As we loaded up the truck and headed down south to Montana we decided the best route would be to go through Waterton National Park. The views were known to be breath-taking and once we crossed the border we would not be that far from Whitefish.
We turned off the GPS because Maggie insisted on sending us in the wrong direction as we drove down along the way admiring the windmills, the views of the open plains, while my husband attempted to steer our trailer from blowing off the side of the road.
Once we reached Waterton we headed down a narrow road and on the sign pointing to the US Border in big orange letters was written “CLOSED.”
“Ugh. I can’t believe it.”
My husband was annoyed because there was nowhere to turn but to keep t driving up the mountain to the closed US Border.
It eventually led us to this lookout where we could seep in the full view of Waterton National Park.
We then turned our trailer around at the look-out and plugged in the GPS to the next border opening. It was only an hour away. We both sighed with relief! I advised this time we should stop to ask someone if that border would be opened.
We drove into the nearest campground and the man advised us “Yup. It is open. But remember if you go pass Duck Lake and drive into St. Mary’s you have gone too far.”
I had no idea what he was talking about and we just nodded on our way. As we went across the US border and drove past the turn-off to Duck Lake I looked at my husband “Didn’t that man tell us to go that way?”
It was by this time we had our map and GPS telling us to go in a different direction towards St. Mary’s and we turned to enter the Sun Road there was a sign “Road Closed.”
“You have got to be kidding me!”
My husband looked at me exhausted and defeated, “What do we do now?”
The place looked like a ghost town as the tumbleweed blew across the roadway “I think that store is open.”
We wandered in and asked the store clerk “We are going to Whitefish and the road is closed. Is there another way to get there?”
The cashier clerk was friendly, “Just stay on this road and turn right once you reach Browning.”
My husband and I were ecstatic that there was another way to reach our final destination without too much of a detour. It was until we started driving
I remembered the warning of the man of the campground “If you go past St. Mary’s you have gone too far.”
It was too late as we tried to keep the travel trailer on the windy, narrow road, that every curb and bend had a cliff drop-off that was vomit-inducing. We crawled along the road as I held onto the holy shit handle of the truck. I had a brief moment were my life flashed before my eyes and restrained hollering out to my family “I love you guys! You mean the world to me!”
I looked at the signs of the road warning of sharp turns, traffic fatalities, and speed limit reductions full of bullet holes. I began to wonder where the hell we were going! My only hope was we were finally going in the right direction.
Only brave enough to let go once of the rail to take this picture because the hazardous views were breath-taking.
It was not until we reached the open road from Browning did I let go of the truck rail and began to breathe a sigh of relief. I learned an important lesson that day if a fellow traveler gives you a warning take heed, clarify their cryptic message because they are telling you this for a reason. Sometimes a road map or GPS is not enough to warn you of the bumpy and narrow roads that are waiting for you.
Do you take advice from fellow travelers? Or, do you stick to your trusted road map and GPS?