I bet a lot of you will look at the title of this post and go, “Where’s the heck is Akamina Parkway?”
Well, Akamina Parkway is a 16-km scenic highway located within Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and at the mouth of the village of Waterton, Alberta, Canada. It was the final destination of the Canadian leg of my recent 15-day road trip and I totally forgot about it until last night.
There were plenty of beautiful scenes on this road which I took by literally standing in the middle of the road, I think I came at a bad time though. It was cold and misty that day and I was not in my best mood.
When I told my aunt I have to check out of the hotel by 11:00 am and it’s a 5-hour drive from Lake Louise to Waterton Lakes, I thought it was clear it meant we should get up early but nope, we left the hotel at almost 10 am.
My aunt drove that day, following the turn-by-turn navigation. By the time we entered the park, it was almost three pm. I felt anxious because we must time our visit perfectly since we still had another 5-hour drive to Great Falls, Montana – where we would be staying that night.
Before I could open my mouth, rain poured from above. We couldn’t see a thing. One wrong turn and we ended in the village of Waterton where big-horn sheep rested lazily on residents’ front lawns. At the end of the road, my aunt did a sudden U-turn, put the car in park, and got out. “I’m going to take some pictures of the deer.” She said. “You coming?” I shook my head. It was pouring and cold outside.
I counted the minutes and seconds as music continued to blare from the car speaker and the engine continued to hum in the background. Idling isn’t good for the environment, I thought and killed the engine but kept the music.
Five, ten minutes and my aunt wasn’t back. I began to worry. What if…what if…what if, scary scenarios began to come to mind until my aunt suddenly wrenched the driver-side door open, breathless like she had run a marathon. It turned out she had followed a hiking trail, not knowing where it led.
Well, back to my original plan. We exited the town and up the Akamina Parkway we went. Rain quickly turned into mist and snow as we ascended the mountain road and the farther we went, the more I regretted suggesting this road. It’ll take forever to complete these 16 kilometers. My aunt stopped the car every few turns to take pictures and videos of the streams and waterfalls as if she had never seen those things in her life.
I mostly stayed in the car to keep myself warm and dry while occasionally stepping out of the car to take some pictures when the rain wasn’t filling my photographs with blobs of water. Maybe I shouldn’t had regretted coming up this road. After all, it was beautiful. I think I just came at a bad time.
The moment we returned to Waterton and filled up the car with gas, it was my turn to complete the drive from Waterton Lakes to Great Falls, all in record time.