Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Glacier National Park

Last Friday at six in the morning, my grandson, his friend Kris and I headed east from our home in Federal Way.  Our destination was the North American RV Park in Coram, Montana just six miles southeast of the West Entrance to the park.  After driving all day and stopping only from meals and potty breaks we arrived at the park around six in the evening.

My grandson had planned the trip but was unable to come up with reliable transportation so I opted to go along with him.  His friend Kris decided she would also like to go.  His original plan was to spend three days in a Yurt at the RV park and explore, hike and fish in the park.  Upon arrival we found an arrival packet taped to the front door of the office with the key and information about our Yurt.  We found our home away from home and unpacked the truck.

Yurts are interesting living quarters.  When Zach made the reservation there was only going to be two people so he opted for the smaller twelve foot version.  It was tight but doable.  There was a table and two chairs, heater, fan and a bunk bed with a twin on the top and a double futon on the bottom.
Of course it was close and I took the lower bunk while they took the upper bunk.

I had washed my sleeping bag a couple of days before leaving and upon unrolling it discovered that it wasn't exactly dry.  The mattresses used by the park were plastic covered to ease clean up.  It was cold but I managed to use the unfold the sleeping blanket and tried to get some sleep.  It was difficult at best.  As the kids slept very well, I was cold.  The temperatures dropped to below thirty and the little heater provided just couldn't keep up with the cold.  Once the office opened the following morning I upgraded us to a small cabin with three beds.  It had a much better heater and while the mattresses were harder than the Yurt, I was much more comfortable.  The kids had issues sleeping on the beds but I think they appreciated the upgrade as the temperatures continued to drop for the rest of our stay.  When we left on Tuesday the temperature was 28 degrees.
Our first day we went to the Huckleberry Patch restaurant for breakfast.  It was so good.  They have Huckleberry everything and we enjoyed the pancakes.  The park was having a free day on Saturday so we took advantage and spent most of the day inside the park.  The last time we were here the Going to the Sun Road was closed and we were unable to travel it.  This time it was open and we took advantage but heading across the park.

The fall colors in the park are amazing.  It was a beautiful trip.  Except for the devastation we found along the way from the fires that raped the hillsides earlier this year.  We stopped at Logan Pass and the kids took a short hike while I waited with the truck.  Temperatures were cold and there was frozen ice falling from the sky.  You could see mother nature painting the hillsides with snow.  Zach and Kris had planned to take a fairly long hike on Sunday to a relatively high elevation but changed their minds after seeing the snow.

We headed over the Whitefish to the Ski Resort area outside of town.  They have a luge track set up and Zach wanted to "throw himself off the mountain".

As we left the resort I came upon a Samba built by Subaru.  It is amazing where you find these miniature vehicles.

Sunday morning we woke up to cold temperatures and frost everywhere.

Before we left for their hike, Zach decided to show Kris how to use the Bear Mace they had purchased.  He got a little surprise as he showed her how to use it.  A slight gust of wind and he suddenly found himself maced by his own hand.  It took him a while to recover.

I dropped them off at a trail head and drove back to Whitefish except I never got there.  The road to Whitefish was closed due to a fire in a carpet and flooring store.

Since the kids were only going to be gone three hours, I wandered back into the park and found a nice spot on the Flathead River to fish.
The kids returned a short time later and we headed back to the park.
We went back to the Huckleberry Patch for dinner and I had another slice of pie and ice cream.  It was so good.
On the way back to the park we visited the Hungry Horse Dam.  It is one of sixty dams along the Columbia River Watershed.

We went back to the park to await the celestial event of the ages.  The blood moon eclipse and we had the most beautiful, clear sky to see it.  There were stars everywhere and we could see the Milky Way as we watched the moon rise over the hills, turn red, dim and become bright again.  It was so dark my phone camera wouldn't take a picture.  Later in the evening I caught the moon so bright that I didn't need a flashlight to go outside.
Our last day, Monday, was spent in the park.  We drove up to Polebridge, a small self sustaining outpost in the back country just outside the north park entrance.  It is completely primitive except for the solar panels and diesel power generators.  The Mercantile has a bakery that makes Huckleberry bear claws that are worth every penny of the five dollars you will spend on them.

We continued up the road (fire trail) and re-entered the park just north of Polebridge.  We found the access road to Bowman Lake and started up to the lake.  While the road bed is iffy and it is often only big enough for one car the trip was pretty good and the end result was worth it.  Zach and I fished in the lake for an hour or so and then we headed back down.

Wild life abounds everywhere.  These were right along the road back to Polebridge and were not afraid of us in any way.

We spent our final night at the park and got up Tuesday for the drive home.  It was once again very cold and we left the park at six-thirty in the morning and arrived back in Seattle ten hours later.  Not bad considering several stops along the way for food and potty breaks.

All in all it was a great time.  I really enjoyed my time with the kids and I hope they had a good time as well.  Zach really would like to live in Montana and was trying to figure out how he could stay but alas he came home with me.  His grandmother would have killed me if I had let him stay.

Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.

No comments:

Post a Comment