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Oh, Canada!

Like last year, I had to spend a little time up in our neighbor to the north over the summer. Canada makes me happy, mostly because it's bilingual. I so desperately want the United States to be bilingual, English/Spanish. We'd be better off for it because speaking another language makes you think differently and makes you more open. I'd be fluent in French if I lived in Canada. 

Another reason that I love Canada is that there are so many immigrants. They've embraced immigration again in a way that I think the US should. No matter how small a town I go through in Canada, it seems like there are at least a dozen different accents to be heard. It's lovely.  

Then there is the food. Obviously, I had to get some poutine. This was my very Canadian snack on the Fourth of July, which of course means nothing in Canada except maybe more US tourists like me around. 

And you know I went to Tim Horton's several times. I stayed in Pincher Creek, about 35 minutes north of Waterton Lakes National Park, and even in a town that small (3,600 people), Tim Horton's was open 24/7 (staffed by immigrants). My AirBnB was also right across from the Pincher Creek Curling Center. How much more delightfully and stereotypically Canadian can a place be than Tim Horton's and curling? Delightful. 

Pincher Creek also has a Co-op grocery store, which has no self-checkout and is appropriately staffed with cashiers and baggers at all hours of the day. This is such a rarity and as someone who hates the grocery store experience, this is two big thumbs up from me. The only place in the states I've found this is at Harp's in northwest Arkansas. Places like that will always have my service over the places where you have to fumble around with all your goods to cash yourself out or stand in line for an hour because they only have one cashier, even though there are ten registers.

While there isn't much going on in Pincher Creek itself, I chose it for its proximity to Waterton, plus three provincial parks, plus the Oldman Dam Recreation Area, plus the Crowsnest Pass Recreation Area. If you are outdoorsy, this place is for you! There is a little more going on near Crowsnest Pass, and if I came back, I'd likely stay in Blairmore instead of Pincher Creek, but I'm happy with my stay here. Also, I doubt I'll ever come back due to the grizzly bear situation, but that's a story for next week.

I didn't take a lot of photos in all these beautiful outdoors places because mostly I was in the zone trail running, but here are just a few to entice you. The first is Lille Ghost Town

The next is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site, where the Blackfoot people perform ceremonial dances on Wednesdays during the summer.

And a video of Friday evening kayaking on Beaver Mines Lake. I'm so glad I bought this Aquaglide Chinook 120 tandem inflatable kayak and realize I should have bought one sooner. It's lovely to float around places like this with a book and a beer. And it's big enough to add a friend and one day, another dog.