Saturday, August 1, 2009

We get further from home - Glacier

Again I am going to tell you - Make reservations for your trip to anywhere!  We meandered through Yellowstone and viewed the northeastern loop on our way out.  Really pretty again, and different from the southern side.  Now we need to go back and see the northwest loop.  Anyway - back to the story. 

DSC09596DSC09598

We knew we would need to stay somewhere in between Yellowstone and Glacier.  But we were not worried.  There are RV places and motels if we want.  Kept driving.  Not good because then the places become scarcer.  Not only that, there are cherry festivals and car races.  Uh huh!!  That means places are packed.  The state parks are packed.  We finally found a motel in Kalispell at about 10:30 that night.  Kalispell was full of race car enthusiasts for the Montana 200.  Don't ask me.  I just know it was late model racing.  The room was big!  Three queen beds so at least we did not need two rooms.  We crashed and then got up and moving the next morning - and a little grumpier with each other.  This comes with stress don't you think?

DSC03508 

We decided not to stay in Glacier National Park itself because we found a nice RV place just outside the gates.  It is called Glacier Campground.  Wonderful hosts, beautiful sites, and the price was great.  We paid about $29 a night and that included Wi-Fi (at the office/playroom), electricity, water, bathrooms.  To stay in the park (if you can get a place) would be $20 a night and no water, elec, Wi-Fi. Yes, I did call ahead from the road!  The sites were great.  Lots of trees, quiet.

DSC03509 

We asked our host about tours of Glacier.  She told us the shuttle in the park was free but they also had Red Bus Tours.  She said it was a bit "pricey" but they would pick us up at the campground.  After checking, yes it was a bit "pricey" but we decided that was the way to see the park.  We had read up on the Going to the Sun Road and thought it might just be worth it.  Oh, it was!!!

The 8:30 a.m. tour is what we opted for the next morning.  We were at our designated meeting place at 7:45 and they were there to get us about 8:10.  We had a great group of 12 people total.  The bus will hold 16 so it was really nice and roomy. 

DSC09601  DSC09631

We started with the top closed but quickly stopped inside the gates to open it up.  They provided us blanket to cover up with and YES WE NEEDED THEM!  Our guide (and I am sorry, I forgot his name!  Help!) was just a wealth of information.  He pointed out the glaciers and found all the wildlife we would ever need to see.  Well, except for a grizzly but that is quite OK.  I would never have known the glaciers.  Just looked like snow on the mountains to me.  This is the third bus tour of some type we have taken on a vacation and I highly recommend it.  Everyone gets to see all the sites and no one is left out while having to drive.

OK, here goes  - pictures.  Please visit my Webshots.  More are there.  I probably should upload even more.  Glacier is absolutely beautiful.  As is the whole state of Montana.  So diverse.

Lake McDonald Lodge:

 DSC09602 DSC09604

DSC09607DSC03514 DSC09610 DSC09617 DSC09625 DSC09644

DSC09648 DSC09649

A glacier in that snow!                                                           Lake McDonald

DSC09664 DSC09666

The bear.  Our guide estimated this black bear's age at about two years.  He said he probably had just left his mother's care and was out foraging for food for the first season on his own. 

DSC09673 DSC09685

Dining at Many Glacier Hotel on the east side of the park.  Beautiful.  We were told that it closes for eight months due to the snow and not being able to access it. Two caretakers live there during that time and it becomes quite stressful as there is not way in or our and cabin fever does take over.

DSC09688 DSC09690

Beautiful legend about this Goose Island.  Pretty too!

DSC09698 DSC09695

And more scenery and animals.

DSC09704 DSC09707 DSC09709DSC09710 

DSC09717 DSC09719

These mountain goats were just grazing by the road and one was laying there.  He got up and just wandered through people.  The guide said this was the only animal he had ever been attacked by so he was warning people to get out of their way! 

DSC09725 DSC09726

DSC09733 IMG_0087

DSC09737 DSC09742 DSC09746 DSC09747

And on the road again to our next destination.

DSC09749 DSC09751

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We get further from home - Glacier

Again I am going to tell you - Make reservations for your trip to anywhere!  We meandered through Yellowstone and viewed the northeastern loop on our way out.  Really pretty again, and different from the southern side.  Now we need to go back and see the northwest loop.  Anyway - back to the story. 

DSC09596DSC09598

We knew we would need to stay somewhere in between Yellowstone and Glacier.  But we were not worried.  There are RV places and motels if we want.  Kept driving.  Not good because then the places become scarcer.  Not only that, there are cherry festivals and car races.  Uh huh!!  That means places are packed.  The state parks are packed.  We finally found a motel in Kalispell at about 10:30 that night.  Kalispell was full of race car enthusiasts for the Montana 200.  Don't ask me.  I just know it was late model racing.  The room was big!  Three queen beds so at least we did not need two rooms.  We crashed and then got up and moving the next morning - and a little grumpier with each other.  This comes with stress don't you think?

DSC03508 

We decided not to stay in Glacier National Park itself because we found a nice RV place just outside the gates.  It is called Glacier Campground.  Wonderful hosts, beautiful sites, and the price was great.  We paid about $29 a night and that included Wi-Fi (at the office/playroom), electricity, water, bathrooms.  To stay in the park (if you can get a place) would be $20 a night and no water, elec, Wi-Fi. Yes, I did call ahead from the road!  The sites were great.  Lots of trees, quiet.

DSC03509 

We asked our host about tours of Glacier.  She told us the shuttle in the park was free but they also had Red Bus Tours.  She said it was a bit "pricey" but they would pick us up at the campground.  After checking, yes it was a bit "pricey" but we decided that was the way to see the park.  We had read up on the Going to the Sun Road and thought it might just be worth it.  Oh, it was!!!

The 8:30 a.m. tour is what we opted for the next morning.  We were at our designated meeting place at 7:45 and they were there to get us about 8:10.  We had a great group of 12 people total.  The bus will hold 16 so it was really nice and roomy. 

DSC09601  DSC09631

We started with the top closed but quickly stopped inside the gates to open it up.  They provided us blanket to cover up with and YES WE NEEDED THEM!  Our guide (and I am sorry, I forgot his name!  Help!) was just a wealth of information.  He pointed out the glaciers and found all the wildlife we would ever need to see.  Well, except for a grizzly but that is quite OK.  I would never have known the glaciers.  Just looked like snow on the mountains to me.  This is the third bus tour of some type we have taken on a vacation and I highly recommend it.  Everyone gets to see all the sites and no one is left out while having to drive.

OK, here goes  - pictures.  Please visit my Webshots.  More are there.  I probably should upload even more.  Glacier is absolutely beautiful.  As is the whole state of Montana.  So diverse.

Lake McDonald Lodge:

 DSC09602 DSC09604

DSC09607DSC03514 DSC09610 DSC09617 DSC09625 DSC09644

DSC09648 DSC09649

A glacier in that snow!                                                           Lake McDonald

DSC09664 DSC09666

The bear.  Our guide estimated this black bear's age at about two years.  He said he probably had just left his mother's care and was out foraging for food for the first season on his own. 

DSC09673 DSC09685

Dining at Many Glacier Hotel on the east side of the park.  Beautiful.  We were told that it closes for eight months due to the snow and not being able to access it. Two caretakers live there during that time and it becomes quite stressful as there is not way in or our and cabin fever does take over.

DSC09688 DSC09690

Beautiful legend about this Goose Island.  Pretty too!

DSC09698 DSC09695

And more scenery and animals.

DSC09704 DSC09707 DSC09709DSC09710 

DSC09717 DSC09719

These mountain goats were just grazing by the road and one was laying there.  He got up and just wandered through people.  The guide said this was the only animal he had ever been attacked by so he was warning people to get out of their way! 

DSC09725 DSC09726

DSC09733 IMG_0087

DSC09737 DSC09742 DSC09746 DSC09747

And on the road again to our next destination.

DSC09749 DSC09751

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Post a Comment

Please leave a comment! They are so much fun to read!