Flathead Lake MT

First full day in Montana…

by grace on October 6, 2019

…we didn’t get to Glacier Park that day, but it was all part of my plan. It was Thursday, Sept. 12th, and we’d had a restful sleep at the charming little Chalet Motel in Whitefish. Like i wrote previously it’s an old motel, maybe the oldest there in Whitefish but a dazzling woman from the Czech Republic named Eva bought it last year and seemed to still be hard at working re-habbing everything.

Here’s a video of the motel plus Flathead Lake.

she had many lovely touches everywhere, like this fantastic dried-flower wreath.

big bags of mulch for spreading! i was tempted to ask her if she needed a hand but had to remind myself that we were on vacation, i didn’t need to do any yard work of any kind.

here’s the darling motel dog; it was only six years old but moved like a grandpa. Eva, the motel owner, said he was just lazy! but he was a really good dog.

That morning our Dollar Rental Car place drove to the motel, picked us up and took us to the Dollar place somewhere in the middle of nowhere. We rented a cute little black Ford Fiesta, and buzzed back to our motel. we then headed down to the Flathead River to see some sailboats. The owner of an Air b&b where we’d be staying had sent me a whole bunch of brochures from different places in the area and one of them caught my eye. The company is called the Flathead Lake Sailing & Charters. They had two Q-Class Sloops designed by the famous L. Francis Herreshoff; one was built in 1928, the other in 1929. The brochure said we could book a ride on one of them.

But when i looked them up online, it said they stopped taking people out on Sept. 7th. Dang. So i called to see if we could at least go look at them.

Nope, said the woman i talked to a couple of weeks before our vacation, they’ll be in the shed by then.

dang again. But when we were on the train Ithought i’d try them one more time. the woman on the phone said they were still out on the water, and we could come and look.

so that’s what we did.

the thing that i didn’t see in the brochure and didn’t pay attention to on their website is that these two sailboats, plus a Stan Craft and Chris Craft from the 1960s ,were all docked at the Flathead Lake Lodge. The lodge is on Flathead Lake, duh, and was about 40 minutes south.

When we got to the lodge we were bowled over by how beautiful it was.

here’s kevin in front of the heated outdoor pool with the magnificent lake in the background. Flathead Lake is 28 miles long, 15miles wide and bordered by beautiful mountains, and is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes.

plus, it was a spectacularly crisp and sunny day. we didn’t see any guests at the lodge as we walked all around outside. All we could hear was the wind softly rustling through the aspens.

This is one of the boats from the 60s.

i kept taking photos and videos like a crazy person…like i guess i’m usually a crazy person. but even more so, because it was all so idyllic.

Close-ups of the two sailboats.

Cute little bear statue on one of the docks.

the other boat from the 60s.

and part of the immaculate interior…

hmmm…i’m pretty sure this is the front of the lodge although it might be one of the buildings nearby. there were quite a few buildings and cabins and more buildings.

view of the lobby from the balcony – there’s kevin down in the lower right.

i wish we had a copy of this; the Empire Builder is the train we rode in on.

Up there was one of the swankiest bathrooms i’ve been in.

If you watch the video, i think i ironically muttered something about how it must be reasonably priced. Looking them up online, it looks like staying in a lodge room is about $500-$700 a night per person, even more if you get a cabin, and you have to book a vacation of at least four nights. It’s all inclusive, and is a dude ranch so you could ride horses all the livelong day, plus the many other things…clearly out of our price range.

but it was fun to walk all arund the place. the funny thing is that i said “who would spend that kind of money?” and then, on our way home, it turned out that the couple in the room next to us on the train had done exactly that! The wife loved horseback riding and she said it was fantastic.

when we drove back to our motel in the afternoon we decided to walk into town, which was about a mile and a half away, down a busy road.

it was a very warm day and by the time we made i to downtown Whitefish we were feeling a little pooped. I think it was a combination of the walk plus altitude plus heat. we walked into a coffee house and kevin didn’t want coffee; he said the smell made him feel a little sick.

so i knew that was a serious situation, kevin not enticed by coffee.

we walked into a couple of shops but weren’t interested in that, either. the town was smaller than i’d pictured it; about 7,800 people. There’s a resort on Whitefish Lake north of town, but we didn’t make it up there. next time.

Here’s the only thing we saw worth photographing, some clock…

on our way back to the motel was saw a blue and whit bird with a long tail. we hadn’t recalled ever seeing one; i texted jim, who said it was a black-billed magpie.

the funny thing is that we hardly saw any different kinds of plants or animals on our whole trip, but maybe we just didn’t know what to look for?

an important stop on the way home was at Walgreens, where kevin found this pair of old man sunglasses that fit over his glasses. he had a prescription pair of sunglasses but he thinks he left them on the train.

we also stopped off at the sporting goods store across from our hotel to get some bear spray.

we were too tired to go out to eat, so we also picked up a beef wrap at the grocery store across the street. it was one of the worst meals i’ve ever had, but i was too tired to care.

finally, a horribly blurry photo of the darling kitten at the motel. i wish i’d tried to take another picture but the cute little thing was too fast. it’s funny how much she looks like Riley.

my hope was to write one post for each day of our trip, but if you’ve made it all the way to here you know that it was very long. i’ll have to divide the posts up going forward because the amount of photos and videos i took while in photogenic Glacier Park is a little bit staggering.

ok then,

g.

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