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The Wilderness Adventures of 2 Hooligans Flying Down Mountains and Getting Out-Fished by a Bear
About 10 years after that happened, I paid another visit to Bear’s Hump. As an adult, I returned to that beautiful place with Jeanelle. As we hiked up the path, Jeanelle recalled something she’d seen there years earlier. “You’re not going to believe this,” she said. “But when I was here about 10 years ago, these wild kids came crashing down the hill on bikes and almost hit me!” “Oh,” I said cautiously. “What did they look like?” I asked. “One had long brown hair, and the other had long blonde hair,” she replied. I paused. “Jeanelle,” I said. “That was my brother Bill and me.” Thank goodness she looked past my teenage sensibilities and married me! Extreme downhill biking wasn’t the only adventure Bill and I had in Waterton’s wilderness. We loved to fish, and one beautiful day, we found ourselves in a section of the park that crossed into Glacier National Park. There’s a series of three lakes there, and one of them lies halfway in Waterton and halfway in Glacier. It’s incredible. On this outing, we had our polyethylene kayaks. We fished in one lake and then carried our kayaks, which weren’t very heavy, to the third lake, Josephine Lake. Josephine is ahead of the glaciers
climbs almost 2,000 feet in that short distance. Given the steep terrain, Bill and I had a genius idea when we were about 13 and 14: We would haul our bikes up the Bear’s Hump and enjoy the thrilling ride down. Imagine two teenage boys, carrying their banana-seat bikes with big handlebars, winding up switchback after switchback. At the top, we hopped on and began to ride them (or, more accurately, attempted to steer them as gravity took over) down Bear’s Hump. People saw us coming from a distance and quickly got out of the way. We thought it was a great time, but I’m sure most of the hikers didn’t agree.
When we were growing up, my brother, Bill, and I spent a lot of time in Waterton National Park in Alberta, Canada. It’s a beautiful area full of lakes and wilderness, stretching across the plains and Rocky Mountains. Visitors come from all over the world to see the view from the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel and soak up the area’s natural beauty. As kids, we routinely fished, hiked, and explored this stunning environment. At the turnoff to the Prince of Wales Hotel, there’s a popular hike called Bear’s Hump, so named because it looks like the notorious hump of a grizzly bear from a distance. The hike is only about a mile and a half long, but it
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