In life you need three things, Time, Money and Health. Unfortunately it’s really hard to have all three simultaneously.
Said an elderly couple on the shuttle in Glacier National Park. They couldn’t have put it better. We are meeting a lot of people on this trip and we gladly share our simple life experience when it resonates with them. Last encounter was with a chief firefighter yesterday. She is getting close to retirement but would have to take a fair cut if she retired early. She was obviously thinking about retiring early anyways but she did say that chatting with us on the hike was refreshing and that perhaps it was some kind of a sign that she ran into us. Simple life isn’t for everyone but one thing for sure is that if you’re only waiting until you have “enough” money to enjoy life, you might be waiting a long time as I don’t know many people who claim they have enough money.
We decided to leave Glacier National Park and head towards Waterton Lakes National Park. Our food supply was getting low and the weather was only so-so. Somehow we didn’t find much better deals to be had on the way or in Waterton itself. Actually we did score 3 x 750ml containers of expired yogurt at $1 each and a loaf of expired bread for $1 too. Besides that everything was literally double the price. $2/lb for bananas to give you an example. Knowing that we’re going to be in the rockies for the upcoming few weeks, we bought $40+ worth of groceries in Calgary today.
Although we only did two hikes in Waterton, we had a good time. The first one might have been our longest hike ever at 18-20km long. It’s called Alderson-Carthew trail and it’s part of the Triple Crown Challenge. We tried to reach the summit of Carthew, only to realize when we reached the top that we were on the false summit and reaching the true summit meant hiking another kilometer. Oh well, the views were still amazing 🙂 Second hike was short but steep. We tried to get up and down as fast as possible. One thing for sure is that our cardio is improving by hiking more than we’ve ever hiked before.
Finding a spot to spend the night with and in the van(aka free camping) was a bit of struggle in Waterton. Just like most (probably all) federal Parks, sleeping in your vehicle on the side of the road isn’t allowed. Not that we would have but even if we did want to, the campground was full and camping legally wasn’t available. In the end the stealth-are-us were successful and we got three full night sleep without getting an early wake up call or having to shell out a lot of money.
First day in Waterton was a slow day and took the opportunity to visit the town/village. They have this super old hotel called Prince of Wales Hotel. I’m surprised it isn’t a Fairmont.. I guess their room rates aren’t expensive enough with a price starting at $200/night in low season 🙂
We had another though time in this very touristic town. All the tourists are spending money all over the place and it kind of makes you feel like doing like everyone else. I swear, everyone and by everyone I mean everyone bought ice cream cones there. It’s just an example but as everyone only does spend money, it’s as if you have to convince yourself that you’re not wrong to want this lifestyle for yourself. It all goes back to normal when you start doing things that you really like such as hiking or hanging out with friends.
It was Math’s birthday while we were in Waterton and Matt’s mom treated him to a nice dinner for the occasion. Matt ordered something he wouldn’t even order for himself before committing to this trip, A FULL rack of ribs!! So delicious! We even had home made ice cream for dessert!
Besides that well we are now in Calgary. We have some admin stuff to take care of, some supplies to buy and on Saturday we are heading towards Canmore until at least the 21st. We are itching to climb as we have been hiking only since we left Quebec. Today we came really close to turning around and start heading towards warmer weather. WE HIT SNOW ON THE ROAD! Well we didn’t really mean it as we can’t wait to attend our friends wedding but that was a confirmation that we would rather be where it’s warm this winter!
Fuel: $60.00 / $2166.76
Food: $100.54 / $745.21
Fun: $31.69 / $631.07
Total for the week without fuel: $132,23
Total with fuel: $192.23
Total spent since the beginning: $3543.04
Total budget: $15160.55
Budget left: $11617.51
Some pictures of the daily life in a Van.
M & E