Since I love to gossip, one of my favorite parts about traveling around to these small Canadian towns is hearing the dirt on the next town over. In Nelson, we were told that Cranbrook was Canada's Fast Food Capital. In Cranbrook, the volunteer in the tourism office told us that Kimberly was "kind of a yuppie town." In Kimberly, someone said, "Kimberly is Canada's second highest town... after Nelson". That's a weed joke, everyone.
But if there was one thing that everyone in BC could agree on is that Alberta is basically the worst. Alberta is the Texas/Midwest of Canada, the land of oil fields and plains of wheat. It is also the economic driver of Canada, and despite being populated with oil-wealthy, SUV-driving McMansionites, the West Coast-vibing residents of BC rely on Alberta for jobs whether they like it or not.
Our experience in Alberta was limited, and I can't really confirm or deny the stereotypes. Harry from Calgary saw us riding and invited us to his beautiful lakeside "cabin" (about 6 times the size of our house), made us wood-fire pizza for dinner and offered us a bed in his guest house. Sure, he was uber-wealthy, but he was a generous host, and if other Albertans are as giving as he was then he has left me with a good impression of its residents.
Our two nights in Alberta were beautiful as well, though they were rushed. We were trying to crush through the last 200 miles to make it to Glacier National Park, and we did it in three days. The first night we stayed at Crows Nest Pass, and enjoyed an after-ride swim.
In the morning we saw a bighorn sheep(!) right in the middle of the road!!! He was standing right on the yellow lines licking salt. Both lanes of traffic braked and swerved but he was not phased. He only left the side of the road after I yelled at him. That was not a good place for him to be hanging out.
Our ride into Waterton International Peace Park was our longest yet, clocking in at 80 miles with a little over 8 hours in the saddle. We heard some good things about Waterton but it just wasn't cycle friendly. There aren't any hiker/biker campsites (which don't require reservations and cost $5/person), and by the time we arrived all the campsites in the park were full. So we continued on and spent our last Canadian cash on a spot in an RV park, and some chocolate bars.