To the Sun and Across the Great Divide

13 Aug

We left Great Falls and moved north toward Glacier National Park. Keeping with the plan, we skipped the interstate and went up Highway 89, one of those dotted roads on the map that signifies a scenic drive. We were not disappointed with the landscape, as we passed agriculture of all types and a few cyclists, which we did not anticipate in such an isolated place.

It wasn’t long before we entered the Blackfeet Reservation. I can always tell when I enter a reservation because the entire atmosphere – air, land, roads – becomes more depressed. It’s as if the fog of history has never lifted from the lives of Native Americans.

Our destination was the Glacier Park Lodge, and there were some concerns from the group about our accommodations. Lodges, both around and within national parks, tend to be remnants from the turn of the last century and are built in the Victorian rustic style. I have no problem with this, but a few of us have issues with staying in hotels that are a century old. Also, these lodges have some rooms without bathrooms. Instead, there is a communal bathroom at the end of the hall.

I must admit that I was wondering what we were getting ourselves into. None of us should have been worried. The Glacier Park Lodge was a great place to spend an evening. We were not even concerned that the rooms had no televisions.

I thought I would see Jack Nicholson busting through a door. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

The lobby, where everyone hung out because of the “NO TV” rooms, was awesome.

I want a room like this is my house.

The view from the back porch was also pretty good.

I also want a view like this from my deck.

After checking in, we had a little time for me to show my nephews how to play pitch-n-putt.

He has this putt to win The Masters.

Overall, the Glacier Park Lodge was a great place, but there was a somber reminder that national parks contain dangers as well as beauty. The front desk was plastered with information of a missing hiker. He had been gone for a few days by the time we arrived and had not been found when we flew home.

The next morning we ventured into the park but not before there was a struggle over which way to go. My dad and brother were convinced that we needed to turn right. My oldest nephew insisted that we go left. My nephew was right. We made the correct turns; made it to the eastern entrance; and, drove on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Words can’t describe its beauty, so I will let a few photographs do the talking.

Along the way, we crossed the Continental Divide.

We did it just like Lewis and Clark.

I have some advice for those thinking about going to Glacier. Enter the park from the east because there is a lot less traffic that way.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We had a nice lunch at the western entrance to the park. I thought my nephews were getting bored with the ride, so I bought them something to read. It was the literary classic, “Who Pooped In The Park?”. They thoroughly enjoyed it.

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8 Responses to “To the Sun and Across the Great Divide”

  1. Kathy August 13, 2012 at 20:25 #

    East Glacier Park is defintiely a well-kept secret and not nearly as crowded as the west side or even Many Glacier. We always stay there when we visit Glacier. Hope you got to see a bear while you were there!

    • surroundedbyimbeciles August 13, 2012 at 21:14 #

      Thanks for commenting. We saw no bears or mountain goats. We were all disappointed with that. In Yellowstone, we saw buffalo (which I’ve seen every time I’ve been) and a pack of wolves.

      • Kathy August 13, 2012 at 21:22 #

        The best place to see bears in Glacier is in the Many Glacier area. We’ve always seen them when we hike up to Iceberg Lake on the hillside above the first part of the trail. Now you have a reason to go back to Glacier!

      • Ed Darrell August 15, 2012 at 08:39 #

        Last time — the only time — I was there, mountain goats were all over. My solo hike along the Highline Trail was frustrated by one that, I swear, stalked me. It finally came down off the rocks and blocked by path. I tried to fool it by turning back for 50 yards or so, but when I got back on the path after it had left, it returned again. Maybe you were lucky not to see them, the rascals.

      • surroundedbyimbeciles August 15, 2012 at 19:08 #

        Thanks for commenting. It sounds like you’ve had a rough time with the critters. Perhaps, they were off torturing a hiker when I came through.

  2. Smaktakula August 14, 2012 at 15:28 #

    What great photos! We must stay in different lodges, because in my (admittedly limited) experience, most lodges in which I’ve stayed have been modern.

    I’ve never stayed in Glacier, but I’ve gotten to see a good portion of it on a few train trips through the region. It’s lovely any time of year, and the train takes you right through the heart of the park.

    I know what you’re saying about reservations. There’s a bleakness of spirit to those places.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles August 14, 2012 at 20:24 #

      I am sure most lodges have been modernized. We stayed at the Old Faithful Lodge many years ago, and the room had a community bath. That memory was imprinted on some of us. Ha

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Come On In – The Steak is Fine « Surrounded By Imbeciles - August 14, 2012

    […] we left Glacier National Park, we were entering a new, adventurous phase of the trip. We weren’t pulling a Lewis and Clark […]

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