A Travellerspoint blog

Glacier National Park - the East Side

Sept. 13-14

2DF68F512219AC6817D6C844682E58AA.jpg"Hungry Horse' is the big town on the east side. It got its name from two pack horses that got lost one December at the turn of the century. When they were found a month later, they were almost dead from the cold and hunger. "Hungry Horse" was a slight understatement!
Hungry Horse dam on Flatbead River with its bald eagles and eagle nests.
Mountains on the east side of Glacier Park. east_side_glacier.jpg
Mountains in the southeast corner. This is the town of Martin City and homestead farms on the plains outside the city. Virgin forests.
Martin_Cit.._of_Glacier.jpgeast_side_..ine_007.jpghomestead_..n_east_side.jpg]The railroad that services Glacier National Park was built on the east side by James Hill. It was built through Maria's pass discovered by Lewis and Clark and named after Lewis' cousin. An obelisk marks the continental divide. Glacier's rivers flow in three directions. Next to the obelisk is a plaque to Theodore Roosevelt who created the national park system.east_side_..edicine_026.jpgstatue_to_..he_railroad.jpgRR_building_plaque025.jpgMaria_s_pass_plaaque.jpgeast_side_..ine_029.jpg
Lewis Lodge, the only privately owned lodge in Glacier, and its view of the mountains. It's across from the train station.Lewis_Lodge.jpgrailroad_s..__east_side.jpgLewis_Lodge__3_.jpgLewis_Lodge__2_.jpg69A763842219AC6817EBD312D3E15A8A.jpgview_from_Lewis_Lodge.jpgview_of_mo..s_Lodge_041.jpg

Posted by kirkleak 18:12 Comments (0)

Glacier National Park - the West Side

Sept. 11-12

Flaathead Lake - 195 square miles and the biggest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River, 370+ feet deep. It's dotted with resorts and cherry orchards on its east side. Farmers grow Rainier and lapin cherries. Sun_Road_2_166.jpg (lapin cherries. Big and very juicy! And a big temptation to bears! Photos of Flathead Lake: villages on the lake, farms, prairies and mountains.hay_farm_e..Flathead_L_.jpg
We drove up the west side of Glacier Park to the community of Polebridge at the top abd saw a ptarmigan on the way. They change color to match their environment.
west_side_glacier_044.jpg west_side_glacier_080.jpgwest_side_glacier_084.jpgwest_side_glacier_087.jpg
"Merchantile" means "general store". There are a few farms in the plains at the foot of the mountains.
Polebridge Merchantile was created around 1918 by a couple who settled there. 1west_side_glacier_039.jpg

Posted by kirkleak 13:18 Comments (0)

Glacier National Park, Montana - Sept. 8-14, 2012

We visited Glacier National Park Sept. 8-14, 2012. The park has three roads: one on the west side, the Going to the Sun Road that cuts across the park from southwest to northeast, and a short road to Two Medicine Mountain and Two Medicine Lake (the latter were important sites to Indians who traveled here to seek strength and inspiration). Two Medicine Lake is one of the park's most beautiful places .
We made the round trip on the park's Going to the Sun Road 3-1/2 times. The first time we did the trip, we took the 8-hour sightseeing trip "Crown of the Continent" - the name for the mountain peaks at the top of the park - with one of the park's Red Buses. Each red bus holds about 20 people and its top can be rolled back to view the mountains up close. The Red Buses were the park's earliest means of transportation and were recreated and brought back in 1994.
The road begins in the valley on the Trail of Cedars, then passes Lake McDonald and McDonald River and then goes up to the top stopping at 3 lodges. The lake originally had an Indian name. When Mr. McDonald discovered it, he carved his name on a tree on the edge of the lake and the name stuck! As the road ascends, it's a scary, narrow road on the edge of cliffs between mountain peaks and deep glacier valleys.
Sun_Road_2_091.jpgSun_Road_2_074.jpgSun_Road_2_085.jpgSun_Road_2_088.jpgSun_Road_2_092.jpg Glaciers at Logan Pass (Max climbed up to them): sun_road_157.jpg
Here are photos of McDonald Lodge. The "front" of the lodge was on McDonald Lake because people arrived there by boat!
McDonald River which flows into McDonald Lake: sun_road_249.jpg
The bottom of Lake McDonald at Abgar with its "Crown of the Continent" peaks: Howe Ridge, Roger's Peak, Stanton Mountain, Mountain Vaught, McPartland Mountain, Garden Wall (thin and wide like a wall), Mt. Cannon, Mt Brown, Little Matterhorn (a 3-sided mountain)O, Edwards Mountain, Gunsight Mountain (with the ledge in the middle like you would set a rifle on), and Belton Hills - which seem to form a face (hair, forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, Adams apple) - said to the the ghost of Mr. Grinnel who was instrumental in making Glacier a national park!

Posted by kirkleak 06:52 Comments (0)

Montana's Big Skies

In Montana, you can travel for hours without seeing anything or anybody. The flat prairie is endless until you hit the Rockies in Northwestern Montana. The Burlington National and Santa Fe railraod connects isolated communities. The major activity is farming and mining. The Blackfeet Indians still have a large reservation in Montana.
open spaces

open spaces


Posted by kirkleak 21:21 Comments (0)

Motel at Glacier National Park

Western Inn, Colombia Falls, MT - near (well, 15 miles away from) the western side of the park

We stayed at the Western Inn in Colombia Falls, near the Middle Fork of the Flathead River on the Park's western side. We had two rooms - a bedroom/sitting room and a kitchen/dining area both attractively decorated. The bed was made out of tree logs as well as the motel's exterior. (It's a no-smoking motel!) The motel also has cabins - wood ones and canvas ones - and tipis. We would have loved a tipi (they'rre about 10 feet tall) but they don't have electricity or running water!


Posted by kirkleak 06:36 Comments (0)

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