a river with a bridge going over it and mountains in the background

Waterton Lakes, RV Repairs, and the Calgary Stampede

Jul 9th - Jul 19th (10 days)

Waterton Lakes NP

Crossing the border into Canada on our way to Waterton Lakes National Park, part of Glacier National Park, was uneventful. We had filled out all the paperwork online beforehand, so there were no issues - well, almost no issues. We had some firewood, which is not allowed due to parasites, so we had to take it out and put it in the firewood bin. It was already overflowing, so we weren't the only ones smuggling firewood!

We only stayed at the Waterton Townsite campground for one night, but it was really nice. It was clean and well-developed. Deer walked through the town and campground frequently, and there were plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. Everything was within walking distance or a short bike ride away. We rode our bikes all over the place, even biking up to the old hotel overlooking the town (which was maybe too far to walk).

After staying in East Glacier, which is completely undeveloped by comparison, we wished we had booked more time in Waterton. The town's cleanliness and convenience made it an ideal place to spend a few days exploring, with plenty of activities to keep us busy.

a group of rvs parked on a road with a tree and mountains in the backgrounda sign on the side of a roada person holding a purple boxa road with houses and grass on the sidea statue of a deera building on a hill

While in Waterton, we tried a BeaverTail, an iconic Canadian fried pastry with sweet toppings. We bit into this delectable treat, and the fried bread base melted in our mouths. The sweet toppings tantalized our taste buds. We had a tough time eating it without smashing it all over our faces because it is not easy to hold and eat while walking around the town.

Next, we took a late-night animal cruise on the lake, searching for wildlife in the darkness. Our guide shared with us the area's rich history and geology as we cruised along. He told us of how, when the Northern Railway was developing the area, wealthy people would embark on an arduous week-long hike from Glacier's south side just to stay at the main hotel - making it a serious destination at the time. Sadly, we didn't spot any animals during our cruise; it seems they were all still in the Tetons.

a river with a bridge going over it and mountains in the backgrounda room with a view of the mountains and the oceana room with tables and chairsa building on a hill
a man wearing sunglasses

RV Repair

After Waterton, we switched campgrounds to our originally planned stop at "JJs RV Resort" in Nanton, AB. This is where we finally had the time to fix our landing gear problem. In Waterton, we were too scared even to take the RV off the truck, which is why we didn't do any hikes. Thankfully we did not remove the RV because once we did here, we could not connect the truck again.

We called around every RV repair shop in the area, but only five were nearby. Only 1 had any availability, and by the time they could get parts, it would be around two months. So we were forced to D.I.Y. it. We found 1 RV dealership that had a set of landing gear for sale about 45 min away, and we went and got it the same day before anyone else could buy out from under us.

Once back at JJ's, we got to work on removing the old legs from the RV. The process required us to use the truck as a lift - our tripod stabilizer was not rated to carry the full weight of the RV - and Justin had to sit under it for some time, terrified of being crushed. To get the hitch below the pin, Melissa backed up the truck while Justin lay down on the tailgate, and we let out most of the air from the back tires. We also loaded tools and bricks we found onto the truck bed for extra weight so that the hitch could get under the pin.

The repair work itself was not too difficult. The legs and motor came right off with just a couple of bolts holding everything together. The most challenging part was when someone at the factory put one of these bolts in backward, and we could not remove it without making a hole in the wall. After that, installing the new parts was a breeze!

a machine with a metal framea group of camping supplies on the grassa wood table outsidea car with its door open
a man sitting in a vana man sitting on a boxa bicycle and a camper in a grassy area


We had an incredible experience at the Calgary Stampede that we'll never forget. We booked the late-night main show, which started with an exciting display of chuckwagon races. We could feel the thundering and rumbling of the horses as they began their lap, giving us a real feeling and making us feel like we were part of the event. Once the sun had set, we were treated to various song and dance routines accompanied by a stunning fireworks show. Justin, who wasn't expecting anything, ended up really enjoying it. We were glad we paid a little extra for closer seats so we could get an even better view!

Aside from the main show, we also enjoyed exploring all the shops and stalls throughout the day, playing classic fairground games, and seeing many incredibly well-groomed cows for sale. The Calgary Stampede was a great way to spend the day and an unforgettable experience. We definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and exciting adventure!

a person driving a vehiclea group of people in a large room with a large white trucka horse standing in a barna black cow eating grassa group of people walking on a streeta red box with a sign on it
a man and woman posing for a picture
a person with a tattoo on the arm holding a bottle of soda
a crowd of people at a basketball gamea large crowd of people outside a buildinga crowd of people watching horsesa stadium full of people
fireworks over a stadiuma large crowd of people at a concerta crowd of people in front of a stage with lightsa large crowd of people at a concert

Exploring Calgary before entering the Stampede was a great experience! It's a really nice city, with some delicious fusion restaurants and cozy coffee shops. We were even tempted to live there if it wasn't for how cold the winters get!

We also visited the Calgary Tower, like the one in Tokyo, where you can have a 360-degree view of the city. Although it wasn't as high up as the one in Japan, it still gave us a great overview of what Calgary has to offer. We were surprised to see how close single-family homes are to downtown - it's far more convenient than cities we had previously visited.

a city with tall buildingsa man standing on a high rise buildinga person's feet on a window ledge



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