Glacier National Park

Last night in Glacier

by grace on November 4, 2019

After leaving the park (and our exciting bear sighting!) we drove down the road to the tiny town of East Glacier. I had to take a picture of this motel because i grew up only two blocks from the Sears department store, so Sears always has a place in my heart.

I actually just looked up the Sears Motel on Tripadvisor and they’re rated number 6 out of 6 hotels in East Glacier. But the pictures inside looked rustic and kind of cute. The reviews, pretty terrible.

We stopped at a tiny store with a big sign that said something about spoons…i just looked it up and it’s called the Spiral Spoon. The website looks pretty slick, but when we were in the store it was about ten minutes before they were about to close for the season so they didn’t have a lot of merchandise left.

Plus, we weren’t in the mood for shopping. We were eager to get to our hotel – for our last night we’d booked a room at the Glacier Park Lodge.

I’d booked a room with two queen beds and a “shared balcony.” Now, this lodge gets some pretty terrible reviews on Trip Advisor, but the room seemed good to us. I think the negative reviews were because people wanted something more fancy and updated. The lodge is very quaint, which we thought was terrific.

I also booked this place because it’s literally across the street from the Amtrak station and we were going to head out the next morning on the train.

Here’s the view from our balcony. I think there was one other room that could have shared it, but i don’t think the room was in use. there was another room on the other side, but they only had a window instead of a screened door opening out to this view.

The bathroom was old with a claw foot tub and the floors did creak quite a bit, but it was all good.

The enormous lobby had giant tree trunks lining it, and i know it had to have been spectacular back in the day. the lobby could have used a little sprucing up, but it was great to be there.

we had a delicious dinner in the lodge dining room, starting with some brie en croute.

the restaurant was too over-lit. you can just see the tree trunks in the lobby there over kevin’s shoulder.

Ha ha, this is one of my favorite photos of kevin – i can’t remember why he made this funny face, but to me it looks just like Calvin from Calvin & Hobbs.

We both had scrumptious bison burgers and i had an apple cider. mmm.

Here’s the lobby. very cool, and the doors to the rooms are original; i wish i’d taken a picture of one. The hotel was going to close for the season after one more night, so we got there in the nick of time. even though it doesn’t look crowded, there were lots of people, mostly tour groups, milling about.

After dinner we walked out to the end of the parking lot, and there’s the train station! We didn’t linger long outside because it was chilly with a terrific wind blowing.

I did sit outside on the balcony for a little bit to watch the beautiful sunset. a perfect last night.

Here’s a short video – in it i say that maybe it’ll be loud at night, and it sure was. it sounded like most of the hotel guests were whooping it up in the lobby, but luckily i had my earplugs so it wasn’t bad.

ok then,

mrs. hughes.

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Friday, Sept. 20th, part one

by grace on October 30, 2019

This was our last day on the West side of Glacier. As we drove down our street, there was the white bunny to greet us.

We decided to try the Johns Lake Trail. I really wanted to go on the boat ride from McDonald Lodge in the afternoon, and we’d bought online tickets for the 3:00 trip.

We saw a deer almost immediately when we got on the trail. It looked bigger and sturdier than the deer around here.

we were in the dark wood for a while. I love dark woods. Because this isn’t such a popular trail we had it mostly to ourselves.

we couldn’t continue on the loop because they were re-building the bridge, so we took a detour down the path to see this waterfall.

At this point we were on a horse path and it was very, very muddy.

This is one of my favorite photos from our trip, i love this split-open rock.

We met the deer again, and he continue to ignore us.

We took this bridge across McDonald Creek.

We hiked on the other side of the road along the rushing creek, and it was quite beautiful. we stopped for lunch on a handy log bench.

This shows most of the creek, but the video is even better.

See kevin’s gloves there on the left? i thought it clever that he stored them like that.

McDonald Creek feeds into Lake McDonald, which we’d soon be boating on.

We hiked about three and a half miles, a nice amount.

ok then,

Mrs. H.

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Hike to Avalanche Lake

by grace on October 28, 2019

Whew, I felt pretty good on Thursday , and we decided to hike to Avalanche Lake.

It was Thursday Sept. 19th, and first we stopped off at the West entrance to get our pictures taken. We’d seen people stopped here most times we entered the park and decided now was a good time.

Avalanche Lake is a very popular hike and there were lots of cars parked in the lot where we found a place after circling around a few times.

This might have been the most crowded hike we went on, but it wasn’t bad. And really beautiful! We started around 11:00.

Near the beginning of the hike we came to this swirling waterfall with many DANGER! STAY AWAY FROM THE EDGE! signs.

I could imagine that not-very-bright people might have fallen, but they’d have had to have been very very reckless. And possibly drunk.

please watch the video at the end to see the swirling water in action.

i just loved all the tall trees in the forest.

and how about that giant rock!

We hiked to the water’s edge, and other people were there, so we decided to keep hiking all the way to the far end of the lake. a few people were sitting on a log, and we struck up a conversation with an intrepid young woman. she’d been hiking all over the place, all alone. She was willing to take our picture, and took a bunch of good ones.

She’s been hiking on Lookout Point in East Glacier when she’d had to step off the rail because a herd of bighorn sheep was walking towards her.

She saw bears a couple of time; once, she startled a bear who was foraging for food. the bear was staring her down, so she quickly looked away and waited for the bear to continue eating, and then slowly crept backwards and out of the way. whew, that would have been scary.

She also said that when she hiked up to Grinnell Glacier, a ranger had been shepherding people off the trail while at the same time talking nice to a bear who was blocking the path!

“That’s Ed!” we told her. She hadn’t gotten his name, but we explained that we’d seen him on bear patrol when we’d hiked that path. Clearly, Ed was earning his ranger salary as he kept the hikers safe.

We asked the woman if she wanted us to take a picture for her, but she wasn’t interested, she just like pictures of nature, no people. i think we talked to her for a while, because for some reason i’m pretty sure she told us she’d bought almost all her christmas presents! how odd that i remember that, but can’t remember the context.

When we’d hiked down to the end of the lake we’d gone off the path, but climbing back up, we saw this sign. I found it funny but very informative.

The clouds and the water were doing such amazing things…

As we hiked back i saw this crazy root coming out of a tree.

Panorama!

There’s a good shot of the three waterfalls coming down at the end of the lake. Our hike was almost seven miles, but i don’t remember it being really challenging.

that evening we went out to eat at a delicious place called Josephine’s. our friend’s sister has a place near Glacier, and she met us there and it was a fun evening.

ok then,

g.

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Trip, Interrupted

by grace on October 26, 2019

We’d gone on an eight-mile hike on Tuesday, had a nice evening…but when i woke up on Wednesday morning, sept. 18th, something was terribly wrong.

I was lying on my side and felt dizzy and weird. when i rolled over to my back, still dizzy, still weird.

I was lying there thinking “what’s going on? Am I drunk???”

Of course i wasn’t drunk; i’d had one glass of wine the night before…

but I wasn’t right. I staggered downstairs and ate some oatmeal and continued to feel awful. dizzy, kind of felt like i had the flu, but worse. I looked up my symptoms and it seemed i might have vertigo. A couple of potential causes of vertigo can be dehydration and altitude.

I realized I probably didn’t drink enough water while hiking on Tuesday. We weren’t climbing and it wasn’t hot out, and i saw that i hadn’t drunk much of the water from my pack the day before.

vertigo.

Kevin said, it’s ok, we can just relax today. we ended up going to the store to get something for dinner, and then for some reason we went to another store in the next town over, maybe 10 minutes away.

but in that second store i started to feel really, really bad and said that i had to go home and sit down right away.

when we got back i looked up vertigo again and there was a little video showing how you can do a test to see if you have some specific, common kind of vertigo. it involved lying on my back at an angle and tilting my head from side to side. kevin watched the video, and then we did the test, and determined that i didn’t have that kind of vertigo…but in doing the stuff, the vertigo went away!

whew. I felt better after that, but tired, and it’s good we were in Glacier for plenty of days so having to do nothing one day wasn’t the end of the world.

you know i had to have been feeling really bad because i didn’t even take one single photo all day!

ok then,

mrs. g.h.

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And yet another great hike…

October 24, 2019

On Tuesday, Sept. 17th we decided to hike along the shore of Lake McDonald. It’s a total of seven miles one way so we decided we’d hike as far as we felt like. we didn’t leave our place til midday, though, because i suddenly got worried about our small data package and how we might […]

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Anniversary dinner in Apgar Village

October 22, 2019

After our great hike up Apgar Lookout Trail on Mon. Sept. 16th we headed back to Apgar Village. It’s the largest village in Glacier, but all it consists of is a couple of gift shops a couple of hotels, and a restaurant. The first place we stopped in Apgar is the best shop by far. […]

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Another great hike in Glacier…

October 21, 2019

Monday, Sept. 16th, our 13th anniversary! We celebrated by going on a lovely hike, up to Apgar Lookout. it’s funny that our hike two days before had been so chilly and windy. today, we fairly quickly zipped off our zipoff pants and comfortably hiked in shorts. we left at the crack of about 11:00 in […]

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Pinnacle of the Grinnell Glacier Trail

October 17, 2019

whew, we saw the plaque which proclaimed we’d arrived at the glacier, but we really hadn’t and had to hike another half hour. We finally got to our end point around one thirty. We had expected it to be bigger, and i was also always under the impression that a glacier would be at the […]

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Hiking up to Grinnell Glacier!

October 15, 2019

Before our trip I was looking around on tripadvisor forums and “grinnell Glacier” kept popping up and I suddenly felt it was important that we try the hike up to the Glacier. I posted a question, asking if the hike would be too difficult for two midwesterners only used to about 581 feet above sea […]

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Boat rides to the Grinnell Glacier Trail

October 9, 2019

Saturday, Sept. 14th we got up early and headed to the East entrance of Glacier. I had booked a 9:00 reservation on the boats which would take us from Many Glacier Hotel, over the Swiftcurrent Lake, up a little path, and then over Lake Josephine, and at the end of that path we’d start our […]

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