient which gives the pharmacist a large role in the patient’s medical care.  Stacey is able to walk across the hall to discuss medication options and also to ask for a refill for a patient.  Also since the clinic isn’t swamped, she is able to counsel each patient on the important facts of the medicine.  This is rare in larger pharmacies, yet is such an important part of pharmacy.  In a perfect world every pharmacy would function this way…in a perfect world ha!

After work the cleaning bug bit me and I cleaned up the kitchen and hallway before Brittny and Lindsay got back from the hospital.  Lindsay ended up going on a night hike with Jim the pharmacist who took Brit and I the other night since she wasn’t able the other day.  So while Linds was gone, Brit and I went to Subway to grab dinner because they had forgotten to pick up our hospital dinner…oh well.  Afterwards, Shandelle and Ronelle (two technicians from the hospital) came over to hang out with Brit and I.  We ended up watching the Last Song.  :)  So yea, good day and good night!! Well I’m out…

Insert Clever Title

October 19th

Happy Wednesday! So on Wednesday’s the Heart Butte clinic is not open, so I went back to the hospital for the day to work.  When I got there Jim, the in-patient pharmacist, asked if I would help him today because Lindsay’s sprained ankle was bothering her, so it would be better if I ran around the hospital.  I was totally up for it.  The only problem was I had no clue what I was doing since I had not been trained. 

Jim ended up saying he would train me later because he needed to take care of some stuff first.  Soooo then I helped Harold work on some jokes and props for the going away/retirement party for a few of the doctors.  Out of some rubber piping I made huge eyebrows for Harold to wear while he spoke to make fun of Dr. Rhueman.  It was so funny!  Then a little while later I ran to the grocery store with Gary the nurse anesthetist to go pick up the cake and ice cream before the party.  So yea I didn’t do much this morning ha!

After the party and lunch I helped fill for a while and then Jim started teaching me about in-patient pharmacy.  We filled the pyxius machines, made some IVs, and fiddled around on the computer.  It was grand.  Then I don’t really remember where the afternoon went because before I knew it, it was time to head home.

After work Brittny and I met up with one of the technicians, Shandelle, to work out at the community diabetes clinic gym.  Then Shandelle came over to hangout with us.  It was so fun.  Now I am blogging and watching an episode of Felicity before I hit the hay.  :)

Night Hike!

October 18th

Today was a great day.  First off I didn’t have to be at the hospital until 9 to leave for the clinic in Heart Butte.  Also the PA I rode with is hilarious.  He told me and the PA student, Andrea, funny native stories the entire way.  For example, he told us about the creator, Napi who one day saw dogs swimming in one of his lakes.  For some reason dogs weren’t allowed to get their butts wet, so before they swam they had lined their butts along so the shore.  So when none of the dogs were paying attention, Napi came and switch them all around.  Then Napi went up to a cliff and yelled at them to get out of his lake.  The dogs were so terrified that they didn’t notice they put the wrong butts on.  So this is why when two or more dogs come together they sniff each other’s butt to see if it is theirs.  Haha!! He told several more, but this was my favorite.

Once we got to the clinic Stacey and I had a steady morning that flew by.  Before I knew it, it was time for lunch.  For lunch I sat in the break room with a few of the nurses and got to know them.  They were talking about a native who passed away this past Sunday from cancer.  This lady is well known and respected because at one point she sued the government for misusing the ANI’s money (? American Native Indians?) and she WON!!  She is from Browning and it basically a hero around here.  So it was interesting to learn about her life.

After lunch the pharmacy side of the clinic was slow so I went and sat in on a few patient visits with the PA and PA student.  The two I saw were men who made up stories about being in pain (one “sprained” his ankle and the other fell off his horse).  Basically they were drug seeking.  Jon the PA has no tolerance for that so he was good at taking care of them without prescribing narcotics. 

When I got home I ate an early dinner because I was starved and then I hung out with our other roommate, the PA student until Brittny came home.  Linds had gotten the opportunity to go in a couple of surgeries, so I knew she wouldn’t be home until later.  When Britt got home we both changed into hiking clothes because Jim, one of the Browning pharmacists, said he was going to take us on a night hike up the Continental Divide trail in East Glacier/Glacier Park.  When I first heard we were going, I was pumped, but then people kept telling us how dumb it was for us to go into the mountains with the grizzlies out and about.  Grizzlies are most active in the fall because they are trying to eat up everything before they hibernate for the winter.  Also this year the berry crop did not come in as well, so they are even more active because they can’t find enough food.  So with all of this info being thrown at me, I was sort of nervous of what we were getting ourselves into.

Around 7 Jim stopped by the trailer to pick us up in his little truck and we headed west a little ways past East Glacier.  As we got closer Jim kept telling us different stories that made me think, man why are we doing this again ha!  So as we turned onto the dirt road that would lead us to the trail, we noticed these massive puddles.  Jim’s approach to getting through them was to just floor it.  Well by the third or fourth puddle his truck started making funny sounds.  Jim reassured us it was no big deal, but that he was just going to park it there and we would begin hiking from that spot and so we did. 

Since it was dark outside we had to all use headlamps to help us see.  It was pretty neat to be trucking through the tall grass and through the woods only by headlamp light.  However, it was also terrifying because you never knew what was lurking around us.  We have been taught that the best way to stay away from bears is to be loud as you hike.  So we chatted the entire way.  Also we had two cans of bear spray with us just in case we did stumble upon a bear.  As long as you do not startle a bear, you should be fine, but you also just never know.  So hiking is always risky in these parts and especially in the fall and at night.  Thus my nerves were alittle rattled ha!

About 45 minutes or so into the hike we reached a open range that was up on a big hill that allowed us to see the plains and also to see all of the gorgeous stars.  When you are out in the middle of nowhere like we were, the stars are so BRIGHT and it is awesome.  So all of the nerves of hiking through the unknown was totally worth it to see the view and the stars.  Jim then gave us the choice to keep going or to turn back.  Brittny and I both agreed that we were proud of ourselves to do what we had and to start heading back since it was already 9pm.  Even though he would have liked to continue, he was totally fine with our decision.  Actually he told us most students don’t like to go on night hikes and he was proud of us for going.  Wooo hoo!

When we finally reached the truck we realized we had a small problem…the car wouldn’t start.  Jim looked under the hood for a while.  Then he tried to restart it over and over until it finally kicked in.  We made it back through the massive puddles until we hit the very last one.  Right after we went through the last one the truck’s engine went out again from all of the water.  It was steaming like crazy.  We let it rest for a few minutes then Jim started restarting it over and over until eventually it turned back on.  Whew!  I thought we were going to have to call someone to come get us ha!  By the time we actually got back to the trailer the truck was acting as if nothing had ever happened.  Thank goodness!!

So yea, crazy day :) but it was a great one full of adventure.  Now I am back in the trailer about to head to bed and thanking the Lord for keeping us safe out in the wilderness.  PTL!!  

Heart Butte

October 17th

Switch it change it, time to rearrange it.  (Thanks UCA camp for that cheer…baha!)  So today and the rest of the week I will be working out in Heart Butte, which is a tiny community about 30 miles from Browning.  It is just a small clinic with a small pharmacy.  Each morning I head over to the hospital around 8 to meet up with whatever physician is driving out there for the day.  Today I rode with a nurse practitioner named Pam.  She was very nice, but it was super hard to carry on a conversation because she can’t hear very well.  I would ask her a question and then her answer would have nothing to do with what I asked or she was just sit there.   So the drive there and back was interesting, I guess.

While I was in Heart Butte I worked with a pharmacist named Stacey.  She was great to work with.  She would let me do the computer part of the job and then counsel all of the patients, all 20 of them.  Yea this place is S-L-O-W compared to Browning or working in a Walgreens.  I read a native teen magazine and a Martha Stewart magazine while I was there too.  I hope tomorrow is a bit busier because I will be bored stiff if not.  YIKES!

One nice thing about being the person to work in Heart Butte is that you get off earlier.  Today I was back at the trailer around 4:15…awesome!!  I came home and chilled for awhile then worked out before Linds and Britt got off from working in the hospital.  Now that is the life!

When I got back from working out, Jamie (one of the pharmacist) came by to see if we wanted to go see her ranch on the outskirts of town.  Of course we did, so the three of us piled in her car and off we went.  As we pulled on your property we were created by free-range cows, deer, and two precious Scottie dogs (Bella and Tux).  She has this cute little home near her parent’s ranch.  I think this weekend we may go over and spend the night with her.  SLEEPOVER!!

After our field trip to Jamie’s, we went over to a pharmacist’s house who we have not yet met because he has been on vacation.  Pedro is known for having everyone over every Monday for pizza and football, so even without him being there the tradition remained.  One of the PAs at the hospital is house sitting for Pedro so he had the whole crew over.  It was real fun to hangout with everyone outside of the hospital, especially since I wasn’t there today.  I really like everyone who works out here.  Such interesting people with crazy life stories!!

Well I am off to bed to dream about bears.  Andrea, our roommate, has been telling us her scary bear encounters.  So yea I bet I will have a dream about a grizzly chasing me…  : /  Sweet dreams or not ha!

Waterton Park

October 16th
Oh where to begin!  Today was FABULOUS!  It all began by waking up in my tree house type bed (remember the lofted bed in the B&B).  We awoke to the smell of a delish breakfast being made downstairs.  So we all rolled out of bed and headed down to the breakfast area.  I had a fancy French toast concoction and it was good.  Linds had the same and Britt had some eggs and pancakes.

While we ate breakfast we made friends with the friendly and quirky Canadian named Tom.  He had wanted to get away for a few days and had been chilling at this B&B since Thursday.  He had actually been staying in the room across from us which was a shock to us since we thought we were the only ones staying there.  He was actually shocked to find out we were there too. Haha!

Actually Brittny woke up in the middle of the night to some real trippy music playing.  Come to find out Tom had stayed up late and since he didn’t know we were across the hall, he had to music playing pretty loud.  It was really funny as we were realizing that we were hall neighbors.  We had a great time chatting it up with him and hearing about his life as a counselor. 


Around 11am we headed out to Waterton Park to go exploring.  We had a blast just driving around, finding a neat spot, then exploring, and taking lots of pictures.  We went along some lakes, creeks, hills, mountains, and what not. It is just gorgeous out here!  I know I keep saying that, but seriously breath taking!! 




We hiked around this one area called Red Rock Canyon.  It is where a stream has carved a Canyon down through Red Rocks, clever name, right!?  We actually climbed down the small canyon and walked along the stream.  It was so much fun. 





Afterwards we headed down a trail to go find a waterfall that was about 2 miles down the trail.  As we walked we were real chatty and were singing random songs to help scare off bears.  You are supposed to be loud so you don’t come up on them and startle them.  Normally if they hear you, they will go the opposite way…unless you startle them because then you are in trouble.  So about ½ mile into the hike we look up and there are 4 elk-ish looking animals starring at us.  They were standing on the trail about 100 feet from us.  They stood there for a bit, and then the biggest one stepped forward as to tell us now just turn around and leave us along.  We were oh dang, time to go.  Cheryl our nursing friend had told us that they would do that and that just meant you need to just calmly head back.  So we did just as she said and went back to the car.  I was really bummed because I really wanted to see the waterfall.  Boo Hiss!


When we were almost back to our car we ended up running into a small family of mountain goats.  We were pretty close and were able to get a few good shots of them.  To help avoid them we just went through the tall grass off the trail to get back to the car.  It was weird that within 30 minutes we had two run-ins with animals…crazy!

We still wanted to get some more hiking in so we headed further into the park.  On the way we made a stop at the Prince of Wales Hotel which had already closed for the season.  We got out and walked all around it and I even climbed up a fire escape to stand on one of its porches to get a good view.  It is located up on this hill that overlooks one of the lakes in the valley of the mountains.  It was stunning!! However, it was extremely windy so we didn’t stick around for too long.



Next we drove around the city of Waterton even though most of it was closed up for the season.  It is a cute town and you can see that it was be so fun to come here in the summer.  As we drove around looking at everything, we saw tons of deer just hanging out in people’s yards.  They did not care at all that we were driving beside them taking pictures.   They just kind of starred at you like have you never seen a deer? Ha!
We then parked the car near the pebble beach of the lake hoping that we would find the trail head to the trail we were looking for, Bertha’s.  We noticed a small, semi-over grown path that we headed up.   Eventually as walked it we popped out on the actual trail.  Wooo hoo!  Unfortunately I started to get a bad feeling about being on the trail.  It was starting to get dusk since it was about 5ish.  Also we have been told that bears are most active early in the morning and again at dusk.  As we began walking we ran into a couple that said we would be fine and off we went.  As we walked we passed two other groups of people who were heading back to their cars.  I still had a weary feeling and didn’t like that everyone was heading back as we were just trekking along.  When we made it to the first look out spot, we were standing taking pictures when then this man and his two dogs stopped over to warn us of the large grizzly about 400 feet away from us.  From where we were we could not see it, but the man had been further down the trail when he noticed the bear and then saw us.  It was so nice of him to let us know since we had no clue we were so close to one.  We quickly grabbed our stuff and headed back with him ha! So I guess my intuition was right and we did not need to hangout on that trail for too long.





Once we got back to our car and were heading out we noticed all of the cars parked along a road with people standing, watching, taking pictures, and looking through binoculars.  They were all watching this HUGE herd of elk “beugaling.”  This is what they call the sounds the male elk make in mating season to attract their mate.  It was neat to see and funny to hear them.  Linds made friends with this older man who let us look through his high tech binoculars.  With those it made it seem as if you were standing right in front of the elk.  Super neat!!

After our day in the park we were famished.  That same man who had told us about the bear also told us of the only restaurant nearby, so we headed that way to get some grub.  It was this small general store with a Mexican restaurant in the middle of nowhere.  Random.  However, it was pretty tasty even though it was overpriced. 

After eating it was time to head back to America.  We were doing great on time because our main concern was to get to the border by 11pm and we were way ahead of that.  The lady at the border was super nice and welcomed us back to the States.  Home sweet home :)

What a good weekend.  I highly recommend trips to Alberta Canada!!  Everyone is friendly and they have a great state park with beautiful scenery!!