Saturday, June 28, 2014

Glacier National Park

Sadly the Going To The Sun Highway is still closed.  After looking over the brochures we got on hiking in the park it was decided that Zach would attempt Huckleberry Lookout which is a good 12 mile round trip.  Mia and I dropped him off at the trail head and decided to go out to a place called Polebridge.  On Friday we spoke to another camper who indicated that the road was unpaved, muddy, washboard and full of potholes and he had tried to go up earlier in the week but gave up after a couple of miles.  While it had all of the above, it wasn't that tough to navigate and we made the roughly 15 mile trip without issue.  And it was worth every pothole.

The main paved road ends and you find yourself on the red dirt road.  More mud than dirt this day.  You travel a good distance into the woods until you come to another paved section of the road with signs warning that you are passing though private property.  Pristine ranches dot the sides of the road as you travel another few miles.  Wild life, mainly deer, is obvious.  Log cabins, barns, out buildings dot the landscape making you wonder who would want to live way out here.  Then you leave the paved road for a couple of more miles and suddenly find yourself in Polebridge, named after the bridge built over the Flathead River linking the North Fork Road in Glacier National Park to Montana Secondary Road 486.  There is a ranch along the way called, "A Little Piece of Heaven" and you soon see why.

Arriving at Polebridge there is a sign pointing the way to the General Store and when you turn the corner you are greeted by a large red building with Polebridge Mercantile written across the facade.

 As you travel down the road to the store you are reminded that there are other people here by some rather amusing signs.

The Mercantile is a treat.  The inside is covered with old antiques but the best is a bakery as well as a store and what a bakery it is.  If you like Huckleberry anything you can get it here.  I strongly recommend the Huckleberry Bearclaw.  Be sure to take some of the other delights with you as this place isn't easy to get to.
We left Polebridge and drove down through the park and up the Going to the Sun Highway as far as we could.  On the return trip we stopped by the McDonald Lodge which is a really beautiful place even in the pouring down rain.

Zach, remember Zach, sent me a text that he was starting down the trail after an encounter with a bear who was going the same direction as he and had't noticed him yet.  Apparently Zach was very close to the summit but thought it better to remain un-noticed.  We picked him up and have been enjoying the rest of the day with dinner and relaxing at the trailer.

Hope all is well.  Thanks for stopping by.

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