14 June 2014

Hiking Chief Mountain US Customs Sucks

The wind started up in the night and by morning it was blowing a gale. Wind is not uncommon at St. Mary but this was some wild stuff. I thought popcorn popping on the roof all night was something. This wind made Clementine bob around like a cork on the water. I think I almost got seasick.

When we looked out the mountains surrounding St. Mary were socked in but when we looked north there was blue sky and sunshine. Kinsey decided we should go north to Waterton. We ate our breakfast and headed out a little before eight. There turned out to be two problems with her plan. 1) We arrived at the Chief Mountain crossing at 8:25 but the crossing doesn’t open until 9:00.  2) Kinsey had checked to make sure she had my rabies certificate but hadn’t checked the date, it was last years. Waterton is in Canada and the US requires a rabies certificate for re-entry. Kinsey spoke with one of the customs people. The gal she spoke to was aloof and purposely unhelpful.  Kinsey says US Customs officers are the most arrogant you will find anywhere in the world. She's been clearing customs since she was 18 so she's met a few. We had 20 minutes to wait for the border to open and there was no guarantee they’d let me back in the country. Kinsey made an executive decision and decided to heck with it. It was going to be windy in Waterton too. We headed back south.

Chief Mountain

Turns out, even though it was windier than anything I’ve experienced, we got a pretty nice hike. We found a couple of very cool tribal trails that go over to the base of Chief Mountain. Kinsey has a thing for Chief Mountain. She’s drawn to it like bees to honey. We hiked one trail as far as we could before we hit a water crossing that would require Kinsey to take off her boots. She didn't want to get her boots wet. It wasn't any problem for me. Kinsey said we would return when she had her water shoes to put on her delicate little feet.

Creek we needed to ford

When we got back to the car Kinsey almost got her legs chopped off at the shin letting me in the passenger side. A huge gust of wind hit just as I was jumping in and it drove that door right into her legs. OUCH! Good thing she had a little tuckus sticking out to act as a buffer. She had a heck of a time trying to get out from behind the door.

The Old Chief again

We headed back to the campground at St. Mary. We’d both had enough of the wind. Turned out there was no way to get away from it.

Much to my disappointment we spent the rest of the day around the campground. Kinsey tried to get her vet to fax over a copy of my rabies certificate but no luck there. I reckon she’ll try again tomorrow. My first international trip may have to be postponed. Bummer!

Kinsey did have a very interesting conversation with a tribal member about tribal politics. Very Machiavellian. Seems us white eyes aren’t the tribes’ only problem. Their own people are busy fleecing the general population. I see now why Kinsey is no fan of politics. She says she’ll be writing an opinion piece one of these days over on her blog TheLiberatedPhotographer.com.

Ciao for now,

©Kinsey Barnard

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