Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mt. Yamnuska's Summit

Hiking and scrambling season is closing to its end and I have not done many of the ones that I have planned. Last weeks's try of Mt. Yamnuska was a disappointment. I went all the way to Kananaskis and went up but the mist and dampness prevented me from finishing it. Today I was determined to hit the summit so I woke up at 05:00 AM. I looked out of the window and damn it was dark! I mean very dark. I laid down again and gave myself a bit of rest because I had done a bit of weightlifting on Fri. afternoon but then said to myself: Today I'm someone who cannot do Yamnuska and later ...? I dressed up and went down. I slowly drove and I wanted to give enough time to the day to illuminate itself!
Campanula or Bell Flower is the only wildflower that I saw still blooming in Yamnuska
By the time I reached the parking lot it was almost 06:50 AM. There was only one car parked there. I geared up and started my journey at exactly 06:57 AM. I took the same path as last week's and I wanted to reach the summit. This was the western approach so similar to the last week I hit the damn scree and struggled to go up. Fortunately there was no fog and dampness and the surrounding was beautiful. It was so quiet and peaceful. There was no working machinery in the valley, no noise from the highway and no aircraft. But they all came one after another on the way back. The ascend up the scree was very challenging and although I had the experience of last week, this one felt tougher but I had a better time! I didn't really know where to go after I reached the rocky wall of the mountain unless I knew I had to go west and then at the end, where I had been last week, it was a bit difficult to find the route because it was a faded one but  I managed to get myself on the right pass and go behind the mountain. I reached a some sort of flat area after a while which on both my left and right hand side there were summits. 
This is the mountain you see behind Yamnusk and after a little research(!) I guess I found it. It should be Old Goat Mountain although I'm not sure whether it is an official name. I might even be mistaken. Anyone can help please?
I remembered from last week that a guy from a small group of three had told me that from where I finished the scree to the summit there was 3 hours left. So told myself that the right side summit could not be the true summit because it does not seem too far-fetched. It should be the left summit which looked both technical and far. So I headed that way but after only a few steps I realized that could not be the summit of Mt. Yamnuska so I headed for the right hand side summit to south. I found a trial which the more I went up the more faded it got but eventually showed itself as the route to the summit. I saw a guy on the top while I was approaching and that was it. I was there in about 02:30 hours.
Here my intention was to capture the beautiful green colour of the are. I might have achieved that partially but I could not get rid of the excessive blue in the background. I have to read this damn manual completely!
I chatted with a fella and I realized that he had taken the east route. He headed down toward west after a few minutes and told me that the west route was harder. I took a few photos and headed down. Not many people showed today. I only saw a few while I was getting close to the parking lot. I reached the car at about 11:30 AM which made my descend equal to 01:30. It was a good hike generally but I was expecting more. I don't regret it. It was in my schedule and now it's done. The best season though to go up Mt. Yamnuska is late July because that's the time you can enjoy the beauty of wildflowers. 
(Photo, top: Start of Bow Valley and Prairies from the summit of Mt. Yamnuska)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

An exercise in "Mud"nuska (Mt. Yamnuska!)

More than a year after I first tried to go to the summit of Mt. Yamnuska in Nakoda Indian Reserve, I again tried it yesterday, this time by myself. I had to drop The Lady at work so by the time I reached the parking lot it was almost 10:05 AM. It was not very crowded but you could see cars and there were two vans. I geared up and headed up at about 10:13 AM and this time when I reached the tree-way I took the straight trail which shows the climbing sign. 
The weather was all cloudy and nasty. In fact it has been like this for the entire week and the damn trail was covered with thick, sticky mud. First I though I had forgotten my hiking shoes so I carried on with my runners on I reached a small waterfall and the trail took me to the west side of the mountain until I saw a scree with lots of loose big and small rocks. That was where I bumped to a guy who was coming up and asked him if I could go to the summit from there and he explained how I could reach there and even told me that I would be able to reach to the summer even with runners on. A few meters up after the encounter I saw an empty beer can and decided to pick it up. I opened my backpack and there it was my hiking shoes! I don't know why I had forgotten but I quickly changed my runners with them and continued up the trail. 
I purchased this damn pair of Keen hiking shoes last Sep. from MEC but they are useless now but I have nothing else and no budget to spend on a new pair. They have lost their cushion-like feeling and the left foot shoe is kind of angled! I guess it's the way that I walk too! I probably will have to see a foot specialist soon. 
Anyways I tried to go up the damn scree and it was hard. I got myself to the most left side and walked up beside the trees and where no loose rock existed but it was not much easier. Just a few minutes to the wall-like rock of the mountain I saw a group of 3, 2 men and a girl. They told me that I would have 3 hours to the summit but I guess they exaggerated a bit.
A scrambler is going down the scree. The sky is covered in thick clouds and nothing much can be seen
I didn't want to go so only made it up to the time that I had 2 hours of hiking and then headed back down. The weather, again, was so damn disgusting that I didn't get a single nice shot. I was back to the parking lot by 14:00. I know at least know how to get to the summit from the west side of the mountain. Maybe I finish it one day.
(Photo, top: The trail of Mt. Yamnuska starts in where there are these trees which unlike most of the trail, are not evergreen)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzaria

This new restaurant was caught by me a few times that I drove through 4th St. SW, Famoso Pizzeria and we decided to go in a few months back. We stepped in and one of the cooks or chefs greeted us and asked how many we were. I told him I needed to ask something first and he listened. I asked whether they served Whole-Wheat crust pizza and the answer was negative. We said goodbye and stepped out!
Then later on we got a couple of $10 coupons so we said now we could go there because even if we don't like the food, we won't regret we wasted lots!
So we go in and this time it seems different. We don't have to wait to be sited and apparently we go and sit wherever we want which is a bit odd for a restaurant but we don't mind it and then a young lady comes and informs us of the ordering policy which is in the way that we should go to the counter and order there after having a look at the menu, of course. If you're a big group there's a notebook that you can use to write down everyone's order.
With all the Pizza coming out of the oven in the shape of White-Flour crust, I decided to order a salad and desert after that. The Lady ordered a some sort of Pizza and the good thing about the service here is it is fast. We didn't have to wait for a long time. The Pizza looks good but lacks enough topping. I tried a couple of slices and stopped there as I'm not supposed to eat white-floured baked goods. It also does not have much cheese and there's no sauce. The salad is sub-par. The chickpeas are a little underdone and the portion is small. They charge $10 for it. The Lady left two slices and we requested a box. The box came almost at the same time that they served Tiramisu
The desert is good and they say in their menus that they import it from Italy! I don't know whether I read it incorrectly or they bullshit but they charge $6 for a small piece. I don't recall I had tried this before so I can't say for sure how good the desert is. I only can say it is good. 
The bill is not too big considering we both have a $10 coupon. The place was not surprisingly busy considering it was Sun. afternoon. i expected it to be jam packed as people here like Pizza and Bear but a few tables were occupied. Whether we will go back for a Pizza? The answer is no for all of the reasons provided above. Would I go back for a cup of coffee and Tiramisu? Maybe. If they serve coffee and if I can't find the same desert anywhere else.
(Photo: This is the photo on the Pizza box of Famoso) 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lillian Lake (Kananaskis)

I wanted to have a good hike this weekend especially because I had not done any the week before so I decided to do Mt. Kidd in Kananaskis. One reason was that it's close to the city. I don't have to pay much for the gas, plus there's no admission fee to the park. I have spent too much in the past 3 months. So I drove to Highway 40 and checked with Barrier Lake Information Center. The gentleman over there was helpful and even gave me books and maps to take photo of but insisted that they do not provide information for scrambling. 
You see Mt. Kidd. right after you hit the trail in less than 10 min. It has two popular scrambling summits which I haven't done both! 
So I drove to Galatea Creek which is after Kananaskis Village and parked in the huge parking lot of it. there were a few car so the area is popular but maybe not as much as the other hiking locations in the area. I started walking down the trail at 10:45 AM and after a few minutes what you see is a bridge and Mt. Kidd is in front of you. The trail is mostly washed off but pink ribbons help you find your way. Even if you pay no attention to the ribbons, you simply follow the creek which a nice one. The good thing about the hike is there's not many people on the trail. According to the information I have I had to find my way to the mountain after I crossed over the 7th bridge but i decided to let it go. It was a damn cloudy and gloomy day and I was tired. Besides my hiking shoes are kind of worn out now and they're not comfortable so I decided to just follow the trail to see where it goes. The trail is so nice, peaceful and quiet. Even when you part your way from the creek it's beautiful with lots of wildflower and different types of vegetation. It's so dense at spots that I don't think any bear can get even close to you without breaking branches and making lots of noise but I had my bear spray on me.
Asters were available almost everywhere on the trail and popular within the bee community
I finally reached Lillian Lake after 3 hours. It's a small lake which apparently people go for fishing but there were only a small group of three ready to go back at the time. 
I waled around and took a few photos. Then decided to get in higher elevation to see if I can get a shot of the whole lake but was too tired and thirsty to do that. Besides there was actually were visible trail to the surrounding mountains so I decided to head back to the parking lot. 
Going back was the same except that I was surprisingly tired and my throat was parched and unlike most of the hikes I didn't want to try steam water. 
I would say the only good thing about this trip is the quietness of the trail. if you want to go to Mt. Kidd you apparently have to take a hill up after the 7th bridge but it's got nothing more here unless you liking fishing. 
(Photo, top: Lillian Lake with the clouds which were coming down. The entire day was cloudy but no rain) 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gurdwara Dashmesh Sahib (The Gateway to the Spiritual Leader)

It had been a long time that we wanted to go the Sikh temple in northeast side of the City. I had been to the neighbourhood a few times but not inside the temple, which is called Gurdwara although I knew I could go there but not knowing the tradition and everything I waited for my East Indian fellas to be free so I could go with them although none of them are followers of Sikhism
So here we are at the temple which is called Deshmesh Sahib. Sahib which is an Urdu/Arabic word means Sir. So Deshmesh Sahib is probably the name of the Punjabi/Sikh spiritual leader whose name is used to call the temple. We get in and there where we have to remove our shoes and get a headband. There's a sink and tab there so I guess it's a custom to also wash hands and face. Quite similar to Muslim's tradition when they enter a mosque unless they don't have to cover their heads. We can hear the instruments and people singing in a very strong voice and it's a nice and pleasing song. We get through the main door and I see that the hallway is separated to tow sections, one on the left for women and one on the right for men. In the middle there's this old gentleman with a long beard and turban who is moving a some sort of fan. Photography I had been told that was not allowed so I can describe the inside environment better. We bow and then kneel on the ground and in this way we show our respect. My buddies each throw a little money down the apparatus, I would call it, which is designed for that purpose and then we stay in a short line behind a few women and kids. I realize that there's an old gentleman in the same dress code (Turban, long beard, traditional dress) who takes a small piece of Halva with his hand and hands it to you. he smiles and I thank him in English after getting it in a knelled position. 
We go back and sit at men's section and listen to the music and singing. It is really nice to my ears goes on for a few minutes. Everyone's sitting and listening. There are people from different age group in the hallway, both men and women but the majority of elderly. The music ends and one of the singers gives a little speech which sounds like a prayer because people say something and that is when my buddies nudge at me to leave. I didn't know where we were going for lunch but I guess they knew because we went to the basement which was a huge hallway similar to the main floor. Lunch was similar to a self-service restaurant unless you do not have choices. We pick out trays and walked toward the serving area. There were 5 or 6 old guys all for a station. We got Ruti at the first (3 of them) and 3 other dishes at 3 other station, each one ladle and then a ladle of what we call it in Persian Sheer-Berenj and it looks and tastes the exact same thing which is a combination of milk, rice, sugar and rose water. You could get a little salad but I skipped that. We went and sat on the floor but there are picnic benches for the elderly or whoever cannot sit on the floor. 
I do not eat white flour bread but the Rutis where so tasty that I finished all three. The good thing about their bread is they don't use sugar or salt but I guess they use butter. The other two dishes where tasty as well, two with different beans and one with meat. 
We finish the food and the guys suggest to get some Indian tea. I know Indian tea is served with milk and lots of sugar and I deny that. We all return our trays to the old guy who is responsible for collecting dirty dishes. We wash up and get out shoes and leave after taking the headbands off. 
I heard then that the 98% of the people who work in the temple are volunteers. It's not surprising because they are mostly elderly men and women. It keeps them busy and most importantly they serve the religion the believe in. I also heard that Sikhs donate a considerable amount of their income to the temple. It's understandable that it should be this way otherwise a huge temple like that cannot be up and running. I didn't see any non-East-Indian in the entire temple but me! People were curious but didn't see any bad reaction from them. One of them even helped me to find a spot when I was removing my shoes although he never said anything to me but he was trying to use sign language. Overall it was a good experience to see how people are close to their religion. I think it's almost the same with other ethnic groups in Canada. They all have either their community hall or gathering points and at times ceremonies and get-together. Whether they are as strong as Sikhs, I don't know for sure. I know the Chinese have a huge cultural center in Downtown and other groups their own but have not tried them yet.
(Photo: Deshmesh Sahib Sikh temple from it's western parking lot)  

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Fitbit (Initial Review)

I bought a Fitbit last June. It's a tracking device which is designed to help you to keep the control of your weight, measure your sleep amount and see how active you are daily and weekly. While it seems to be helpful, it won't work until you feed it accurate, continuous data on daily basis. The less data you provide, the less result you get and it become almost useless. 
The other problem with it is it runs out of the battery very soon and then becomes a pain in the butt. You have to recharge the battery at least every two days depending on how you get it to work for you. It also works as a silent alarm which is very good for couples who don't have to wake up at the same time in the morning. It vibrates on your wrist and wakes you up. However you can attach it to your ankle too but don't think it's a good idea. 
The main problem with Fitbit similar to may other products in North America is lack of support. If you run into a problem there is really no place or no person that you can go to and complain unless you contact them which does not seem to be very helpful. Companies these days don't even print a manual anymore. They either refer you to their website or give you a CD with a big PDF file. These guys have done none! I guess the only way to discuss your issues with them would be e-mailing, which I haven't tried or going to the forums. Forum helped me once with a small question I had. People all were helpful and friendly but where is the damn company? Nowhere to be found. So finally does it worth the $100 you pay for it. I can't say for sure. I guess these days Smart Phones provide the same service. Smart Phones these days do everything for you although I wouldn't know much as I have never had one and will never spend money on them but if you're planning to by a Fitbit make sure that your Smart Phone does not provide the same service as it would then be a waste of money. I know for sure that you can synchronize your Fitbit and get the displays on a Smart Phone, something that I do on my PC. So do a little research first. I will post a secondary review later on after I get it to work more for me. 
(Photo: A Fitbit Flex comes in a box and has two wristband with two different sizes)

Friday, August 08, 2014

A Short Trip to the US (3): Going-to-the-Sun Road

The Shining is one of all time favorite movies of mine. I have seen the movie probably at least 7 times so far, not considering the times that I only watched the clips. I realized that the opening scene of the movie and also another scene when Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family are going to the Overlook Hotel is filmed in Going-to-the-Sun Road. Then I watched the movie with The Lady and after just a few minutes she said: What a beautiful place this is. And I said: That's where we are going! 
Going-to-the-Sun Road starts from St. Mary Visitor Center, where you have to get a pass for Glacier National Park. The pass is $25 and is good for 7 days. of course we didn't spend that many days in the park but there is no other pass available. To many it might sound expensive but considering the cost of maintenance, staff, preservation and other things, it's nothing. You need to start your trip early because the lookouts and the main attractions' parking lots get full quickly. There are also construction on the road which slow you down at times. There was only two during our trip and only took us 10 min. of delay in total. There were lots of photography opportunities but due to extreme sunlight we had to pass them. That's why I'm planing to visit the road once again in late Sep. either this year or next. 
Our first stop was Logan Pass, where there is a visitor center, gift shop and trail-head for many hikes. As we were early, we found a spot easily and enjoyed the scenery. Clements Mountain is the closest one to the parking lot and people take the trail which goes by it to get themselves close to Hidden Lake. I was told though that Hidden Lake Trail was closed because of the bears. There were lost of people in the area. From kids to elderly, bikers, cyclists and hikers. What amazed me the most was the obsession of people with bears. Apparently there were a few bear in the area and many were trying to see them through their binoculars and cameras! The park guys were also helping people enthusiastically. I mean it is just so much. There are bears. Why isn't people show the same interest in Elks, Mountain Goats or other wildlife?!
This is part of Going-to-the-Sun Road which you reach Logan Pass. This SUV is turning to the road from the parking lot and is going toward east to St. Mary. You can see Clements Mountain in the back.
The road starts going down after Logan Pass and keeps its beauty until you reach The Loop. There are different places that you can stop and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. After The Loop you see a river on your right with beautiful colour, small waterfalls and bridges. 
We wanted to have lunch so we stopped by Lake MacDonald Lodge and went to Jammers Joe's which is a buffet/restaurant. I was surprised later that I didn't find it in Google Map. Jammer was the name given to bus tour drives of Going-to-the-Sun Road. Those buses are still available and many people take them to move around and also enjoy the road. The reason why the drivers were used to be called Jammer is there was usually a problem with the gearbox of the buses casing gear jams or some story like this! 
Anyways the restaurant is not bad considering its location. The staff are all young Caucasian girls in their early 20s or younger and very polite and helpful. The food is OK and you have to be fair here. I had a Bison Sausage Sandwich with side salad which was not bad. No complain. I'm not sure though if that was Bison and if it was, what part of a Bison it could have been! But it's OK. The Lady had salad buffet and she got it twice and that was good too. 
We wanted to finish the road so we went all the way to West Glacier and got gas and turn around. There are different businesses over there and is a community just like the east side, St. Mary. A later on learnt that Amtrak also has a stop in there which is very good. 
We stopped at several spots on the way back and considering being afternoon used lots of photography opportunities which were not very possible in the morning. The Lady was a bit warm so we also stopped by a little stream and she could get cool down a bit. 
This is the river which eventually flows to Lake McDonald but it is not named in Google Maps which is odd. It might have a name if we look into official geographical documents of the US. It has beautiful colour, small and big waterfalls, bridges and is lots of fun. 
We din't want to be very late for border crossing considering it closes at 23:00 hour so I pushed gas and we headed for St. Mary and then the border. Luckily a heavy rainfall just started after we left St. Mary and while closing to Babb. We saw a long line at the border but it was not as long as the time we were crossing into the States. I guess it took us a bit more than 1 hour. We reached home at approximately 23:45 hours. We stopped once for a dinner sandwich and that was it. The weather was nice and the area was very beautiful but we didn't stop frequently for photographs. 
I think I have to plan for another visit to Montana now but I have to consider feasibility too. I would like to go up Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, Chief Mountain and East Ftattop Mountain and at least one more and I would like photograph Going-to-the-Sun Road while the mountains are snow-capped and sunshine is not to intense to ruin the photos. There are thousand more opportunities in Montana but there's little time and budget of course! 
(Photo, top: Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Short Trip to the US (2): Ptarmigan Tunnel

M&M picked us up at the motel and we went to Swiftcurrent Motor Inn where the trail-heads are located after getting a coffee. The mentioned inn was our original place to stay but I had realized that it was all booked. We were there around 08:05 AM so the lot was not fully occupied. We got our gear and hit the trail. The start time was approximately 08:15 AM. 
It was a bit hot but not intolerable. The trail has lots of beauty around, from the mountains, to wildlife, vegetation, streams and waterfalls. We even saw a Ptarmigan to confirm that the trail is not named incorrectly(!) and people stopped to take photos. Unfortunately unlike most of the times, I was not in the mood of photography at the moment and that was due to my past experiences with birds which moved fast or fly away as soon as you get an inch to them.
The trail reaches a branch after a while. The right fork is the one you should take to go to Ptarmigan Lake and then the tunnel and it steeps up immediately after you start. We both had Bear Spray. So considering this trail is less crowded than the other one, it has been said that it is a must. The trail here after the intersection is even more beautiful.
Colourfull and beautiful rocks mixed with the vegetation and wildflowers in the area makes the hike a very pleasant one. This was taken when approaching Ptarmigan Lake. It is on the right. 
All sorts of different wildflower as well as colourfull rocks and other vegetation keep your eyes busy as well as your feet. You reach Ptarmigan Lake soon and then there is a steep Z-like pass similar to Sentinel Pass in Larch ValleyMoraine Lake, Alberta that you have to go up. The only difference between this area and Sentinel Pass is in Alberta you see two tarns and a row of mountains, named Valley of the Ten Peaks, while here in Montana you see Ptarmigan Lake which is a beautiful lake and a range of mountain in the back. We went up the pass with no difficulty and even The Lady was almost fine and only a bit tired and my thought was that we had to climb down the other side, hike for a bit and then reach the tunnel but surprisingly it was there!
We had a few guests of this kind during our lunch break. By the time we were about to leave, their number had gone up to three!
The Lady, I guess was the happiest while I was a bit disappointed but we settle down and took a few photos at the south entrance. Then walked through and went to the other side where we saw the amazing Ptarmigan Wall and Elizabeth Lake in the bottom of the valley. There we had a little lunch and got ready after a rest to go back. In my opinion an ideal hike would be going all the way to Elizabeth Lake and have lunch there and then come up and go back to the parking lot. That might add another 3.5 to 4 hours, I'm not sure but that would be a good exercise. 
Elizabeth Lake from the south part of Ptarmigan Tunnel
There was something special on the trail that I paid more attention on the way back: Huckleberry. There are bushes or shrubs of Huckleberry all around the trail and I tired a few that was awesome taste. They make jams, syrup and pie out of it in the area and you can find jars and containers in the supermarkets, gift-shops and grocery stores but we didn't buy one due to its price. 
We reached the parking in a manner that the entire hike took some 07:00 hours considering all the stops and breaks. We went inside the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn to relax a bit. They have a gift shop kind of store. We got a few things and The Lady tried their Huckleberry Frozen Yogurt and I tasted a bit at the end which was incredible. 
After a shower and rest we went to Park Cafe for a light dinner. It is on US 89 just adjacent to Exxon gas station. I ordered a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and The Lady had a Hamburger. While I was happy with my meal she complained about the portion. We then shared a piece of Huckleberry Pie with a scope of Ice Cream on the top which was very good. The meal cost us $35 which was a bit too high but understandable. The place was packed and people were waiting to be seated but we went in because M&M had gotten a table earlier. 
(Photo, top: Ptarmigan Tunnel south entrance and the other end)

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

A Short Trip to the US (1): Crossing to Montana

This last weekend's first scheduled plan was to hike Ptarmigan Trail and reach its tunnel in Glacier National Park, State of Montana. The Lady encouraged this trip way before it started but was not aware of the detail. She wouldn't mind she said later on. I talked to M. C. and he agreed to join us at the other side of the border.
We headed south on Highway No. 2 on Sat. morning and I guess it was around 12:15 PM or so when we saw the line at the border. The US border crossing station at Alberta-Montana is called Peigan while it is called Carway at the Canadian side. I was not expecting a long wait but it was proved to me that I was wrong, later! We waited approximately 02:30 but when we reached the booth we didn't even spend 5 minutes. There was an African-American officer who asked a few simple questions and let us go. He even didn't stamp our passports! I guess it is not a norm when you cross to the US or vise verse, from ground.
A good plan would have been arriving around at the most 09:00 AM. Had we done that, our waiting time would have been probably reduced to 10 min.!
Cars are waiting for their turn to be inspected at Canada-US or better to say Alberta-Montana border of Peigan
The area around the border at both side is beautiful and mostly occupied by the Native people of Blackfeet, as far as I know. That's what they are called in the US and in Canada they are named Blackfoot.
Anyways the motel that I had made a reservation for was only 35 min. away from the border in the small community of St. Mary. We found it with not much difficulty and settled in. Due to the limited season in the area, the motels and hotels are either very pricey or beat up. Soon it appeared to us that ours fell under the second category(!) although we should have known by just considering the price. We had reservation of a room with King Size Bed and upon arrival we realized that the was on the main floor. Considering the building was old and made of wood, we decided to change to Queen and a bit less expensive but we hit each other a few times during the night!
The other thing that we soon learnt was our mobile phones both being out of service! None of the companies of Bell and Fido, apparently provide their services in Montana although when we were going back and before crossing back to Alberta we received ridiculous text messages welcoming us to the US!
I had to call M. C. to see what their plan was for that night and there was no damn phone in the motel but one in the office. I asked the lady and she, most likely a Native American, directed me to public phone but I guess that was because she though I wanted to make a long distance telephone call. I found out later that Verizon was the only company covering that area.
East Flattop Mountain looks over St. Mary Lake is seen from the motel
I then went to the community and I realized that there was a pay phone by one of the grocery store/gift shops but I had to pay $1 to make a short telephone call! I dialed M. C.'s number and I got the machine without a ring. I left a message and went back to the motel after getting a bottle of water.
You have to be prepared in advance otherwise you end up paying excessively for water and other essentials. It's understandable that the business season is short and they have to get everything from miles (as it's the unit of long distance in the US) away. We got a medium Plum Tomato for $0.89! A gallon of water, which equals to 3.78 Liter was almost $4 and the prices are all in American Dollar!
We decided to drive around a bit and see what was around so we took US 89 and headed south. The road goes to Browning which is a Native American town, mostly and I had heard from M. C. that he was scared when he had stopped there to get something from a grocery store. With that in my mind I strolled down the road and stopped a few times for photographs. Once after a turn I saw an old truck and when we got closer I saw a Native girls behind the wheel who seem not to pleased by seeing us. He gave us an evil eye look and I passed her. I had her in my rear-view mirror and I was waiting for something bad to happen. US 89 in that part is a one-lane, very narrow road with not many turn-outs. After just a few kilometers I saw another Native fella on an ATV coming out of the bushes while talking to a some sort of radio or maybe a mobile phone. The truck behind us pulled over and joined him after that. Apparently they were in contact. I thought to myself: We are in the middle of nowhere with no access to telephone and police and emergency kilometers away. If anything happens to us, we'll be finished! So I turned away and drove back to St. Mary! I made another telephone call to M. C. and they came over and we discussed tomorrow's plan. 
The night sleep in the motel started finely. It was absolute quietness and peace. That was the thing I liked about the place. The bed were not comfortable but the other good thing was that there was no jerk assholes around to disturb the peace. 
(Photo, top: You see this welcome sign shortly after passing the border. The lands around are all belong to Native Americans and you even can see their Tee-pees there)

Friday, August 01, 2014

Radjoot Restaurant

The 4th Street SW area of Calgary is a dining neighbourhood. There are many restaurants and businesses in there and we had tried only one until last week. We had wanted to try this East Indian restaurant called Radjoot for a long time and we got the chance finally. It was a good experience when we tried their lunch buffet. I hope it remains the same and I am sure I will go back next time I'm in the mood of East Indian food. 
I have compared this restaurant with another East Indian which is only 10 min. drive away, Surya. I don't even consider Royal India for comparison because that's a garbage restaurant ran by a phony! 
There are 16 factors in the tables and Radjoot beats Surya with 3 score difference higher. I hope their business stays up and running and does go downhill. I also hope that they do not consider any unreasonable price increase.
(Photo: In this table there are 16 factors which Radjoot (R.) and Surya (S.) restaurants are compared, based on them. Two factors in Staff category are non-applicable since we were there for the buffet hour and no waiter or waitress served us)