Woke up to a beautiful morning with a view of Heaven’s Peak directly in sight. I had no time to prepare breakfast so I broke camp as fast as I could and got out of the park.
I rode out north towards Babb, the last settlement before crossing into Canada. Babb is a tiny town on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, 8 miles south of the border, and consists of a cafe, general store and a post office. I was supposed to pick up my package at Cattle Baron Supper Club at noon but I got there around 9:30 am. Nothing suggested that the place was actually open, but I walked in anyway and found the cook inside. After chatting for a while, he offered to cook breakfast, so I sat down and ate the biggest breakfast of my life. A giant piece of steak, two eggs, potatoes, bell peppers, buttered toast, and washed it down with a few cups of coffee. I started talking to a gentleman named Larry Bean, a sales rep from “Food Services of America”. Food Services of America sponsored my banquet in Helena, but I never mentioned their name since I was asked not to (hope they don’t mind it now that I’m out of state). They are a great bunch of people and their help with the food was tremendous.
Larry is a Vietnam vet and retired law enforcement officer who is as bright as he is sociable. We talked about a million different subjects till the owner showed up. Bob Burns, the owner, is a tall Indian guy with a great sense of humor. The Cattle Baron has been open since 1910 and the logs of the building show the many years of use by cranky outlaws and rum runners who smuggled in alcohol from Canada through the prohibition years. All in all, the Cattle Baron is a place to stop if you’re ever passing through Babb.
The border crossing went pretty smoothly compare to my last visit to Canada, but they confiscated my pepper sprays as they are apparently illegal in Canada. The border patrolman told me that I could leave them there and pick them up on my way back or abandon them. Since I wasn’t crossing the same border again, I was forced to choose the latter. He had me sign a paper that said “I voluntarily surrender these substances to the CROWN” which I thought was pretty funny.
On my way to Calgary, I met a family of four from the Netherlands. They invited me to go to their place when I get there and offered the use of their workshop. So far, I’ve made lots of connections by just talking to people.
I got to Calgary during the rush hour and inched my way through town. Since I didn’t know anyone in town, I tried my luck at the first hotel I found and asked for the manager. I explained the situation and asked him to sponsor the night, and he generously offered one of his best rooms including dinner at the hotel restaurant.
The Port O’ Call Hotel was unbelievably clean and nice and the service was exquisite. For dinner, I had Caesar salad, blackened prime rib with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and Crème Brule for desert, along with a nice glass of Shiraz. The bill was picked up by Chung Young, the general manger of the hotel. Although I had a Jacuzzi in my room and a there was a really nice pool in the hotel, I chose to work on the website and answer my never-ending emails till I passed out.
I’m on my way to Edmonton now and everything is going just as planned. Edmonton is a good place for fund raising, so wish me luck as I try my best in Alberta’s capital.