This is the General Store in Twin Butte where Charlie usually went for Mexican food after a day of hiking or photographing. And BJ loved the food there, as well.
There are a couple towns along Hwy. 5 on the way from Lethbridge to Waterton Lakes National Park where Charlie often stops.
The biggest one is Cardston, population 3,600, which is an hour southwest of Lethbridge. Cardston is a very Mormon town. It was first settled by them in 1887, but even today, still about eighty percent of the residents are Mormon.
The temple, completed in 1923, was the first temple outside the U.S.
And, of course, there’s been an official ban on alcohol for the last 111 years. The ban was reaffirmed by a plebiscite in 2014. But visitors can buy a cup of tea or coffee, although the Mormons themselves don’t drink either.
In my novel, Charlie and BJ sometimes went to the Reddi-Mart in Cardston for some homemade ice cream. The Reddi-Mart they went to, which started out as The Red Roster, has recently become The Red Rooster again.
And then ten minutes west of Cardston is Leavitt, which you saw as a winter scene earlier in Part IV, Chapter 5. Leavitt was first called Buffalo Flats, but was later renamed in honor of Thomas Rowell Leavitt.
The first home was built there in 1893.
Charlie didn’t usually stop in Leavitt, but he certainly did in Mountain View, population ninety, ten minutes later.
He often went into The Barn Store for two humongous scoops of mint chip ice cream in a waffle cone.
The original name, Fish Creek, was changed to Mountain View in 1893.
And finally, the Waterton townsite with Charlie’s two favorite attractions.
First, The Big Scoop.
And his second favorite, Wieners of Waterton.
You may remember from Post 12b, I Want My Old Life Back, that Jack Kerouac told me I had to stop worrying so much about stuff like social media and copyright. He told me to take a week or two off.
“Get on a bus,” he said, “and go to Chicago. Or hitchhike down to Frisco and see what Dean and Camille are doing. Or get totally pissed. Tequila’s really good for that.
“Or at least go out to Waterton, and photograph some sheep and bluebirds, and chow down a couple Local Smokies at Wieners.
“I’d offer you a margarita,” he said, “but I’m a little short of cash just now, and I’m almost out of tequila. And I definitely don’t have any Smokies.
“So I guess you’re on your own. But you’ve gotta stop worrying so much and working so hard.”
And as I said earlier, when you’re still an old hippie at heart, and you’re as addicted to Kerouac as I am, you definitely pay attention to what he tells you. In this case, I did, indeed, head out to Wieners.
But back to Charlie. He, too, loves Wieners, but The General Store in Twin Butte is where he invariably heads when he’s really hungry.
He always has the same. Two large enchiladas, one chicken and one beef, which come with a huge mound of tangy Spanish rice and an equally huge mound of refried beans. All for twelve dollars.
Charlie and BJ certainly loved immersing themselves in the glories of the park’s flowers, and waterfalls, and mountaintop vistas.
But given the temptations of the exquisite Mexican food, and the Local Smokies, and the big scoops of ice cream in waffle cones, obviously their many trips out to the park were never solely about what nature had to offer.
And as a bonus for Charlie, there would never be any ticks in The General Store, or in Wieners, or in The Big Scoop.
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